Reinvent Yourself Now
Life-Changes For a Vibrant Second Act
Yes, you’ve hit the “BIG” birthday. And ever since, you’ve been wondering: What’s next? It’s time to reinvent yourself now, and this guide will show you how.
What you’ll learn:
- The link between self-care and your creative you!
- What it takes to get yourself unstuck once and for all!
- How to reposition your time and energy to do what’s important to you!
- Setting boundaries with naysayers!
- Kick your entrepreneurial spirit into gear to reach out to those who’ll benefit from what you do. (And maybe even learn a few things about writing that will turn your skills from just a hobby into something more!)
- And did I mention self-care? Welcome to midlife. It’s time you figured out who you are, what you want, and make it happen in your life once and for all!
Who this guide is for:
- You’re in the middle of midlife, trying to find life balance for the first time in a very long time. You reminisce of your artistic dreams, to be a dancer, to photograph, to play with paints. You remember the creative side of you … you’ve lost her over the years.
- You’re stuck, and keep asking yourself what’s next in your life. You know there’s got to be more, but what is it? Are you in the middle of a midlife crisis? You’re tired of this empty feeling that just won’t go away.
- You’re always burning the candle at both ends. You consistently wish you could clone yourself to get more things done. You’re tired of feeling tired, but your time is no longer your own. You have so many people dependent on you, you’re convinced there’s no time left for yourself. And yet that’s what you crave most.
- You wish you could eat better, exercise more, feel sexy once again. I’m not talking about making the guys stare at you. I’m talking about feeling like a vibrant human being. One who KNOWS she looks, feels, and acts GREAT!
- You’re ready for something MORE!
About the Author: Lori OsterbergWhen you meet Lori, the first thing you’ll notice is her relaxed attitude towards business and life. Maybe that comes from what she learned from her father. Or what she’s learned from owning and operating three different businesses. Despite her many accomplishments, she remains true to her roots. Whether she’s hanging out with friends, teaching a class to a large group of entrepreneurs, or being interviewed for a trending story, what you see is what you get. She’s an online marketing expert, fascinated-with-words author and writer, planning-the-next-adventure world traveler, focused-and-driven entrepreneur, all the while sharing-a-bottle-of-wine-with-friends kind of gal. OKAY – enough of the third person perspective. Now let me tell you my story …
What Self-Care Means In Midlife
Self-care: Any activity that we do deliberately to take care of either our mental, emotional, or physical self.
Maybe we’ve fallen into the “Busyness” trapWe glorify busyness, don’t we? I’m a journaler. (Is that a word? I guess it is today. 😉 ) I’ve written in journals for years. And on occasion, I go back and look at them, seeing a glimpse of my former self. I opened one up from years ago recently. And as I read through the pages, I noticed one word was in almost every journal entry: Tired. I was tired of getting up so early. Tired of going to bed so late. Tired of having a to-do list a mile long, one I could never seem to complete. I was tired of running here and there. I was tired of trying to pay all the bills. I was tired of just about everything. And looking back on it now, it was also one of the time periods where I was having the most trouble. I didn’t like myself much. And I definitely wasn’t practicing much self-care. Of course, there were a lot of other things I didn’t like. My house wasn’t my dream house. I hated my career path. Success? It was nowhere to be found, and it drove me crazy! To sum it up in three words: I wasn’t happy. I was living in a constant state of chaos, always trying to catch up. I was running here and there, all the time. And if I wasn’t running, I was sitting in front of the computer, often from 6 am until 1 or 2 the next morning. That was when I was trying to see if my body could exist on three or four hours of sleep each night. I know this isn’t going to come as a surprise: It can’t. Lack of sleep will always catch up with you. But I was in full pursuit of “The Dream.” You know … the dream that everyone talks about. The dream that says: You made it! Where you reach the point where you finally hit the finish line, and everything falls into place. That dream. The American Dream. Have you had that dream too? It’s a crazy dream “they” sell us as we’re growing up. We spend years of our lives – decades – chasing it until one day we finally give up. (If we’re lucky.) I remember that day very distinctly, the day that happened. I dropped everything. I burst into tears and couldn’t quit. I checked out mentally for an entire weekend. And then … I dropped back in. I decided I didn’t want that life anymore. And while I couldn’t give it all up that day, I put a plan into play to find the new me. One who was vibrant, successful, and sexy! Here’s what I know for sure. When I’m comfortable in my own skin, when I’m my most vibrant self, when I feel I’m being successful with my life, and when I feel my sexiest, that’s when I’m at my very best. That’s when I’m who I’m meant to be. So let’s talk about that. If that sounds good to you too, you have to start by building a new you. And I think it starts with self-care.
