There's always a laundry list of self-improvement goals we could be working on, but it always feels like there's no time to get them done. I mean, think about it — when are you supposed to squeeze all of it in? After work you come home knackered, and the last thing you want to do is head over to a cooking class or language lesson. Then during the weekends you've got a couple of days that are reserved for lounging about and dreading the upcoming Monday. But what if we made the idea of "self-development" not so errand-y? What if, instead, we made it another fun activity to do during the weekend, and let it become part of our weekly routine? Imagine all you'd get to accomplish.
If you ever want to work on self-improvement on the weekends, you're going to have to find a way to stop thinking of it as a chore, but rather a fun project instead. Surround yourself with inspiration, with energetic people that are passionate about the subject, and with drafted goals and timetables on how to make that project your new skill. No matter how little time you think you have, there's always time to work on yourself. Below are seven tips on how to work on your self-development during the weekends!
1. Don't Touch That Snooze Button
Do you always feel like you don't have enough time during the weekend to work on yourself or tidy up any projects you've been tinkering with? Well, make more time! Instead of snoozing til 10 in the morning, set that alarm clock to seven and hit the ground running come Saturday morning. How do you think all those successful people you hear about became successes? Not by waking up with the noon news, that's for sure.
Meredith Lepore editor in chief of career development site Levo shared, "Many high-performing leaders crave extra morning time. A poll of 20 executives found that 90 percent said they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays. Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi, for example, wakes at 4 a.m. and is in the office no later than 7 a.m." And since you're your most refreshed in the morning, you'll have all the energy to go tackle that creative project, practice your Italian, go shopping for your French cuisine supplies, or whatever self-dev project you're working on.
2. Schedule An "Inspire Me" Window
If you actually want something to get done, you're going to have to schedule it. Open up your planner and at noon every Saturday, block off a two hour window of "inspire me" time. That will be your guilt-free perusing session of anything and anything that inspires you. Whether that's watching TED talks, scrolling through Pinterest, reading up on industry articles, watching documentaries on the skills you're into, reading some inspiring person's blog, or strolling through a bookshop, it's your time. Use it how you want.
But if you're not sure where to start, relocate your inspiration time to a bookstore. You'll get loads of ideas there. Lifestyle writer Michaela Cristallo pointed out, "Bookstores are full of creative inspiration. Spend some time browsing the shelves and get inspired by the beautiful images and interesting ideas." Which leads me to my next point...
3. Pencil In Reading Outings
Same as with the "inspire me" window, literally pencil in a reading time into your weekend so you actually sit down and do it. Don't let errands, tidying the house, or Netflix derail that time slot. Why?
Lifestyle writer Celestine Chua at Lifehack explained, "Books are concentrated sources of wisdom. The more books you read, the more wisdom you expose yourself to." Whether the book you're reading is an advice book or an inspiring account (think Eat, Pray, Love or Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear,) it'll get your ideas flowing and your fingers itchy to take action. For example, when I read Julie & Julia, I immediately started a blog and bought a cookbook. And I hate cooking. But there I was, cracking the code for the first time how to properly scramble an egg.
4. Think About Who You'd Like To Be In A Year - And Set Goals
Every weekend, sit down with yourself and see where you are in terms of reaching your goals. But before you talk about those goals, take a moment and see who you'd like to be in a year. Do you know a new language? Do you read short stories in front of a literary crowd during bar Lit Nights? Are you playing guitar at a coffee shop? Do you have a small business? Figure out who you're striving to become, and then check in where you are every week in meeting those goals.
Samantha Smith, entrepreneurship writer at Forbes, pointed out, "Goals should be continuously created as you think of them and revised quarterly if not after changes and other impactful moments." If you feel like you're falling behind, reshift them and put more pressure on yourself to get back on track. Or if you're doing great, give yourself a small reward — just make sure you check in every week so you remind yourself why you're taking the time and effort in the first place.
5. Challenge Yourself To Speed Date With Hobbies
To help you figure out what you're interested in or help you become more well-rounded in certain areas, challenge yourself to speed date with hobbies during the weekends. Take a wine tasting class one week, and then a truffle making class the next. Go to a language meetup at a cafe one Saturday to brush up on that beginners French, and then try rock climbing during the next. Try pottery making, and then creative writing. Why?
Chua explained, "Learning something new requires you to stretch yourself in different aspects, whether physically, mentally or emotionally." So which one will you date first?
6. Have An Activity With A Friend Lined Up Every Weekend
Another great thing to have in your planner every weekend is an activity with a friend that will help in the self-development area. Whether that's going to a barre class together, a dance lesson, or one of those wine-and-painting deals, having a buddy there will help in two ways: It'll keep you accountable, and it could make the experience more fun with a little bit of competition.
Chua observed, "Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward." Just imagine sitting at the painting class and, over the rim of your wine glass, eyeing how well your friend knows how to weild a brush. It'll make you want to learn a little bit more!
7. Hang Out In Your Inspirational Nook
If you're trying to whip up the inspiration to work on yourself in somewhere ordinary like your kitchen or your bedroom, you might run into a couple of blocks. Sometimes you just don't wanna. But if you create an inspirational nook for yourself — one that has words of encouragement on sticky notes, articles that inspired you, or photos of people you want to emulate — you'll feel excited to get started with the self-developing process.
Chua argued, "Your environment sets the mood and tone for you. If you are living in an inspirational environment, you are going to be inspired every day." For example, I hate cooking. Like loathe cooking. But once I watched Chef, I ran immediately to the grocery store and took over the whole kitchen for about three hours, experimenting and chopping expertly. Now I have a printout of the poster for the movie, and whenever I see it I want to take a cookbook down from a shelf. So surround yourself with little reminders like that, and you'll be hard pressed to turn on Netflix instead of working on yourself today!