Even if your life is going swimmingly, there is always room to focus on self-improvement. But this never more so the case than when your life has gotten out of control. Maybe you're working long hours, and have lost your sense of self. Or you focus on everyone else, and never take time to be alone. Whatever the case may be, setting aside time to focus on your own goals and dreams is a mighty good idea.
"It's important to constantly be improving yourself because progress leads to fulfillment," says New York City life coach Julie Holmes, in an email to Bustle. "We oftentimes think that accomplishments lead to our happiness, but it simply isn't true. While you may feel good after an achievement, the feeling isn't sustainable. It's important to always be learning and growing in life for happiness that's lasting."
This may be a tough pill to swallow if your feel like life should be complete after reaching a certain goal. Yes, it will feel good to land a new job, or graduate from college, or travel to Europe. But you can't stop there. Self-improvement is a lifelong thing, so get used to the idea of changing and growing from here on out. To get started, follow some of the tips below to help making focusing on self-improvement your new daily thing.
1. Imagine What You Want Life To Be Like
The best place to start on the proverbial road to self-improvement is with envisioning your future self. "Who is the person you want to become in this lifetime? When you're old and gray and looking back on your life, how do you want it to look? Start living life from that perspective," Holmes says.
2. Focus On Areas That Need Improvement
Feeling goal-less? Then look towards the five areas that pretty much everyone needs to keep working on. "Those areas are health, relationships, finances, career, and spirituality," Holmes says. "Spirituality doesn't need to mean religion or believing in anything particular, it can mean self-love — doing what you need to do to make yourself happy, instead of worrying about what everyone else thinks or needs." Solid advice.
3. Keep Your Priorities Straight
Check in with your priorities on the regular, and ask yourself what's truly important in life. "This is a question that will get you back on track quickly," said Brant Secunda and Mark Allen on HuffingtonPost.com. "Make changes in how your spend your time so that you can keep strengthening the behaviors that will reinforce your soul resolutions."
4. Take Care Of Yourself
If you constantly put everyone else first, then you're probably in need of a hefty dose of self-care. When that's the case, you can start by taking charge of your own health, according to Lisa Kogan on HuffingtonPost.com. This means taking that mental health day, making time for exercise, and not letting anyone stand in the way of your newfound healthy lifestyle.
5. Be All About That Daily Journal
In order to improve thyself, you'll need to get in touch with what's going on in your head. This is where daily journaling comes in. "By writing routinely you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident," said Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP. "You will also become clear about situations and people who are toxic for you — important information for your emotional well-being."
6. Learn Something New
Try to learn — or at least practice — something new every day. Dust off your old guitar, crack open a book, or sign up for an online class. This habit will not only set you on the path to new skills, but it'll make you feel pretty good in the process. As Philip Moeller said on Money.USNews.com, "Education has been widely documented by researchers as the single variable tied most directly to improved health and longevity." So get in on that, ASAP.
7. Take Time To Meditate
As with journaling, meditating is a great way to check in with yourself. You don't have to become a meditation master, or devote your whole day to sitting in silence. But a quick five minute moment to yourself can do the trick.
8. Choose One Goal
Do you want to eat better, learn piano, work on an organic farm, and adopt a bunch of homeless kittens? I do, too. But doing everything all at once means you're less likely to do them well — if at all. So take a look at your goals and pick at least one that you'll set aside, according to Jeff Haden on Inc.com. Throw all your efforts into practice piano, for example, and leave adopting kittens for when you have more time.
9. Remember to Be Grateful
When you get home in the evening, take a few moments to be grateful for whatever you accomplished, or whatever went well that day. "You can always find at least one thing to be grateful for," said Secunda and Allen. "Gratitude is the 'fix' for boredom and discouragement while you’re on the road to becoming a better person."
10. Try To Have Some Fun
The moment you decide to "work on improving yourself," the moment life can start to feel kind of heavy. While it's important to stay on track, don't let your entire day be taken up by journaling and meditating. "Add pleasurable, fun activities to your life," Secunda and Allen suggested. "The more you laugh, the better you’ll feel. Laughter is good for the soul, and an important antidote to all your hard work."
11. Don't Rush Yourself
Whatever your goals may be, it can be frustrating when they don't all come together right now. So allow yourself time. "Remember that life is a journey, not a destination," Holmes says. "Don't wait until you get where you want to be to allow yourself to feel happy. Enjoy the process. That's why you're here."
If you can do just that, you'll be well on your way to your next level of awesomeness. And when you reach that, remember to keep up the good work.
Images: Pexels (12)