The early weeks of a brand-new year are brimming with opportunity, expectation, and let’s face it - rapidly shifting goalposts. Many of us come strong out of the gate on January 1st, only to admit defeat just a few days in, while others last the distance and manage real and lasting change in the longer term. We all know which camp we fall into, but in fact, the capacity to reinvent ourselves shouldn’t be limited to just a few weeks at the start of each year. Reinvention can happen at any time! 

For veterans transitioning into life after service, finding the new normal can be particularly challenging. Transition planning becomes extremely important and when done well can set strong foundations for whatever will happen next. Once the last details of a service career have been dealt with, it’s time to start thinking about new routines and what your goals for the future might be. Reinvention should focus on what you want to achieve next, what you want to spend most of your time doing, and what you can do that will be sure to sustain the status quo and allow you to build the life you want. You should also be clear on what aspects of your past career you’d like to leave behind, so you don’t end up stuck in a situation that makes you unhappy. Some structure around how to do that might help some we’ve defined a few key points. 

Understand your values

There are loads of tools online that can help you understand who you are, what matters to you and what is important to you to achieve wellbeing and success. If you are already connected with a mental health support professional, this is also something you can discuss with them. Defining your values means you’ll get clear on who you want to be, and so we better placed to make choices aligned with that goal. 

Define your goals for the future

If you have trouble understanding your values, it might help to define your goals first. Knowing what you want to do in your life, is intrinsically linked to a ‘why?’ at some point. For example – a goal to travel the world is probably grounded in values of adventure and curiosity. Wanting to become a yoga instructor might connect to your values around health, wellness or spirituality. The choice to become an entrepreneur is probably connected to values around responsibility, being challenged, and achieving wealth. Getting clear on your values and goals is an essential part of reinvention but it’s up to you which one you do first!  

Crunch the numbers

Reinvention is exciting and inspiring, but it must also be grounded in reality. You will still have the same expenses and commitment as before so your reinvention must be scaled to support your current lifestyle, and projected goals. Dream big of course but make sure you also add some practicalities to those dreams. If you want to set up a new business, how much start-up capital will you need? If you want to travel the world, how much passive income do you need to establish to support that? If you’re raising a family, how do your personal goals fit into the commitments you already have around supporting them?  

Surround yourself with believers!

Reinvention involves big dreams and what some may consider lofty expectations. To achieve the new version of yourself and your life that you truly want, you need support and positive encouragement. Surround yourself with people who are excited by your plans and believe in your capacity to achieve them. Tap into the knowledge of people in your network who you admire, so you can learn from what they have achieved rather than making all the mistakes yourself.   

There is life after service and with the right attention, attitude and support it’s possible to become anything you want!