10 Powerful Self-Improvement Tips
How to make sure you keep improving and growing.
Life is a constant growing experience. Or at least, it should be. I’m the kind of person who likes to have had it all planned out – what I want to do, how I want to do it, when I want it done by.. Despite that, I often have personal goals that go unfulfilled for years before I find the time to pursue them. It’s not that I couldn’t fit them in, it’s just that they continually take a back-seat to watching a movie or hanging with friends. I mean, who really wants to spend hundreds more hours in front of a computer learning the latest in PHP coding (yes, that’s on my list), anyway??
In trying to figure out how to motivate myself to fit it all in — and still have time leftover for relaxing — I came up with a list that could be helpful for my fellow Urbanette’s. If you’ve made a personal vow to get your bum off that chair and better yourself for the sake of yourself and society, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Make a commitment. Most people are afraid of commitment, but what’s a vow without one? Dedicating yourself to making a change is half the battle.
Cultivate new habits. Wake up ten minutes earlier, go eco-friendly when shopping, make a daily Top 5 to-do list, and take the stairs. Make sure this new set of habits includes the kind that are good for you. If you have trouble remembering them, set calendar reminders, put post-it notes around your apartment, make lists, or get people to remind you. Once you’ve made it through 21 days with your new routine, it will become a habit.
Get rid of the bad habits. Quit smoking, staying up late, biting your nails, procrastinating, making snide comments, and everything else that’s evil. I know it’s easier said than done, but you know yourself best, so you’ll know what will work. Not getting to bed on time is my personal worst bad habit. I always want to watch that ‘one more episode’ and I pay for it the next morning. If you’ve got the same issue, here are 10 hacks that have helped me get better sleep.
Exercise. Few things are better for your mood, sex drive, energy and brain than regular exercise. Figure out what you enjoy, whether it’s riding around on your bicycle, spin class, lifting weights, yoga or pilates, and do it for an hour three times per week. It’s an investment in your health and happiness.
Learn how to cook. If you already know how, then learn to do it well! Try cooking some of these delicious vegan recipes; they can inspire you and they’re healthy. You’ll eventually be known by your friends’ children as that awesome aunt who makes the most creative dishes. Then you can throw saucy dinners, lunches, and brunches at your place. You will soon discover the rewards of cooking. It’s a hobby, a way to stay healthy, something to show off at dinner parties, and a refuge when things get messy at work and at school.
Learn about health. If you’re on pharmaceuticals, do some research and find a way to get off them as soon as possible. Pick up some books about herbal medicine, essential oils, and health. Learn how your body (and your microbiome) works so you can make it last longer.
Publish a blog or journal. If you’re not a good writer, keeping a journal will help you keep track of your progress and your cheat days. If you’re a good writer, and want to write but don’t want to dedicate the time to start your own blog, you can contribute articles to publications that accept guest posts, like Urbanette. I find that blogs open to the public receive loads of positive feedback and encouragement. If you do decide to start a personal blog or vlog, don’t mind the haters. Just carry on.
Once you’ve made it through 21 days with your new routine, it will become a habit.
These suggestions form the foundation you’ll need to keep yourself focused. Here’s another list of things you can try to improve your marketability:
Read. If textbooks, newspapers and journals bore you to sleep, explore the alternatives. News blogs, op-eds, and social media offer interesting ways to keep yourself informed of what’s currently happening. It also gives you tidbits of information that you can use as conversation starters.
Study another language. Sure, you may know English and belong to the biggest country that speaks it, but how do you think you’ll communicate with locals when you’re on a trip abroad? Try learning Spanish or French. Learning a new language teaches you perseverance. It also sharpens your memory, especially when it comes to vocabulary and syntax. Perhaps most importantly, it teaches you to think critically about what you say before you say it.
When I started spending a lot of my time in France and Switzerland, I found that I could get along with minimal French, but learning the local language has become a priority of mine, as I want to communicate with locals on a deeper level. I’ve been using apps and free online courses to help me learn.
Learning a new language teaches you perseverance and helps sharpen your memory.
Develop an attitude. A good one, that is. Try being nice to everyone – and by everyone, I mean all other people outside your work zone and circle of loved ones. Always carry a smile on your face and be courteous to others, especially towards the elderly. Nobody likes being treated badly. Mind your manners and speak with respect, because even bitches hate bitches.
You are already a masterpiece to begin with. You’ve made it this far in your career and relationships, but there’s always room for more, don’t you think?
What are some ways you’d like to improve yourself, and how do you plan to go about doing it?