Are you continuously seeking to live your life better–to constantly grow and be your best self?
For example, do you strive to be…
Healthy. Happy. Fit. Creative. Calm. Compassionate. Confident. Environmentally-conscious.
Loving. Kind. Helpful. Smart. Productive. Innovative. Successful. Financially stable.
I know I do!
And my list is constantly changing!
What would you add to your own list?
What do you want your “best life” to look like?
Let’s face it, life is constantly-changing. In order to grow and reach our full potential, we must change with it. Personal development is a vital part of successfully coping with these life changes and being happy. While the old adage “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” might hold true for some things, your life, success and happiness is not one of them.
One of the best things about bettering ourselves is that we are in the driver’s seat. We control how we grow and change. No matter what anyone else thinks, says or does, no matter what life throws at you, you have complete control of how it impacts your life or even if it does.
Of course, becoming a better version of yourself doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that involves making small, daily choices that combined, lead to your best life. If you want to challenge ourselves to grow in new and exciting ways, try tackling some of these ideas…
A Healthier You
- Drink Up
When you’re hydrated, it’s easier to focus on your tasks. But most people don’t get their daily eight glasses of water. Besides improving your focus, water also increases your energy, curbs fatigue, and flushes toxins from your body.
- Try Yoga
Many know that yoga increases stamina and tones your muscles. But the benefits don’t stop there. Yoga can also increase bone strength, which helps prevent osteoporosis. Plus, yoga has been shown to boost your immune system.
- Get Some Shut Eye
If you’ve been missing out on sleep, it can lead to fatigue, weight gain, and bad moods. All of these can leave you feeling crummy. To prevent these effects, try to lock in eight hours of sleep each night. If you can’t do that right now, focus on setting your bedtime fifteen minutes earlier each night until you’re snoozing for eight hours.
- Develop a Nightly Routine
Can’t sleep? Create a soothing bedtime routine. Some people find it helpful to read something positive before they sleep. Others enjoy listening to music or nature sounds. You may also want to play a guided meditation once you’re in bed to help you relax.
- Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
Like sleeping, eating is important for your body and mood. When you don’t get enough nutrition, you feel sluggish and your brain doesn’t work as quickly as it normally does. Eating a healthy breakfast allows you to prepare both your body and mind for the day ahead.
- Dance Your Troubles Away
Physical activities like dancing can lower your blood sugar, strengthen your muscles, and help you lose weight. But dancing isn’t just beneficial for you physically. It also leaves you feeling happy, boosting your mental health as well.
- Plan Your Menu in Advance
If you’re always on the go, planning your meals is a must for a healthy lifestyle. Use the weekends to plan out a healthy menu for the week so you don’t find yourself raiding the vending machine when you’re hungry.
- Be Mindful as You Eat
It’s easy to overeat if you’re not paying attention to your body’s natural hunger and satiety cues. Instead of multi-tasking your way through lunch, stay focused on the moment. Savor your food and trust your body’s signals.
A Calmer You
- Declutter Your Social Media
Still following that person on social media who never has anything nice to say? Now is the time to cut them loose. When your social feed is cluttered with posts you don’t want to see, you miss out on the important ones you’d rather be viewing.
- Pursue a Creative Activity
Creativity releases stress. The act of making something from nothing is not only fun, but also satisfying. Try a creative activity like: painting, drawing, knitting, or coloring.
- Journal to De-Stress
One creative activity that can lead to a better you is journaling. Writing down your thoughts throughout the day, or first thing in the morning, can improve your mood and leave you feeling better.
- Do Something You Love
When you do something you love, whether it’s exercising, reading, or putting together puzzles, you’ll feel calmer. Try doing something you love every day even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Learn to Say “No”
When you don’t know how to say “no”, you’ll be unhappy most of the time. You’ll find yourself at places you don’t want to be while doing things you don’t want to do. Put yourself first and only say “yes” to opportunities that bring you joy.
- Disconnect from Email in the Evenings
Working late into the night is a common problem. If you’re looking to pull back, the first step is disconnecting from your email at a certain time every night. Use the time you save for something you actually enjoy.
- Do a 5-Minute Meditation
Meditating helps you relax even in the most difficult situations. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a quick break to do some meditation. You’ll come back to the problem feeling refreshed.
- Smile More
Smiling is a natural stress reliever and it doesn’t cost anything. Next time, you’re down in the dumps, look in the mirror and give yourself a big smile.
- Go for a Walk
Walking burns calories and reduces stress. Try taking different routes every few days so you can see new surroundings and get a better view of the world around you.
