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Last Updated on May 3, 2019

How to Reinvent Yourself And Redefine Your Future

How to Reinvent Yourself And Redefine Your Future

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.

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

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on June 17, 2019

Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony

Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony

How do you usually go about your day?

Do you wake up in the morning, get ready for work, and then spend the whole day looking forward to being at home and unwinding?

We often hear about work life balance – having a good balance between work and personal time. Whilst this may sound like a smart idea, it can also imply that we should dedicate at least half of our time to work–and sacrifice time for our “personal life”.

To me, that seems… off balance. Because, the truth is, it’s nearly impossible to split your time equally between the two. And, you may end up stressing out if you’re not able to meet that expectation of balance.

Instead, why not think of having work life harmony instead?

With this mindset, you can actually integrate work into your life in a way that feels more complete. This way, you don’t need to view work and having personal time as separate.

So, how do you achieve work life harmony?

Work Life Harmony Explained

The difference between work life balance and work life harmony is pretty simple. With the former, there is an implication that you have to sacrifice your “life” for work. But, this is the worst way to go about things! How can you truly be at peace in life if you dread 8 hours of your day?

Work life harmony on the other hand, allows your work to be a part of your life. This means that you can choose to be happy both at home, and at work! Work no longer needs to be seen as the ‘bad’ or un-fun activity.

Having work life harmony also ensures you’re truly present in whatever place you find yourself.

Just take a look at Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon for example.

He uses a non traditional approach to work by making time for breakfast every morning with his family, doesn’t set his alarm before going to bed, schedules surprisingly few meetings, and still puts aside a few minutes every day to wash his own dishes.

He believes that all his staff should stop trying to achieve a ‘balance’ in their work and personal lives as that implies a trade off. Instead, he envisions a more holistic relationship between the two.

As the world’s richest man, he must be doing something right!

Rethink Time Management

Now, when we think of striking a balance, we usually associate it with time, don’t we? How much time are we spending at work versus how much time are we spending in our personal lives? Are we taking enough time to be with our loved ones, to do meaningful activities with others or even for ourselves, or are we just dedicating all our time to work?

This is the so-called-balance that many struggle with.

With work life harmony, we learn to rethink time management. By re-assessing how you manage your time, you’ll have a lot more of it. It’s incredible how much time can get wasted over the period of a day–especially when you’re not accurately tracking it.

Unfortunately, unless you’re consciously making an effort, your brain is not always the best at making accurate judgement calls when it comes to prioritizing. It tends to have a bias towards short term benefits and short term costs.

As there are often many more options our brains link to short term benefit; when you’re trying to focus on a task that gives you a long term benefit, that task usually becomes low priority. This is otherwise known as Priority Chaos.

In order to overcome this and be in better control of your time, identify the tasks that need the most focus to get accomplished. If it’s a big task, then it’s good to break it down into smaller bite-sized actions that will provide you with a clearer short term benefit.

When setting up tasks, give yourself a time limit. The brain has a bias towards short term benefits, and your attention span is limited, so if your tasks are going to take ages to complete, you’ll end up losing focus… and wasting time.

Once you have all your tasks written down, it’s time to prioritize them. Since you have a time limit, your focus should be on the top priority tasks. By doing this, you will already be able to get more done in less time at work!

Have Passion for What You Do

Managing your time is important in achieving that work life harmony. But, perhaps of greater importance, is loving what you do in life. One of the most effective ways to achieve a work life harmony is to really enjoy, or find a purpose, in what you do for a living. Even though everyone isn’t always lucky enough to find a position that pays them for pursuing their passion, you can strive to find meaning in what you are already doing, or pursue something new entirely!

For example, say you work at an office that sells paper. While many people wouldn’t consider this a world changing pursuit, I beg to differ. Think of all the individuals in the world that rely on paper. From creative types to quantum physics experts, your role at your workplace brings incredible value to many many people all over the world. You will have, without a doubt, helped bring a new idea into existence. Several new ideas to be precise.

So, think about what you’re doing now. Is it something that allows you to embrace your passion?

Or perhaps you might not even know what it is that you love or enjoy doing. Why not explore and reflect on what gives you joy and contentment? Is there an area or industry that you could see yourself exploring to experience that fulfillment?

Can you find a deeper purpose in what you’re already doing?

When you’re able to find meaning in your work, you’re that much closer to achieving work life harmony.

Don’t Be Intimidated By Obstacles and Limitations

Creating work life harmony is also about understanding yourself–which includes your limitations and past obstacles–as this allows you to become more resilient.

If you never had to experience struggles, challenges or setbacks, then you would never be forced to adapt and mature. So in theory, having to face obstacles in life is actually quite necessary.

Most of us think of setbacks and obstacles as negative. Though, if you’re able to maintain an optimistic attitude, you’ll almost always have a higher chance of success of overcoming those obstacles to reach your eventual goal.

Your attitude towards setbacks will define the outcome of whether you rise from the challenge or remain stuck in it. So, in order to achieve work life harmony, it’s important to have a resilient attitude as challenges will always come your way–especially when you strive to integrate work into your life, and not a separate or dominant part of life.

Delegate When You Need To

Of course, when you want to increase productivity and minimize the time or effort spent, a great way to do so is to delegate!

If you spend a lot of time doing tasks on your own that could be delegated to others (whether at work or at home) you’re losing a lot of precious free time that could otherwise be spent elsewhere.

At the end of the day, we all have a limited amount of time. So we should all be striving to create a harmonious work and living situation where we can find meaning in all that we do.

While an overall goal may be meaningful, not all of the milestones or tasks needed to get there may be meaningful. That’s because we have our strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Not every task is going to be enjoyable or easy to complete. That’s where delegation comes in.

Delegation simply allows you to leverage time from an external source, thus giving you opportunities to increase your own quality of time. Keep in mind that delegation should be done with deliberate attention, otherwise you may end up over relying on others.

If you find that you’re running into the problem of over delegating, then it may be time to re-evaluate your motivation for doing whatever it is that you’re doing.

Embrace the Circle and Become Happier and More Productive

Living in harmony is about feeling good about the ways in which you spend your time, despite how busy you may be. Your switch from work mode to a more personal mode should be effortless. It’s about integrating your personal life and the things you love into your busy work life!

It all begins with the shift in perspective. Understanding what your passions are, and learning to be resilient, before taking a different approach to the way you manage your time and everyday tasks.

These are steps that you can start taking to move away from balance to harmony. 

Featured photo credit: Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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