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Posted by on in Goals, Journaling, Personal Development/Personal Growth, Self Improvement

2019 Goal Setting: Setting Personal Goals and the Importance of Setting Goals

accomplishment - goal setting

Goals.

One of the things that can get especially irritating at this time of year is the fact that EVERYONE and their brother seems to be talking about goal setting.

How to set personal goals. Why goal setting is important. How to set goals so that you can succeed. It's a dream until you write it down, then it's a goal. Five rules for goal setting. (Why are there rules for setting goals?) The 'secret' to setting goals. And the list continues. Ugh!

And every year when the topic of goal setting heats up, it's a reminder that you apparently SUCK at goals. You must, because there are sooo many things you want to accomplish that you haven't yet achieved.

You're seemingly forever STUCK in this vortex of un-achievement, under-achievement, or not-nearly-enough-of-what-you-want in life.

You can't seem to get to wherever you should be to be making significant strides in your life in directions that you truly want to go!!

So how in the world is making a bunch of goals going to change ANYTHING? Why should I? What's the point?

Now let me ask you...Does any of that sound vaguely familiar to you in the context of your life? Yes? I thought it would.

So the question becomes how will this coming year, how will 2019 be any different for you than any of the years past?

And, in all honesty, I can't say how it will be different for you. But, I can say how it is entirely, 100% possible that it absolutely CAN be different (better) for you. And here's how...

You have to change your mind. It's as simple, and as complicated as that. Really.

Now I know that there are some of you, probably many of you that would argue the point with me.

I'm stuck in a dead-end job.”

I'm too old.”

I don't have enough money.”

I don't have the right connections.”

I don't have the resources I need.”

Changing my mind isn't going to make any difference. Don't you see...I've got all this other stuff!”

Okay. I hear you, and believe me, I KNOW about “other stuff” in life. But I also know about what can happen when you change your mind.

And to be completely honest and transparent, I'm completely guilty of not doing it enough in my own life (changing my mind) to focus on what I want rather than my current set of circumstances. It's something I struggle with it all the time!

But I can also tell you that I currently live in a home that I saw in my mind before I ever came to live in it. And I live in it because I changed my mind.

Don't worry. I'm not going to get all Woo Woo here...I'm just going to say that the mind is a powerful thing. And setting yourself on a course mentally, then spiritually and then emotionally that you then physically commit to (because yes, you have to DO something for goals to work), you can begin to experience levels of success not only with goal setting, but in your life in general.

It CAN happen, and what's more important, it can happen for you.

This post is already going to be longer than I intended, so let me get this back on track in terms of setting personal goals and the importance of setting goals.

 

women friends - goal setting

Setting Personal Goals

 

You will never get the life you want without setting personal goals. It just won't happen. It's not something you can “luck” into, it's not something that somehow “just happens”. In order to have the life you want, you have to define the life you want. You have to choose it. And choosing it means setting goals for what you want it to be.

 

How to Set Personal Goals

 

1. Begin with the end in mind. Without focusing on “what you don't have” (which brings a negative energy and a spirit of lack into your situation), direct your attention to identifying (exactly, specifically) what you wish to have in your life and for your life. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to be in life? How do you want to live daily? What type of environment do you want to have surrounding you? What do you want to be able to do and accomplish?

2. WRITE IT DOWN!!! It's not good enough to “have some idea” of what you think you want or want to achieve, or to carry thoughts on those subjects “in the back of your mind”. Bring them to the forefront. Write them down. Make them real.

3. Take stock of where you currently are in life (relative to where you want to be), who you are, what are the beliefs and values you hold dear, what is true for you, and what you have in terms of assets and resources.

4. Now that you have identified what your goals are and taken inventory of your circumstances and condition, Create a plan. How are you going to get from where you are to where you want to be? What does that journey and that road look like for you?There is a way. Trust me there is. In fact there may be a million ways, but you have to see it. You have to identify a path that will work for you. But you have to create a connection a way to see how to get from where you are to where you want to be. You have to make that connection in your mind, no matter how convoluted or circuitous the route may seem.

5. Finally, you have to act on your plan. That's the only way this works. You have to commit to what you envision. You have to do it.

Tips for Personal Goal Setting:

 

1. Be honest. Setting goals that don't align with who you are and what you want are going to be failed from the start. Formulate goals from a place of being truthful, genuine and authentic to who you are.

2. Include small as well as large goals. The smaller goals help you to get quick wins that will help to keep you motivated. Smaller goals also accumulate to help you achieve your larger goals, and they quickly change how you live and experience your life on a daily basis which no only encourages you, but makes you feel better, more accomplished and happier.

3. Be open to possibilities and opportunity. Don't allow your own limiting beliefs (or the limiting beliefs of others) to deprive you of experiences and accomplishments that are absolutely possible for you. Allow yourself to think BIG!

 

live-your-dream-goal setting

Importance of Setting Goals

 

Somehow at some point in adulthood, many of us get this idea in our heads that life is just gonna do what it's gonna do, and we're basically along for the ride like a bunch of bobbles in a river being carried along by the current over which we have no control - stopping and starting, landing and setting adrift again by the movement of the water and the obstacles which we encounter along the way.

And life can be determined a lot like that, if we let it.

But if there's something we want, or if there's a place we want to get to, a journey we want to have, a specific experience or collection of experiences we seek, it's up to us to make those happen.

Is it possible they could happen if we don't set goals or make plans? Sure. Anything's possible. But it's much less likely.

To ensure our best chance at the life we envision, we have to take ownership. We have to do what we can to influence the ways in which our lives go. Will there be circumstances that we didn't plan for or see coming that make their way into our lives? Of course! Life is made up of many of those.

However, if we want more of the experiences that we desire to have, if we want our lives to have more (or less) of specific elements, we have to formulate goals for how we can achieve that. We have to make a plan (or a series of plans) and then put those things in motion.

Then we can direct where we're going, have the means to track our progress from where we've been, and know when we arrive at the place we want to be.

Setting goals helps us to...

  1. Get excited about our possibilities and what we're capable of
  2. Hope for the future
  3. Believe in ourselves
  4. Aim for and achieve things we never thought possible for our lives
  5. Get focused
  6. Find direction (and purpose) for our daily activities (so that what we're doing daily moves us forward in the direction of our intended goals)
  7. Obtain clarity
  8. Improve our decision-making
  9. Be motivated and provides inspiration in our daily living
  10. Have some control of our circumstances
  11. Measure our success

I don't know about you, but I want the coming year to be radically different than this year (and I mean that in a good way). I do not want another year that is virtually indistinguishable from the year before it, and the year before that, and the year before that.

And I don't want a year that's completely overshadowed by the bad things, bad experiences, “lack of “ or things that weren't accomplished or made better because there were so few new things, good things and better things taking place.

So let's do this. Let's set some awesome personal goals this year! Be brave, be bold, think fresh, think new! You CAN do this. We can make our lives better, deeper and to have more of what we want. It's not too late. Go get your life!

Start your New Year right using the Self Journal for planning, goal setting and journaling in 2019! Click here to watch the video.


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Posted by on in Personal Development/Personal Growth, Self Confidence, Self Improvement

Thank U, Next! How to Deal With Haters in Your Life

scrabble letters - hi haters

Why does it often feel like whenever we have good news to share with others, there’s always that one person (or several people) in our lives who somehow manage to snuff all the goodness right out of it?

Sometimes it can feel easier to simply not share exciting news for fear of someone waiting in the wings, ready to clap back at you with a stinging remark or some other negativity.

So, how do we deal with haters that attempt to stamp out our “glow-ups“ when positive developments and changes come?

