“You always have the opportunity to learn, evolve, forgive, and change for the better”Sade Andra Zabala
“Reinvention” is practically my middle name – or so I was told recently by a friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time. Let’s just say that my lengthy answer to “what have you been up to for the past ten years or so” left her a tad lost for words.
Never one to stay following the same path for decades on end, I have been blessed, (or cursed according to some folks) with a curious nature that has driven me to explore, study and experience different roles and skills over the years. I’m not alone either. In the entertainment arena, we see people reinventing themselves all the time – hello, Madonna, I’m looking at you! – and the midlife season is often marked by reinvention and transformation. I know many women personally who have blossomed and transformed during these years.
So how does one go about reinventing?
Before responding to that question, my first question is always “WHY do you want to reinvent?” Reinvention – like any self development and growth – can require being stretched and challenged and these very acts can often be emotionally stressful. If you have a strong “Why,” you will hang in there and do the hard work needed to bring about your change in the same way that a person wanting to improve their fitness sticks at their training program even when they don’t feel like it.
Do you want to be fitter, healthier, more confident, more in tune with your relationship with your significant other, change your career or learn a new skill? Whatever your “why” is, make it a strong one that moves you deeply. The more powerful the emotion connected to your why, the more strength it will give you to push through the learning, the stretching and the challenges that lead to you reinventing to become the person you want to become.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”George Bernard Shaw
Ready to get started on making that dream of reinvention at midlife a reality? Read on for my 5 tips to help you get started!
5 Tips for Reinventing at Midlife
- Ask yourself : “If time and money were no object – what would I reinvent in my life?” Turn off that inner critic and let your thoughts and ideas flow freely. Better still, find a quiet location, pour yourself a glass of your favourite tipple and write down what comes to mind. What would you transform about yourself if you had the power? Be creative, be brave and dream big!
- Focus on the top 3 things you would like to transform in your life. Trying to achieve too many goals at once leads to overwhelm. Go back to your notebook and identify the top 3 areas that you want to work on. They might be your health, your career and your relationship. Dig a bit further as these categories are still too broad – can they be defined more succinctly? Here are 3 examples of goals written more definitively than simply “I want to improve my health, my career and my relationship”…… “I want learn how to play golf.” “I want to work a four day week.” “I want to go on weekly dates with my husband that are fun.”
- List some actions for each of the 3 things that you want to reinvent. Reinvention won’t occur without action, and action serves no purpose unless it is specific to helping you move towards your goal. What actions you need to take to to get started on your reinvention? Join that gym, book that health check, purchase those art supplies, enrol in that course . It’s time to take action!
- Surround yourself with positive voices. If you feel that you don’t have anyone in your immediate circle who will understand or support you in your reinvention, consider reaching out to a coach or counsellor. There are also plenty of online groups where you will find women on similar paths to you – it is simply a matter of searching. It’s time to be your own strongest cheerleader, so read, research and motivate yourself daily.
- Celebrate your progress! Notice that I didn’t say “celebrate when you are done?” Even though you might have a goal with an obvious completion such as writing a book – the reality is that you never “truly” arrive. Reinvention is a journey of ongoing growth and transformation – all the more reason to celebrate along the way. Every time that you hit a milestone – be it completing the first 3 chapters of your book or not missing a training session for your first month of your new fitness program – take the time to pause, reflect and celebrate!
Choosing to reinvent and transform any area of your life can be challenging, exciting, frustrating and rewarding.
Is it worth the effort?
Only time will tell, but my question to you is this: would you regret not even trying?
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