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How to Reinvent Yourself And Redefine Your Future

How to Reinvent Yourself And Redefine Your Future
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Do you ever wish you could change your past?

We all go through struggles in life, make mistakes, and face certain hardships and challenges that prevent us from moving ahead. The important thing is to learn how to come out stronger, and become even better than you were before.

Though, this is easier said than done. Many of us may find that we’re stuck or bogged down by certain limitations that prevent us from achieving our goals and progressing in life.

This can be super frustrating, especially if you’ve been feeling this way for a while. When you aren’t able to find a solution or way out of a rut, it can be demoralizing and cause you to spiral further downward.

Yet, it is possible to break free from those limitations or set backs, and to get ahead in life again. You can indeed take control of your actions and reactions to work them in your favor. I’ve experienced this first hand over my many years working as a life coach.

Here are 4 ways to start re-inventing yourself right now so you can achieve a better version of you!

1. Refresh Your Perspective

Before you decide to re-invent yourself, it’s important to double check your attitude.

If you’ve been having negative thoughts about the situation you’re in, then chances are you’re not going to progress much even if you’ve made up your mind that you want to change.

This is especially so when you’ve been facing the setback for a while–you may feel accustomed to accepting the negativity. Below are some negative attitudes to get rid of, and more positive ones that you can adopt:

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Limit/RemoveSelf-defeating talk
Replace it with: Positive affirmations:

  • I am confident in the presence of others.
  • Everything will work out for me.
  • The tools I need to succeed are in my possession.
  • Happiness is within my grasp.
  • I will say “No” when I do not have the time or inclination to act.
  • If I fail, I will fail forward.
  • Positivity is a choice that I choose to make.
  • My commitment to myself is real.

Limit/RemoveToxic people who bring you down rather than lift you up.
Replace them with: People who inspire, uplift, and empower you.

Limit/Remove
Comparing yourself to others.  
Replace it with: 
Comparing yourself to who you were yesterday.

Limit/RemoveAn abundance of “should haves” / regrets.
Replace it with: An abundance of ‘could haves’. Learn from your mistakes and move forward in a productive manner. Stop “shoulding” all over yourself!

By simply mastering a positive perspective, you can really change your overall outlook and see possibilities you hadn’t before.

2. Recognize the Power of Purpose

The next important step to overcoming your limitations is to know your purpose. Whatever it is that you’re wanting to achieve or do, you need to know why you are doing it. This way, you can leverage your positive attitude and get to where you want to go.

Your purpose doesn’t need to be revolutionary, such as overcoming injustice in the world. It can be as simple as wanting to be a healthier you for your family and loved ones!

The key is in knowing ‘why’ you’re doing something, as it needs to bring meaning to your life.Many times, we find ourselves lost, stuck or feeling demotivated–and this is often because we never quite have our purpose figured out. If there is no concrete meaning or reason to why we were chasing after something, what’s the reason for doing it? Why feel motivated?

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” — Viktor Frankl

Having a purpose gives you direction and allows you to outline what is and what isn’t important. By having a purpose, you can plan out goals that align to your purpose, and ensure it will get met.

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Even if you find yourself lost or facing a setback, you at least have a purpose to go back to–and a new sense of direction goals to work towards.

3. Understand How to Hit Your Goals

Once you have identified your true purpose, you can get down to setting out SMART goals!

SMART goal setting is a goal setting method that considers certain factors about a goal relative to the person setting it.

They are:

  • S — Specific
  • M — Measurable
  • A — Achievable
  • R — Realistic
  • T — Time bound

The strength of SMART goals is that they set a clear path to achieving goals, and they have a clear time frame in which to achieve them. When you understand how to reach those goals, things will seem less complicated, and you’ll find yourself feeling more confident about certain decisions or actions.

Specific
It is important to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. That way you can focus your time and energy on achieving your goal. Also, having a specific goal helps you stay away from distractions.

Let’s use the example of wanting to be a ‘healthier you’. Saying that you want to be healthier is vague. Instead, you could say that “you want to lose 15kg within a year”.

Measurable
You want to know when you’ve achieved your goal.

You should also be able to tell how far you’ve come during the process, and how much further to go. Be specific with how much or how many about your goal.Using our example while explaining the Specific acronym, you can make the goal more measurable by saying, “I will start to lose weight by exercising 5 times a week”.

Achievable
Look at what skills and resources you already have, and compare them to the things needed to achieve your goal. Think about whether you’ll be able to learn or get the things you lack right now.

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A goal like this is not achievable: “I want to lose 20 pounds in 1 week.” Meanwhile, this person is not at all in shape, and losing weight and building muscle would realistically take months.

Realistic
Before you proceed to making the commitment toward that goal, you need to think about how realistic it is. Being realistic means you are willing to make all the commitments required for that goal to be achieved.

Research all the stats, facts and figures relevant to your goal. Then consider the resources available to you, such as your budget, time, help from others, etc. Ask yourself if your goal makes sense in your situation.In the case of our example, it would be unrealistic and unhealthy for someone to achieve that much weight loss in 1 week.

Time Bound
Every goal must have a commencement date and an end date. The act of having deadlines set to your goals is ample motivation to drive you into action. Without a deadline, it is not possible for you to know if you’re making headway with your goals.

“I will start losing 20 pounds by exercising 5 times a week for the next 12 months” is a time bound goal.

Remember that some goals are short term while some are long term. It is important to always bear this in mind, because this will help you in making a clearer and realistic strategy for your SMART goal setting.

4. Know the Value of Your Time

Re-inventing yourself requires you to know the value of your time. Time is extremely valuable; it is something we can never get back once it’s gone, and it’s very limited in quantity. Therefore, we need to know just what is it that we’re using our time for, and to be sure to use it well.

So what are you prioritizing? Is it aligned with your purpose?

How do your habits stack up to your time budget? Are you spending more time in a wasteful rather than productive way?

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To learn more about how you can quantify and put a value to the time you spend on certain tasks, I’ll recommend you read this article:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

Once when you’ve figured out what’s unimportant, what do you do with those tasks? One way is delegate out those tasks. If you’re unsure of what should be delegated, this article will show you how:

Have You Fallen Into the ‘Busy’ Trap? Here’s Your Way Out

Make Progress Towards an Improved Version of You

These 4 steps may seem overwhelming at first, but once you can take some time to go through each, you’ll be making progress in no time.

Refreshing your perspective enables you to step out of your current mindset to see new possibilities. Knowing your purpose will allow you to use the refreshed perspective you now have to get moving in the right direction.

Understanding how to set goals that align to your purpose will also prevent you from falling into potential setbacks or spending time on things that don’t bring meaning to your life.

And finally, knowing the value of your time will ensure that the tasks you do will multiply your available time and help you progress towards actual goals and the future that you dream of.

By implementing these steps, you’ll soon discover that it is possible to overcome whatever circumstance you’re currently facing, and be ready to take on goals that actually align to your purpose.

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Featured photo credit: Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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