Six ways you can improve yourself every day
Whether it’s learning a new language, taking up a new hobby or starting a course, self-improvement can make a huge difference in your life.
It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live of what you’ve achieved so far in your life, the simple steps you take every day to improve yourself can be key to your overall success.
And in most cases, it all starts with self-reflection; changing your mindset and taking action. It’s all about being better and making better decisions today than you did yesterday.
From adding meaning into your life to improving your self-esteem and giving you a competitive edge, there are many reasons why self-improvement is something we should all seek.
A wise man once said that life begins and ends when an egg is broken. If it’s broken by a force from the outside, life ends. On the other hand, if it’s an inside force that breaks the egg, life begins.
So how can you break out of your egg and practice continual self-improvement? Here are six ideas.
1) Be ambitious
“A place does not make a man, neither a scepter, a king, greatness comes from within.” While Robert Green Ingersoll may have used different words to communicate the same message, the quote is true nonetheless.
What are your life or career goals? And what are you doing to reach them? True self-fulfilment comes from setting goals and achieving them. Having something meaningful to work towards, and feeling stretched. Learning new skills and improving.
According to Olympic athlete Zoe Gillings-Brier (Britain’s most successful Snowboard Cross athlete of all time), the key to achieving your goals is:
- Make a clear commitment – decide on a SMART goal you want to work towards, and understand what you may need to sacrifice to reach it.
- Make a plan – once you have a clear SMART goal, start chunking the process you’ll need to follow to reach it into steps. Then turn those steps into a plan to follow.
- Track your progress – it’s easy to get disillusioned working to a big, far away goal. So set yourself mini milestones along the way and track your progress.
- Don’t fear failure – failure is inevitable when you push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you’re succeeding comfortably then you’re not being ambitious enough. So be prepared to set brave goals and encounter some failure as you make progress on your journey.
2) Know you can always do better
Back in college, did you ever wonder why no one got 100% in any test paper, essay, or term paper? It could be because tutors don’t want you to rest on your laurels; they want you to keep trying harder.
And trying harder is something we can all do – in every area of our life. Take writing, for example. Most of us can write – we write emails, notes, letters and even our own web copy if we’re a business owner.
But could your writing be better? Could you craft better prose? Structure better web pages? Make fewer grammatical and spelling mistakes? There are many grammar checkers online; browse this page for insights into how a good spell checker tool should look like, how it works, what it contains, and what to expect.
3) Build up your self-confidence
From winning the love of someone you admire, to passing a job interview, nailing it on a business proposal, or convincing clients to buy products you’re promoting, many things in life depend on your confidence levels.
Happiness, comfort, and success can be elusive without strong self-esteem and confidence. Fortunately, your self-confidence is something you can work on through self-improvement.
From fixing anything physical that’s impacting your self-confidence (for example, losing weight or getting your teeth straightened) to identifying and finding strategies to overcome any emotional worries, there are plenty of positive actions you can take to improve your self-confidence.
Here’s a quick list of ideas of things that have been shown to have a positive impact on your mental health – and self-esteem:
- Get plenty of quality sleep
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Stop comparing yourself to others
- Build a positive vision of the person you’d love to be
- Ask friends and family to list five positive traits you have
4) Look after your health
As you can see from the list above, good physical health is the key to feeling good emotionally.
And, while there are many illnesses, diseases and injuries that we can’t avoid, pursuing a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent lifestyle diseases such as obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease and stroke
5) Save regularly
Feeling like we’re in control of our life is important. And nothing makes you feel more helpless than not having enough money.
So keep a focus on your finances. If you can, save a portion of your income every week for a tiny day. And if you can’t, try keeping a money diary for a few weeks, and identify any opportunities to cut back on outgoings to give yourself some room to save.
Not only will these savings be a reassuring buffer in case of emergencies, but they also give you three freedom to make important lifestyle choices. This can include signing up to courses, going travelling, purchasing something on your wish list, or even starting your own business or changing career.
6) Work out your ‘why’
A life without purpose can be dull and feel passionless. So no wonder so many people ask “What should I do with my life?”
If you haven’t worked out your purpose yet, then now is the time to start. And it all begins with saying ‘yes’ more. Opening yourself up to new people, activities, opportunities, ideas and places will help you broaden your experience and possibly even find what makes your heart truly sing.
This means trying things you’ve never done before, and don’t even know you like – baking classes, riding lessons, mountain treks… you never know where a new experience will take you, what you’ll learn and who you’ll meet if you don’t try it.
Photo by Christopher Campbell