I want you to feel sexy againWhat did you feel when you read that headline? Did you cringe? Did you think: Not me! Sexy is a word that brings up all kinds of images. And for most of us, we stay far, far away from it. Women aren’t supposed to be sexual creatures. Not good girls. And yet we are. We bombard young girls with all kinds of mixed messages. Especially when us Gen Xers were growing up.
You don’t want to be one of those girls, do you? Save it until you’re married. And then put up with it; it’s what women do.When I look back now, I can see that when I was at my lowest point, I was trying desperately to play in a man’s world. I was building a successful business online; something very few women were doing at the time. And I was a go-getter right from the start.
You’re allowed to be sensual – it’s called being a womanAhhh, busyness. We’ve convinced ourselves that’s the only way to get where we’re going. It’s how we think we’re going to conquer the world. But the world is still a male-driven place. And it especially was when I was taking the online world by storm back in the 1990s, when I was building my first business and trying to get noticed by marketers, customers, and compete in a brand new world. Men will tell you to be driven, put the pedal to the metal, your nose to the grindstone. I did it for a while. And I functioned in that male-driven world. But still, I was left with:
Guilt – I wanted it all. I wanted to be a success story. I wanted to grow my business and get known in my niche. I LOVED what I was doing. But I faced guilt when my daughter clung to my leg when I dropped her off at preschool. I felt guilty if I took the afternoon off to take her to the park. Guilt – it cuts you like a knife and refuses to let go. Could I really have it all if I wasn’t willing to play like a man?
Give, Not Get – Women are givers, not getters. We like to be there for our people. We like to say yes, no matter what. Can you donate to the bake sale? Of course. Can you volunteer for a group? Sure! How about take charge, we need someone to lead it and you’d be perfect? Of course I can do it; it’s for my daughter’s school. Give – because I don’t deserve “me time”, not now when I’m right in the middle of building a successful life. And we wonder why self-care slips from our vocabulary right in the middle of our lives …
Shame – Oh, the shame factor that always goes along with all of this. Shame is something that grows from the time we’re little girls. You know what I mean, when you say things like: I don’t deserve this, I’m too ____. Fat. Ugly. Stupid. (What’s your word?)
Here’s the secret to self-careSelf-care is all about deliberately taking care of you. That’s it! You have to stop listening to what everyone else is saying, and start paying attention to that little voice deep within. Say NO to the groups that don’t serve you. Say NO to tasks you don’t enjoy. Say YES to one tiny thing you want to do. Then say YES to one thing more. I showed up at each and every group and club in my man-powered outfit. Because I wanted to fit in instead of stand out. But guess what? It’s okay to stand out. Because standing out means you’re uniquely you! That’s one of the things I most admire about today’s millennial women. They AREN’T afraid to be themselves. (We taught them well. Too bad we didn’t listen.) The secret really is deciding to make my life feminine, vibrant, and sexy as hell. Once I did, it changed everything! I still can talk most men under the table on technical jargon. But I’m comfortable with all sides of me. And my husband adores me. He thinks I’m sexy, and tells me all the time. Why shouldn’t life be just like that?! A long time ago, I used to think the concept of getting dressed up for dinner, when you sit down together at the end of the day to talk about your days, was crazy. Who has time? But after not liking myself for a number of years, and feeling GREAT today, I get it now. I love looking my best, for me, for him! Don’t kid yourself, there are many nights we go for a walk and I have on my yoga pants with my hair pulled up in a knot. But a lot of nights I put a little more effort into it. I wear dresses in the summer because I love to feel feminine. I have large bouquets all over the house because they’re so pretty, and they smell so good. I light candles. I have big, fluffy pillows, because – why not! They add the sexy to my sensual life! We schedule date nights, and head out for special weekends, just because. He puts on his dress shirts and fancy shoes. I curl my hair and add a touch of lipstick. Do I feel sexy when we head out the door? Damn straight! He notices. I notice. And we have a very good night! What it takes to find your vibrant, sexy self is to realize it’s all part of your feminine side. You can be feminine and have it all too. Being vibrant gives you a chance to be who you’re meant to be. And finding your internal sexy – that’s something you do for YOU.
