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How to Reinvent Yourself, Starting At 6 pm Today!

How to Reinvent Yourself, Starting At 6 pm Today!
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You are who you are. You know yourself well. When you meet people, you know how you describe yourself. You also know that you’re not happy with the image you currently present to the world. That means you’d probably like to learn how to reinvent yourself.

Some people think that personal reinvention is difficult, costly and time consuming. After all, you’ve spent a lot of time becoming who you are and communicating that information to friends, work colleagues, family members and others. Yet, if you want to reinvent yourself, you can do so quickly. In fact, if you want to reinvent yourself, and you’re prepared to start as soon as you finish work today—say at 6 pm—you can make a good start in just a few hours.

Reinvent Yourself by Saying Different Things

You don’t have to use the same old words or focus on the same old things when you introduce yourself to new people or talk about yourself at work or away from work. You’re on a journey from places you have been to somewhere you want to travel to. The present is just a staging post in that journey.

If you’re on your way to a new job, or a new career, you can choose to define yourself in terms of where you are now and where you want to be.

“I’m a ………………… I’m learning how to become a …………………”

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“I’m a ………………….. and I’m focusing on …………………. because in the long term I’m hoping to …………………….”

Remember that some jobs and situations lend themselves to be reshaped to suit your interests and enthusiasm. If you talk more about your interests and aspirations, then people will start to associate you with these subjects. As a result, you’ll be able to reinvent yourself in the minds of other people quickly. Those same people just might think of you when a project comes up that would be right for you to be involved with.

If you know you’ll struggle to get some people to think differently about you, plan for that, too. Acknowledge the past and the present, but get those people to pay attention to your future, too.

“I know you know me as a ……………………….. I’ve also developed my skills in ……………… and I’m looking for ways to combine the two.”

Action

Practice this tonight: create three or four statements that you might use with colleagues, with strangers you meet, and, where appropriate, with senior people in your organisation. Link what you do and what you have done to your desired future in the words you choose. Say those words aloud. Revise your statements until you feel comfortable saying them. Then decide how you’re going to use them tomorrow.

Reinvent Yourself by Writing Something Different

When you come to write about yourself, the opportunities for reinvention are enormous. Let’s start with your CV or résumé.

The most important thing to do now is to rewrite your CV showing how your experience to date has prepared you for the new role you’re looking for, or to travel in a new career direction.

You’ve done a lot of things in your past. Now that you want to reinvent yourself in a particular way, look again at your experience—find the experiences that add credibility to the career choices you’re looking to make, and the things you would like to do. For example, if you want to take up a training role in your organisation, focus on any learning events you have been involved in organising and on any work you have done to help your colleagues to achieve more. Think flexibly. Your experience doesn’t need to have been labelled “training” for you to draw upon it to help you with this transition.

Think strategically, and consider the skills that people in training roles need. Think, too, about which of those skills you have developed and are using. By doing this you will be showing other people that a move into a training role might be the obvious next step for you, given your experience and interests. That will make your reinvention easier.

Action

This evening, rethink and reshape your experience to prove that you’re already on the way towards that career destination you have in your sights.   Rewrite your CV to reflect your new way of describing yourself.

Reinvent Yourself by Asking Others to See You Differently

In the end, it’s what others think of you, and how others see you, that goes a long way towards defining who you are, especially at work.

Stop and think carefully about how people at work introduce you or speak about you. Do they label you in ways that you find helpful and with which you are comfortable?  Do their introductions limit people’s perceptions of you and make them think of you in ways that don’t fit with your long-term aspirations?

Next, consider what you would like the people you work with to say about you. Everyone labels people they meet—you can’t stop that. You can influence the label that is applied to you, however, and you can create the labels that will be applied to you.  Use them yourself first. Others will follow.

Stop thinking of yourself as a customer services supervisor because that’s how your job description defines you. Remind yourself, and others around you, that you’re a bilingual customer services supervisor. Be clear that you’re keen to make use of those additional language skills to help your employer—you want the people who count in your organisation to remember you can speak another language and label you as such when they speak about you.

Action

Tonight, think about the actions you can take to alter subtly, or amend, the ways in which other people at work describe you. Wherever possible, draw attention to additional capabilities you have, and indicate where your skills may be of use to your organisation.

How To Reinvent Yourself Quickly

You are who you are. However, we’re all different people in difficult contexts. At home, at work, with our loved ones and with strangers we behave differently and are perceived differently. We already practise personal reinvention several times a day as we move from one role to another. 

You can reinvent yourself whenever you want by remembering to make the links between your past, your present and your future demonstrate that you are travelling towards a clear career destination.

Start to reinvent yourself at 6 pm today. By the time you’re ready to fall asleep, you may have surprised yourself by how much you have already changed.

 

 

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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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