There comes a time in everyone’s personal life when something within us calls for change. Perhaps you feel stuck in a rut. Maybe you have grown tired of your career path and would like to change direction. Perhaps you’ve noticed the same relationship patterns over and over again, and you want to break the cycle. Whatever the reason behind your desire for change and personal growth, know that it’s entirely possible.
In this article, we’ll offer some practical tips on how to reinvent yourself, starting today. We’ll include some tips, advice, and practical tools to help you start making some positive, life-affirming, and effective changes.
You can reinvent yourself at any age
Before we begin, understand that no matter who you are or how many years you’ve been around, you’re never too old to reinvent yourself. Some of us fall into the trap of believing that age is a barrier to making life changes.
One might resign themselves to the fact that they have been with a company for decades, have raised a family and now have grandchildren, or have a specific role to play in their life that prevents them from making the changes and self-reinvention they seek.
This is all an illusion. No matter what age you decide to steer your life in a different direction, yours is the only opinion on the subject that matters. You don’t need to justify your desire for change to anyone but yourself.
How to know when it’s time to reinvent yourself
Sometimes the need and desire for self-reinvention are obvious. Life stares you in the face and shows you how staying in the same place and repeating the same old patterns is doing no good for your highest health and well-being.
However, sometimes it’s not so obvious. Sometimes it takes a moment of inspiration, an indirect comment or message that made you think, and/or a long hard look at your life and how it’s going to truly know that it’s time for something new.
Below, we’ve outlined some common indicators that it’s time for you to finally muster up the courage and motivation to go on a deep journey of self-reinvention.
You feel like you’re not growing anymore
Life is seasoned by periods of growth and development and periods of rest and recovery. You don’t always have to be in growth – time to rest and recharge is equally important. Still, if you feel like some growth is long overdue and you’re plateauing in your life, that’s a strong indicator that it’s time to cultivate some positive change.
If your job, relationships, habits, and daily routine make you feel tired and you have become stressed, you might feel exhausted and on the verge of burnout. Burnout is more than just feeling tired- it’s a state of physical and mental exhaustion that is detrimental to all aspects of your health.
If you’re getting close to burnout, then it’s most certainly time to take a step back and reassess how you spend your time. The cure may be minor, such as informing your boss about a need to take on less work or asking for some space in your relationship.
Still, it may also be that you need to turn things around completely. Consider whether your job and relationships are serving you or if they’ve become habitual and lack inspiration, and ask yourself if you can change them in some way.
You’ve got that gut feeling
Don’t underestimate the power of intuition. If you get the sense that something in your life needs to change, be that one small thing or your entire life, don’t ignore it. Sure, don’t jump the gun and turn your entire life upside down because of a gut feeling, but use it to do some further conscious inner exploration and evaluate if you’re ready for some significant change. The more you learn to trust your gut, the easier you’ll find it to navigate through the uncertainty of leading your major life change.
You’ve got an opportunity
Sometimes opportunities come knocking at our door, waiting for us to simply say ‘yes’ and accept them. The challenge is answering the door in the first place. You might think that you would absolutely, undeniably answer the door if an opportunity came knocking, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes we’re too comfortable with the door shut. We’ve grown into our comfort zone, and that blinds us from new opportunities to grow and develop.
Practical tips on how to reinvent yourself
1. Be honest with yourself
Why do you want to reinvent yourself? Get to know yourself as deeply and clearly as possible. Self-awareness is the starting point on a journey of change and reinvention, and developing it is half the battle.
Before you become something else, it’s essential to what you are now. Who are you to the people in your life? What roles do you play? What responsibilities do you take on? How does the life you live now influence the world around you?
In the process of reinventing yourself – an inner spring clean – you’ll find aspects of yourself and your life now that you’ll want to change and remove and others which you’ll want to keep. Check-in with yourself and see which parts of your life bring you joy, contentment, fulfillment, and peace.
Those will be the ones you’ll want to keep. Identify areas of your life that are unnecessarily stressful, which don’t serve your highest well-being, and which get in the way of your optimum health and happiness. These will be the things that need to go.
Carrying out this honest, authentic self-reflection and exploration isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There is a paradox running through the good and bad aspects of your life and your desire to remove or save them.
The things that stress you may be personal responsibilities and challenges that do serve you well because they challenge you to grow and expand as a person. Things that bring peace and joy may be elements of your comfort zone, one of the most significant anchors to the ship of your current life.
2. Take appropriate responsibility
Check that your desire to reinvent yourself isn’t a deeper feeling of wishing to escape from your responsibilities. If you want to grow and develop into a new and improved version of yourself, then it’s crucial to take appropriate responsibility for your life as it is now.