How Do You Get Unstuck Once And For All?
I’m a list maker. You too? This one really helps.I love lists. I also love comparison charts to help me make decisions. Pro/con charts have helped me get through some difficult decisions. I find them useful in a variety of situations, including getting unstuck. Let me show you how it can work. Let’s say you’re considering resigning from your current position, to give you more time to start up your own business. In this case, you would divide your page into two columns: the positives and negatives of moving forward with this decision. The negatives might include things like:
- What if my business fails?
- I’ll never be able to find another job at this pay level
- I’m not smart enough to grow a business
- My family won’t support me
- I’ll look like a fool if it doesn’t succeed
- I’m ready to put all my effort into my business and give it every chance of success.
- I’ll learn so much from this venture, that even if I am forced back into the workforce, I’ll have great skills that will look awesome to a new potential employer.
- I don’t know everything I need to know about growing a business, but I have the resourcefulness to find the answers I need.
- I’ll find family and friends who do support my dreams and help me succeed.
- I’ll learn so much if I do succeed. I’ll be able to share and give back to my community.
Who are you?What brought you right here, to this point? Really think about it, brainstorm, and write it down on paper. (I’m a big journaler, but you can go digital if you please.) A lot of what’s holding you back is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of losing more than you’ll gain. That’s the thing about choices; you win some, you lose some. But I hear people in midlife talk about their fears all the time like they are something they can’t overcome.
- I’ve been working here for twenty years. I can’t leave now. I only have ten years until retirement.
- I can’t leave my home. I’ll have it paid off in seven years.
- I can’t relocate. All of my family and friends are right here.
- A new career? I don’t have the time to learn all of those new skills?
- I don’t want to be someone who is too scared to try something new.
- I don’t want to be someone who holds back from my true potential.
- I don’t want to wish in a few years that I had tried something new.
- I don’t want to let the bullies around me win, telling me I can’t have my dream.
- I don’t want to be downsized out of my job, let go even closer to my retirement date, with no other ideas in mind.
- Who do I want to become in my 40s, 50s, and 60s?
- Who do I want to become in the next decade?
- What legacy do I wish to leave behind?
- I want to be a woman who gets things done.
- I want to motivate others to take action.
- I want to be an inspiration to my daughter.
Paint the picture of your futureAre you getting the impression that I’m all about the power of intentions? You’re right. (Maybe that’s why my business name VisionOfSuccess resonated with me so well.) If you’ve done all of the internal work I’ve listed above, hopefully you’re starting to get stronger in your convictions. Getting unstuck takes a lot of work, doesn’t it? But you know that. You’ve done it before. Everything in life is based on a decision. This or that? Yes or no? In truth, you never really get unstuck. Because every time you take a step forward, make a decision, or take action in any way, another challenge meets you head-on. I do believe when you have the proper skills for getting unstuck, you’ll be able to dig deeper right from the start. The more you do it, the more you’ll know how to move past. You’ll learn the skill of getting unstuck once and for all. (Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to go through those deep, soul-sucking questions anymore?) Work the above exercise until you’re a little more comfortable with your answers. Then let’s go through one more exercise. In this case, we’re going to jump forward a few years and look at your future. Use everything you discovered in the previous exercises. And with that knowledge, let’s look at your life ten years from now. But instead of moving forward with the decision you’re contemplating, look at it as if you didn’t make any decision at all. Nothing. You’re still in the same job. You’re living in the same house, in the same city. And yes, you still have the same problems – you haven’t taken action, have you? But … and this is a big BUT … you’re ten years older. Living the EXACT SAME LIFE. Terrifying? See it in all the vivid color you can muster:
“I’ve just celebrated my sixty-fifth birthday. I’m inching closer to retirement; however, they changed the rules. I have to work several more years, and I won’t get nearly as much money, thanks to all the cutbacks to avoid Social Security from going bankrupt. I haven’t had a raise in years, thanks to a poor economy. I took out a second mortgage on my house to cover all the bills. Several of my best working buddies quit and moved to other jobs. The people I work with now aren’t friendly, it makes for a long day. I still dream about the business I’ve always wanted to start. But who am I? I can’t start it now. I have grandkids. I’m worried I might have to put my Mom into assisted living.”
