Did you wake up this morning wondering, “How do I reinvent myself?”
If so, you’re certainly not alone. With the New Year just beginning, many people are considering ways to reinvent themselves.
If you’re worried that it’s too late for you to create a new version of yourself, don’t be. The truth is, the urge to become the person you’ve always wanted to be can hit you at any time, in any stage of life. And when your gut tells you it’s time for a change, listen.
In this article, you’ll discover 12 steps to reinvent yourself. From small steps outside of your comfort zone to massive leaps into the unknown, we’re covering all the different ways you can forge a new path to the most authentic version of yourself. And the best part is you can start today!
1. Craft the Patchwork of Your Identity
Your identity is a patchwork of everyone and everything you hold dear: your likes and dislikes, your career, your relationships with others and your relationship with yourself. These pieces of your patchwork are collected gradually over time, in a process that shapes who you are.
Some seams will fray throughout the years—you’ll lose certain relationships, change careers or pivot on your goals. But as time goes on, new patches will be added and you will replace the pieces that no longer belong.
Before you can reinvent yourself, take stock of your current patchwork. Who are you? What do you love to do? What do you avoid doing? When creating a new version of yourself, you must decide which pieces of your identity you want to keep and release those that don’t serve you.
This process can take some time. You’ll want to identify who you are as a whole person. Look at who you are as a spouse, parent, leader, member of your community and much more. Then, think about who you want to be and what you’ll need to release to get there.
As you reinvent yourself, you’ll craft a new patchwork that is authentic to who you are.
2. Illustrate Your Core Values
What truly matters to you? Is it the freedom to support yourself and your family or the connections you forge with others? Maybe it’s both, or maybe it’s neither. There is no wrong answer. Realistically, everyone has their own motivators. Those unique motivators are called our core values.
Freedom, family, relationships, connection and career are all common examples of core values. As you learn how to reinvent yourself, keep a running list of the core values that are most important to you and why. Take time to really understand your core values. As you create a new version of yourself, these individual values should be constantly present in your identity and the decisions you make.
When you clearly define your core values, it becomes easier to say no to the things that no longer benefit you or your loved ones. You begin to focus on matters that are truly important to you, designing a path towards a meaningful reinvention.
From basic decision-making to how you present yourself to peers and colleagues, living by your core values can create a wholeheartedly fulfilling life. And this happens simply because you’re living for yourself and what you believe in.
3. Discover Your Strengths
No matter where you are in life right now, there will always be something that you are especially great at—something that no one can take away from you. Those strengths should be a source of confidence. Use them as the blocks to build up the new and improved you.
Think about which area of your life you feel the most confident in. Chances are, this is where your strengths lie. Strengths can be anything, from strong sales skills to the ability to make someone smile. And they can all be harnessed as you reinvent yourself.
Discovering your strengths can help you advance on your new path. As you reinvent yourself, consider where you can use your strengths in your professional or personal life. The hard work you dedicate to these strengths will benefit you by shaping a new life you feel successful in. There’s no shortcut to success, so discovering and embellishing your unique skills can forge a future self you’ll be proud of.
4. Make an Actionable Plan
Now that you have a better understanding of who you want to be, take time to create an actionable plan. To fully reinvent yourself, you must analyze your emotional, psychological and financial needs. This step is crucial to developing plans that are realistic and practical. Not to mention, proper planning ensures your goals aren’t a cause for concern down the line.
For instance, a new career with a new title might be your end goal. However, a career change can be costly when not planned for in advance. Stress about finances can amplify feelings of self-doubt, which is the last thing you want when reinventing yourself.
Big changes require a lot of planning. You wouldn’t begin a start-up without funds and a blueprint for success, right? So why would you start your new life that way?
Use SMART goals to help plan the life you envision. “SMART” is a mnemonic tool that is short for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. If you’re unsure how to set SMART goals, here’s a quick refresher:
- Specific — Goals must be specific. A broad goal is an aspiration, not a plan. Instead of “find a new job” try a more specific goal like “apply to 3 new positions each week.” Outlining these details creates an actionable plan.
- Measurable — Measurable goals have a mark for achievement. You won’t know if you’ve been successful in your goal unless you can measure that you’ve accomplished it. “Read more” is not a measurable goal, but “read 1 article each day” can be measured.
- Achievable — It’s great to push yourself, but you can’t expect to reinvent the wheel overnight. Think of what you can realistically accomplish and remember your goals can always be adjusted down the line.
- Relevant — Does this goal fall under your overarching goal, or is it busywork that distracts from your reinvention? Ask yourself if this goal brings you closer to your most authentic self.
- Time-bound — A plan without a timeline is just a wish. Determine how long it will take you to achieve your goals, and set a deadline. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow, this week, or even this year. But whatever the date is, set it and stick to it.
With a plan in hand, you can confidently visualize where you’re going.
5. Visualize Where You’re Going
Your journey of personal transformation needs a roadmap—a visual representation of your path to your end goal. One way to envision where you want to see your future self is through the help of a vision board. Use anything from a piece of blank paper to a large-scale poster board and fill it with everything that you see in your new life.
