How To Reinvent Your Life Starting Today
A Step-By-Step Guide
“I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. To cut yourself out of stone.” — Henry Rollins
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” — Jim Rohn
With a few poor decisions, your life can veer off-track. One thing leads to another, and suddenly you realize you’re unable to live the life you wanted for yourself.
While it can seem daunting to reinvent your life,
a few good decisions, a plan, and some time,
are all it often takes to dramatically change things for the better.
The best business people — Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Richard Branson — reinvented themselves every few years.
“Learning never stops. Many people die at 25 but are not put in the coffin until 75. The learning stopped for them early” — James Altucher
A great life rarely happens by accident.
It has to be created with intent and effort.
Many of us live our lives randomly. We lack a real direction or vision for what we want. We watch things come and go from our lives. If something enters our life that looks good, we grab it.
Sometimes, we’re just trading current challenges for what appear to be lesser challenges.
But we can choose to ﬁnd or create something that’s different and better.
Living by chance isn’t the optimal way to live.
Perhaps changing hasn’t been easy for you in the past. Most of us are creatures of habit. There are internal forces that make change difﬁcult.
following a process can make it easier to change.
Let’s try and piece together a process that will make it easier to start on a positive path to change.
If you’re willing to do the work, a great life can be yours — you know it can!
“Stop wasting your time looking for the key to happiness… the door is open and unlocked… just walk through it.” — Steve Maraboli
Assess Your Life
You might know that you’re unhappy, but it’s important to ﬁgure out how to start ﬁxing that state of unhappiness.
If you’re like most people, you have limited resources, most notably time, money, and willpower.
It’s difﬁcult to change everything at once and still expect to experience success.
To create the greatest positive impact, it’s important to identify the areas of your life that you most want to change. This step is critical.
Most people will quickly identify “money” as the issue. While there’s no denying the impact of ﬁnancial stress on one’s ability to be happy, sometimes that isn’t the area in greatest need of attention. If you can pay your bills, money probably isn’t what’s holding you back from happiness.
There’s usually something more pivotal that needs to be addressed.
Think about these areas of your life:
(1) Health. How do you feel? Are you keeping your weight down and exercising regularly? Have you been to the doctor lately? When was the last time you had a general check-up?
Don’t wait to fall ill to realize that,
it’s challenging to enjoy any part of your life if your health is poor.
(2) Financial. How comfortable are you ﬁnancially? Can you pay your bills each month and still have enough left over to save and invest the way you’d like?
At what age will you be able to retire? What sources of income will fund your retirement? Have you set up a retirement account?
Consider your spending. You may have an income that allows you to live comfortably, but poor spending habits could be causing debt or money challenges.
(3) Professional and Career. Do you get a sense of fulﬁllment from your professional life? Are you on a positive career path? Do you enjoy getting up for work each day? Most of us spend a lot of our waking hours at work. Enjoying these hours is vital to your happiness.
(4) Family. How are your relationships with your children and other family members? Do you have the family life you desire?
(5) Intimate Relationships. If you’re lacking a romantic partner, would you like one? If you have one, how is your relationship with your signiﬁcant other?
Think about how much turmoil you can introduce into your life by being with a person who isn’t good for you.
(6) Social Life. Do you have the social life you want? How many friends do you have? How many friends would you like to have? Do you get out of the house on a regular basis and get together with people you enjoy spending time with?
(7) Adventure and Personal Development. Are you growing and developing on a personal level? What exciting activities are you doing in your free time? Have you started that Udemy course you promised to get to, started working on your new business venture?
Now that you’ve thought about the various components of your life, consider which area needs the most attention.
Most people lack focus altogether or target an area that isn’t necessary.
Try this process to target the areas you want to change:
(1) Think about an average day in your life. What do you think about when you ﬁrst wake up? Do you wish you could stay in bed all day? Are you excited about going to work? How do you feel physically?
Look at a day in your life and examine it. What’s great and what could be better? Consider a weekday, a weekend day. Note your obstacles and anything you might want to change.
(2) Rate each area of your life on a scale of 1–10. A “1” is horrible, and a “10” couldn’t be better. Be honest with yourself in your ratings.
(3) Imagine what each area would have to look like to become a “10.” How would you feel if that area of your life were close to perfect? Think about the difference between the baseline condition and your imaginary “10” experience.
(4) Ask yourself which area would enhance your overall life the most. In most cases, it’s more valuable to bring a “3” up to a “6” rather than try to get a “7” to a “10.”
Despite what you might believe, you’re more likely to be miserable due to an inability to pay your bills rather than because you live in a house instead of a mansion.
Your disappointments may well be because your relationship is rocky (or non-existent) and not because you aren’t dating a guy that looks like Chris Hemsworth or a woman that looks like Scarlett Johansson.