- Say “yes” to a new career?
- Go back to college
- Start up that blog you’ve been thinking about
- Transition to a plant-based diet and get healthy
- Move to the location you’ve always dreamed about
- Have the income you desire
- Have the lifestyle you truly want to live
Reposition Your Time and Energy
To Do What’s Most Important
The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, and expecting different results.Does that describe your life? I get it. I do. I’ve walked in your shoes. Hit the alarm clock at the same time. Get up and pour the same cereal into the same bowl. Go to work. Do the same mind-numbing work. Pick up kids. Deal with chores. Throw something on the table for dinner. We join a club, and stick with it for years. We throw a party, and invite the same people. That’s why vacation clubs are so popular – we can continue going to the same places, without the fear of facing the unknown. We are such creatures of habit. We absolutely despise change. So we keep doing the same things over and over again, until we get stuck. That’s where we sit, for years sometimes. Until one day we recognize it. And only then do we start asking ourselves, “Is this all there is?” Then we start looking for ways to get “unstuck.” I’ve been there. I’ve sat, wanting so much more, wishing I’d find the “perfect” me. Yet the more I wished for “her”, the more frustrated I became. What are you supposed to do?
There’s only one choice – change your mindset, and do it nowMindset is everything. You’ve probably heard that so often, you barely pay attention to it anymore. It shows even more when you’re stuck. Years ago, I had a deep desire to create my first nonfiction book. It was a dream I’d carried with me for a long time. I had the idea. But completing the project? That was an entirely different story. I didn’t know where to begin. Kind of a “chicken or the egg” thing going on where I’d work a little here and there, but I never came close to turning it into a book I could touch, read, or sell. After months of inaction, I decided to do something about it. I decided to change my mindset; to get things done. I joined a mastermind that allowed me to work directly with a coach who could help me get the book written and release it to the world. As a part of one of the first classes, my coach created a plan where we could start to “see” the results even before we completed the steps. He had us go to the bookstore, find a book in similar dimensions to the book we wanted to create. After purchasing the book, we had the task of creating a cover for the final projects. The more details, the better. I spent hours at the computer designing my “cover”. It wasn’t perfect. But the idea was there. I printed it off, folded it just so, and attached it to my “mock” book. Then I set it by my computer, there to remind me of my goal every time I sat down at my desk. Having a real, physical book became my inspiration. I could “see” myself as an author; I could pick it up and hold it. Touch it. And more importantly, it worked. Before, I dreamed of authoring a book. After I created my “mock” book, being an author became more believable. It reminded me every day of the “me” I wanted to be. With one simple practice, it helped me see all the things necessary to make it so. I no longer dreamed of a book; I saw it. And it helped me believe I could do it. So, of course, I could do it. I believed it. Every action I took was with that new knowledge in mind. And it was simply a matter of time before I could replace my “mock” book with the real thing. Now, I’m not saying every day was easy. I still had to put in the time every single day. But the more I could see myself as the new me, the more I achieved.
Define your new normalThis is where you have to define your new normal, and focus on who you want to be. What do you want … right now? Do you want a new career? A new spouse? A better life? A new place to live? More money in the bank? Or maybe, like me, you want to write your first novel? All of it … ALL OF IT … starts with a clear definition. That’s also where most of us get lost. When you read the above questions, did you find yourself saying: I want all of it! Especially in midlife, we reach a point where we have a lot of years behind us. We start to see things we haven’t accomplished. That’s when we decide we want to make up for lost time. We want everything we haven’t gotten, and we want it NOW. But just like when you were in your twenties, you can’t have it all “right now”. You have to start at the beginning. You have to define what you truly want. And once you get there, you move to the next thing on your list. One thing at a time, you put all of your attention on that.