How do you harness - and maintain - an outfit of confidence so flawless that instead of haters attempting to bring you down, they’re tapping you on the shoulder asking how you got to where you are in your life?

Read on-- we’re sharing some tips on how to effectively tune out the jealous, negative voices in your life, whether it be from family, friends, co-workers or social media.

Haters are Here to Stay

Let’s be clear on one thing first: Haters aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

While many of the classic forms of bullying you may have experienced as a child or early teen were likely put to rest along with your bad hair days and questionable fashion (or other) choices, bullying and haters still exist well into adulthood.

The only difference is the way in which people bully as adults, which can look a bit different than it did back in junior high.

In a recent survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association, results found that out of the 2,000 U.S. adults they surveyed, 31% confirmed that they had been bullied as adults. An even higher 43% said they felt that bullying has become more accepted this past year.

The online survey defined bullying as being subjected to repeated, negative behavior intended to harm or intimidate.

In our society, bullying or repeated exposure to haters is often regarded as something that we experience only in childhood and adolescence, and for this reason we often fail to identify being mistreated by fellow adults for what it really is: bullying incited by jealousy, anger, and other mental or emotional issues.

The neighbor who spreads gossipy rumours about you around town, the co-worker who always interrupts, talks over or tries to “best” you, or the family member who chooses the silent treatment instead of dealing with an issue with you head on-- these are all forms of bullying that can have lasting effects if we don’t acknowledge the behavior and learn how to deflect or deal with it.

 

anxious woman - how to deal with haters at home

How to Deal with Haters at Home

Home is where we go for rest and refuge, to recharge, where we seek comfort, safety, and love from the people who know us best.

It is for this reason that dealing with haters within the family can be particularly upsetting.

Additionally, because people in our families often do know us most intimately, they’re also privy to the things that can hurt us most.

Dr. Charles Sophy, a Los Angeles-based Psychiatrist who works with the LA Department of Children and Family Services explains that “behavior from adult bullies is more subtle and sophisticated than what a child might employ.”

Gaslighting, a bullying tactic in which the person makes a victim question their own reality, is common in family bullying, as it’s a practice done by slowly and subtly controlling the victim over time through small manipulations and actions.

When we’re exposed to this in our homes, it’s hard to detect when it’s happening until it gets really bad.

The scene is all too familiar: You’re sitting around the family dinner table, waiting for the perfect moment to share with everyone that you finally got that job you’ve been working so hard for, and your mom-- always the reliable critic-- responds with the classic “It’s about time. Really you should have gotten it a long while ago. You’ve been working below your potential for way too long.”

Her criticism is something you’ve probably experienced and grown accustomed to for years now. In many cases, subtle criticism from family members over long periods of time can dramatically skew how we perceive ourselves and our abilities.

The best way to fend off negative comments, whether they’re overt or extremely subtle is to make a choice, assert yourself, and establish boundaries.

When the stinging comments start to fly, you can choose to maintain composure and be respectful, instead of stooping to other's level of indecency.

It’s key that you also make it clear with the family member in question that you feel their behavior and hateful comments are inappropriate and cause pain within the relationship.

Having an open and honest conversation about how the family member makes you feel, even if things don’t start to change immediately, sets the premise that you deserve to be respected and appreciated for who you are.

Finally, if you’ve communicated how you feel but the hatefulness continues, it’s time to set some boundaries. It may be wise to limit your time spent with that family member, and, if you know they have a penchant for tearing you down, consider limiting the types of information you share with him or her about you and your life.

 

coworkers mac laptop - dealing with haters at work - woman showing man MacBook pro displaying circkes

How to Deal with Haters at Work

Dealing with haters at work is another beast entirely.

If you’ve ever had a jealous or negative coworker in your life, the kind who seems to always secretly (or not so secretly) be in competition with you or the one who jumps at every opportunity to passive aggressively interact with you -- then you know what we’re talking about!

While we’d love to say that putting on your headphones and cranking up Rihanna’s discography will permanently block out all of your workplace haters, there’s a little more at play here to tuning out the negativity, though Rihanna does help. A lot.

Sandra Robinson, a University of British Columbia professor whose expertise is centered around workplace psychology, explains that the key to identifying haters and bullies in the workplace are those that exemplify a consistent pattern of abusive social behavior, rather than simply pulling a jerk move every once in a while.

In an interview with VICE, Dr. Robinson explains that when it comes to workplace haters and bullies, there’s no one-size-fits-all remedy to solving the issue, mostly because there are a number of factors that can affect your position at the company, and the hater in question might be in a vastly different position and place of power than you.

The first way to deal with a hater at work is to document everything that happens between you and the bully.

This is easy to do and not a risk for your job.

Write down what the person said or their behavior, when it happened, and if others were around so that you have a consistent trail of abuse documented.

The next step is the most necessary, but most difficult to do. If you’re tired of feeling like the target of their anger, jealousy, and negativity, you need to confront the person.

Share with them all of the specific instances in which you suffered or were harmed by their words and actions, and explain to him or her that it’s oppressive, problematic or making it difficult for you to do your job.

Finally, if you’ve done all you can to block them out (and their petty negativity that somehow finds you even 6 cubicles over), it might be time to get someone else involved.

It’s not always comfortable or easy to go to someone with more power than both you and the offending coworker to help amend the issue, but it’s better than letting the situation go on unchecked.

Similar to limiting time with negative family members, you might need to ask your supervisor if you can be assigned to projects that minimize the time spent with the person who is causing you difficulty.

If that’s literally not an option because you’re in a lab with one other partner working tirelessly to find a real, permanent way to get rid of cellulite (we like to think our readers work in prestigious labs and if you have the answer to the cellulite thing, TELL US NOW), then our best advice is to be as kind and respectful as the circumstances allow, be assertive and aim to focus on the work instead of their neggy comments.

 

social media - smartphone -close up photo of black Samsung Galaxy smartphone

Dealing with Haters on Social Media

The latest avenue through which haters can spew negativity into your life and the lives of virtually anyone else in the view of their computer or smart phone is online and on social media. *Deep sigh*

Instagram trolling, heated Facebook arguments, name-calling on forums... Haters online are everywhere, and what’s worse is that many of them may not even know you, at least not personally.

This type of harassment has been aptly titled “cyberbullying” and much like regular, IRL bullying, we tend to think it’s localized mostly to teens and young people.

Unfortunately, people aggressively punching mean tweets and Instagram comments into their keyboards aren’t just bratty junior high girls.

There are tons of “full-grown” adults out there waiting for the first opportunity to comment negatively, to judge other people whose lives and situations they don't know, or to lable or categorize people based on things they think they know.

Why? Ignorance, envy, immaturity, closed-mindedness, jealousy and any number of other reasons.

Regardless, their words can still be hurtful or troubling. But you’re on a path that celebrates your uniqueness and worth, and learning how to ignore hateful, mean or negligible comments is key to getting in that untouchable, Beyonce-post-cheating-scandal zone.

Cybersmile, an online bullying advice site, explains that adults can be far more adept at hiding their online identity-- and far more malicious and sophisticated in the way they use technology to harm others.

First, it’s important that you keep record of any comments a hater is trolling you with.

Screenshot them or write them down, because you know what we’re going to recommend next: Confront the hater!

While (as we stated previously) this may not be easy or comfortable for you, there’s almost certainly a deeper issue at hand for the person spewing comments. Sometimes a transparent conversation about how their actions are affecting you can lead to some type of resolution, or at least get the hater’s negativity out of your life once you address the situation head-on.

