Photo via Pixabay by Silviarita
When a new year rolls around, many of us look for ways we can improve ourselves. For a lot of people, that mostly means getting in shape or finding a healthier lifestyle, but self-improvement can encompass a lot of things, from learning how to be a better parent to finding ways to help others in your community. The great thing about these changes is that they don’t just affect you; they touch the people in your life and can often inspire them to follow the same path.
The first step is to think about how you want to change your life for the better; second, think of ways you can implement those changes that will allow you to stick with them. For instance, it’s great to set a goal to lose weight by exercising every day, but if you don’t get specific with the steps you’ll take to achieve your goal, there’s a greater chance that you’ll get busy or tired and lose your motivation.
Plan ahead, then implement. Here’s how to get started.
Choose something that’s attainable
In many cases, it’s wonderful to dream big. However, if you want to set a goal and achieve it, sometimes it’s best to start small and go with something you know you can attain, then work your way up. There’s no rulebook that says you have to limit yourself to one goal; just work on one at a time. Check out this Men’s Health article, which talks about the best ways to prioritize your goals and tasks.
Once you’ve figured out what it is you want to achieve, garner support from friends and family. If you’re on a mission to live a healthier lifestyle, talk to your family at home about getting everyone on the same page so you aren’t unintentionally sabotaged by your spouse when he or she brings home cookies and soda from the supermarket. Having those who love you in the loop when it comes to your goals will ensure you have cheerleaders to help keep you going when things get hard or when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
For some, helping others is the best way to start improving their lives. This can mean being active in your community by volunteering at a local animal shelter or library, preparing food for a homeless shelter, or baking some sweet treats for a lonely senior or the local fire department.
Sometimes, being able to give back allows us to see that our own lives aren’t as stressful as we once thought. Putting things in perspective—and helping someone else out in the process—can be a wonderful way to push the stress and anxiety away and focus on the good things in your life.
It’s okay to focus on yourself
While self-improvement can often include learning how to be better in the service of others, its core is exactly those words: improving yourself. That can mean any number of things, from setting a goal to go to the gym for daily workouts to cleaning out your closet and starting over with a new wardrobe. It can also mean learning how to handle stress, something that can benefit most people these days. When you’re more relaxed, you’re able to be the best parent, partner, employee, or student you can be. Find ways to cut out the stress in your life, such as heading to the spa for a day of pampering or meeting up with friends once a week for lunch, and do them as often as you can. Read this wonderful guide to find out how to escape stress no matter where you are.
Self-improvement might be a very different path for you than it is for someone else, and that’s okay! Remember that it’s all about what’s right for you, and that achieving goals takes time. Be patient with yourself and keep communication open with your loved ones so you’ll have their support.