Way to update a Script's new variables in the inspector without loosing references?

The title says it all.
Suppose you have a Script with some reference variables, you set them on the inspector by dragging and dropping GameObjects onto them.
Then you go and add a new variable in the script, now the inspector doesn’t show the new variable.
You have to reset the component for the inspector to update and get the new variable, but now it lost the references you had set.

Is there any way to update it without losing the references?

That shouldn’t be the case. That will only happen if you rename variables or change their scope (private > public)