If the online trolling continues, consider looking into the terms of use for the site or social platform you’re using. Most web sites and social apps have a protocol for cyber harassment and expressly prohibit harassment. And if you report it, the content and/or bully may be removed from the site entirely.

If that doesn’t work and the problem persists, go ahead and block them! There’s no use fighting someone online, especially when you know you won’t be able to have a heartfelt, in-person conversation with him or her, so it might be time to gear up your finger and hit that “Block” button.

 

smiling sheep stuffed toy - how to deal with haters

Rise Above, and When You Can’t - Cut ‘em Out

The point of learning how to deal with haters, or calling out haters and bullies isn’t necessarily to have them see the error of their ways. It’s for you to know that you did your part in the greater work of your own self-improvement.

There’s no shame in limiting access to you and your life, or cutting people out of your life entirely that only contribute negativity to it.

If you’re on a path that celebrates who you are and where you’re going, staying on it is the most important thing you can do for yourself.

If you like this post, please share it with your family and friends. Thanks!

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Posted by on in Motivation, Self Improvement

10 Ways to Motivate Yourself When You Don’t Have the Support You Need

self motivation - stones

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." Vincent Van Gogh

"If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." Thomas Alva Edison

"Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love." Brené Brown

What do all of these quotes have in common?

They're all about self-confidence and self-motivation, and today we’re going to talk about exactly that – how to motivate yourself.

One of the most difficult things we are challenged to do at various points in life, especially when navigating our way through periods of transition and transformation, is to motivate ourselves when we lack the support we need (or have become accustomed to having) from family, friends or other people we know and have relationship with.

Being your own cheerleader can be difficult if it's not something you're accustomed to doing, or if you're experiencing a particularly difficult set of circumstances.

But as with most things, it's not impossible. And sometimes in life, the only encouragement and motivation you'll receive is that which you provide yourself.

No matter how down, stressed, or alone you feel, you can achieve self-motivation. Sure, it’s always easier when you have a support system, but even without others to encourage you, you can go on, move forward, make progress.

You can learn how to self motivate yourself – all you need is you. And if you can learn to be your own cheerleader, you can change your entire life.  

 

What is self motivation?

Before we talk about the different ways to motivate yourself, let's take a look at exactly what self-motivation is.

Simply put, self-motivation is the force that drives you to do things without the influence of other people, and regardless of the situation.

It is the force that will push you to succeed, even after failure.

It is the force that will drive you towards your goals, even when you feel like the entire world is against you.

And did you notice how we said “without the influence of other people?” This means that all you need is you!

 

But I want to be clear before we go further...

No man (or woman) is an island. Any successful person I've ever met or heard about has attained their success with the help of others!

Building relationships and partnerships, both personal and professional is an important key, no matter what you're involved in or attempting to achieve.

However, there can be points in life where, for whatever reason, you have little or no support from others for the direction in which you're going.

It's during these times that you have to know how to keep yourself motivated, so that you can continue to make progress. Got it?

 

Why is it important to find ways to motivate yourself?

• Self motivation drives us to succeed, to overcome, and to move forward in the face of adversity.

• Self motivation pushes you to constantly learn and grow, despite your current situation.

• Self motivation is an important key to success.

• It encourages you to heal and inspire yourself everyday.

• Self motivation teaches you that you are the leader of your own destiny.

In other words, self motivation is what drives you to succeed in life.

In circumstances where you lose hope, where you don’t have support, or where you just feel like giving up, it is self motivation that can keep pushing you forward.

And eventually, if you persist you will achieve success, and through success, you have the opportunity to achieve happiness.

 

What are the characteristics of a self motivated person?

When it comes to motivating yourself, there are some key characteristics that you should strive to achieve.

The difference between those who are self motivated and those who are not self motivated is that those who are self-motivated:

• See the bigger picture. They leave the past in the past, and they look forward to the future.

• Are extremely optimistic. They see the glass as half full, and when times are tough and challenging, they convince themselves that they can still fill that glass.

• Are confident and believe that they have the power to succeed.

• Are committed to life long learning, and accept that they are not a knower of all things. Those who are self-motivated can recognize and admit their failures, and use them to learn and grow.

• Are persistent and determined.

• Are able to rise above adversity.

• Engage in self reflection in an effort to recognize their strengths and weaknesses - and then use them to their advantage.

 

Can you learn how to motivate yourself?

Absolutely! Self motivation is a skill.

This means that we aren’t born as self-motivators.

We are either taught self-motivation, or we aren’t.

The good news about this is that because self-motivation is a skill, it can be learned - and it is never too late in life to teach yourself.

It will take time, it will take dedication, and it will take patience.

But with a little patience and practice, self motivation is a skill you can acquire.

So how do you motivate yourself?

self motivation - believe in yourself

 

Here Are 10 Ways to Motivate Yourself When You Don’t Have the Support You Need:

 

1) Recognize that the most important element to your success is you.

If you want to know how to motivate yourself, the first step is to recognize that you are the key.

As we said earlier, having a cheerleader by your side is helpful, but it’s not a necessity – you can succeed without one.

In the words of Mastin Kipp, “You have all you need within you to become the best version of yourself”.

2) Work on building your self-esteem

An important part of self-motivation is believing in yourself and your abilities.

But how are you ever going to believe this if you don’t have self esteem? You can say it, but you won’t ever achieve it if you don’t actually believe it. And in order to believe it, you need to work on your self confidence.

And once again, you’re in luck, because like self-motivation, self-esteem is something that you can learn. Here are some tips to help you do that:

Be mindful. You can’t change things that you don’t recognize, so start becoming aware of your negative self talk.

As soon as you see yourself going down a path of negativity, act immediately to change your perspective.

Instead of thinking, “I can’t do it”, say “I can do it because of … (x, y and z)”.

Even if you don’t believe it at first, with practice over time your brain will eventually start to convince you that it’s true.

Don’t believe everything you think.

Your thoughts are just thoughts. They’re not always true.

Just because your brain says you can’t, doesn’t mean you can’t.

Be conscious of your thought patterns, and start distinguishing between fact and fiction.

Stop comparing yourself - you will always lose.

No matter who you are, there will always someone out there who is prettier, who is happier, who is wealthier, who has a better life.

Stop making comparisons and just focus on you.

Focus on things that make you happy.

Surround yourself with people who make you happy, and remove people who bring negativity to your life.

If necessary, speak to a professional.

We all have moments where we feel down on ourselves, but if this is a persistent factor in your life, it might be time to speak to a professional.

A counselor or psychologist can help you to pinpoint the reasons why you feel the way you feel, and can help you to look at yourself and your life objectively.

3) Recognize what your strongest motivators are

If you’re looking for ways to motivate yourself, you need to understand what your strongest motivators are.

There are two different types of motivation: Intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivators are those driven by passion.

When you are intrinsically motivated by something, you are doing it because you want to, because you enjoy it, or because you find it fulfilling.

Extrinsic motivators are those driven by reward.

When you are extrinsically motivated by something, you are doing it because you have to - not because you want to.

Imagine you work in a factory.

You hate your job, but you show up at work everyday anyways. Why?

Because you are extrinsically motivated to do so.

You don’t work because you want to, you work because you have to pay your bills. Now imagine you are a counselor.

You love going into work because you know that you are going to make a difference in someone’s life today.

Now you are intrinsically motivated.

You are going to work because you want to and because you are passionate about it.

Having said that, you might also have some extrinsic motivation as well.

Yes you love your job, but you also have bills to pay.

Now you are both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated.

Everyone is different, and everyone is motivated by different things.

