Self-improvement means improving the way you work, learn, communicate, and how to live your life in general. The self-improvement industry has grown in scope and size over the last few years and shows no signs of slowing down. With all the different options available on how to change yourself, it can be overwhelming trying to find your way to self-improvement success. In this article, we’ll discuss what self-improvement means, where to start with self-improvement, and common mistakes people make with their self-improvement strategies.
Read a book every day
Books are full of valuable information. If you’re trying to improve your skills or knowledge in any area, read books! Reading allows you to feed your mind with new perspectives and insights, which will help you understand more about life and how things work. Want to learn a new language? Read a book on learning it. Want to start a business but don’t know where to begin? Read books that teach you how to make it happen.
Learn a new language
Learning a new language might be one of your self-improvement goals. It’s an extremely daunting task, but it’s much easier to conquer when you know how to go about doing it. The first step in learning a new language is choosing which language you want to learn.
Take up a new course
The theory behind self-improvement is that if you want to improve yourself, you should do things that are outside your comfort zone. Doing so will get you out of your normal routine and put you in a situation where new skills can be learned. By developing new skills, your ability to tackle other challenges will be enhanced. To Tone skills, enroll in a class or take up a sport you’ve never played before.
Create an inspirational room
An inspirational room can be your own private space to go and relax, regroup, and refocus. Many people find it helpful to keep notes from inspiring books or passages that resonate with them in a book safe hidden behind a painting or photo frame on their wall. This way you have access to these reminders when you need them most. You can also put a vision board (see below) in your inspirational room that includes things that remind you of your goals and long-term aspirations.
Overcome your fears
The best way to reduce your fear of public speaking, for example, is to simply do it. Start by giving a presentation to your co-workers. Tell them what you’re going to talk about and ask for their feedback on your delivery. Don’t be afraid of criticism—as long as they offer it in a supportive manner, it can help make you a better presenter.
Level up your skills
Whether you’re aiming to land a new job or become a better employee, there are some practical, low-cost ways to step up your game. For one, you can learn something new—skills like graphic design or web development. You can learn any number of business skills online through free courses like those available on Coursera. Or maybe you want to be a more effective communicator—in that case, try learning public speaking at places like Toastmasters and National Speakers Association.
Wake up early
Studies have shown that setting your alarm for earlier in the morning can help improve your mood for up to 12 hours, which can help you be more productive. So waking up an hour early—at least on some days—can make you feel better, and get things done. It’s a win-win.
Have a weekly exercise routine
Exercise is not only a crucial part of self-improvement, but it also improves your overall quality of life. When you exercise regularly, you have more energy to tackle work, be active with friends and family, and experience everything life has to offer. Plus, regular exercise benefits your mind as well as your body: A study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that regular physical activity helps protect against cognitive decline.
Start your life Diary book
Life diaries are more than just a record of days gone by. They can be windows into our pasts, helping us understand who we were and why we’ve changed. They can also be powerful motivators, especially when they help us realize where we need to make changes to lead happier lives now.
Write a letter to your future self
Most people are future thinkers. To write a letter to your future self, imagine that it’s 20 years from now and you’re writing a letter to yourself as if it were today. In 20 years, how will you feel about your life? What do you want to tell yourself so that when you get there, you’ll be ready for it? If 20 years seems too far into the future or too short of a period, scale down.
Get out of your comfort zone
It may seem obvious, but if you want to get better at something, you need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. This can come in many forms – leaving your work environment and trying out a new method or working out with different people who can help you learn. As you make these changes, don’t be afraid to try something new or throw away what doesn’t work for you. Sticking with what has always worked for you will only keep your skills at bay and limit your growth.
Put someone up to a challenge
We’re social creatures; we like to compete and we like to win. So if you’re going to make a change, put yourself up to a challenge, whether it’s with a friend or just with yourself. If you want to lose weight, commit to starting with your next meal—and tell someone else that they can be your accountability partner. Need help waking up in time for work?
Identify your blind spots
When you’re working on self-improvement, it’s easy to focus on your weaknesses. But many of us have overlooked our greatest strengths, too. Take a few minutes to write down five things you like about yourself and five things you know are true about yourself that other people would find surprising (for example, I am an excellent baker). Keep in mind that these don’t have to be skilled; they can be attitudes or personality traits as well.
