Too often, we face the future feeling as if we don’t have a lot of options. We somehow give our past actions and mistakes more weight and influence over who we are and who we might become than anything we could possibly do today, tomorrow or next year. We allow other people to define us by our past and, in some cases, we create the definition on our own based on actions we’ve already put behind us.

Instead of letting the past define you, start each day knowing that it’s a new day. It’s a new day during which you will make many decisions that can be better than the decisions you made yesterday. And more than that, allow yourself to let go of definitions and labels lingering due to actions or problems or situations in your past and instead look to what you are now, what you are doing now, and what you plan to do in the future.

Create your own definition of who you are and what you will become.

Tips on Putting the Past Behind You:

1. Making better decisions often means making different decisions. Don’t be afraid to do things differently than you have in the past.
2. Just because someone has “labeled” you in a particular way doesn’t mean you have to live your life according to the definition they assign you. You might have a criminal conviction, but that doesn’t mean you have to live your life as a criminal.
3. Don’t be afraid of change. Plenty of people have made mistakes in their lives and followed those mistakes with substantial change that altered their direction, their course, and, eventually, their entire life.

Never forget that we, as individuals, get to choose who we are. You get to choose what you do with your life. You can let a situation be the defining moment that drags you down and keeps you back or you can choose to continue, to persevere, and strive to be the best person that you can be.