Life is mainly about changing and adapting. So is self-improvement. And while change happens regardless whether we want it to or not, consciously aspiring to improve oneself requires a bit of planning and some effort.
The good news is that personal development only works when it’s at your own pace; a pace that fits in with your personality, lifestyle and culture. It may take some time to figure out how to get it right, some trial-and-error will occur, but that’s alright.
The important thing is that you feel comfortable with the techniques you’re applying while moving forward on your path to self-improvement.
The first step you to need to take before setting up a healthy, doable, well-balanced personal development plan is to get to know you.
There are 3 main areas where self-awareness happens; physical, emotional and cognitive. Be completely honest with yourself and pinpoint the areas that need your most attention.
This could be a bit tricky because we’re our worst own enemies. Don’t judge, criticize or sabotage yourself. Be compassionate and forgiving and you’ll be able to find the best way to go about creating a plan for change.
The great thing about personal growth is that it presents you with new exciting possibilities which can open up new doors you didn’t know existed, or thought you weren’t ready for.
Here are 6 steps you can start implementing today on your road to personal empowerment.
By knowing your true self, you’ll be aware of how long it’ll take you to get from point A to point B. You’ll also get to recognize where your strengths lie which you should focus on and work to improve and maximize.
While doing that, you should also start accepting your weaknesses. This can be done on your own or with the help of a therapist, or a life coach.
No matter which method you choose, use it to your advantage and grow from it. Don’t be afraid of appearing vulnerable or weak. Just the opposite.
You’re becoming a stronger, more formidable version of yourself.
2. Set up small goals to achieve one big one
Break down that one big goal into smaller, manageable goals that can be achieved daily or weekly. You may start out thinking you don’t have the time to, say, workout for 30 minutes, but the truth is, you actually do have the time, you’re just used to spending it checking out your social media or watching TV.
A smart tip to try is to start your day right. Studies show that those who wake up early tend to be more productive and more focused throughout the day. That’s probably because they’ve set up a healthy routine which allows them to get a good night’s sleep, then wake up refreshed ready to tackle the new day.
Waking up early gives you time to eat a healthy breakfast, instead of just grabbing anything on your way to work, or, worse yet, skipping breakfast altogether. During those early morning hours, you can plan your day, check your email, get in some exercise or meditation – all of which are great at providing you with more balance, optimism, stamina and concentration.
3. Be all in
Personal development is a holistic process which means you need to engage all 3 aspects of your being; body, mind and spirit. This means eating right and exercising, and meditating even for as little as 5 minutes each day. Also, to keep your mind in tiptop shape, there are many things you can do, like reading, doing number puzzles each day or memory games. All these things keep your mind alert and focused.
4. Embrace the bumps in the road
Learn from past mistakes and triumphs so you can gauge what you should repeat in the future and what you should stay away from. And always remember that each setback can be corrected. The important thing is to keep moving according to your plan. Any movement in the right direction, no matter how small, is progress that should be celebrated.
5. Be accountable & optimistic
Once you start on that path of following your dreams, you have to reinforce it with self-confidence, even when you mess up or when things don’t go the way you planned.
Believing in yourself, being responsible for your choices and having the strength to find the positive in difficult situations, is a great self-esteem booster. It also requires optimism and faith that you’re capable of making things go your way no matter what may come. Along the way, you will start becoming a better version of yourself.
6. Reward yourself
Yes, self-improvement is reward enough. But sometimes having a little recognition can give you the boost you need to go even farther. We’re only human after all. And when you work hard at replacing bad habits with more positive, more fulfilling habits, you definitely deserve a treat.