You can certainly work on all aspects of your life, but focus your attention on the lower rated areas.
You can work on the other areas later.
(5) Pick the area of your life that will create the biggest impact on your happiness. If you’re invested in making this change, you might as well get the most out of it.
At this point in your life, you’ve probably been stuck for a while, and it’ll probably take a fair amount of time and effort to become “unstuck.”
But most of us have a limited amount of “extra” time, so picking an area of focus will help ensure that your time is spent wisely. It will also prevent you from attempting to ﬁx too many things all at once.
“Never give up living because of little mistakes, no matter how far you go in the wrong direction, there’s always a chance to turn your life around.” — Kemmy Nola
Design Your Perfect Day
Another way to get some great ideas for your goal is to design your perfect day from start to ﬁnish.
Begin with the ﬁrst moment you wake up. How are you waking up? What time is it? Who is with you? What do you want to do ﬁrst?
Then plan out the rest of your day with a similar level of detail. How do I want to spend this new day of life? Do I want to spend more time away from home with strangers than with my loved ones? Can I see myself working with this person for life? What will I choose to work on and with whom?
By the time you get to the end of planning your perfect day, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what steps to take as you move toward that life.
Thinking about your perfect day can be a powerful way to frame what you want.
Most of us are too busy deciding what’s unwanted in our lives. Sometimes the path to change and knowing what you want isn’t obvious. But keep in mind that you usually have more than two options for most things.
“In any situation in life, you only have three options. You always have three options. You can change it, you can accept it, or you can leave it. What is not a good option is to sit around wishing you could change it but not changing it, wishing you would leave it but not leaving it, and not accepting it. It’s that struggle, that aversion, that is responsible for most of our misery.” — Naval Ravikant
So design your perfect day and you could soon be living it.
“It is neither wealth nor splendor; but rather tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.” — Thomas Jefferson
One great way to quickly enhance your life is to clean your “proverbial house.” This means getting rid of the dead weight in your life.
We all have people, habits, and other things that hold us back.
You won’t believe how much better you’ll feel after you remove those burdens from your life.
Negativity can make it difﬁcult to focus and be happy.
This process can help you eliminate negativity:
(1) Make a list of the people who have a negative impact on your life. We all have a friend, coworker, neighbor, family member, or other person that makes life harder for us. It could be someone that constantly takes, but rarely gives. It might just be a negative person who provides little emotional support for you regarding your goals and happiness.
Think of ways to modify this relationship. Maybe you need to discuss how you’re feeling. Or perhaps it’s time for you to do a better job of sticking up for yourself.
If necessary, do what you can to eliminate this person from your life or at least minimize their involvement.
“It takes numerous encounters with positive people to offset the energy and happiness sapped by a single episode with one as*hole.” — Robert Sutton
(2) Get rid of the unnecessary things in your life. Do you have a picture on your wall that you’re tired of looking at? Toss it, sell it, or give it away. Go through all of your possessions.
If you aren’t in love with it or have little use for it, get rid of it.
We are not our stuff. We are more than our possessions. Letting go is freeing.
(3) Make a list of all of the things hanging over your head. These are the things that are annoying or that weigh on you. Is your relationship in need of serious attention? Is it time to think about changing jobs? Do you have unpaid bills and no savings?
Try making a list of all of the little things that are constantly niggling at you, that are persistently on your mind.
Resolve to start taking care of them one by one. You can work from biggest to smallest, easiest to most difﬁcult, or pick them randomly.
Cleaning house is simply removing negative things from your life.
These things create more emotional turmoil and fatigue than you realize.
Get rid of them and notice how much better you’ll feel.
“We are used to cleaning the outside house, but the most important house to clean is yourself — your own house — which we never do.” — Marina Abramovic
Set A Goal
Goal setting is so important because it focuses your attention and creates a target. Most people fail to go through the formal process of goal writing.
Getting out a piece of paper and actually writing down your goal keeps your objective at the forefront of your mind.
It also forces you to decide on what you truly want, rather than relying on luck or fate.
Check out this simple process to create a goal that can make a positive difference in your life:
(1) Limit your goal to the area you’re focusing on. It’s easier to start with only one goal. After you have some success with achieving it, you can aim for two or more goals simultaneously.
(2) Establish a clear endpoint. Some goals are easier to quantify than others. Setting money and body weight goals are easy. You can simply choose a number of dollars or pounds and go from there. Other goals can be more challenging.
(3) Set a deadline. Without a deadline, your goal will lack a sense of urgency. Then it may drag out forever.
A helpful time frame is generally four to twelve weeks. Set your deadline within this time period. Less than four weeks may not provide enough time to achieve anything signiﬁcant, and more than twelve weeks will commonly result in a loss of focus.