I believe …When I wanted to be a full time author, I had to write. Every single day of the week. I had to pull away from other tasks that weren’t as important, and make room in my days for what was. I had to learn focus, to have tunnel vision, and spend all of my time obsessed with what it would take to create that new me. Yes, mindset came into play here too. Because even when you start to narrow your focus and realize exactly what it’s going to take, hidden beliefs start playing with your mindset:
- I’m not good enough.
- Why do I think I could ever do that?
- I don’t have the right talent/degree/experience.
- What if you are good enough?
- What if you could do that?
- What if you do have the right experience to share your unique talents with the world?
Become who you want to become NOWYou can’t just see it, or write it down on paper. Visioning isn’t enough. Living it is the only way to accomplish it. After signing up for the mastermind, I attended a weekend summit to learn from my coach. On opening night, we had to dress the part and be who we wanted to be. We had to come in, network, and introduce ourselves as if our dreams were already in place. And it’s an amazing feeling to say what you really want to do. To be who you really want to be! “Hi, I’m an author.” Those few words held magic for me. I wasn’t there yet. I hadn’t published my first book. But saying it, it brought my spirits up. It held my attention. It triggered emotion. Suddenly it didn’t seem unrealistic or far-fetched. In fact, it seemed real. If you don’t embody your beliefs, who will? You can’t create a new reality if you don’t believe it yourself.
How To Set Boundaries With
Those Who Don’t Support Your Dreams
“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. You really don’t have a clue. Next time get your facts straight before you write.”It hurt. I’ll admit it shut me down for days. I wasn’t able to go online and write again for quite some time. I knew what I had written was my truth. I didn’t agree with the commenter at all. I wrote all of the copy with the best intentions. And even after considering the negative commenter’s comments, I still fully believed in what I wrote. My critic had his thoughts, but I knew in my heart I was right. Every day we face admiration and criticism. Have you ever told a group of people about a new restaurant you loved, then had one person come back and say it was the best place they’ve ever eaten at, followed by another that said it was the worst?
- People have different tastes. It would be a boring world if we all liked the same things.
- People have different experiences. Were you the only filled table, having the waiter’s undivided attention? Was it a busy Saturday night? Do you know the owners?
- People walk into the restaurant in different frames of mind. Heading into a restaurant after booking your biggest client ever would give you one experience. Heading out to eat after finding out your best friend has cancer would give you another.
“I like the old you better. “
“How could you do this to our friendship?”
“That’s a stupid idea.”
“Are you nuts? You know this will never work, right?”Ouch. We’re human. And we do everything we can to ensure we never have conversations like this. Which is why many of us stop and don’t move forward as we start asking: What’s next? We have big ideas, big goals, hidden desires, and outrageous plans. We dream about them. We think about them day and night. We may even go as far as creating a plan on paper, then tucking it away in our journals for another day. That, my friend, is what is holding you back. This is completely about you, not them. If you don’t move forward, you’ll never know what you are truly capable of. And you’ll never see what you can truly create. Your goal isn’t to please everybody. Your goal is simply to please yourself. It’s also to do the best thing possible for you, right now, here in the moment. Ignore everything else. If it’s been with you for a long time, you know it’s your future, you know you’re on the right path, then it’s time to put those nay-sayers behind you. Ignore what they say. Do it anyway.
