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Rip Me Out the Plastic: 7 Steps to Achieve a Fresh Start this Season

Rip Me Out the Plastic: 7 Steps to Achieve a Fresh Start this Season

Happy Fresh Start August!

As another school year approaches and we embark again on routines that are somewhat familiar, let us be intentional to go in with not only a fresh start, but also with fresh eyes, a fresh mindset, fresh ideas, fresh habits…so that we won’t get caught again in the mental traps and debilitating behaviors of the past that hinder our growth.

Embracing a Fresh Mindset for a New SeasonDawn Charleston-Green, Award-Winning Author

Though we approach a new school season, or for some a new fiscal year, we’re almost in the final stretch of the calendar year, in which some have failed to do that thing they resolved to do in January and have completed by December.

Some have failed to be accountable or to comply to the discipline needed to accomplish a task. Others continue to walk in the fear of past failures of what others have said about them, or told them they couldn’t do.

Listen! Take the plastic off. It’s suffocating you.

God said He would do a new thing that you won’t have the capacity to grasp. There is more fresh air for you to breathe on this side than what’s left in the space you’re in. Come out of the plastic into your new thing.

Moving Forward with Intentionality

If we are not intentional, familiarity can cause us to become stagnant, complacent, and most of all unproductive. Yes! Circumstances can seem so familiar to us that our effort and motivation will be limited to even be able to realize that anything different or better is possible. If I were to draw a comparison to it I would say it’s almost like having on blinders. But, unlike the blinders of a racehorse whose eyes are set on winning the prize without distractions, these blinders keep us from seeing the possibilities of better things that are meant to enrich and enhance our lives toward our calling and purpose.

Reconciling Past Hurts and Disappointments

David prayed ” Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Though familiar, David’s prayer is mighty and powerful and is still relevant and needed for us today. We need God to help us to reconcile the issues of our hearts that serve to hinder and distract us with hurt or disappointment from our past. The renewal of our spirits will enable us to move forward free of hesitation, and instead with the confidence of trusting God for the possibilities which lie ahead, and more importantly, have been predestined for us.

My Sisters, as we embark on a new season and a fresh start, my prayer is that of Paul in Ephesians 1:18. “I ask that your minds may be opened to see [God’s] light, so that you will know what is the hope to which he has called you, how rich are the wonderful blessings he promises his people…”

Persevering Through Growth and Change

Again, it’s easy to fall into the same traps and pitfalls of the past, whether in our thinking, emotions, or our behaviors. Familiarity can feel very comfortable and safe. But let’s remember that growth can sometimes cause hurt and discomfort. It feels different because it is different.

Remember when you started puberty? It probably not only felt different…but scary. Many of us asked ourselves “What the heck is going on with my body?” It was changing. And from that point, our bodies would forever change. And if that wasn’t enough, when we begin to reach full maturity, the body and emotions again change. This time through perimenopause and then full-fledged menopause. Being on this end of the spectrum now, I can tell you it would be so much easier to experience puberty. Why? Because I’ve gone through it before and I know what to expect. However, I’ve accepted that change is inevitable. We’ll never have it all figured out.

Just when I think I know everything about me… my body… emotions… Something transpires and I say to myself… “Never saw that before…Never heard that before… Never felt like this before.”

Avoiding Stagnancy and Complacency

Wouldn’t it be simple if everything could just stay the same? It sounds good in thought, but in theory, it’s not what we want, because that’s not how the cycles of life and evolution work.

Evolution is created through consistent development, change, exposure, and diversification over a period of time; causing changes to the preexisting appearance and form of a being on through successive generations. What this is saying, Sis, is that your perseverance and growth aren’t just about you. They are the contingency on which those who will come after you rely. Fortunately, we have the power to break free of self-defeating thoughts and behaviors and push through to new levels of growth and success.

As women, we are not only able to find methods to help us obtain these successes through processes and disciplines, but as Christian women, we can also find inspiration and guidance from the Word of God. And just let me say… The security and hope God’s Word provides…supersedes all other methods.

So, for those who may need to commit to carrying out your goal of a NEW THING in this fresh season… No matter if it’s as simple as waking up at a certain time each day, or committing regularly to self-care and exercise… Or, maybe you need to accomplish a big goal or task like studying for and passing an exam, or applying for a new job or position… Or, you could need to commit intentional time in prayer because you desire God to move in a certain area of your life or with a certain relationship… If any of these apply, or whether it’s something else altogether, here are 7 suggestions to push through and make the most of this new beginning.

