I say all of the time that if you aren’t focusing on self improvement, you are just sitting on the sidelines of life. So the question becomes, are you happy with your life? Regardless of how you answered, you have the power to make your Life better than it is today. The power to do so lies within each of us. All you need is a little nudge to get started. Because of this, I have compiled 20 self improvement tips for you to start making a part of your everyday life.
Why 20 self improvement tips and not 3 or 5? The reason is because everyone will start with what they feel most comfortable with first. If I were to only list 3 tips, some people might not be interested in trying any of them. But with 20 self improvement tips, chances are you will find something to start with to improve your life. From there you can move on to another tip and another, and so on. So what are you waiting for? The first step to your best life begins now!
20 Self Improvement Tips
The first self improvement tip is learning to love yourself. Unfortunately for many, this is easier said than done. You have to learn to accept who you are and that you are beautiful just the way you are. You’re not supposed to look like Brad Pitt or sing like Adele. You are supposed to simply be you.
All throughout our daily lives we have others put us down for who we are or what we believe in. They are against you; you need to be for you. If you are against you, there is no hope of living an amazing life. Why give others the power over you?
Tell yourself how special you are every day. It may be hard at first, but as time goes on, it will become easier. Learn to recognize what talents and qualities you have that are special and believe me, we are all special in our own way.
I make it a point to exercise few times a week. When I do, I feel great. Working up a sweat and moving weights makes me feel good about myself and improves my mood. Not surprisingly, when I am busy and can’t make it to the gym, I find I am less motivated in general and my mood sours.
If you go to the gym and don’t feel anything, I encourage you to lift heavier weights. Many people “go light” either because they don’t think they can lift as much as they really can or because they fear they will get big and bulky.
I am here to tell you that you can lift more than you think and you won’t get big and bulky, unless it is in your genes or you are taking some artificial supplement. I’ve been lifting heavy weights for 15 years. I am nowhere near big and bulky.
When you lift heavy weights, your body exerts more effort and you release more hormones into your system. This is what makes you feel better and improves your mood. When you just go through the motions, you body doesn’t respond because it isn’t being worked.
With this said, if you are brand new to lifting weights, definitely go light to start so that you don’t injure yourself.
If you are going to work out, you might as well eat well too, right? I find when I am working out, I eat better. When I stop working out, I eat poorly. It’s a simple cycle really. I lift weights, I feel good about myself, I eat well and the cycle repeats.
Most times you are feeling like crap because you are eating highly processed, sugary foods. Try to eat healthy just for a week. Limit your sugar intake and eat more natural foods – fruits and vegetables. The first day or so might be hard, but give your body time to adjust and you will be amazed.
Change Your Habits
We are all creatures of habit. We follow the same routines, day in, day out. This makes life easier for us, but also makes us lazy. To spice things up, change your habits. I’m not talking about refraining from brushing your teeth, but maybe brush with the opposite hand.
Instead of taking the same way to work every day, try a new way. Make Tuesday nights family nights. Find simple ways to chnge things up in life.
While you change your habits, you should also focus on setting goals for yourself. Where do you want to be in one year, or three or five years? Don’t just write them down, but visualise these goals. Make the goals a part of you.
I have some long term goals for myself. I’ve gotten so good at visualizing them that I can see specific details, like blades of grass when I close my eyes and think of the house and yard I want to own. Don’t get upset if you can’t do this right away. Start small and just begin to visualize.
This is the key to setting goals – making them manageable. I used to set annual goals and would fail miserably. I started to break them down into smaller, monthly goals instead. For example, if my goal was to save 25% of my income this year, my monthly goal would be to save about 2% per month. If I were trying to pay off my debt, then I would have an amount I would want to pay off each month to hit my annual goal. By focusing on the shorter time frame, my goal never got lost in the day to day of life.
Newsflash: you are going to fail. You are going to fail many times in life.Faling is ok. In fact, you should embrace failure. When you stretch beyond your comfort zone, you are growing as a person. It is only natural that you will fail. Don’t fall for the lie that failing is bad.
Think about failing like this: As a toddler, we have to learn to walk. If you ever watch a toddler learning to walk, she falls down many, many times. In other words, she fails countless times. Why is a child failing to learn to walk OK but you failing to learn a new skill as an adult a bad thing? At the end of the day it is still failure.
Don’t believe the lie that failure is a bad thing. It is only a bad thing if you never learn from it. Fail, learn and grow.
Create A Mission Statement
This is my favorite of the self improvement tips. You need to know who you are and what you stand for. In other words, you need to create a personal mission statement. Don’t mull over creating the perfect mission statement here. Just come up with something that identifies who you are and what you are about. As time goes on, you can modify it.