Most commonly, your vision board will look like a collage of personal photographs, image clippings, and positive affirmations that reflect the patchwork of your identity. It can serve as a constant source of inspiration, and it can act as a visual example of the Law of Attraction at work.
The Law of Attraction is the belief that what you put out into the world is what you get back from it. In other words, positive or negative thoughts can bring about positive or negative experiences. The Law of Attraction is Dean’s go-to method for staying positive in tough times. You can harness it yourself by creating a vision board that represents all of your positive intentions.
6. Locate Valuable Resources
Self-education should never stop, whatever your age or stage in life. You’re never too old, too smart or too late to keep learning. In your quest to become your most authentic self, you can locate valuable resources that nourish your mind and keep your positivity high.
Books and blogging websites are 2 excellent starting points. Sites like Medium and Forbes are full of bloggers who have been in your shoes, facing reinvention. Make it a point to read 1 article per day as you locate your new path. Or read 10 pages of a book each night to clear your mind and remain focused on your ultimate goal. If you prefer an on-the-go option, podcasts are fantastic.
7. Start Journaling
Once you’ve set actionable goals for reinvention, it’s important to monitor your progress. This is where journaling comes in. Journaling can play an active role in your self-improvement, including tracking your ongoing transformation and motivating you along the way. Consider Dean’s personal goal-setting process of outcome journaling.
Outcome journaling is a trusted method of setting realistic goals for both the short- and long-term as well as measuring your progress over time. If you’re looking to get started with outcome journaling, check out Dean’s Better Life Journal. Through his outcome journaling method, you can create a daily productivity process that you can stick to.
Outcome journaling highlights the goals that are important to you in your reinvention, so you can focus on what matters most. Journaling is also a method of self-observation. It can help you analyze the way you feel about yourself and how you handle stress. Reviewing your journal can help you become aware of (and alter) thoughts and behaviors that don’t support your ultimate goal.
8. Find Your Tribe
Locate individuals in your life that can be pillars of your foundational support system. Bear in mind, your support system can take on many forms, from your family and loved ones to your team at the office. Similarly, your support system doesn’t need to be restricted to the people you see day-to-day or face-to-face.
Like-minded individuals can be found in forums, support groups and other networks. These people can help drive you towards your goal of becoming a better person. You can meet in-person or chat online. Regardless of who they are, these individuals should encourage you to maintain a positive mindset and stay on course for reinventing yourself.
9. Try Multiple Hats
Right now, whether in your personal life or in your career, you don’t like the hat that you’re wearing. Maybe you’re wearing a manager’s hat and you’d rather be a founder. Perhaps you’re shuffling between your parent hat, your employee hat and your creative hat. It’s important to remember experimentation is okay, and you can try on as many hats as you need until you find one that fits.
Encourage yourself to take small steps outside of your comfort zone. These can be small things, like striking up a conversation with a new coworker or attending an informational event for a long-awaited opportunity. Try various roles that support both your values and strengths. Combined, these elements should steer you towards a hat that feels custom-made.
10. Build Courage Through Commitment
Stepping outside your comfort zone and taking a leap of faith can feel uncomfortable, scary and overwhelming. Begin building courage through commitment. Start with small things, like implementing a daily morning routine that starts the day on a positive note.
Create your morning routine and stick to it. After a few weeks, reflect on it. How does it change your mindset in the morning? Have you been more productive? Tweak the components of your morning routine until you’re waking up the way your dream self would.
And last but not least don’t be afraid to dream big! Just make sure you remain consistent with your efforts to make those dreams a reality. Just committing to a few minutes each morning can have you feeling more confident and in control.
11. Revel in Your Wins and Your Losses
It may take trial and error to discover the most authentic version of yourself, but that doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. Reinvention starts from within, and it will gradually take hold in each area of your life. You won’t be able to learn how to reinvent yourself until you accept that some failure is inevitable along the way.
In the end, failure is the best way to learn what does and doesn’t work for the new you. You’ll learn which behaviors to accept, where to establish boundaries, and how to make decisions that benefit you. The tough times will never last but the tough people will, so celebrate your losses just as much as you do your wins. It will make your new life that much sweeter.
12. Never Stop Learning
There are vast amounts of resources waiting at your fingertips. An encouraging support system, either in-person or virtually, is here to motivate you. Online, within your networks and through courses, you have endless opportunities to create your future self.
As you grow, continue to research, read, and engage with those around you. From conferences and Ted Talks to entrepreneurship podcasts, immerse yourself in healthy food for thought. Gain as much knowledge as you can to assist in your journey to your new, reinvented self. Each step you take towards learning and growing is a step towards becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be.
Reinvention Starts from Within
If you’ve been wondering, “How do I reinvent myself?” the time is now for you to begin taking action! Remember that reinvention starts from within, and the more you embrace your core values, strengths, and other critical aspects of your identity, the faster you’ll create the new life you crave.
Take time to discover who you truly want to be. Then start making changes. You can begin by changing a few small things, or you can take a big leap out of your comfort zone. Just don’t be afraid to start! With a little hard work and perseverance, you can reinvent yourself and become a better person.
Practice these 12 steps to discover your true purpose and share your highest form with the world. A new path awaits—and your future self will be sure to thank the old you at the finish line.