(4) Make your goal challenging, yet achievable. Attempting to lose seventy pounds in twelve weeks isn’t very realistic. On the other hand, trying to lose three pounds in twelve weeks isn’t challenging enough.
(5) Write down your goal. A simple but effective format is, “On or before <date>, I will have done whatever is necessary and appropriate to have <goal>.”
(6) Create an endpoint success image. Write a paragraph or two describing what you think it will be like and how you’ll feel when you accomplish your goal.
People tend to think in pictures. It’s difﬁcult to remember something without using any imagery. Use your powers of visualization to your advantage. Creating a desirable image will motivate you.
Setting a goal will dramatically boost the odds of changing your life for the better.
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” — Napoleon Hill
Better Your Odds
Think about what it will take to be successful in reaching your goal. It’s possible that you already have everything you need. But you’ll probably ﬁnd you’re missing a few resources.
(1) Are there people you want to add to your life? If you’re writing your ﬁrst screenplay, you might require an agent, editor, or even a friendly English professor.
Consider who can assist you with achieving your goal.
All big goals require resources. Avoid thinking that you can do it all alone.
(2) What new knowledge do you need? If you want to become a real estate investor, you might need to acquire some knowledge about your local real estate laws. Regardless of your goal, you’ll likely need some information that you don’t currently possess.
(3) Which habits do you want to change or add? Our lives are ultimately the result of our habits. Overeating once in a while doesn’t result in being overweight. Skipping the vacuuming once in a while doesn’t make your house a mess.
It’s the things we do on a regular basis that move our lives forward or backwards.
Which habits do you want to drop? If you’re looking to earn your degree, you’d probably be better off if you eliminate your habit of procrastination.
What habits do you want to add? If you want to write a novel, consider making it a habit to write for an hour or two each day.
(4) Create a new routine that incorporates the behaviors necessary for success. Embrace your new routine and stick to it.
Just like a goal, a routine will only be successful if it’s achievable and you work at it.
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” — Mike Murdock
Create a Morning Ritual
The positive actions you perform on a continuous basis add up over time and give you the results you desire.
One of the best ways to change your life is to develop positive habits.
We all have a morning routine. The way you start your morning has a huge impact on the rest of your day. It’s not rocket science — if you get off to a good start, you’ll probably have a good day. If Monday goes well, the rest of your week will likely follow suit. And a good week often leads to a great month.
Consider these suggestions when building a new morning ritual:
(1) If you want to be on time for work, make getting ready a priority. This is a simple concept that many people ignore.
It’s easy to drop the latter parts of your routine if you’re running late. If getting ready for work is the last part of your routine, you’re in trouble.
(2) Review your goals before getting out of bed. Take a few minutes to daydream about achieving your goals each morning.
A great time to review your goal(s) is during that time when you’re half-awake and half-asleep.
(3) Drink some water as soon as you wake up. You haven’t had anything to drink for approximately eight hours. You’re most likely dehydrated. Have a few glasses of water. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel.
(4) Get some exercise. This one’s a no-brainer. If you get moving early on, you’ll be more alert and have a better morning, if not day, at work.
(5) Eat a healthy meal. Yet another no-brainer. Start the day off eating well, and you’re more likely to eat well for the rest of the day.
(6) Participate in a meaningful or relaxing activity after getting ready for work. Read a few pages of a book that inspires you, spend fifteen minutes playing with your children. It’s entirely up to you.
Relax, no one’s asking you to wake up at three or four a.m. and sit in a lotus position for two hours.
A few simple changes to your morning routine can have a positive impact on the rest of your day and enhance your life.
When you have an efﬁcient morning ritual, you can gain an extra fifteen minutes each day. That adds up to over ninety hours in a year. Imagine how much you could accomplish with ninety extra hours!
The point being?
Take the time to create a morning routine that works for you.
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love — then make that day count!” — Steve Maraboli
Create an Evening Ritual
It’s also a good idea to have an evening routine.
Take time to review your goal again. Consider what you can do for a few minutes each evening that will add up to something signiﬁcant over time. For example, you could spend twenty minutes working on a blog or reading a book.
Create a relaxing routine that will allow you to sleep soundly. Meditating before bed could be part of your ritual. Many sleep experts recommend that the bed be used for nothing other than sleeping and sex. Try training yourself to associate the sight of your bed with sleep.
Your ritual ought to get you in bed early enough so you’re getting a sufﬁcient amount of sleep.
Here’s one way to know if you’re well rested. Think about what time you’d get up if you didn’t have an alarm. If it’s more than thirty minutes later than your current wake-up time, you likely need more sleep!
“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” — Mike Murdock
Eliminate Wasted Time
Everyone wastes time. Accomplishing a goal requires that you use your time wisely. The more time you have available, the more quickly you can achieve your goal.