My mission statement talks about being a healthy person that always looks for the positive in life. Again, nothing complicated and there is room for improvement – just like with life.
You need to be thankful for all that you have. Why are so many people living in debt? Because they are chasing happiness. They think that happiness comes from things. They don’t realize that happiness comes from within.
It’s the same with the quote “success leads to happiness”. It doesn’t. Happiness leads to success. Be happy with all that you have. Odds are you have it better than the majority of people:
Learn A New Skill
Learning a new skill breeds confidence in ourselves. When we learn something new, we get excited and are eager to learn more. So what is it that you have always wanted to learn but always put off? Write a short list of things and then start working on learning those new skills.
Stop Wasting Time
How will you find time to learn those news skills you wrote about above? Easy, stop wasting time. I bet you could easily carve out a few hours in your day to learn a new skill. It’s all about shifting things around. Most notably, stop watching so much TV! Studies show that too much TV watching is hamrful to our health.
How do you stop watching so much TV? For some, you will have to take drastic measures, like canceling your cable. For others, delaying the show works. Delaying is what works for me.
My wife and I have a DVR. We set up the DVR to record all of the shows we “want” to watch. Surprisingly, we never watch half of the shows on the DVR. Not because we watch other shows, but because we really aren’t that interested in watching them.
Reading stimulates the mind. Do you know how many books I read last year? Zero. That falls in line with the numbers from 2012 that show 29% of American read 2 or less books. This year, I’ve read 4. Granted, 2 were while on my honeymoon. How do I find the time to read? Simple. I turn off the TV 30 minutes before bed and read. I don’t miss anything important on TV and it helps me to prepare for a good night’s sleep.
Along with learning new skills and reading, you should fill up you new found free time by meditating for 10 minutes per day. Some may think that meditating is a waste of time, but I find that clearing my head of all of my thoughts and just being present has a huge effect on my mood and happiness.
There are various form of meditaion too, so you are sure to find one that is right for you.
Deal With Negative Thoughts And Emotions
I mentioned in a previous tip about learning to love yourself. You will always have critics, including yourself. You need to learn to deal with any negative thoughts and emotions you have. At first, you may find this difficult to do. But over time, controlling your thoughts will become easier. I’ve even created a program to help you think positively throughout your day.
Understand that negative thoughts will always be with us. They create a problem when we allow them to fester inside and ruin our day. So there was bad traffic this morning. Learn to brush it off. Don’t allow it to ruin your entire day – it’s a day you will never get back.
Push Through Tough Times
You will fail. You will struggle. Life will be hard sometimes. But you have to keep pushing through. This builds character. When you push through a hard time, the next hard time you encounter will be easier to get through. Why? Because you proved to yourself that you can get through anything. That belief is a huge part of self improvement.
Part of pushing through tough times is all about accepting change. Nothing in life is forever. Things are constantly changing – we age every day, the seasons change every 3 months. It’s part of life. The sooner you can accept that change happens, the sooner you can begin to be the best you possible.
Accept The Past
Along the same lines of accepting change is also learning to accept the past. What is done is done. Nothing you can do now will ever change the past. It’s part of history. The only thing you can do is learn from the experience and move on, push forward. Forgive and move forward. If you can’t learn to do that, you will never become the best person you can be. You will be focusing on the wrong things.
Part of self improvement is giving without obligation. When you give – be it food, time, your money – you show that the world is a decent place. Learn to pay it forward.
Note that I mentioned giving your time in addition to money. Volunteers are always needed to help out. Don’t think for a second that you can’t afford to give. You have the most valuable asset of all to give – time.
Find A Mentor
We all have those we look up to. Find a mentor who is successful at what you want to do and to learn from them. Many successful people are more than willing to help out those who ask for help and are happy to take you under their wing.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
The old saying, “you are the company that you keep”, is true. If you are always hanging around with unmotivated people, you too will be unmotivated to succeed in life. On the other hand, if you hang around with successful people, you too will find success.
I have personal experience with this. I knew of a person in college. When I visited them over the summer, they were lifeless, uninterested in doing anything. It turns out all of her close friends at home never went to college and were just skating by in life.
But, when she was in college, with people that were motivated to become something in life, she was inspired and the life of the party. The theme was her friends. The company she kept dictated how she was as a person.
Are there people in your life you would be better off no longer spending time with?
At the end of the day, reflect on what happened. Was it a good day? Even if bad things happened, find ways to spin them into something positive. In other words, don’t let the negative thoughts take root in your mind. Be thankful for all that happened to you today and vow to be an even better person tomorrow.
If you can follow these 20 self improvement tips, I am confident that you will become a better, more confident person in life. What have you got to lose other than how your life is now? Isn’t a better life worth the risk?