Lifestyle and Living

Your Past Is Just A Chapter, Not The Whole Book

Apr 2023 | By Jane Enright

Tips To Create Fresh Starts & Your Super Awesome Lifestyle!

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Moving forward after an unexpected setback or loss can be challenging. This is because it is common for us to become defined by our past experiences. This thinking, combined with fear of the unknown, can lead to a pattern of rewriting the same chapter of our lives over and over again. Instead of moving on, we are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Rather than making things happen, we let things happen – avoiding change rather than embracing the silver linings it might bring.

The good news is shifting our perspective to a more positive, purposeful mindset can help us recalibrate our thinking, and motivate us to envision and create fresh starts for ourselves. So how do we make our ideas happen after an unplanned change?

Accept What Is, Rather Than What Was

An woman opening curtainsAcceptance is recognizing the reality of your situation and allowing it to be what it is without judgement. This does not mean you have to be happy about a curveball out of left field. Rather, acceptance can support you to shift your perspective to a more flexible mindset that will support you to use change to your advantage when making choices.

Think Big Picture

Big Picture thinking is looking at yourself and your situation through a different lens; as an observer rather than as a participant. Imagine you have been asked to do a scan of your life to evaluate the pros and cons, what is working, and what is not. This helps us respond, rather than react to situations so we are better equipped to visualize a way forward and make choices that help us create a joyful lifestyle.

A simple strategy to prompt big picture thinking is to ask yourself “What new personal storyline would you like to read weeks, months, or a year from now?”

Create A Vision Board

An image of a vision board hanging above a couch in someone's living room.A vision board is a snapshot of words and pictures that represent the goals and dreams you are aiming to achieve (planned change). The purpose of a vision board is to stimulate your imagination so you can bring everything on it to life. You can use vision boards for inspiration to identify—and initiate —planned change and fresh starts. When this occurs, your brain’s natural problem-solving processes go to work to develop a roadmap to successfully obtain what you want.

Vison Board Ideas To Inspire Fresh Starts

1. Think about different areas of your life that you would like to see change in, such as relationships, career, finances, home, social life, spirituality, and personal growth.

2. Handwrite your goals on a piece of paper.

3. Using pictures from magazines or the Internet, hand-drawn images, or your own photos, create your collage. Organize into categories or be more free-flowing—your choice!

4. Your vision board should reflect the types of goals and dreams you have. It can be themed, organized into categories, or a little messy. It’s really up to you.

5. Personalize when possible; use affirmations or key words to describe the feeling you will have when you achieve your goal.

6. Let your creativity shine! Do you want to play an instrument? Put a picture up of yourself playing it. If you want to adopt a healthy lifestyle, include pictures of yourself being active and photos of nutritious foods.

7. Display your vision board where you can see it daily and make your ideas happen!

Practice Gratitude

An image of a woman journalingIn their positive psychology studies, researchers Robert Emmons and M.A McCullough discovered that practicing gratitude is consistently associated with greater long term happiness. They also determined that people who practice gratitude daily are more likely to learn and grow in times of stress instead of letting stress overwhelm them. Accepting that we only have a finite amount of time on earth encourages us to view and treat each day as a gift

Create a more gratitude-oriented life by:

  • Acknowledging at least one thing you are grateful for each day
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Have each family name a few things you are grateful for and putting them in a decorated a gratitude jar

Live Purposefully

An image of a smiling woman meditating.Your version of a super awesome lifestyle will be different from others. Nonetheless, if you accept and believe that all of us have choices and deserve to be happy, you begin to live life more intentionally. Energy flows where intention goes. If you are more careful about how you spend your time, and what you give your attention to, you begin to live more purposefully and this can help you move forward and make things happen instead of letting them happen. This is when your past becomes a chapter, not the whole book.

Wishing you a warm, wonderful Spring full of fresh starts and new opportunities for growth!

With gratitude,


An image of Jane EnrightJane Enright is an ordinary person who has survived some extraordinary things. An inspiring and humorous award-winning Canadian author and wellness expert, Jane is a former kindergarten teacher, university lecturer, and the CEO of Everything at My Super Awesome Life Inc. She is the winner of the 2022 Canadian Book Club Award for Best Book, Spiritual, Health & Wellness, and the 2022 Silver Medal from Living Now Evergreen Book Awards, to commemorate world-changing books published in this new millennium for her compelling, riveting memoir entitled Butter Side Up: How I Survived My Most Terrible Year & Created My Super Awesome Life. Butter Side Up is also a 2023 Bedside Reading Best Beach Book. Jane is also the author of the acclaimed wellness playbook Jane’s Jam: Inspiration To Create Your Super Awesome Life.

Jane is helping audiences worldwide land “butter side up”; find joy, successfully manage change, and create new beginnings and fresh starts after the unexpected. You can connect with Jane on LinkedIn, Goodreads, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. For more information visit janeenrightauthor.com.