Those two simple words: Begin Again.
Yes, begin again. Something about this combination and especially the term "begin" evoke a sense of freshness with every moment that allows us to pick up where we left our intentions behind and simply step into our intentions more completely.
Compare this to ideas of "start over" or "Try again." Starting over sounds awful and time consuming. It makes it feel like you've gone nowhere and accomplished nothing. You are reduced to the ashes of your previous flammable self that simply burned away into nothing. No change, no advance, no growth. The mere idea of starting over means we have to wipe the slate clean entirely. But didn't we do that when we started this year? God, it sounds like a ton of work to do it again.
The same can be said for "Try again." Although trying again implies that indeed efforts were made it wreaks of failure and disappointment. It sites repeatedly every unsuccessful attempt reminding you that you did already "try" but didn't accomplish. "Try Again" also puts the stink of suspected future failure out there. At least it does for me. We love the saying "If at first you don't succeed, try and try again." But where do we begin each attempt? How often must I try?
Instead, begin again. With renewed freshness in each moment build from your successes and the smallest increment of growth. Don't anticipate failure but recognize the learning and habitual motions you unconsciously follow. Their recognition alone takes you out of "trying again" and provides a foundation for growth that becomes the new level from which you can begin again.
During meditation, when the mind wanders and you catch yourself reviewing your to-do list, simply return your attention to your breath and begin again.
On your weight-loss challenge don't allow the cookie you snuck in at the office wipe out your week of success. Begin from where you were and follow that pathway to greater health and a more fulfilled sense of self.
I realize the difference seems small and possibly ambiguous. But the energy between these ideas is vastly different. Most people feel a sense of loathing and beat themselves up when they are faced with starting over or having to try again. Consciously taking an even slightly different mindset, based on growth not failure,
And now.....begin again.