12 Scientifically Proven Ways to Reinvent Yourself

The data is convincing: even small changes can have big benefits, when done correctly.

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By John Boitnott

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No matter where you are in your career, it's only natural to occasionally feel as though there are things you'd like to change. But it's one thing to say you want to make a change and quite another to actually make it happen. In order to make serious steps toward reinventing yourself, you need to first commit to it and then take action to make those changes a reality. Here are twelve ways you can reinvent yourself at work and in your personal life, backed by science.

1. Learn a new skill.

Science says 10,000 hours of practice won't necessarily make you an expert in something. In fact, other factors almost certainly come into play, such as aptitude and your own passion for what you're doing. If you make a commitment to learn something new and want to embrace it fully, make sure it's something you will enjoy at least to some degree.

Related: 8 Hacks to Learn New Skills in Half the Time

2. Meet new people.

Does walking into a roomful of professionals scare you or just feel like a lot of work? If so, you aren't alone. But follow the rules for successful networking and you'll likely have a database full of new contacts after just one or two events. Then, you may not need to attend as many of them, which can be good for your energy and your schedule.

Related: How to Meet New People: 8 Steps to do Right Now

3. Buy new clothes.

You likely already know that what you wear affects how others see you, but did you know it also affects how you work? Studies have shown that your clothing may have an effect on how many mistakes you make during the work day. Overall, it definitely has a direct effect on your career success, so be conscientious of the clothing you choose.

Related: Personal Styles of 10 Successful Entrepreneurs (Infographic)

4. Volunteer.

Volunteer work does more than boost your resume. It also increases your self-confidence and reduces your stress levels. There's something to be said for seeing the difficulties others face and stepping in to help them. Whether it's feeding the homeless or mentoring teenagers, this type of activity can help you see just how good you have it. It can give you the sense of well-being you need to tackle your career goals.

Related: Why You Should Volunteer Before Launching Your Career

5. Consider a career change.

If you've been in the same job for a while, it might be time to pivot. Studies have shown that those who make a dramatic mid-career shift get a boost of energy that can help them keep moving forward. You don't have to be in mid-life to make that change, though. The job change you make now could be just what helps you reach your professional goals by the time you actually get to mid-life. And, if you're already in your later career years, a change can be just as invigorating for you as anyone who is just starting out.

Related: 10 Reasons You Have to Quit Your Job

6. Try a new productivity tool.

With so many apps on the market to help you be more productive, it can be easy to choose the wrong one. This study looks at the benefits of different types of solutions. Some people may find they're more productive with a paper-and-pen solution like a bullet journal. I've been using one of these lately to log notes and bills. It has a more permanent feel than using an app on my smart phone. Find what works best for you and hold yourself accountable for sticking with it every day.

Related: 7 Tools to Increase Productivity and Efficiency

7. Take charge of your health.

As life gets busy, it can be easy to fall into bad habits. If you're grabbing fast food for lunch or snacking on junk food as you burn the midnight oil, you could be harming your health. Substitute healthy snacks or choose a salad or healthy wrap for lunch and you'll likely soon find your energy levels and focus increase. This is obviously a huge area that requires your own research and even discussions with a doctor, so go out and do those things.

Related: Your Health Is Your True Wealth

8. Meditate

Many people think of meditation as something that provides temporary stress relief, but science has revealed that it can make actual changes to the brain. This will gradually change the way you deal with conflict, daily stressors, and other challenges that arise during the course of a typical day. You may find that eventually, what once distracted or discouraged you regularly may barely register on your radar now.

Related: Keep Calm And Meditate With These 5 Apps

9. Schedule time to play.

Recess gives children a break from the stresses of learning and studying. That same concept could translate to adulthood. Experts recommend finding an activity you love and working this "play" into your weekly schedule. Even if you already enjoy your career, this side activity will make you a happier, healthier person overall.

Related: 20 Ways to Make This Week the Most Productive Yet

10. Stop envying others.

You may have noticed that you tend to spend more time envying others than you should. Studies have linked jealousy to genetics, but it also has a great deal to do with your own choices. Learn that your own thoughts are responsible for creating these feelings and find more productive ways to think. Challenging and controlling the thoughts you think may feel like riding a bull at first, but it's somehting you can get better at with time.

Related: 3 Positive Ways to Harness Career Envy

11. Identify wasted time.

No matter how productive you think you are, you're likely wasting time each day. Pay attention to these common time wasters, particularly email. You may be able to identify ways to streamline your work to get more done.

Related: 8 Great Time-Tracking Apps for Freelancers

12. Tell others.

No matter what your goal is, once you've publicly stated it, your chances of success improve dramatically. Tell others about the "new you" and, if possible, find an accountability partner who will help you stay on track.

You don't have to completely reinvent yourself overnight. In fact, most people can't do that even if they tried. Simply identify what you'd like to change and start taking small steps toward making it happen. You'll find that it doesn't take long before you're starting to see improvements in your personal and professional lives.

John Boitnott

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Journalist, Digital Media Consultant and Investor

John Boitnott is a longtime digital media consultant and journalist living in San Francisco. He's written for Venturebeat, USA Today and FastCompany.

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