When it comes to motivating yourself, different things may work at different times in your life.

The key is to tap into what motivates you and use it to your advantage.

If you’re not sure, make a list of the things that you do, and ask yourself, “how do you motivate yourself?”

What made you get out of bed this morning? Why did you go to work?

What motivated you to go to dinner with your friends?

The sooner you can learn what motivates you, the sooner you can start using it to your advantage.

4) Stay enthusiastic

When we set goals for ourselves, we’re often extremely enthusiastic about accomplishing that goal.

But shortly thereafter, the enthusiasm runs dry.

This is why, out of the majority of people that set New Years resolutions for themselves, only a small percentage actually follow through.

There are a million things that can make you lose enthusiasm - failures, road blocks, stress, fatigue, and so on and so forth.

But if you can regain your enthusiasm, you can convince yourself to continue moving forward.

You can do this by reminding yourself why you were enthusiastic in the first place. What were your initial motivations?

If you can remind yourself why you were motivated in the first place, you can re-ignite your desire again.

When motivating yourself and looking for ways to regain enthusiasm, it doesn’t hurt to make a vision board.

A vision board is a tool that many people use to help them focus on a specific life goal.

It often includes pictures, quotes, or other things related to your end goal.

For example, if your goal is to earn enough money to take a vacation, you might post pictures on your board of your ideal vacation destination.

Anytime you lose sight of your motivations for going to work, you can refer back to the board, regain excitement, and focus on new ways to motive yourself once again.

5) Set small, achievable goals

When it comes to motivating yourself, you want to set high expectations, with small achievable goals.

Yes, it’s okay to have big goals, in fact it's greatly beneficial, but you need to break those big goals down into smaller, more achievable goals.

Why? Because big goals can be overwhelming.

I want to lose 60 pounds in 1 year” - that’s a huge goal.

Yes, it’s obtainable, but it sounds overwhelming.

And when we become overwhelmed, we run the risk of failing.

So how do you motivate yourself to accomplish such a massive goal? You break it down.

Instead of “I will lose 60 pounds in 1 year”, let’s try:

I will lose 5 pounds a month for one year” or “I will lose 1.25 pounds a week for 1 year”.

As you can see, when we break the goal down it doesn’t sound quite as scary - it sounds more achievable.

In return, we’re more likely to conquer it.

 

fun spelled out in logos

 

6) Make your activities fun

This one is a no-brainer. If you want to be motivated, make your activities fun!

Extrinsic motivation is a great thing to have, but the best motivators are one’s that are intrinsic.

And fun is a very strong intrinsic motivator.

Want to lose weight but hate going to the gym?

Try a zumba or dance class instead.

Need to write a paper but have 100 other things you’d rather be doing?

Find a way to make a game out of your writing project.

Need to learn something new? Listen to a podcast, enroll in a video course or participate in a webinar or Facebook group where you can connect with others and be more engaged than if you simply read the information.

You can motivate yourself by finding ways to enjoy the things you have to do to reach your goals.

That way, even the tasks you least enjoy doing become more appealing and thus easier to do.

7) Work to build your optimism

When life gets tough, finding ways to motivate yourself can be difficult.

This is where developing optimism can prove beneficial.

By developing a more positive outlook, we can find a way to push ourselves and persevere when times are troublesome, or get back up and try again when we fail or falter.

But how can you stay optimistic during tough times?

Learn from others - Inspiration for optimism is everywhere. You might not have it in your home or in your immediate surroundings, but you don’t have to go far to search for it. Athletes, concentration camp survivors, our favorite movie stars - they have all found hope in the face of adversity. And if you can listen to their stories, you can learn from them.

Look for the positives of your situation.

Exercise - Sitting around and overthinking never did anyone any good. Get out, move around, exercise, go for a walk - once our blood starts flowing, our happiness levels increase, and our negative self thoughts get replaced with more creative ones.

Focus on your blessings.

Stop exaggerating - In stressful times, it’s easy to over-exaggerate a problem. Stop doing this. It causes unnecessary stress. Remember to distinguish fact vs fiction.

8) Change your surroundings

If you’re feeling down, lonely, depressed, and unmotivated, try changing your surroundings.

When it comes to motivating yourself, a fresh outlook may be all that you need.

If laying in bed or sitting at your desk staring at a blank computer screen isn’t giving you the motivation you need (as if either of those would), try going for a walk, head to the local coffee shop, or spend some time at the lake or the beach.

Sometimes changing your surroundings helps to open up a new perspective, and that is all you need to change yours.

9) Join a group

If you ever feel alone, just remember that you’re not actually alone - unless you want to be.

If you don’t have a support system to help provide you a source of encouragement or motivation, go out and create your own.

Support groups are literally everywhere.

Just gone through a divorce?

There are support groups for that!

Recently lost your job?

There are resources for that.

Need to make a huge life decision?

There are coaches and counselors for that.

Need to get out and make new friends?

There are classes and events for that.

There are numerous ways to meet new people, and you’d be surprised at how many of them are going through the same thing as you.

Give new experiences a chance, and you could meet someone that needs your support for self-motivation too.

10) Forgive yourself and move on

We’ve been taking about how to motivate yourself, but one important key to self-motivation is knowing how to forgive yourself.

Learn to forgive yourself for your past mistakes, and for those you'll undoubtedly make in the future.

We're all human, and we all make mistakes.

What’s important isn’t the fact that you’ve made mistakes, but that you learn from those experiences, pick yourself up and move forward.

 

Final Thoughts...

Self-motivation is a skill, and skills aren’t learned overnight.

They take time, practice and patience.

The point is that you should never feel that you can't accomplish what you envision.

You can; even when there's no one else to encourage you.

You can encourage yourself.

With the right motivation, belief in yourself and A LOT of hard work you can certainly succeed – whatever that vision of success is to you.

"Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don't let these feelings stop them." T. Harv Eker

"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." Sir Edmund Hillary

Best! I believe in you!

 

10 easy ways to motivate yourself

 

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Posted by on in Personal Development/Personal Growth, Personal Growth, Self Improvement

What To Do When You Make A Mistake

What to do when you make a mistakeOkay. I admit it.

I have certainly made my share of mistakes in life.

When you make a mistake, it's not always an easy thing to admit.

We all want other people to think well of us, and part of that desire is to appear as if we do things right all the time.

As if we don't make mistakes.

But for many of us, there comes a time in life when the light bulb goes on, and we realize that our lives are full (FULL!) of mistakes because at the root of it all, we are imperfect beings.

We ALL make mistakes.

So you messed up, we all do it. Maybe you accidentally insulted someone or hurt the feelings of a friend.

Or maybe you had a misunderstanding at work.

Either way, you may be feeling embarrassed and upset, which is perfectly understandable.

Who wants to go around hurting people they care about or creating more drama at work?

And while it may be understandable that you feel badly about having made a mistake, it is important is that you deal with the situation appropriately and move on from this experience.

So, we're going to give you some simple tools.

Here are five tips to help you move on from your mistake.

 

How to Move On When You've Made A Terrible Mistake

 

two women sitting by the sea

 

1. Acknowledge that you made a mistake – The first part of moving on is always acceptance.

It is important to accept your mistake and own it.

If you accept your part of whatever problem occurred, you are going to be better able to move on to the next step.

 

woman holding yellow flower

 

2. Apologize – Say “I'm sorry”.

I know. For some of us, it can be very difficult to say “I'm sorry” or to say “I was wrong”, but you must.

If you have hurt someone, if you have wronged them in some way, if you caused harm, you have to own up to it and you have to apologize.

