How to Do a Hard Reset for Your Life

As an author focused on lifestyle topics, I often get questions from readers on how to hit the reset button when life feels overwhelming. This inspired me to write a guide on how to do a hard reset for your life when you need a fresh start.

Assess Why You Need a Reset

Before diving into the reset process, it’s important to pause and assess why you feel the need to drastically change things up. Here are some common reasons:

  • You feel unhappy, unfulfilled, or burnt out in major areas of life like your job, relationships, or living situation
  • Significant life changes like a breakup, move, job loss, or death of a loved one
  • Trauma or mental health struggles making daily life feel unmanageable
  • Loss of purpose, direction, or passion for the path you’re on

Identifying the underlying cause(s) prepares you to tackle the roots during your reset.

Pick Your Priority Reset Area(s)

Resetting everything at once is impractical for most people. Choose 1-3 priority areas to focus your efforts:

  • Career – make a job/field change
  • Relationships – end, establish boundaries with, or put effort into personal connections
  • Residence – relocate somewhere new
  • Finances – get spending and savings on track
  • Physical health – adopt exercise routine and nutrition plan
  • Mental health – start therapy and establish wellness habits
  • Life purpose – redefine values and envision desired future

While interrelated, compartmentalizing helps break things down into actionable steps versus feeling overwhelmed by everything at once.

Make a Reset Action Plan

For each priority area, make a written action plan detailing the practical steps required to reset this aspect of life. Having clarity around “how” makes change far less intimidating.

Here’s an example action plan for resetting finances:

  1. Take inventory of current income sources and expenses
  2. Establish emergency fund with 3-6 months’ living costs
  3. Pay down high interest debts
  4. Automate savings/investment deposits
  5. Cut unnecessary expenses
  6. Research tactics to increase income

Having the roadmap empowers you to methodically move forwards versus feeling paralyzed by the scale of change needed.

Set Target Reset Timeline

While an open-ended reset timeline gives flexibility, also define target durations for your focus areas – or risk losing momentum.

Aim for time chunks that push you outside your comfort zone but which seem feasible. Here are some examples for different domains:

  • New job/career – 3-6 months
  • Move to new city – 6-12 months
  • Pay off consumer debt – 8-24 months
  • Reset exercise routine – 1-3 months

Build in accountability check-ins on your progress at milestone points.

Scrub Digital and Physical Environment

Your surroundings wield tremendous influence. To fully embrace your reset mindset, also refresh your environment: digital, physical, social, etc.


  • Delete old emails/texts triggering negative emotions or past identities
  • Unfollow accounts/people that no longer align with values
  • Curate new content feeds aligned to reset goals


  • Minimize clutter and decorate space to inspire reset goals
  • Display vision boards with images/quotes representing your “new life”
  • Play music/podcasts motivating the change you seek

Pruning what no longer serves you makes space for people/ideas/content energizing your reset.

Announce Reset to Support Network

Sharing your reset aims with close family/friends allows them to cheer you on and hold you accountable. Key ground rules:

  • Frame reset as a positive life change versus venting frustrations
  • Clarify practical ways they can support you
  • Establish how much detail you’ll provide on progress
  • Welcome encouragement/advice but don’t overload people

This elevates your reset as a collaborative effort versus solitary burden.

Adopt New Habits Supporting Goals

Resetting life also requires adopting habits and behaviors aligned to your aims. Consider daily/weekly practices enhancing reset efforts:

  • Career change – reach out to industry connections
  • New city – join local groups to expand friend circle
  • Pay debt – pack lunch rather than eat out
  • Wellness – prepare healthy meals, meditate, keep gratitude journal

Weave these into your routine so change happens organically versus through sheer effort alone.

Plan Reward System

Major life overhauls stretch your mental bandwidth. Counterbalance hard reset work by planning self-care rituals and milestone rewards like:

  • Weekly – bubble bath, favorite takeout, movie night, nap
  • Monthly – massage, scenic hike, new book splurge
  • Upon hitting targets – sentimental personal gift, dinner at nice restaurant

Building in wins along the journey prevents burnout.

Troubleshoot Sabotaging Thought Patterns

Inevitably, fears, limiting beliefs, and gremlins from your old mindset will try convincing you to abort mission. Combat self-sabotage through:

  • Daily affirmations – I deserve this positive change.
  • Gratitude lists – Highlight progress made so far.
  • Support team – Message accountability partner when struggling.
  • Curiosity – Note anxiety without judgment and refocus on facts of situation and options available.

With practice, these skills grow instinctual so you can catch yourself before spiraling down.

Hard Reset Survival Quick Sheet
Why needing resetIdentify root causes of desire for major change
Focus areasLimit to 1-3 changes to avoid overload
Make action plansDefine practical steps required per area
TimelineSet target deadlines per domain
Refresh environmentPrune physical/digital spaces to inspire reset mindset
Enlist support crewShare aims with friends/family cheering you on
Adopt new habitsWeave in practices/behaviors supporting goals
Reward progressPlan milestone treats preventing burnout
Address anxietyUse affirmations, gratitude, support team to stay the course

Keeping this roadmap close by can help whenever you feel overwhelmed by the scale of change you’ve undertaken. Breaking things down into bite-sized next actions makes forward movement feel less intimidating.

