Ever wondered how some people seem to be going in exactly the right direction with very little effort? Chances are, they’ve sat down and considered what they need to improve in their lives. Then they’ve probably created a plan to help them do this.
What do you want to improve?
Self improvement involves so many different areas; it’s hard to work out where to start. Here are some of the main ones with useful self improvement tips for each.
Free up some time
To start with, you’ll need to free up some time. You’ll be amazed at how much you’re probably wasting already.
Ditch the TV, or reduce your screen-time. And ease off on Netflix and the boxsets. While enjoyable to watch, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad et al can eat up huge swathes of valuable time.
Don’t let communication dictate your day, and spend less time on email, messaging apps and social media. Decide how often you’ll check them and stick to it. Software like Stay Focused lock webpages on a timer. If you don’t have the self-control, use them!
Health and wellbeing
Start off by setting your goals. Perhaps you want to run a 5K, maybe you want to lose a few pounds, or your aim might be to reduce stress levels.
You will eat a healthier and more varied diet if you plan meals in advance. Through making sure you have the right food in the cupboards, you can also avoid ordering in takeaways and filling up on unhealthy snacks.
Exercise is always more enjoyable with someone else. You can celebrate the highs and laugh at the lows! And through arranging a set time every week, it means you are accountable. It’s always harder to cancel if it involves letting someone else down.
Insufficient sleep has a detrimental effect on the mind and body. So make sure you get at least 6 hours every day.
You could try meditation to reduce stress levels and create a sense of calm when you’re feeling panicked or stressed. You don’t need to sit cross-legged to do this. You could enjoy walking meditation in your local park. Or you may prefer to listen to an uplifting piece of music.
If you want to be fulfilled and continue growing as a human being, it’s important to keep your mind active. This could involve learning new topics and skills, or finding inspiration from art and culture.
Whether you want to play the trombone, wallpaper the living room, or improve your knowledge of quantum physics, you’re likely to find relevant information, blogs, and courses online.
You may want to go the extra mile and get a qualification, giving you the opportunity to earn extra money. Do your research and look for a course, which will be recognised by the industry. Check out our Top Courses for Development for inspiring courses like reflexology, personal training and accounting.
Ask your friends for recommendations on books, music, art, films and speakers. Then create a list and seek them out. Though you can find most of these online, remember that it’s often more enjoyable to experience and discuss with others at book readings, galleries or concerts.
OK, so we told you to ease off on the TV. But you can find great films and documentaries if you look hard enough. And try TED talks for inspiration from the world’s greatest thinkers.
If you work in a large organisation, chances are, you’ll have a career development framework. But if you’re self-employed, or work in a small business, you may have to do this on your own steam.
This is essential – whether you work in a large organisation or a micro-business. At the end of each year, review what you’ve achieved. Then note down your successes and failures, before setting goals for the following year. This will help you highlight skills gaps while keeping the business on track and profitable.
It’s easy to lose motivation and focus if you don’t have a boss or anyone to report into. So seek out a mentor and commit to seeing them on a regular basis. They will help you develop and stick to an action plan. They may also be able to give you valuable advice on strategy and contacts.
Plan, plan, plan
If you’re committed to self progression, it’s a good idea to create and refer back to a personal development plan. This lists your goals, challenges and the steps you are going to take to achieve your goals.
Check out our guide on how to write a personal development plan for tips and templates on planning for success.