CoveyClub’s 30-Day Reinvent-Yourself Checklist
Reinvention doesn't happen by itself but through tiny, constant changes you can schedule in your calendar
One of the keys to a successful reinvention — whether it’s as small as deciding to finally clean out your attic or as gigantic as a complete career change — is that it begins with forward movement. As long as your desire for reinvention remains inside your head, it just rolls around and around, creating anxiety and a sense of failure because you haven’t begun.
I experience this kind of anxiety as an actual pit in my stomach and I remain uncomfortable until I resolve it by taking charge of myself and creating some type of mental or physical forward movement.
Our Reinvent-Yourself checklist will help you get started
We are the experts at reinvention. We have helped hundreds of women around the world take charge of their life and start the search toward a second act.
Says member Tammy Bucher Pennington: “CoveyClub gives us a place to find like-minded, strong women who are trying to navigate that winding path through reinvention. I’ve already learned so much, but the best part is being able to connect with women who know the struggles we are all going through.”
So how do you get started?
#1 Stop looking for a starting point
What holds some of us back from beginning that forward movement is an obsession with finding “the perfect” starting point. We’re looking for the perfect moment, time, hour, or course that will make the endpoint of our reinvention snap crisply into focus.
But the truth is, with many reinventions, there is no perfect starting point — or even endpoint. Because reinvention is so unique, you may not be able to visualize either a start or a finish line when you begin.
I’ve found that for many of us, searching for a clear starting point might simply be a way to delay beginning the hard work of our reinvention. For that reason, I say here, the true key to reinvention is just to begin. Anywhere. Anytime.
Go on a shopping spree at The Container Store. Have coffee with someone whose career path you admire. Later on, if you find that you actually began your reinvention path somewhere near the middle, you can simply double back to the start if necessary.
#2. Think Iron Chef instead of a marathon
Here’s a suggestion: instead of looking at reinvention like a linear race or marathon with a beginning, middle, and end, look at it more like an episode of “Iron Chef.” You grab what you have around you and just get going. There’s no one route with established mile markers to follow so you can create change. Instead, you just place one foot in front of the other until you create your own momentum.
The small miracle here is that movement begets movement. And movement begets momentum. And once you have momentum, you’re going to feel so much better about your path because it will become clearer and clearer as you propel yourself forward.
To help you get started, I’ve created a 30-Day Reinvent Yourself Checklist to guide you through. Yes, reinvention is daunting. But executing and then recording one tiny step ahead each day for a full month will send you on your way.
The tiny step can be an action that will propel you toward your goal.
#3. Put tiny actions into your reinvent-yourself checklist
Don’t know what those steps might be? Here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to find that teeny-tiny step you can take each day.
- Who can I call who might help me gain insight into my reinvention?
- What podcast can I download and begin listening to that will teach me something new?
- Who are the experts doing what I want to do? Do they have a website I can learn from? Do they have a Ted Talk I can download? Do they offer a course or mastermind I can join
- What books can I read that will make my path clearer?
- What coffee/lunch/dinner can I set up that will help me learn more about my path?
- Who from my past work life can I reach out to who might have wisdom about my reinvention?
- What course is the local high school/college/university offering that might help with my reinvention?
You get the idea. Take a pen and paper and just brainstorm all the ideas you can think of for the next 10 minutes. Write them all down — smart, stupid, silly, impressive. Don’t judge.
#4: Don’t try and brainstorm every idea at once
When time’s up, go back through your list and pull out the most practical ones. See if you can get to 5 or 10. Write these in your calendar as the starting point for your reinvention actions. Save the extras for five days from now when you will repeat this exercise and find 5 to 10 new actions to take.
Don’t try and come up with 30 actions for your checklist all at once. You’ll see that not only would that be difficult to do all at once, but your priorities will change once you start moving. What you thought was impossible on day one may well be within reach on day 15. You want to brainstorm in 5-day increments to capture your growth and confidence about what you can do.
#5. Use Our reinvent-yourself checklist to track your progress
You can begin the 30-day challenge on any day of any month in any year. Just fill in the month and year at the top of the blank calendar sheet (download here) and start numbering the days in the tiny triangles on the upper right.
Now, for each day of the 30-day challenge, choose just one of the ideas above (or one of your own instead!) and write it into the calendar. Next, do it! Record what happened and any ancillary results (new contacts, suggested readings, etc.) in the calendar box.
Remember to ask each live person you connect with for one other connection who might be able to help you move forward. Be sure to offer to help them back if they need it in the future.
In just 10 days, you’ll be shocked at how quickly you’ve gone from standstill to liftoff.
By week three, you will have so much momentum that hopefully the rest of the checklist will start filling itself in, the pit in your stomach will fade, and you will begin to see where you’re headed. You might even feel like you’re flying.
Honestly, with reinvention, just getting started is half the battle.
#6. At the end of the 30 days, ask yourself these questions:
- What have I learned about my reinvention?
- What new resources do I have to explore?
- What do I think was holding me back from getting started?
- How might I overcome that issue in the future?
If you’d like to take your checklist to the next level, join the CoveyClub newsletter (scroll to the bottom of the home page) and watch for our 30-Day Reinvention series. We do them 3 times a year. We bring our membership together to work on various projects such as reinvention or simplifying your life. Many of us find accountability (we meet twice a week to share our wins and challenges) helpful. Some find they get so much momentum from these groups that they can’t stop —and we have to rein them in.
For example, one member started by cleaning her linen closet and ended up cleaning up her will and personal papers. When she mentioned she was going to clean up her digital photo files, we told her, whoah! You can stop. No one does that!