Ways to Start Your Self-Improvement Journey
With the self isolation currently happening, now is the perfect time to plot your course for self-improvement.
By deciding that you’re going to follow this 10-step plan, you can start the next stage of your life on a positive note and the improvements you make will change your life for the better.
Begin with Self Care
Self-care is a practice that seems foreign to most people. Probably because most have been taught to put themselves last and take care of the needs of others first.
That’s backwards thinking, because you can’t help anyone else until you first help yourself.
Start by letting go. Too many people hold onto doing things because they feel guilted into it.
They handle issues or deal with other people’s tasks that they really don’t want to be doing in the first place.
It’s hard to decline invitations you don’t want to accept - or stop doing things that people you care about want you to do, when you don’t really want to do them. It can be hard to even say no to yourself.
That happens when you have a mindset, a sort of mental checklist, of what you “should” do. For 2019, decide that you’re going to say no to handling or doing anything that you really don’t want in your life.
It’s okay to skip the big family meetings that end up with someone angry at someone else - or to say no to the coworker who pushes his work off on you.
Free yourself to say no to yourself when you feel you “should” stay late at work to finish something up for the good of the company, even though you’ve been breaking your back for months and ignoring your own needs.
You need to put what’s best for you first regardless of what else you have to let go of.
Making sure that you take care of your physical self is part of self-care.
That means taking the time to plan healthy meals and snacks, not skipping meals, and not rushing through your food so you can get back to work or take care of something for someone else.
Taking care of your body with exercise is part of self-care. You don’t need to have a goal to lose weight in order to use exercise in your plan. Exercising relieves stress and lifts your emotions.
You need it just because it benefits you. Don’t give up sleep to get on the never ending hamster wheel of work or day to day tasks.
The next day, the work or those tasks will be right where you left off – but you’ll feel more prepared mentally and physically to tackle them.
It won’t benefit you to lose sleep in an effort to keep up or get ahead. Instead, do what you can with the time you have and allow that to be good enough for you. Build in times where you’re off the clock professionally and personally.
Just have some fun. Do something that feeds your soul. Take a trip. Do nothing. Read a book. Go to the movies. Visit a friend.
Nurturing yourself – your happiness - is an important part of self-care.
Let Go of Self Defeating Habits
Sometimes people hold onto a habit simply because it’s something they’ve always done or a way they’ve thought for years.
An example of this would be wanting to save money and get control of your finances, but consistently blowing your budget on spur of the moment purchases.
You might think one way and even acknowledge out loud that you want change, but then you turn around and give in to actions that sabotage your desires.
You know what you’re doing (or not doing) that’s holding you back from having your best life.
It’s not comfortable confronting the worst part about yourself. But if you don’t acknowledge what’s going on with you, then you won’t be able to change it. Acknowledging that self defeating habit is where you begin.
Recognize how it’s holding you back from meeting your goals. If you want to go on a nice vacation, but you’re always spending your vacation fund, then you’re sabotaging your goal.
Once you identify what that self defeating habit is, you can move into self improvement by modifying that behavior. You do this by creating replacement habits.
If you have a problem with overspending, then challenge yourself to go one week without buying anything except necessities.
Then add a second week - then a third. Identify any possible obstacles and have a plan to conquer them. If your friends want to go out shopping, suggest a no cost alternative such as getting together to watch a movie at home.
You can improve anything about your life as long as you identify the problem and have a solution ahead of time.
Learn a New Skill
When you learn a new skill, it betters you as a person. It fills you with confidence that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to.
These skills can be something like learning how to better manage your time.
So many people miss chances to grow as a person because of poor time management - because of how their day is stretched for time.
They often overlook opportunities that come their way or immediately dismiss them thinking they can’t possible juggle anything else.
Learn how to practice kindness. This type of self improvement benefits you because it reduces stress. It’s important to show kindness to others, but it’s equally important to show it to yourself.
Let yourself off the hook rather than beating yourself up when you make a mistake.
Master the art of being honest with yourself. When you don’t call out your behaviors that prevent you from improving, then you end up stuck.
If you want to grow, you have to stop coddling anything that you don’t like the thought of facing up to.
Develop Your Leadership Potential
Everyone has leadership potential. Some people are outgoing, strong leaders while others lead quietly.
You want to develop your leadership potential as part of your self improvement - not necessarily because you want to go into leadership, but for the benefit it will bring to you.
One benefit of developing your leadership potential is that you can use the strength it brings to improve your life.
This will help you know your strengths, recognize your weaknesses and how to make both work for you.
With leadership self improvement, you command your life - and that always leads to the ability to take whatever action steps are necessary to be a better you.
Developing this kind of self improvement lets you stick to your values and gives you the discipline to achieve success.
It also inspires and empowers you. Another benefit of this type of self improvement is that it boosts your belief in yourself and in your ability to make whatever changes are needed in your life on an ongoing basis.
Related Reading: Self Development Plan Sample
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