7 Suggestions for Achieving a Fresh Start this Season

  • Seek God’s Wisdom and Guidance:Consistent in Prayer

We may not always know the way forward, but we can trust that God does. By seeking His wisdom and guidance, and committing to His way of going after our goals, we can navigate the challenges of this new season with confidence and clarity. God doesn’t desire to hold anything that is good from His children whom He loves. You are in that number, Sis. But first…follow the instructions as carefully as you would a recipe. And then, just like the results of a good recipe that has been followed well, you will gain a greater understanding of Psalm 34:8 which says,

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”

  • Set Goals & Create a Plan:

Set yourself some short- as well as long-term goals. It’s usually helpful that your short-term goals feed into or lead to your long-term ones. Once you have set your goals, create a plan of action. Break down your goals into smaller, achievable steps that are not only specific and measurable, but also realistic for you to accomplish with your current ability and resources. This will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the process.  Instead of overwhelming yourself with a long list of lofty or immeasurable goals that a plan of action can’t be applied to, focus on outlining a plan that yield quick and doable results. When these goals are accomplished, check them off and celebrate them. This will help you maintain motivation and momentum. Once a goal has been met, have a strategic plan for what you will do next and a timeline for getting it done.

“The steps of a righteous man are ordered by God, and He delights in his ways.” ~Psalm 37:23

People often ask me how I seem to get so much done. This step, *Set Goals & Create a Plan,” is what I live by; especially now with being a woman of a particular age. Thoughts flee much more quickly nowadays. So, most of my days start with a plan. If not, I’m just not as productive or focused. And for me, it can’t just be a plan in my head. It has to be physically written down and put on a calendar. This includes my prayer time. Writing it down helps me commit to it.

  • Let Go of Past Failures and Fears:

It doesn’t matter that you were unable to finish or accomplish it before. From that past experience, what did you learn that can be applied to helping you get closer to achievement this time around? Remember, “setbacks don’t mean failure.”

In Isaiah 43:18-19, God says,

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Fear of failure can be paralyzing, but it’s important to remember that every successful person has experienced obstacles somewhere along their journey. Please, don’t let fear hold you back from pursuing your goals and dreams for this next season. Consider taking calculated risks and trust in your abilities. We can’t move forward if we’re constantly looking back. Instead, let’s trust that God is doing something new in our lives and believe that He will make a way, even in the midst of difficult circumstances and despite previous evidence.

  • Conform to a Fresh Mindset:

It’s easy to fall into negative thought patterns, but it’s important to remember that we have the power to change our mindset. Start each day with a positive affirmation and focus on the opportunities that lie ahead. Memorize this scripture and use it at a reminder when your thoughts seem off.

“Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.” ~Romans 12:2

  • Hold Yourself Accountable & Stay Accountable:

    Rudy the Smart Kid Book Launch. Picture: Award-winning author, Dawn Charleston-Green, Temeka Davis, and Nikeya Chavous

    Seasons of Accountability Continuing to support individual efforts of each other are the adult castmates of Akeelah and the Bee performed by the Augusta Jr. Players

Whether it’s finding an accountability partner or using a planner to track your progress, it’s important to stay accountable for the tasks you set for yourself. Schedule regular check-ins and be honest about your progress to ensure you stay on track. We can’t do it alone, and we definitely don’t know everything.

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, the apostle Paul writes, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

Whether in our personal goals or our spiritual walk, we must be disciplined in our pursuit of God’s call on our lives; and we need the support, accountability, as well as prayers of others to stay the course. Don’t be afraid to share your goals or shortcomings with the right people. Keyword: RIGHT. Vet and choose those who have the right skill set, mindset, and spirit to support you and your fresh start in this new season.

  • Embrace the Journey:

    New author, Shadawn Wright and her devotional, Don’t Look Back, Let It Go! Published under Dawn of a New Day 365, LLC

In Proverbs 3:5-6, we are reminded to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Remember that our path has been set for you. Our job is to follow it. But, the only way we can know which way to go is that we must get God’s directions. This road to the success we hope for is a journey, not a destination. The destination is in pleasing God and fulfilling our call and purpose. So, embrace the ups and the downs and use each experience as an opportunity to grow and learn, and to become better so that there will be clear evidence that your season has indeed changed.