Lean Into Discomfort of Change

Resetting major life domains inevitably feels uncomfortable even when positively chosen. Your inner critic may wonder, “Was this the right move?” The tension between your familiar past and uncharted future is unsettling.

This discomfort simply signifies you’re shedding former identities and stepping into new territory growth requires. Avoid numbing or distracting yourself during rocky transitional moments. Instead, lean into the discomfort through:

  • Journaling about fears and hopes to process emotions
  • Sharing openly with support team to avoid isolation
  • Regular reality checks through reviewing action plans and progress made

While glamorous “change is easy!” messaging abounds on social media, real personal evolution requires sitting in the messy muck and uncertainty of the chrysalis phase. temporary discomfort is the price of admission for metamorphosis.

Chart Mini-Wins and Recalibrate

Major resets are marathons, not sprints. With larger-than-life goals, our motivation tends to rollercoaster between energized zeal and drained exhaustion.

During flashy enthusiastic phases, we risk overextending. Then when spirits crash, we become immobilized by seeming futility of efforts.

Avoid this momentum whiplash by focusing on incremental mini-wins like:

  • Week 1 career change – researched 5 intriguing companies
  • Week 2 relationship reset – had vulnerable share with partner
  • Week 3 finance reset – automated $200 monthly savings deposit

Documenting small but cumulative progress provides concrete proof you’re incrementally advancing. During morale slumps, review accumulated mini-wins resurrecting that sense of affirmation.

Also periodically check-in on any needed recalibration like adjusting unrealistic expectations, activity pacing, or support strategies. With major change, flexibility remains key.

Leverage External Accountability

Even the most determined individuals risk backsliding on reset aims without external accountability. Combat inertia and distraction tendencies through enlisting others on your journey:

  • Mastermind group – joins peers undergoing similar transitions meeting weekly/monthly to report wins and troubleshoot hurdles.
  • Online community – surround yourself with social media groups focused on your reset area providing camaraderie and wisdom.

Reset Your Mindset

Beyond external environment and habit shifts, sustainable change requires resetting your mindset – how you define yourself, view the world, interpret events.

Our mental models and assumptions comprise the operating system behind our decisions and behaviors. Surface actions alone Treat this mental programming as the foundation to rebuild through:

Affirm revised self-narrative

  • I’m willing and able to remake my career, health, relationships, etc.
  • I possess talents, grit and resourcefulness to reinvent myself.
  • My past does not dictate my future if I choose change.

Adopt new lens interpreting events

  • Setbacks or discomfort means growth opportunity versus failure.
  • Progress will feel incremental vs overnight success.
  • Improvement inevitable if I persist through struggles.

Establish renewed principles

  • I deserve fulfilling, meaningful work/relationships/wellbeing.
  • If aspects of life feel draining/unfulfilling, it’s my responsibility to reset.
  • My needs/values deserve equal priority to others’ demands on my time/energy.

Preempt common internal saboteurs

  • Perfectionism – Done beats perfect. Imperfect progress still moves me forwards.
  • Comparisons – Each person’s reset journey is unique. What works for others may not work for me.
  • Imposter syndrome – Feeling out of my depth means I’m courageously stretching beyond comfort zone.
  • Scarcity – There are infinite opportunities/resources if I think creatively.
  • Fear-based assumptions – Anxiety signifies a transition I’m ready to navigate, not a stop sign.

Regular mental diet overrides gradually rewire neural pathways so new mindsets become automatic over time through conscious repetition.

Envision Your Future Self

After hard reset work, what does your ideal life look like 1-3 years from now? Outline a vivid mental snapshot of future You who followed through on tough but needed changes:

  • Where are you living? What’s your community like?
  • What work excites and engages you?
  • What healthy habits start your day feeling energized?
  • What relationships give and receive love/support?
  • What new skills have you gained?
  • How do you spend recreational time?
  • What are you most proud of achieving?

When current hours feel dark and uncertain, focusing on this compelling vision of your destination fuels motivation to persevere through growing pains.

Reassess Life Mission

Beyond practical environment/habit upgrades, the most powerful life resets also involve redefining your purpose – the unique contribution only you offer our world based on your innate strengths, passions and values.

Carve out reflective space to get clear on:

  • What talents come most naturally to you?
  • What topics never cease fascinating you?
  • What issues move your heart you’d gladly volunteer to address if money were no obstacle?
  • What principles guide your decisions and path?

Identify intersecting themes revealing your special sauce – that sweet spot harnessing natural gifts and magnetizing life meaning. Rediscovering this north star realigns daily choices so everything you do ultimately serves your raison d’etre.

Stay Open and Trust the Process

Remember, friend…resetting deep roots requires deep patience with yourself and the process. Despite meticulous planning, this journey follows no formula.

Some days will lift you to mountain peak epiphanies…others may mire you in murky valleys of uncertainty. What matters isn’t judging successes or failures along the way, but persisting in direction of your soul’s wisdom – even when the only compass is your intuition.

Trust that the messy middle is merely a canyon corridor to more expansive vistas if you allow yourself to be transformed along the passage.

You’ve totally got this. Now boldly venture forth – the world is eagerly awaiting the fuller expression of your gifts emerging through the reset portal!

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