1) Tell everyone you’re reinventing yourself. Staying it out loud to others makes it real. This prevents you from backing out because there’s a chance someone else might hold you accountable.
2) Change your hair. I am not kidding. Dye it. Cut it. Curl it. Grow a beard or shave a beard. You’ll look different to yourself and others. People will notice that you’ve changed something. This signals that you are changing on a deeper level, and reinforces the idea to yourself that you are capable of change.
3) Clean up old business. Do the dishes and the laundry. Pay the bills. Tackle the piles that have built up. Make literal space for your change to occur.
4) Get rid of friends you don’t really like anymore. If they don’t add anything positive to your life, stop calling them. You don’t have room anymore for anyone draining or toxic.
5) Envision the new life you will have. Get specific. What is your new daily routine? What will a Tuesday morning look like? Write it down. Tell people. Make it known. Stay with these ideas for at least 21 days in a row. Make a vision board. Talk about your new life with expectancy.
6) Ask for support. Tell the people you trust that you are changing. Tell them you’re going to need their support. Ask them to listen. Guard against unsolicited feedback. Share only with those you trust.
7) Practice being present. Tune in to how you are feeling. Use all 5 senses. Staying present helps you notice what is really going on, and being present to reality helps you take the best possible care of yourself through change.
8) Practice patience. Change takes time. If a decision does not need to be made this moment, don’t decide. Study the moon calendar. Notice when it is full and when it is new. When possible, synchronize taking on new practices when the moon is growing, and initiate letting go rituals when the moon is reducing.
9) Cover the basics. Sleep. Water. Meditation. Exercise. Basic self care keeps stress at a minimum. Reinvention can be stressful and tiring; no need to make it harder on yourself.
10) Focus on internal validation. You used external validation at the beginning of your process of change, by telling others you were changing. Maybe you asked others their opinion on some of your plans. Maybe you asked others to help you tell your story of reinvention to yourself. Now, you need to encourage yourself. Remember what you are changing and why. Change isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Growing and stretching and learning. Measure your own progress. Look at how far you have come already. You are already changing.
11) Face fear. Fear is helpful because it can keep us safe. However, there is nothing safer than following the path we were meant to walk upon. Follow it, facing the fear, knowing that you will survive no matter what.
12) Embrace change. New things, new emotions, new perspectives - it will sometimes be fast and furious, sometimes bafflingly slow. Embrace all change in your life. Your desires put into action are bringing forth change. Feel change like the wind on your face. Reinvention of this nature was started inside you on a deep level. Be present to its gifts. Tune in and be grateful for it.
Sarah Elovich is a writer, performer and humorist based in Oakland, CA.