Also, embrace your change. Don’t be afraid to try new things and step outside of your comfort zone. You might realize that the new places you find yourself feel natural…like you were supposed to be in this space…and it’s probably because…you were. For me, being an author, writing, teaching, and encouraging others daily feels very natural. It’s a part of my being. BUT! It is constantly evolving.

My audience sometimes shifts. The number of people I speak to increases or decreases with each season. But even with these changes and uncertainties, there is no doubt in mind that all of it is intentional. I relate to and I am encouraged by the words of Apostle Paul who shared,

“I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little.” (Philippians 4:12 GNT).

But here’s the kicker when he said in verse 13,

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (NKJV)

Sis! You can too. Follow the blueprint and trust the expertise of the Master Architect, when circumstances seem adverse or advantageous.

  • Cultivate a Spirit of Gratitude:

Work to be thankful. Philippians 4:8-9 tells us:

“In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable. 9 Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.”

What have you been thinking about lately? Has it brought you peace? If it hasn’t, it might be because your thoughts are on things that don’t promise or cultivate peace. You might need to work on that.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul encourages us to “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

No matter what this new season brings, we can choose to focus on the good and give thanks for all that God has done and will continue to do in our lives.

Making the Most of a New Beginning

As we step into this fresh season, let’s remember that new and available opportunities await us because God is with us every step of the way. Through Him, there is hope and security for us. Let’s trust Him, lean on Him, and embrace all that He has in store.

Take the Plastic Off and Breathe Fresh Air

As a final thought… As the title of this blog suggests, and as the female rap artist, Latto, has given us a reminder… “Rip me out the plastic. I’ve been acting brand new.” (Google at your own risk👀) Have you ever thought about what plastic is used for?

Yes. There are good things such as:

  • Preservation of shelf life
  • Avoiding spillage
  • Saving space
  • Damage Protection

But let’s not apply that same approach to our goals. I want you to remember a few things as it relates to this.

Shelf life for anything is only temporary. If it is never used, it will still spoil and become unuseful for anything good. Spillage is not always a bad thing either. We can’t reserve everything for ourselves. The gifts we have were meant to be shared and cultivated; which neither is possible if we hold them in. Space-savers are for closets and cabinets. You, my friend, were meant to take up space and occupy new things that can not be seen or accessed from behind the doors that you are afraid to open. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; BEHOLD, ALL THINGS… have become NEW.”

Sis! Rip the plastic!

Seeing the Possibilities of a Fresh Start

God told Joshua in Joshua 1:6, “Be strong and have strength of heart. For you will bring the people in to take this land which I promised to their fathers to give them.”

Go on in, Sis! This NEW PLACE that is before you isn’t just for you. Your bloodline is waiting on it.

So, I leave you with this… Don’t get caught in the plastic, Sis. Remember, too much plastic creates hazardous waste for ourselves and others. So rip it off and start acting BRAND NEW. ~Dawn

Thank You!

The Kid’s Red Carpet Book Tour – Memphis Pictured from l to r: Authors Dawn Charleston-Green, Radeisha Haromon, Curator Dr. Pamela Gurley, Tekenya Johnson, and Rudy Valentine, III

Thank you for reading my words and my thoughts. If you found “Rip Me Out the Plastic: 7 Steps to Achieve a Fresh Start this Season” helpful, don’t forget to LIKE and leave a COMMENT. Feel free to SHARE as well, remembering that iron sharpens iron.

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to join the Dawn of a New Day 365 movement. SUBSCRIBE for more content like “Rip Me Out the Plastic: 7 Steps to Achieve a Fresh Start this Season,” follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube; all at the handle Dawn of a New Day 365.

P.S. As you embrace your fresh start in this new season, blast this song in your car when you get some time. Tye Tribbett – New 

#freshstart #growthmindset #perserverence #personalgrowth

Need more on embracing a Fresh Start? Try these blogs.



About Dawn N. Charleston-Green

Dawn Charleston-Green has learned the importance and significance of appreciating the dawning; having experienced her share of darkness through the test and trials of life. And though she has had her own Luke 22:31 experience of "being sifted as wheat," she accepts the call to action to now that she has overcome, and her faith did not fail, to go back and strengthen other women. Dawn is the founder and creator of Dawn of a New Day 365. The Dawn of a New Day 365 movement focuses on women journeying through everyday life--the good, the bad, the unexpected, and the ugly; overcoming with TRUTH and TRANSPARENCY, seeking TRANSFORMATION. Join the movement into your dawning. Follow Dawn of a New Day 365 on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.

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