It’s about that time for online news outlets, print magazines, radio stations, television shows, blogs—you name it, to start promoting the “New Year, New You,” hyped up content. Quiet as it’s kept, I published a few articles for Black Enterprise (shameless plug). But the reality is the “New Year, New You” mantra is BS if you’re not willing to examine the beliefs and habits that have kept you stuck.
Simply returning to school for a degree does not guarantee success—if you’re not willing to put the effort into building your personal brand, expanding your network, etc. Going to the gym every day—will not guarantee weight loss, if you don’t have control over your emotional eating habits.
Your change must begin on the inside. I stayed at a job I hated because I thought I wasn’t good enough to start my own business. I stayed in bad relationships because I thought I couldn’t get a 2nd chance at love.
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
So real talk people, if you’re ready for a “New You in the New Year” you have to own your truth—what is your mindset? Now because I have to do my due diligence as a professional, here are six ways you can reinvent yourself in 2016.
Whether you’re aiming for the corner office or the BE 100’s list, never take ‘the business of you’ off of your to-do list. Start 2016 right, by dedicating, at least, one hour each day to working towards your goal. Prioritize your task and be ruthless with your time. Use your calendar and alarm on your devices to set a schedule for your action items and find an accountability partner to help you assess your progress regularly. And get comfortable saying no. It’s only by saying ‘no’ that you can concentrate on the things that are really important, says Steve Jobs.
Find ways to explore opportunities to learn beyond the traditional walls of the classroom. From adding a few stamps to your passport, exploring the neighborhoods in your own back yard, or gaining a better understanding of your market, next level success requires a life-long commitment to learning.
With the power of social media, you can connect with almost anyone. But the key here is to be strategic. As you move up the ladder of success, you’ll need to form new alliances that add value and help you gain new perspectives about your direction. Take stock of your current network. Then, create a plan (30, 60, 90-day plan) to identify people you want to learn from or collaborate with. Start to build genuine relationships with them by sending a thank you note, sending an article of interest, congratulating them, and engaging in a two-way dialogue. If possible, schedule a meeting with someone at least once a week.
People buy from people. Sharing your story is a great way to elevate and humanize your brand. It helps you connect with customers and build trust with a community. And, it’s what sets you apart from the competition. Take advantage of social sharing tools such as Periscope; a live-streaming app launched by Twitter.
Create something that will outlive you. Publishing a book, podcast, and website or starting a social movement online around a cause, are all great marketing vehicles to take your brand to the next level while establishing long lasting impact.
Are you one of those people who grab their smartphones as soon as you wake up? If so, you’re not alone. But as you’re checking email, scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram feeds, responding to comments and checking online news sites, a few minutes often turn into a few hours of distractions, which ultimately take you away from turning your dreams into reality. Taking 2-3 days off, will not hurt you. To successfully reinvent, you’ll have to unplug from social media and get comfortable spending some time alone so you can challenge your traditional assumptions and figure out next steps. And don’t forget, unplugging from social media also helps you make memories with the people who matter most.
[Related: 5 Career Myths Holding You Back From Success ]
*Note: parts of this story was originally published for BlackEnterprise.