When you focus on self-improvement, you have the power to transform your life. Whether you want to change your financial situation, health level, or another aspect of your life, self-improvement can help you achieve new heights.
Keep reading to find out more about why self-improvement is important and how you can get started.
Why is self-improvement important?
Chances are that you don’t want to stay exactly where you are for your entire life. If you are like most people, you want to create a better life for yourself. Even if you have a pretty great life, you might feel that there is room for improvement.
Through self-improvement, you have the opportunity to create a healthier lifestyle and a heightened sense of self-awareness. Additionally, you may find that you build better problem-solving skills which can make you more adaptable to changes in the future.
After all, life is not static. In fact, it seems to move at a lightning-fast pace. Instead of letting life speed by you, taking the initiative to improve yourself can lead to amazing things.
Not only can you dramatically improve your quality of life through self-improvement, but also your personal finances. Think of it as investing in yourself. Let’s take a closer look at how you can improve yourself.
How can you improve yourself?
There is no limit to how or how often you can practice self-improvement. The list below is by no means an exhaustive list of every possible self-improvement option for your life. However, it is a good place to get started. Take a look and find the options that will work for your life.
1. Wake up earlier
Although the idea of waking up earlier may not sound enjoyable to some, a recent study published by the Journal of Psychiatric Research shows that it might be advantageous for your mental health. You might be less likely to be depressed if you go to bed early and wake up early.
Beyond the mental health benefits, waking up early gives you the chance to ease into the day. Instead of rushing from under the covers into your car and through the rest of your day, taking a moment to prepare for the day can change your outlook on life.
2. Read books
Books are a wealth of knowledge just waiting to be discovered. Reading has become less popular as our lives have gotten busier. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 24% of U.S. adults had not read a book in 2018.
Although you don’t need to go from reading one book a year to 100 books a year, adding more reading time into your life can be useful. Not only can you gain useful knowledge about different topics, but also enjoy an activity that stimulates your mind without any screen time. Check out our ultimate list of best books to help you improve your finances, career, and life!
3. Shifting your circle of awareness
It is often said that you are most similar to the five people that you spend the most time with. Think about your friends and family that you spend time with on a regular basis and make up your circle of influence. Are they moving your life in a positive direction or a negative direction?
Consider the type of person that you want to become. What people in your life can help you move in that direction? You can seek out new opportunities and expand your circle of awareness along the way.
4. Meditation or prayer
Life gets hectic. Taking a couple of minutes each day to meditate on your life or commune with a higher power through prayer can change your outlook for the better. A recent Harvard study has found that practicing mindfulness can lead to less depression and stress.
It can be difficult to incorporate meditation or prayer at first. However, finding the time to meditate or pray can have very positive impacts.
This option can be used to help you practice daily self-improvement.
5. Find a mentor
If you are trying to be successful at a particular endeavor, then find someone who has walked the path and succeeded. A mentor can help to navigate the waters to a successful life and career while avoiding their missteps along the way. Find someone that you admire and reach out to them. You might be surprised at the willingness of people to mentor someone like you. (Our Clever Girl Finance mentors are here for you!)
6. Find an accountability partner
As you reach for your goals, it can be difficult to stay motivated. An acc is a perfect person to help you stick to your goals. Whether you want to go to the gym more or build your own business, find someone with a similar goal. Hold each other accountable to the goal and lift each other up along the way.
7. Work on your financial goals
It can be difficult to enjoy your life fully if you are constantly worrying about your finances. For example, with a paycheck to paycheck existence, it can be difficult to look past the next payday. With that attitude, finding the motivation to improve your life in other areas can be a big challenge.
In order to take charge of your life, you’ll need to have your finances on the right track. Otherwise, a minor financial emergency can derail your entire lifestyle.
A few goals that might help you get started are breaking the paycheck to paycheck cycle, saving for your first home, and building a retirement fund. Take action and make your financial goals a reality. It might involve cutting back on your spending, building a budget, or even taking on a side hustle. Do whatever it takes to achieve your financial goals.
Keeping track of your thoughts can be easier when you keep a journal. It will give you a place to work through your problems and identify your feelings in a safe space.
Although a journal may not be something you need to do every single day, a regular practice of journaling can be freeing. Consider buying a fun journal that motivates you to write more.
