Whether it's being able to run a bit longer, learning how to be a better parent, improving your skills on a musical instrument, earning more, increasing the quality of friends, discovering more of the world by traveling, learning how to be at peace, or anything else, one of the great joys in life is knowing that you are growing in some aspect. There tons of self improvement tips that you can apply to your daily routine in order to start making incremental improvements in the overall quality of your life. The following are 5, in random order, that I find to be useful.
1. Keep a Journal
There's just something awesome about writing down your thoughts. Whether I'm feeling inspired or down, writing in my journal helps to organize my thoughts and gets me to feel better. I used to write in an actual journal but now I use a software. I don't write about things like what I had for lunch though. For the most part, I stick to writing about the progress of my goals and dreams, anything interesting I learned or notice about myself, and my challenges.
When I write about my current challenges, I also add things that I can do to help improve the situation. Even if I can't come up with anything at the moment, simply writing these things down helps to ease my mind. One of the things I love to do is to read back on past entries to see what my thoughts were at the time and to see how my thinking has progressed through the years. I often notice patterns in my thinking and actions that I haven't noticed before which I can then use to adjust my actions so that I don't repeat the same mistakes in the future. Also, being able to read back some of the things I learned at the time helps to remind me of those powerful lessons.
2. Watch Your Diet and Exercise
As we get older, our health will typically become more and more important to us. Taking care of your health isn't something you want to wait until your doctor gives you bad news. If you want to live a long and vibrant life, you're going to have to make an effort to develop the habit of eating the right foods and exercising. What you decide to put into your body on a consistent basis will have a major impact on your health down the road. Read books on healthy eating to become more educated on the subject. Often times, it's when we understand the reason why we should eat certain foods and why we shouldn't eat certain foods that we able to make a permanent change in what we eat. There's a big difference between knowing certain foods will make you gain weight and knowing certain foods will clog up your arteries and eventually cause a heart attack or a stroke.
When it comes to exercise, just keep it simple. If you're currently not moving very much, move more! In an age where many of us have jobs where we're sitting most of the day, daily exercise has become even more important. You don't need to run on a treadmill if you don't enjoy doing that. You could take a walk, move faster during the day, take up a fun activity like martial arts or rock climbing, or even get one of those desk cycling gadgets so you can workout your legs while working at your desk. If time is an issue for you and you don't mind going to the gym, try high intensity interval training.
3. Accept the Price
Since many people associate self improvement with achieving goals, then here is a tip that can help increase your chances of actually obtaining those goals. Before you start on a goal, take the time to figure out what it takes to accomplish it in terms of time, money, energy, resources, etc. From there, double or even triple those numbers. Now that you have a good idea of what it is going to really take to achieve your goals, you can decide whether or not you are willing to accept the price.
When you decide to put time into reaching a goal, you're taking time away from something you used to do. Are you willing to lose some sleep? How about cutting down your TV time? If your goal has to do with money, perhaps it's going to mean cutting down your expenses and forgoing certain things that you've grown accustomed to.
In other words, are you willing to make the sacrifices that are necessary to achieve your goals? Once you decide to accept the price, you'll have an easier time dealing with the struggles and challenges that are bound to show up.
4. Learn/Try Something New
A great way to improve yourself is to learn or try something new. Learn a new language. Learn to play an instrument. Read on a daily basis. Try an activity you haven't tried before. Take classes. Learn to cook. Step out of your comfort zone and do something that scares you a bit every week. Travel.
When you do something new, you'll likely learn something. When you consciously engage in things that keeps your mind active like learning a new skill, you'll be sharper, have better memory, and so on. If you're a bit older, then doing these things can help slow down things like memory loss.
When you give, you're basically telling your brain that you have more than enough. When you have that mental state of abundance, positive things will usually come into your life. You know the saying, "What goes around comes around." Many people who give will tell you that they receive a lot more in return through indirect ways. I don't really buy into the new age mystical stuff but I do know that when you give, it makes you happy and when you're happy, it affects the way you act and of course, the actions you take will have a major impact on how your life plays out.
Contributing doesn't just mean donating money. It could mean giving your time as well. Volunteer, help brighten up someone's day, smile at people more, be kind... you don't need money to contribute. You can even start a blog to help encourage and motivate people :)
There are obviously a lot more tips on self improvement that can help improve the quality of your life. Do you have any tips you'd like to share? If so, please share them in the comments section.