Changing your world and re-inventing yourself is not easy. A life overhaul is necessary, sometimes, to shake yourself out of the old way and turn into the new you. But where do you start when everything needs to change? I’ll give you a hint: anywhere is good. The trick is actually picking a goal and following through with it, breaking it down into small easily achievable increments. I am going to teach you today how easy re-inventing yourself is, if you repeat these five steps.
You might be overwhelmed with the process of re-inventing yourself. It’s hard to know where to start. If your style, job, home, and world need fixing up, it’s tempting to try to do it all at the same time. But that can easily lead you to frustration. Don’t try to do it all at once. Take your time with this and focus on one area of your life at a time.
Once you learn how to make major changes in your life in the long-term, you can change the way you present yourself to the world. This trickle-down effect can’t help but touch every area of your new world. Let’s start now by looking at all the areas of your life that need changes.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Now that you know it’s hard to know where to start when everything needs to change, you can sidestep that overwhelm problem. Even if you want to change your relationship status, your job, or the place you live, it’s best to just choose one thing, the most burning area of your life that needs an overhaul. Look at the list below and start to map it out:
What needs to change in each area of your life?
Career – Your current job, and future work ambitions.
Family – Your relationships with your family members.
Friends – Your relationships with your friends.
Significant Other/Romance – Your desires and wants when it comes to partnership and love.
Fun + Recreation – The much-overlooked square of enjoyment and pleasure.
Money – What major changes need to happen in the way you handle cash?
Personal Growth – What types of personal development are you involved in, or want to start?
Physical Environment – How is your satisfaction with the place you live? The city or country you live in?
Health and Wellness – How do you want to make changes to your appearance or levels of health? (mind, body, spirit)
Re-inventing yourself – The system
Now, onwards to the exercise. Once you have chosen ONE area to work on, remind yourself that you can go back and choose another area to work on once you have achieved this first goal in this first area. Every area of your life will eventually get love and attention if you follow this recipe. Just repeat this exercise in every area of your life. Every time you complete a cycle, it will get easier.
When you choose an area of your life, next decide what you want to take action on. Write down all the changes you want to make in this particular area. If it is your Career, then write down all the different things you would like to see changed about your work life. If you choose your physical environment, write down all the things you want to change about your current living situation. You could do this with your health, your money, or even the way you engage in your relationships with your friends and family. Just stick to one area and exhaust your ideas by writing them all out.
Once you have a good list of everything that needs to change in that area, pick the one to work on first. If you don’t know which one is the most important, go down your list and rank them. Rate each individual list item on a scale of 1-10 based on how urgent it feels, one being not urgent and ten being very urgent. That way you get a good sense of which items are a priority and which are not. Congrats! You have completed step one: Brainstorm and Evaluate.
TAKE THE ACTION NEEDED
Step two is about taking the action you need to get the task done. It might be an enormous task, like changing careers. Or it might be smaller, like starting a meditation practice. If it feels really daunting, then take a bunch of index cards and write out all the smaller steps you need to take to meet that big goal, and tape them to your wall. Then only focus on each fragment at a time. Taking action is the easiest and the scariest part.
Small, concentrated actions day after day add up to completing your big goal, I promise. Put a time frame around your action taking. Whether it is a week of a month, give yourself a deadline to get it done. Tell someone about your goal and have them keep you accountable. A coach works great or even a close friend or partner will be able to hold your feet to the fire as you complete your actions.
Re-inventing yourself: Action Reflection
The third step is to reflect on your actions. Take a look at what you did, in a non-judgemental way. Look at what went right, what you WERE able to carry out, and what the impact of your actions was. You might have had both positive and negative things happen to you while reinventing yourself, and that is 100 percent part of the process. Look at where you might have done better, or areas where you didn’t do what you set out to. What happened instead? What did you learn?
Sometimes I do this work in a journal, but sometimes I simply leave aside some time to think and evaluate my action. Whichever way you choose to reflect, make sure you don’t skip over this part. Making major life decisions takes time. Careful reflection on your actions allows you to adjust your sails for the next jump. This way, you are more focused and concentrated on what you want. It’s okay to change your mind about what you want or where you want to go. Thoughtful reflection can help you make educated choices about how to re-invent your life.
ADJUST YOUR SAILS
Step four is to adjust your goals based on what you have learned. Maybe you tried a radical new hairstyle or way of dressing and you felt fabulous. Maybe not. Perhaps you test drove that Porsche and decided you don’t want it on your vision board after all. This step is all about getting comfortable making changes on the way to re-inventing yourself. Take a look at this area of your life and check in on the things you have tried. Are you ready to take the next action steps (if it’s a big goal) or ready to move on to another action in this area of your life?
Adjusting your goals is an important step because you need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture when reinventing yourself. It’s not easy to see the forest when you are in the weeds. So use this time to take a ten thousand foot view of what you are building and figure out if you like what you see. If not, adjust your hairstyle, car choice, or decision to move to Bali accordingly until it fits in closest with what you really want.
Re-inventing yourself: Try Again
The last step is to try again in this same area OR move on to the next area of your life or thing you want to change. Go back up to the top and look at all the areas in your life. Do you want to move on and take major action in another section? Or do you want to stay in the same area and keep making changes in that particular part of your world?
Keep repeating this process of deciding, taking action, evaluating, adjusting and trying again until you have made the major changes you want. You might just end up by the beach, gazing at the love of your life over cocktails. Or you might be driving down the highway in your red convertible with that new hairdo, arriving at your new home. Wherever you end up, I promise you will have this strange moment when you realize – I did it! I reinvented myself! My life looks completely different this year than it did before. It takes time and work, and lots of travel outside of your comfort zone. But you are 100% able to reinvent yourself if you put your mind to it.
When you are re-inventing yourself, you have to start somewhere. Start by choosing an area you want to work on yourself and optimize your life. It might be one of the ones I’ve listed above. It may be one you make up. One step at a time, one action item at a time will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
Remember, you can always break your goal down into manageable chunks. You can take consistent action each time you try something new. Make this your cheat sheet. Keep yourself going by being aware of the reinvention process you are undertaking. Dedicate a journal or a whiteboard to tracking your journey so you can see your progress. Each small change will work itself out to have big consequences. It’s up to you to keep taking action. Keep going, and don’t stop!
What is the biggest thing you have done to reinvent yourself?? Let me know in the comments below!