Ask for feedback
Ask those closest to you—family, friends, and mentors—to help keep you accountable. You can either ask them to hold you responsible for specific goals (I want to read two nonfiction books a month) or for a general check-in every so often (How am I doing with my resolutions?). There are several ways to do this, from monthly emails (if they live close by) to weekly texts or phone calls.
Stay focused with to-do lists
Stay focused, be productive and increase your self-confidence. Make a to-do list for yourself. Think about what you need to get done for today, for tomorrow, and in general over weeks or months. Be sure to add in things like exercise and eating right—and rewards you can give yourself when those are complete.
Set Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs)
The next step to creating a self-improvement plan is to define your long-term you trying to run a 5k or lose 15 pounds, or do you want to scale back your hours at work and start your own business? What kind of person do you want to be five years from now? Once you’ve got these big goals in mind, make it a point to revisit them every few months.
Acknowledge your flaws
If you want to become better at something, one of your first steps should be to acknowledge what you’re lacking and where you need improvement. Whether it’s time management, organization, or task completion, take time to step back and analyze which skills could use some fine-tuning.
Get into action
Sometimes it’s easy to think about doing something, but acting in action on your plans isn’t always as simple. If you want to get things done and make self-improvements in your life, start by making a list of things you want to accomplish and set goals for yourself. Once you reach these benchmarks, reward yourself for meeting them!
Learn from people who inspire you
Find someone you admire and talk to them. Ask them how they went from Point A to Point B—what advice do they have for self-improvement? You may have to dig around on their website or spend time browsing their social media pages, but if you’re serious about improving yourself and looking for some guidance, it’s well worth it.
Quit a bad habit
It’s never easy to give up something you’re so used to, but if it’s negatively affecting your life, it’s time to go cold turkey. Make a list of all of your bad habits—overeating, smoking, gossiping—and identify those that are worth breaking. Identify what triggers them (stress at work?
Avoid negative people
When you’re trying to improve yourself, it can be tempting to seek out a friend or family member who will support your journey. That’s great—but when it comes to self-improvement, it’s also important to avoid being around people who hold you back. If a loved one is constantly criticizing your goals and putting you down when they hear about them, they might not be supportive of your self-improvement—and that could put a damper on your progress.
Learn to deal with difficult people
When you are self-employed or have your own business, you tend to deal with a lot of people. Many times these people will be difficult. Most of them won’t like that you are asking for their money and they may try to upset you. It’s important to learn how to deal with difficult people when starting a new business so that you can keep focused on your goals and get out of any bad situations before they start negatively affecting your mood. Here are some steps
Learn from friends
The easiest way to improve yourself is to learn from your mistakes. It’s difficult, however, to find a more patient and understanding guide than a friend. We can be hard on ourselves when things go wrong, and friends make that easy—but if you’re seeking true improvement, they can also make it easier.
Start a journal
Writing your thoughts and feelings down in a journal can have a calming effect on your mind. Not only will you be able to start pinpointing problem areas in your life, but you’ll also start recognizing patterns of thought and behavior. This insight can not only help you understand why certain things make you upset, but it can also show how you can take steps to improve yourself and manage stress. Self-improvement shouldn’t be something scary or difficult—after all, if it was easy to fix ourselves we would already have done so!
A blog for Personal Development
Self-improvement is an ongoing process of change in which you intentionally invest time and energy to become a better person. The focus of your self-improvement journey should be on aligning your daily habits with your core values. This ensures that every decision you make, every day, supports and builds upon those values. – James Clear
Get a mentor
Having someone who has been where you want to go, and who can help guide you through all of your firsts, will accelerate your personal development. Not only do mentors provide hands-on advice that they’ve learned from experience, but they also serve as accountability partners. They know how capable you are and what you’re truly capable of. You might even find that your mentor becomes one of your best friends or—in some cases—even a family member.
Learn any strategy game
Playing a strategy game provides an immediate and measurable self-improvement benefit. You may already be familiar with the game World of Warcraft; Carcassonne.