Be sincere – admit your fault/wrong-doing/bad behavior, and express remorse for any hurt/discomfort/problem/inconvenience/damage you've caused.

3. Fix your mistake – Whether this step consists of a simple (or not so simple) apology to someone, making amends or covering costs for damages, coming up with a plan to make things right can be the most empowering part of moving on!

There is nothing more proactive than deciding on a plan to move forward and executing it to the best of your ability.

Everyone in your life will be grateful for your acknowledgment of your part in the problem.

 

red and blue heart wooden gate

 

4. Forgive yourself – We all make mistakes, no one in the whole world is perfect!

This feeling that you're having now—the embarrassment and anger at yourself—will fade eventually.

Accept that you messed up and forgive yourself for being human.

Mistakes are a part of life and carrying guilt around with you for every small thing you do won't help you.

 

diverse group of smiling people

 

5. Understand and reaffirm to yourself that you are not your mistake – When you make a mistake (even a big one), it's something that you do, it is not who you are.

Your mistake does not define you as a person.

Your mistake is not you.

Do not waste any time dwelling on that negative thought or reinforcing untruths in your mind.

When you make a mistake, it's important to deal with it, appropriately, but then get past it.

With these simple tips you can learn to move on from the mistake that you made and learn from the experience.

Of course you're going to make mistakes. The most important thing is for you to acknowledge them, move on and be kind to yourself and others in the process.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, please share with your family and friends! Thanks!

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Posted by on in Productivity, Self Improvement

Is Your Procrastination Enabled By Social Media Use? (If Yes, Here’s A Few Solutions)

snapchat on iphone - procrastination and social media

 

There is a thief among us, and her name is PROCRASTINATION.

She's an elusive, insidious adversary that robs us of our precious time, energy, and productivity; a silent stalker that lulls us into a false sense of efficiency, while in reality we spin our wheels in a desperate attempt to avoid something we don’t want to confront.

In some form or another, procrastination happens to everyone. It may be as benign as making a last minute McDonald’s run because you couldn’t come up with a creative idea for dinner, or it can manifest in the extreme, as when you pull an all-nighter after ignoring an important project deadline.

 

time clock - procrastination

 

Procrastination is a time thief, but she doesn't act alone. Her main accomplice is AVOIDANCE, and avoidance has some powerful gizmos in his arsenal that lure us into the time-wasting zone.

These days, social media is procrastination’s weapon of choice, and it is terrifyingly easy to get sucked in. The good news is that you don’t have to be victimized by procrastination; you already possess the tools to beat her at her own game.

What is Procrastination?

The simplest definition of this all-too-human experience is the habitual or intentional delay of starting (or finishing) a task, despite the probability of negative outcomes.

Indecisiveness, boredom, or a feeling of inadequacy can encourage the temptation to procrastinate, making it easy to postpone an unwanted task.

As soon as any of those indicators are present, avoidance strikes with a ping! on your phone, alerting you that someone in your social mediasphere has announced a status change. Of course you feel compelled to react, and procrastination has you in its clutches.

 

warning-sign procrastination

 

Warning Signs

Do you find yourself jumping every time there’s a notification from your favorite news outlet? Are you constantly checking email to make sure you don’t miss something? Do you cyber stalk certain people to remain aware of their activities?

If you answered YES to even one of these questions, you may be using social media as a crutch to enable procrastination. Social media is so pervasive – it’s on your phone, PC, laptop, even your smartwatch – it’s just too hard to resist.

Procrastinators instinctively understand that the main benefit of their behavior is stress relief. They are not emotionally prepared to deal with the issue at hand, so they find other tasks to take its place.

According to Mel Robbins, motivational speaker and author of “The 5 Second Rule”, procrastinating is like “a smoke break for the mind.”

Whether you veg out watching cat videos or do a deep dive on Facebook, procrastination is an attempt to cope with fear by employing a distracting activity.

And while you may be quite productive in that distraction, deep-down you know the activity is not moving you toward the more important goal.

That knowledge often causes guilt or shame, leading us to become angry with ourselves for doing it again. If the pattern is repeated frequently enough, the stress begins to manifest in the physical body, and can result in fatigue and illness.

 

woman working on laptop computer - procrastination

So How Do You Stop??

The College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers some helpful tips for cutting down on social media distractions (and enabling your procrastination):

  • Have a plan – understand that it’s not okay to be on Instagram (or your platform of choice) all day, and plan specific times that you will interact with it Periodically review your usage and change the plan if you are spending more time than you’ve allotted.
  • Manage your physical space – when your work or study space isn’t organized it’s easy to get off track. Minimize the tendency to procrastinate by staying out of the coffee shop, and find a quiet, well-lit place with an ergonomically designed set up conducive to productivity.
  • Try online quarantine – if you lack the discipline to follow your own rules, get help. Online apps like Freedom, Anti-Social, Cold Turkey, or Rescue Time allow you to put a temporary ban on sites you can’t stay away from. (Source)

As our societal dependence on social media and technology grows, the problem of using it to procrastinate is only going to increase.

Start smart by realizing that it’s not necessary to follow every media outlet, and put the brakes on your own usage before it gets out of control.

As always, if you have enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your family and friends. Thanks!

 

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Change Your Life: 30 Self-Improvement Hacks To Get You Out Of A Slump

success self improvement

 

Create Your Own Self-Improvement Month

 

We all know the feeling...

Your day to day experience has become a little too routine.

Your free time is spent on the same mundane things, and your after work plans just don’t get you excited the way they used to.

Falling into a slump is a frustrating but ordinary part of adult life, and it can feel like a hole you just can’t dig yourself out of.

Fortunately, when the slump-blues have you down, there are small changes you can make to bring the spark back between you and your life, and help you regain the excitement of living every day to the fullest.

Self-improvement is something we all talk about. All of us, regardless of place in life, have goals we hope to reach and obstacles we hope to conquer as a part of personal growth and development.

Sadly, the hectic trappings of modern life make taking steps towards these goals extremely difficult.

It’s the information age, and for most of us, that constant stream of media and distractions eventually starts to feel like noise.

It’s hard to think straight sometimes, much less plot out our path to our better selves.

Fortunately, we can create our own self-improvement month - a month we choose to dedicate to the small daily steps that will transform our lives to be more positive and productive.

This thirty-day guide will help you take those small steps toward your bigger goals, and ensure that you’ve laid the foundation to close out 2018 (or to begin 2019) with real, tangible progress.

Rest assured you can stress less.

It doesn’t take a week-long retreat or library of audiobooks to set your personal compass in the right direction.

These 30 days of self-improvement will give you an opportunity to refresh your life, clear away the clutter of the past year, and face the future with a renewed sense of self!

woman climber self-improvement

30-Day Self-Improvement Challenge to Help You Dump Your Slump

 

Day 1. Learn Something New

The trick to broadening your horizons is to keep new ideas flowing.

For a working woman or mother, that can be MUCH easier said than done.

Dedicate yourself to learning one new thing, as completely as you can, in one day.

It can be as complex as taking an art lesson, or as simple as googling one thing you’ve been curious about during your lunch break.

Not sure what a word means? Look it up.

Wondering about the specifics of a historical event? Check it out.

Always been interested in how people make soap? Make it your mission to find out.

Making a small discovery in your free time opens your mind to a world of new ideas and information.

You never know what you may find, or what that discovery may inspire.

Think of one core area of curiosity, and solve the mystery.

This is an easy way to ensure some of the media entering your day is beneficial, even on the most personal level.

Plus, you never know when you may need a new dinner conversation starter or ice breaker.