Many of us believe that we have an inadequate amount of free time to accomplish anything relevant. But typically, that’s untrue.
You’ll likely have enough time to focus on your goal if you eliminate your time-wasting behaviors.
Try these tips to get on track toward your goal:
(1) Make a list of the activities you tend to do when you’re procrastinating, stressed, or bored. A few common examples might include:
- Watching television
- Scrolling through Facebook
- Watching videos on YouTube
(2) Recognize when you’re engaging in time-wasting behaviors. This will be challenging at ﬁrst. We habitually turn to the same coping behaviors when we’re uncomfortable. It’s an unconscious decision.
(3) Create some space when you catch yourself wasting time. Instead of letting yourself continue with your time-wasting activity, just stop.
Interrupting the behavior is an important step to regaining control.
Ask yourself what you could be doing instead.
Sometimes you just need a minute to stop and process so you can get back on track.
Give yourself a chance to make a better decision, rather than acting on autopilot.
Remember that acting impulsively has led to your current situation.
(4) Start doing what needs to be done. Do whatever is necessary to get started because that’s the biggest challenge. If you just begin, it’s easy to keep the momentum going.
Think about all the time you’re wasting on non-productive activities each day. If you waste an hour a day, that’s three hundred and sixty-five hours per year.
That’s the equivalent of more than nine forty-hour workweeks!
Think about that!
What could you accomplish with that kind of time?
“We all have the same 24/7. What we do with our time, becomes our priority. Avoid priorities by default.” — Patt Hollinger Pickett
Each day, review your goal and create a practice process.
This accomplishes several things.
It keeps your goal at the forefront of your awareness.
It also helps you spot potential obstacles.
Finally, it lets you assess your daily progress.
The practice process consists of these steps:
(1) Assess your progress toward the goal. Calculate how many days have passed and analyze your progress. Are you ahead of or behind schedule?
It’s important to measure where you stand relative to your goal.
If you’re doing well, keep it up. Otherwise, ﬁgure out what needs to change.
(2) Read and rewrite your goal and endpoint success image. Look over both, read them aloud, and then rewrite them. You get the reinforcement of reading, hearing, and writing.
(3) Visualize your endpoint success image. Notice what you see, smell, think and feel physically and emotionally.
The more senses you include, the more effective it will be.
(4) See how you feel. Do you feel conﬁdent you can achieve it or do you get those “knots-in-your-stomach-feeling?” If you feel anything but excited and conﬁdent, your mind is trying to tell you something. You might want to adjust your goal a bit so it’s closer to what you really want, or learn other ways to eliminate your resistance.
It’s important to practice these steps each day. Without this practice, you’re much less likely to achieve your goal.
“Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” — Napoleon Hill
Dealing With Resistance
Your body can give you great insight into your subconscious. Those uncomfortable feelings are signs that something is amiss. Learning to eliminate them is a powerful way to almost guarantee your success.
Analyze your resistance and learn to deal with it:
(1) Figure out why you’re feeling resistance. Typically it’s either an issue with your deadline or a mental block about how to achieve your goal. If it’s the former, consider moving your deadline back until that feeling subsides.
(2) If it’s a mental block, read on. If your goal requires a task or step that’s causing you stress, there are several things you can try.
- Meditate. Try meditating about the step of your process that makes you uncomfortable.
- Use your inner fortitude to get past the tough spot — just do it.
- Find a different solution. Maybe there’s a way to work around the part that’s bothering you.
Nearly every goal will have tasks that cause you stress and discomfort. Otherwise, you probably would have accomplished the goal a long time ago.
Learn to move forward when you feel uncomfortable. Those that look for excuses to quit when faced with discomfort often struggle throughout life.
After successfully achieving your ﬁrst goal, it’s time to start over.
Reassess your life and choose another aspect of your life that you’d like to change.
When you’ve eliminated all of the lower-rated parts of your life, you should be feeling much happier.
When each part of your life is at least an “8”, you’ll doubt that life could ever get much better.
Depending on your starting point, you might be able to create a more fulﬁlling life rather quickly.
Regardless of how great your life gets, it’s worthwhile to continue to set goals and accomplish them.
Consistently working toward an even better life brings you even greater rewards.
“If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.” — Les Brown
Reinventing yourself and your life can be challenging, but it’s worthwhile.
Remember that your life veered off-track by making poor choices on a consistent basis. You can reverse that process by taking charge and moving in a positive direction.
Take the time to ﬁnd the most pivotal area of your life that will have the greatest impact once it’s changed.
It can be overwhelming when you decide to change your life, especially when everything seems to be working against you.
The best advice is to get started. Fix one area of your life and then move on to another.
Even the most challenging of circumstances can be overcome with a process that moves you forward.
Use these tips to start reinventing your life today and live the life of your dreams.
“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.” — Ross Perot
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