That means understanding and being honest with yourself about the role you’ve played in creating this life, taking responsibility for your shortcomings and mistakes, and choosing not to point the finger and blame anyone else.
When you can take healthy, mature, and appropriate responsibility, then the changes you seek and cultivate will be stronger, deeper, and longer-lasting. You’ll be less likely to lose momentum and fall into old or bad habits if you can continuously check-in, be honest with yourself, and understand your role in the drama and structure of your life.
3. Identify your reinvention goals
What do you want to be? When you close your eyes and imagine that you are an entirely new person, what does that person look like? How have you changed? Do you look happier? More content? More alive? What has made you look and feel that way?
Hold a detailed picture of your reinvented self’s life and lifestyle and see which areas of that life you need to work towards. Consider what you need to add or subtract from your life to get to where you want to be. Is it a new job? Is it a fitness goal? Is it better quality interpersonal relationships?
To help yourself remember all of your goals, plans, and dreams, write them down or create a vision board. Make something that you’ll see regularly, even daily, that will remind you of your dreams and goals for the future. This will help you stay accountable and help you sustain motivation even on your rainy days.
4. Make a plan
Once you’ve identified goals that will help you get to where you want to be, the next step is to follow through with them. You can set goals all day, but they won’t go anywhere if you don’t take action on them.
To increase your chances of achieving your goals and living the life you want, be wise in your approach. Newly set goals and a vision for a better life can make us highly motivated in the short term, but how many times have you been highly motivated to change but failed to do so because the momentum faded?
Instead of using all your energy and focus at once and then letting it all go when the momentum fades, try setting SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for:
SMART goal setting is used by individuals and businesses alike to help one stay focused on the improvement journey.
By setting specific goals, you narrow your focus onto a goal rather than keeping it loose and vague. This not only helps you stay focused but also helps you more clearly visualize what you’re trying to achieve.
Keep your goals measurable. That means splitting them up into smaller increments which you can check with and evaluate at regular intervals, such as weekly or monthly.
Achievable goals help you stay focused and motivated because you know you can reach them. Setting goals that are too lofty and out of reach is a surefire way to lose motivation and momentum. You can set big goals if you want to, but set smaller, more achievable goals to help you get there.
Relevance in your goals means that they align with your values and beliefs, your other goals, and your new lifestyle.
Time-bound goals keep you accountable and motivate you to keep working on them. Without a clear timeframe, you run the risk of getting lazy and procrastinating.
5. Learn to accept failure
Life doesn’t always go in the way of our wishes. Sometimes an unexpected curveball comes along, and we find ourselves at a loss for what to do. Perhaps a relationship that you thought would last came to an abrupt end. Maybe that dream job didn’t work out, or the project you’ve been working on failed to get off the ground.
When life takes an unexpected negative turn, there’s always a risk of falling into despair and giving up. Remember that this is also a chance to let go of things that simply weren’t meant for you and take the reins moving forward.
6. Declutter your life
A clear space is a clear mind. In your efforts to reinvent yourself, carry out an honest, strict evaluation of the things, the objects, the reminders in your environment that keep you stuck in your rut.
Get rid of things that no longer serve you. We tend to collect and hoard mementos and sentiments throughout our lives, but more often than not, these things are stored away and never looked at or enjoyed again. Clear your space and make room for your new life to begin.
Decluttering is not just about your physical clutter. You can and should also declutter your – thoughts, values, and limiting beliefs that no longer serve you.
7. Trial and error
You don’t need to completely reinvent yourself overnight. Real, lasting positive change takes some time to cultivate, so be patient with yourself on this transformative journey.
In the process of self-reinvention, there might be a lot of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to try new things, make mistakes, and outright fail again and again. Consistent failure might seem daunting – you might think that it will compromise your motivation – but failure is one of the most important and effective keys to success (as long you learn from it).
Living life with holding space for trial and error takes a lot of pressure off yourself, removes the need to be perfect, and gives you room to breathe and broaden your horizons.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw.
If you’re looking for a career change, try a range of jobs. Volunteer, take courses and workshops and a attend networking event. The more you put yourself out there and try new things, develop new skills, and meet new people, the more likely you’ll be to find something you love, and that’s worth pursuing.
Even if things don’t work out, you’ll have gained insight into that path as well as yourself. With each new position, event, activity, and network you interact with, track your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a reflective journal.
Your vision for a new, fresh, and motivated self is entirely within your reach. Hopefully, the tips and advice outlined have inspired you by showing you how to practically begin the process of self-reinvention. Continue to seek inspiration and sources of motivation to sustain your efforts, and as mentioned earlier, keep track of your progress and work on those limiting beliefs. May today be an exciting start to the new life of your dreams.