 

Day 2. Make a New Hang Out Your Mission

A few months ago, a friend of mine fell into the slump of going to the same coffee chain every Sunday to catch up on emails and projects.

Building routines like that feels natural.

We cling to the familiar and end up trapping ourselves into a rut of our own design.

On a whim, she looked up independent coffee places nearby and found an entire list of venues just as convenient, but with a refreshing change of pace (and the wonder of a Vanilla/ Turmeric Latte).

The same can be said for your go-to lunch spot, entertainment venue, or jogging route.

By changing the scenery of your schedule, you open yourself to new experiences without sacrificing productivity.

If you live in an area without a lot of options, going out of your way may seem daunting, but the payoff is well worth it. And I'd be willing to bet even in that scenario, there are places you haven't visited.

 

Day 3. Explore Your World

Think about your morning commute, or the way you take to your parent’s house, or the route you drive to the hair salon.

Chances are, there are stores, restaurants, and parks that you’ve never felt inclined to check out or had the time to stop in.

On today’s trip, make a deal with yourself to stop and check out one of these potential hidden gems.

This could mean stopping in the antique store you always drive past, or taking a walk through a local museum you’ve never had the time to visit.

In fact, nearly every town has a historical society with a list of preserved local sites.

Stop in, take a look around, and figuratively (or literally) smell the roses.

The more you explore your surroundings, the more at home and at peace you’ll truly feel in your location.

 

Day 4. Take a Solo Day-cation

I am very well acquainted with the dreadful feeling of realizing it’s mid-august, and I have yet to go on vacation.

In fact, I haven't had one in more than four years.

For some people, that may not be a big deal.

But for someone who lives within a half-day's drive of some of the most alluring outdoor and urban locations in the entire nation, it’s a little disheartening.

That’s when the excuses start to roll in - I’ve been so busy with work, the weather hasn’t been great, who would I even go with?

The excuses rarely do anything to ease the feeling of just missing out on my own life and letting entire seasons pass me by.

Whether you’re a beach local who hasn’t made the short trip to the water's edge, or simply have been eyeing the local spa without the urge to go yourself, taking the leap is worth it!

Waiting around for the right person to go with or the perfect weather will only guarantee that experiences pass you by WITH your consent.

Don’t be afraid to branch out on your own if it means doing the things you’ve been dying to do.

Take a day trip on your own to a place you’ve been meaning to visit.

A little solitude and crossing something off your list is a great opportunity to clear your head and feel a sense of accomplishment.

 

Day 5. Have a Treat Yourself Day

Busy adult life can suck the excitement out of anticipating the future.

When is the last time you couldn’t sleep from excitement, or found yourself rushing home on a Friday because you couldn’t wait to get to the next thing?

Give yourself a pass to do something that makes you happy today - whether that be a trip to the nail salon, a movie matinee, a free concert in the park, seeing a new art exhibit, a tour of a local winery or a new pair of shoes.

Creating a little joy in your own life is good for you.

There’s freedom in helping yourself to little things you want, and that liberation can carry into other aspects of your life, affecting how you interact with others including family or at work.

An occasional day of indulgence won’t kill you or your budget.

Remember that periodically doing something special or treating yourself as a way of showing appreciation of yourself and valuing you is not a bad thing.

 

Day 6. Say ‘Yes!’ Today

(Okay. This is a disclaimer. Yes, I do think that Shonda Rhimes is one of the fiercest women on the planet. And in my humble opinion, along with a bunch of other people's opinions that really matter, she's written one of the best books for women, or anyone for that matter, that's come out in a while. There. I said it. Now, back to our story...)

Shonda Rhimes, the award-winning creator of shows like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, and Private Practice, and How to Get Away With Murder released a book in 2015 called Year of Yes.

Now, most of us would not spend an entire year saying yes to every opportunity and every goal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set aside a day and see where the power of ‘yes’ can take you.

Saying yes to possibilities you’re presented with is an important part of maintaining positivity and inspiration in your life, as well as keeping it fresh with a sense of adventure and the unknown.

For the sixth day of self improvement, decide to say yes to one thing you may have typically turned down.

Step out of your comfort zone, and try to have some fun.

Maybe this means saying yes to a date with someone new, accepting an invitation to a society outing or event, or agreeing to be a speaker or presenter for a local community group for the first time.

Maybe it means taking your kids out to the restaurant they’re always begging to try, or finally going with your friends to check out a creative arts and wine class.

Freeing yourself of constant negativity or insular behavior and allowing yourself to just say ‘yes’ is an amazing feeling, and can open you up to so many new and wonderful experiences and possibilities outside of your normal routine.

 

women hugging self improvement tips
Day 7: Make a Social Follow-Up

Once the school years end and normal life begins, it’s extremely common for us to begin to lose touch with friends and even family members.

We get the social media birthday messages, and tend to respond to texts and emails with phrases like “We should definitely catch up soon!” but then soon never comes.

Today, follow through with one of these plans.

Go out for breakfast with an old roommate, or call up the cousin you haven’t spoken to in forever.

Reaching out, even on the smallest level, deepens valued connections and could brighten someone’s day.

Self-isolation is an unfortunate yet common circumstance these days.

Social media keeps us updated on those around us on an unprecedented level, but it has also (unfortunately) taken away some of the drive for genuine one to one interaction.

Make the effort to bring positive personal connections back into your life one connection at a time.

People truly can fit into your busy schedule with much less stress and effort than you may think. It just takes a little planning.

Bridging and renewing connections is worth the time.

It may offer you an opportunity to share the weight of a burden, or to express excitement about a blessing or accomplishment.

Human interaction and positive, genuine connections are healthy for us all, and important to our efforts toward meaningful self-improvement.

 

Day 8. Make an ‘I Did!’ List

If you’re anything like me, you may find yourself drowning in lists of things to get done - shopping lists, to do lists, assignment lists, and so on.

Change your perspective along with the dialog in your head by creating a new type of list - an ‘I Did’ list.

I Did lists allow you to reflect on your accomplishments, no matter how small, and raise your own awareness about the small steps you’ve already taken toward your goals.

It’s all about replacing negative inner monologues with something positive.

Set aside time to make and ‘I Did’ list as long and comprehensive as you want.

You can include simple things like “finished weekly shopping” or “gave work presentation”, or big goals like “lost 30 pounds”, “quite smoking this year”, “raised three great kids” or “finished degree”.

Your ‘I Did’ list is all about giving yourself credit for your victories, big or small.

This kind of acknowledgment shines light on just how far you’ve come - a light you definitely deserve!

 

Day 9. Clean That ONE Area (either your desk, dresser, closet, cabinet etc.)

Spring cleaning, or fall cleaning for that matter, can feel like a HUGE task looming over your head.

No one likes going through the work day knowing there’s a pile of laundry to do or a lawn that needs mowing as soon as you get home.

Or if you're already home, you may dread passing that craft room, work space (or what would be a work space if you could only get in there), or kids space that looks like a total disaster area.

Trying to get everything you need done in one day can be overwhelming and unrealistic on a day when your schedule is already crammed and busy.

But not doing anything about it only makes the task feel bigger, and denies you a sense of accomplishment (and progress) that would be derived from tackling the situation and getting things in order.

Today, make it a point to clean and organize one specific place in your life.

If the desk in your home office is buried in papers, get to work and file them away.

Don't worry about tackling anything else in that space. Today focus only on cleaning the desk.

If the passenger seat in your car has been piled high with old coffee cups, take the time to empty it out.

Sure, it’s not making your entire living space spotless, but organizing one area that’s gotten out of hand will let you breathe a sigh of relief.