9. Work out
Exercise has been proven to help improve your long-term physical and mental health. Whether you walk, run, take group classes, try yoga, or something in between, exercise can help to improve the quality of your life.
Try to sweat at least a couple of times a week. Make a commitment and stick to it.
10. Drink more water
You can’t be successful if you don’t feel well. You might be surprised how much better you feel by drinking water on a regular basis. If you have trouble drinking the recommended daily amount of water, consider buying a fun water bottle that helps you track your progress.
11. Eat well
You can’t feel your best without the best fuel in your body. Healthy choices can help you feel more alive every single day. With more energy, you can tackle your hobbies and tasks with more vigor.
Cutting out sugar and coffee could be a place to start. Or you can try adding a healthy meal to your weekly rotation. Think you can't eat well on a budget? Think again, it's all about planning beforehand and finding the best deals on the best foods. Take this at your own pace and create a healthy lifestyle that works for your body.
12. Take courses
One way to improve yourself is to take courses about topics that interest you. For example, many of our Clever Girl Finance courses are designed to help you tackle specific financial topics in your life. Whether you need to build a budget or buy your first home, we have courses that can help you.
Personal finance courses are not the only thing to consider. If you have an interest in a particular hobby that you’ve always wanted to try, then a course could be the perfect place to get started. You might be able to learn a new language or skill that you can improve on in the future.
13. Be honest with yourself
You can’t improve if you don’t consider where you’ve started. Take a look at your life. Are you happy with your current situation? What changes would you like to make?
Instead of just continuing to ignore any problems in your life, take action to improve them.
14. Invest in yourself
Do you have a goal or dream that seems just out of reach? Find the reason that you cannot make your dreams a reality. Whether you need to commit more money or time to your dream, find a way to make that happen.
It could be a new course to fuel your side hustle or committing a few extra hours each week to work out. Don’t let life stand in your way, make the effort to invest in yourself for a better future.
15. Try a new hobby
Learning something new can open many new doors. Not only will you learn a new skill, but potentially meet new friends or develop a more positive sense of self-worth. Think of something that has always interested you. Either get started on your own, try to learn from books and blogs, or consider taking a course.
It can be enjoyable to learn a new skill while improving your life at the same time.
16. Be thankful
Always be thankful for what you already have. There are so many in this world that wish they had what you did. Don’t let your drive for a better life allow you to overlook the good things that you already have.
Giving back to your community can help you improve your own life and the lives of others. Luckily, there are many worthy causes that need the help of volunteers to reach their goals. Find a cause that you care about in your community and reach out. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy giving back.
18. Stay focused
Of course, you cannot expect to make a 180 turn through self-improvement overnight. However, with time and dedication, you can transform your life through self-improvement.
When you want to quit, remember why you started and keep going. You can continue to improve yourself for the rest of your life. Take it one step at a time, but never give up.
19. Admit your mistakes
You are bound to make some mistakes throughout your life. The best course of action is to come clean about those mistakes to yourself and others. After admitting your mistakes, don’t beat yourself up over them. Instead, take responsibility and move on.
How to set self-improvement goals
Now that you’ve seen some ways to improve yourself, let’s talk about the logistics of accomplishing self-improvement goals.
Create a plan
First, you’ll need to create a plan of action. Don’t tackle every single item on your self-improvement wish list at once. It can be easy to burn yourself out if you try to tackle a dozen self-improvement strategies at once.
Focus on building one good habit at a time.
After you’ve picked your first area of improvement, you’ll need to create a goal. Make sure that your goal is attainable and measurable. For example, if you want to work out more, then you should not make your goal of winning an Olympic competition. Instead, consider a goal of working out a set number of times each week or running a 5K in a certain amount of time. Both are reasonably attainable and measurable.
Once you’ve set up your goals, you need to take action. A goal in itself will not help you accomplish your dreams. However, a system designed to help you achieve your goals will be more effective. Make an effort to take a step towards your goal each day, no matter how small. Each step will bring you closer to your bigger goals.
Once you accomplish one goal, feel free to tackle another self-improvement goal.
The bottom line
As you move through life, you will likely want to improve different areas at different times. Focus on the goals that matter to you most in the different seasons of your life.
If you are focused on improving your finances, then start there. If you want to build a healthier lifestyle, then focus your efforts there. Whatever you choose to start with, make sure to take action and make your dreams a reality.