Let’s talk about why those nay-sayers say what they sayIt’s hard when the people you love don’t support what you want to do. Especially when you have your heart set on something. They might tell you they’re only trying to help. They don’t want to see you suffer. They want to be the ones who will be “brutally honest” with you, and tell you what no one else will. The thing is, that isn’t exactly true. People act on their own agendas. So chances are, their “advice” may be what’s right for them, but the wrong path for you. They may tell you they’re smarter, have more experience, or simple “know about these things.” Here’s the reality: Some people like to talk even without thinking about what they have to say. They won’t offer constructive criticism; they simply like to talk in a negative way. They will make up anything to get you to listen and pay attention to them. And if something doesn’t seem to be working, they have no problem piling on the crap just to get you to listen. They may tell you you’ll lose everything. When family and friends start calling you out because they don’t understand your new path, it can be difficult at best. Especially when they confirm your deep-seeded fears that you are about to lose it all. “We love you,” they say. “We don’t want you to lose all you’ve built up,” they’ll whine. “What makes you think you’re so special when hundreds, thousands, have failed before you?” Nay-sayers just love to hold you down. They don’t want you to grow into a new person because they are equally afraid of being held back. If you succeed – what does that say about them? Especially if they haven’t tried, and are holding back too? We’re all at risk of winning or losing every day. That’s life. What is up to you is deciding the right path for you. Do you want to listen to their advice? Do you want to stay where you are? You’re here. You’re reading this. I think not. Here’s what I do. Instead of focusing on their words, I look for ways to change and grow into the person I want to be. Oftentimes, that means finding a mentor, a friend, or even a group of people that are doing something similar to what I want to do. It helps to have like-minded people around you as you transition to who you want to be. It gives me that added push I need to make the change last.
It’s Time To Be The Entrepreneur
You’ve Always Wanted To Be …
It Starts With Writing
- Budgeting the family finances
- Volunteering at our kids’ schools
- Becoming an architect and interior decorator as we upgrade our homes
- Juggling organization and scheduling tactics
- Chief cook and bottle washer in our kitchens
- Social planner for the entire family
- Caregiver to every age group, every stage of life
Let’s get this business started …I could go on and on and on about why I think writing is the perfect career choice for women in midlife. (Actually, I do. You have signed up for my newsletter, haven’t you? You’ll get my weekly thoughts delivered right to your email box. And a lot of those touch on why I think now is the perfect time to use writing as another source of income. I’m all about teaching women how to succeed in midlife!) If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that everything can disappear in a heartbeat. If you’ve ever said “I can’t follow my dreams because I make too much money at my job”, I’m talking to you. How have you fared in 2020? Personally, I lost 20 percent of my income – poof – in just a couple of weeks right after the stay-in-place order came through. Yes, that’s tough. But because I’ve built multiple income streams into my business model, I’ve moved my attention to other ideas and opportunities. I recovered without a hitch. Not everyone can say that. And that’s why side hustles matter. That’s why writing is an art you should pursue!
You are the one and only youOn average, we as humans will live about 30,000 days. Why should any one of them be anything but extraordinary? I like to think of life as a puzzle. A puzzle with 30,000 pieces. My first piece impacted the structure of my puzzle as much as the 10,000th piece. And I couldn’t fit the 15,000th piece in if I didn’t have all other 14,999 pieces in place. It’s what made the 15,000th piece possible, right there in the middle of my puzzle. That might be a bit simplistic, but for me, it makes me realize how important every single day is in creating the puzzle of me. No other puzzle exists like it anywhere in the world. Even the people closest to me, the ones I’ve traveled years with, their pieces are just a little bit different. That’s what makes me, me, and them, them. Every approach, every decision, every step I make is because of all the other pieces I’ve laid into place. It impacts what today’s piece looks like, and how it will fit in. That in turn will impact tomorrow’s piece. And the day after. And the one after that. None of them are cast in stone. Not yet. I can put them in any way I choose. I can change their color, move them around and around, select something new if I desire. It’s up to me. That makes every piece important in the development of me. They help me create whatever is going to happen next. I’m in charge. Now, for just a moment, I want you to think about all you’ve accomplished in your 18,000ish days. (Since I’m not sure how old you are, I’m guessing on the number of days you have behind you. 😉 ) There’s something that’s occurred during that time period that really jazzes you up. You’ve learned a ton. You have a lot of experience. You have something BIG that you want to share with the world. That’s where writing comes in. That’s what makes blogs so popular. That’s what side hustles are about.
But I have so many ideas … What do I choose?
- I’m a mom. I’ve navigated the school system. I know what it took to get my daughter into a good college.
- I’m a wife. I’ve navigated ups and downs throughout our relationship. We’ve experienced empty nest, and the ebb and flow of changing our goals.
- I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve grown businesses. I’ve sold a business. I write all the time.
- I’ve been a plant-based eater for over a decade.