And every time you look at it, you'll see it as one thing done and checked off of your “to do” list, so that it may be the motivation you need to get a jump start on the rest of your cleaning.

 

Day 10. Switch Up Your Commute Survival

What is that certain something that makes your morning a little more bearable?

Maybe it’s a radio station you love, or a podcast that makes you laugh.

Maybe it’s a specific drink from your local coffee shop that you simply can’t function without.

Make today the day you switch up your normal morning “go to”.

Listen to a different radio station, try a new podcast, or order a drink you haven’t tried before.

Self-improvement means journeying outside your comfort zone to find out more about yourself.

Fortunately, you don’t have to take an Eat, Pray, Love style trip to do that.

A small adjustment can do wonders for your day, and you never know what you may learn or find.

 

Day 11. Collect Your Personal History

If you want to know where you’re going it life, it helps to know where you come from.

This kind of information is extremely personal, and can have varying degrees of accessibility based on your family history.

The simplest way is to spend a few hours looking up your family on an ancestry website, or taking a blood test to screen for nationality percentages.

That being said, not all of us necessarily know much about our parentage, and finding that information may be difficult.

If direct family history isn’t for you, spend some time looking up the history of your home town or former school.

You can even try looking up historical figures and celebrities you share a birthday with.

This information might sound silly, but knowing the foundation of the places and people that shaped us give us a deeper sense of connection to the past, and the world as a whole.

You may find similarities you never expected and stories you’ll appreciate.

 

Day 12. Give Back Day

The benefits of giving back is one of those “no brainer” activities that people you're familiar with may sound like a broken record about - but the hype is completely true!

Spending a day focused on others not only feels good, but shares some of your inner gifts with people who may really need it. Try volunteering or teaching a valuable skill.

Spend the 12th day of the month doing something that benefits your community.

If your schedule is a little too hectic for a full day volunteering, gather up the gently used clothes you or your family no longer wear, toys, or school supplies and donate them to a local drive.

When kids return to school in the Fall, it’s the perfect time to put items you may not be using to good use elsewhere, and possibly relieving the burden of someone else.

Giving back allows you to brighten someone’s day while also utilizing strengths you may not realize you have, and the icing on the cake is finding a portion of your happiness in a simple act of kindness.

If you can carve out even a small amount of time in your schedule at least once or twice a month, you could greatly benefit someone, or a group of people who really needs the help.

 

Day 13. Create Something

You’ve probably said one of these phrases before: “I can’t draw.” “I’m not a good writer.” “I’m not a good cook.”

Make today is the day that you tap into your creative side, even if it may not be a side of yourself with which you spend much time.

You don’t have to be an artist to have fun making something. Believe me, I know!

In choosing to make something, take any pressure off of yourself by first assuring yourself that this creation is for you - no judgements, no competition, and no deadline.

Focus on having fun, and be as abstract or crazy as you like.

Making something with the confidence that no one else has to see or taste it - unless you want them to!

Creativity exercises your mind and can be a powerful tool for de-stressing.

If you choose to, you can even try taking fun classes in your community like a paint and sip night.

Try something that makes you happy, or get back to a hobby you haven’t done in a while.

Recharge your battery with your inner muse, you won’t regret it.

 

scrabble letters quote self improvement tips

 

Day 14. Find a New Favorite Quote (one that inspires you, makes you laugh, or both)

As we near the middle of the month, take an easy day with an activity that will still keep you on the road to self-improvement.

Check out some of our favorite inspirational quotes, and find one that really speaks to you.

Print it out and hang it up, or put it somewhere you will see it often like on your mirror or your refrigerator.

You’ll be amazed at what such a simple “pick me up” can do in moments of high stress or low motivation.

 

Day 15. Conquer a Fear

We’re ringing in the actual halfway point with a day that is a little more challenging.

Conquering a fear doesn’t mean you have to go bungee jumping or hold a snake (unless you really want to).

There are small fears we deal with every day - Making a suggestion during a meeting, trying that food you’ve never thought you’d like, or letting your kids venture out to their first sleepover.

Today’s the day to pick one of these limiting fears and overcome it.

You’ll be amazed how small mental giants can be once you face up to them.

Even if things don’t go ideally - if your suggestion is shot down or Indian food is definitely too spicy for you - knowing that you were stronger for that mental block for even a moment can be an empowering feeling.

And you never know, maybe your business idea will be a huge hit, and maybe that intimidating looking menu item will become your new favorite food.

You’ll never know if you don’t try!

 

Day 16. Compliment Five People

Learning to value and appreciate yourself is an important aspect of improving your outlook on life, but it’s also important to remember that those around you may also need a little confidence boost every now and then.

Today, give five people with whom you come in contact the sincerest compliment you can formulate.

This is something I began to do several years ago as a small way of connecting with strangers (because I am very much the introvert), and I found that I enjoy it very much, especially when I encounter people who seem to be having a less than stellar day.

Your complement doesn’t have to be anything elaborate.

Something as simple as telling the cashier at the grocery store you like her necklace is a small act of kindness that could give her the extra push she needs to get through the day.

If you’re at work, letting a coworker know that you appreciate their help on a recent project, or admire their creativity or resourcefulness is a great way to communicate something positive.

Making someone else’s day may be just what you need to make your pwn.

I can tell you from experience that it just feels good to make the world a little brighter as you go.

money jar self-improvement tips
Day 17. Start a ‘Rainy Day’ Fund

Saving.

It’s something we all know we absolutely should do, but many of us struggle with at one point in life or another.

So if you haven't started saving, today's your day.

Today, find a box or jar and make a small personal deposit of a few dollars. And if you can't manage that, scrounge up some change. Don't be ashamed, I've been there. The point is to just start!

The first step tends to be the hardest, and making even the smallest contribution puts you on the road to building a solid saving plan.

Sit down and think about what options are realistic for you to save consistently, and then commit yourself to stick to it.

Whether that's dumping the spare change from the bottom of your purse into the jar every week, or taking $20 out of each paycheck.

Start today, and think through a reasonable plan for the future.

If you already have a solid savings account, use this opportunity to start saving for a special treat or experience or something you’ve had your eye on.

Challenge yourself to build a financial safety net starting today.

 

Day 18. Have a De-stress Day

Relaxation time is a complicated concept for most of us that work full time (in the workplace, or as a parent).

The idea of finding time to pamper yourself may (ironically) also be a source of stress.

Today, plan thirty minutes to indulge in a de-stressing activity.

Meditate, take a bubble bath, draw, journal, or just take a half hour nap.

We all need a little mental and physical rest from time to time, and adding it into your self- improvement plan is a great way to ensure you get it.

 

Day 19. Stay Away From One Bad Habit for a Whole Day

I promise - I’m not insisting that you quit smoking in one day.

Your bad habit doesn’t have to be anything too severe.

Instead, think of a little thing you do every day that is counterproductive.

This can mean habits like biting your nails, procrastinating on work emails, or putting off getting gas until your car’s ‘help me!’ light comes on.

Overcoming a destructive habit even for one day points you in a better direction for the future.

Plus, if you can do without it once, why stop there?

See if you can pull it off for two or three days.

Baby steps are all it takes to put yourself on track to overcoming habits that hold you back.

woman on mountain self improvement

 

Day 20. Spend Some Time Outdoors

You’ve definitely heard this eternal PSA from therapists and doctors and the PBS Channel...

Get outside, enjoy the sunshine- it’s good for you!

The repeated message may be annoying, but it’s true.

Sunlight and fresh air are good both physically and mentally, as both promote needed physical exercise and help to combat depression.

Today, take some time outdoors.

If you work full time, try having lunch outside or taking a lap around the building on your break.

If you work from home, take some work outside and enjoy the air.

I should note however, that if the weather is terrible today, feel free to swap it out with a different day- but don’t forget it!

 

Day 21. Say ‘No’ Today

It’s time to do the opposite of Day 6 and find the freedom in saying no!

Maybe you’re someone who has a hard time declining doing favors for others, or ends up doing the brunt of the work on a group project.

Today, say no to something that you want to say no to.

Doing this allows you to experience the satisfaction of living a day on your own terms, and giving yourself permission to let go of things that don’t make you happy.

It may be difficult or uncomfortable to say no, but learning to better establish boundaries for things we don't want to do or wish to be a part of is a valuable learning experience and self-development tool.

 

Day 22. Check One Thing Off the ‘Eventually’ List

My eventually list involves the following: plan my dream weekend vacation (so that it becomes a real experience and not just fantasy), fix the faulty seal on my car and have the oil changed, and pay my friend a long overdue visit.

Eventually lists are another trap we spring on ourselves, putting off difficult or inconvenient things until tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

Today, identify your eventually list, and cross one thing off.

That's it. Just one thing.

This might mean putting some time aside for what you know will be a long phone conversation, or standing in line at the DMV, but the thing about eventually lists is that they all – eventually - need to get done.

Experience the success of making your list one item shorter- it might be a bit inconvenient now, but you'll be happier and feel better once you've done it.

 

Day 23. Listen to a New Artist

After the frustration of dealing with your eventually list, the 23rd day of the month is much easier.

Find a new artist online or through whatever app you use to stream music, and give them a listen.

Music is an emotional and personal experience that we can enjoy.

There are songs that draw us back into treasured memories, or bring on a feeling of joy and confidence.

Today, try to find a new favorite song.

Branch out into artists you’ve been meaning to listen to, or an album your friends have recommended.

You can even make it a point to find a new personal anthem.

Today goes back to the idea of broadening your horizons; something absolutely critical to becoming your best self.

You may not like everything you find, but you may also discover a new song you’ll be singing in the car for a week.

So go take a look, or more specifically, a listen.

 

woman yoga pushup self-improvement

 

Day 24. Try Out a Wellness Trend

No one is too cool for wellness.

That’s something I have to remind myself on a regular basis.

Sometimes the ‘everybody’s doing it’ mentality actually draws us away from something that may be beneficial.

Today, try out a wellness trend that’s been on your radar, but you haven’t felt like trying yet.

There are simple trends, like using lavender essential oil to relax, or switching out your morning coffee for a green tea.

If you have an opening in your schedule today, try stopping in for a yoga class or seeing what a kale smoothie is like.

Wellness trends catch on because they work for or offer relief to a large number of people.

Get out of your own way.

Worst case scenario is that you confirm that a trend is not for you, but then again, you may find a perfect match.

 

Day 25. Unplug for a Day

Not having access to electronics may be a real source of anxiety for some these days.

You just may be one of the people for whom it is true.

What if you miss that important new alert, or significant post from a friend?

The “what ifs” can drive you crazy, and leave you obsessively monitoring your phones and computers.

Today is a day to unplug, and venture into the waters of being fully present with yourself.

If work or family commitments keep you from fully leaving your phone behind, make a deal with yourself to stay off of all forms of social media and unnecessary internet/ tv use for the day.

It may sound cliché, but try reading a book or spending time reflecting and brainstorming on your future goals and plans.

You may find that you don’t need to stay digitally connected as much as you thought, and this could be a great way to get a start on that ever- growing reading list collecting dust on your shelf.

 

Day 26. Practice Your Communication

Unless you’re a motivational speaker or professional therapist, chances are you could use a little work on communication.

Expressing our feelings and needs is something we all struggle with from time to time.

This can be especially true in new relationships, navigating complications with coworkers, and maintaining a strong bond with family.

Make a list today of five things you’d like to communicate better - a feeling you haven’t been able to relay to your loved ones, or a frustration at work you haven’t figured out how to address.

By writing down these issues and giving thoughtful contemplation to them, you can begin to formulate the best plan to solve or overcome them.

You can also try listing five issues you think you have with communication (perhaps reacting with an uncontrolled temper, being too soft spoken, or exaggerating when talking to friends).

By identifying your weak spots, you make room for change and set an internal alarm to call yourself out when making these communication mistakes in the future.

Changing these sorts of habits may take a little effort and a little time, but by starting today, you're putting a best foot forward.

 

Day 27. Attend a Local Event

It’s time to pick up one of those flyers you ignore on your way out of the grocery store or Starbucks and commit to sampling what your community has to offer.

Attend a local concert, a craft fair, or symposium.

Even if you aren’t typically the type to venture out to public events, giving it a try can bring you closer to your community and open doors with your neighbors.

Take a look a few days ahead and find something that might be interesting.

This is also a great opportunity to invite an old friend for an evening out, or plan a date night with your significant other.

 

Day 28. Get Rid of Ten Useless Things

Even though I've gotten much better at purging things in recent years, I probably still have half a closet full of clothes I haven’t worn in the last three of those years.

Our belongings are sometimes hard to part with, and a lot of us would rather accumulate clutter than go through the process of letting some things go.

Here's a tip...

Let it go!

Chances are you don’t need fifteen oversized sweatshirts, or your old work out VHS tapes or dvd's from a gazillion years ago.

Even if you're the most stubborn of pack rats, you can find ten items that have outstayed their welcome in your life.

This is also a great opportunity to ditch mementos of an old (but toxic) relationship or periods of your life that weren't so great and are best left in the past.

Round ten items up, and toss them (or recycle, if that’s possible).

 

Day 29. Write Yourself an Apology

Okay, this is not about beating yourself up or making yourself feel guilty for mistakes or bad habits - quite the opposite.

Today, write yourself a letter apologizing for some of the negative things you tell yourself that limit you from reaching your full potential.

Read it to yourself aloud, and concentrate on not only acknowledging these negative thoughts, but forgiving them and letting them go.

This will allow you to arrive at the end of the month with a clean mental slate, and on the foundation of a better relationship with yourself.

goals calendar self-improvement tips
Day 30. Make a Goal for Next Month

Before you get stressed...Don’t worry! Setting a goal for the first day of next month does not mean you have to keep pushing and pushing indefinitely.

Take this last day of this month to congratulate yourself for all of your hard work, and allow yourself to genuinely feel the success of making it through.

But don’t limit yourself to feeling like this month was your only month of progress.

Build on the foundation you've created during this time by setting a goal for the first of next month.

Set your own personal goal, or repeat one of this month's goals that really resonated with you.

The end of this self-improvement month doesn’t mean the end of self-improvement.

It means you’ve set a solid foundation for your future and taken tangible steps toward becoming the best version of you. Be proud of that!

Choose this self-improvement month to jump-start your life, get out of your slump or simply make things seem new and fresh by pushing boundaries and expanding your horizons in a healthy way.

If you haven’t been able to complete all thirty days, don’t be disheartened.

Every step is still a step and a move in the right direction toward meeting your personal growth goals.

Depending on your schedule, it may not be possible to complete all thirty days' activities in order- that’s okay too!

Rework the days to fit your life.

Making the commitment to thirty days of self-improvement is an important step in and of itself, even if the 25th day isn’t the best day to be away from your phone.

Self-improvement is about being the best you that YOU envision!

Remember that, and you’ll find all the success you’re looking for.

You made it through the 30-day Self-Improvement Challenge!

Yay you!

Love and Peace!

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