- Subscribe to Positive Podcasts
When you’re looking to add more positivity to your life, podcasts are a great way to go. Download them to your phone, so you can listen while you exercise, work, or do a hobby.
- Clear the Clutter
If your living space is cluttered, it’s hard to keep your focus or feel relaxed. Reclaim your space by getting rid of things you no longer need or want. You’ll feel better and be more organized.
- Connect with the Universe
When you have a deeper connection with the universe around you, it helps you to feel serene. It lets you deal with stressful situations without getting overwhelmed and worrying about your problems.
- Search for the Good Life
A good way to stay positive is by searching for good things. Seek out inspiring people and stories to help you stay on track. Consider keeping a list of things that made you happy each day.
- Watch the Sun Rise
A sunrise is one of the most beautiful things in the world to witness and watching it can give you a sense of calm and peace. Get up a couple hours earlier than normal and drink a warm beverage while enjoying nature’s how.
- Embrace Self-Reflection
Be a Wealthier You
- Track Your Spending
Keeping track of how much you spend on certain items can lead to a better, less stress-filled life. Cutting back on purchases you may not need is a great way to save money and experience less stress.
- Create an Emergency Fund
Knowing you have money in savings allows you to be calm when an emergency strikes. That means you don’t have to waste energy or time worrying about where you’ll get the money to pay for a new tire or fix that busted pipe.
- Check Your Credit Score
Many people don’t check their credit score very often. You can monitor the health of your credit score and get a free credit report from sites like Credit Karma.
- Pay off a Small Debt
When you’re deep in debt and trying to get out, it can feel like you’re not making any progress. To avoid this trap, focus on paying down small debts first. This will boost your motivation, making you more determined to pay off bigger loans.
- Take a Financial Class
Get savvy about your money with free financial classes from sites like You Need a Budget. Each workshop is designed to last just 20 minutes so you can attend one during a lunch break or while you’re commuting on train.
A More Productive You
- Set Daily Goals
Daily goals are a great way to stay motivated. Try breaking down your life goals into daily ones to make them more manageable and easier to achieve.
- Learn Something New in Your Field
The best way to avoid becoming stuck in a rut when it comes to your job is to constantly learn something new. Pick up magazines or read articles online to help broaden your knowledge of your field.
- Find a Mentor
A mentor is someone who has more experience than you. A wise mentor can guide you through important career decisions and help you see opportunities you may have missed otherwise. Treat your mentor with kindness and respect and you’ll build a solid relationship that can last for years to come.
- Organize Your Workspace
If you have baskets overflowing and papers scattered around, it can be hard to concentrate on work. Take some time and organize the space where you work to allow for fewer distractions.
- Turn Notifications Off
It’s easy to get caught up in alerts popping up on your phone or computer every few minutes. When it’s time to focus on a project, silence your notifications so you’ll be able to get your work done faster.
- Unsubscribe from Some Lists
When your inbox becomes clogged with emails from various websites, it’s hard to see the important messages. Don’t be afraid to unsubscribe from unneccessary lists so you can fill your inbox with the emails that really matter to you.
- Get Feedback
While asking for feedback from a co-worker or boss can seem intimidating, it’s a big part of growth. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask for advice. Your boss or co-worker will feel like you value their opinion and you won’t be creating in a bubble.
- Set Your Most Important Tasks
When you have a lot to do, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Pick three most important tasks each day and focus on accomplishing those first. Then if you have to leave some tasks leftover for tomorrow, you know you’ve made progress on the projects that truly matter.
- Choose a Daily Affirmation
Affirmations allow you to stay inspired throughout the day. When you’re feeling motivated, it helps you focus better and accomplish more. Try a positive mantra like, “I can accomplish anything I set my mind to” or “I can overcome all of the obstacles in my path”.
- Play Ambient Noise
If you have difficulty working in silence, but can’t listen to music, try ambient noise. The gentle sounds of a forest or the noise from a bustling city café can help you stay focused on your tasks.
- Be a Visionary
When you imagine your future, think positively and plan only the best things for yourself. By envisioning the life you want, you’re making a statement about the person you want to become.
- Create Your Action Plan
It’s not enough to simply be a visionary. Once you know what you want your life to look like, create an action plan. This will help you take the next step towards reaching your dream life.
- Commit to Character
Character is what lets people know you’re trustworthy and dependable. Integrity and passion tend to attract others with the same qualities.
- Know Your Purpose
If you don’t have a purpose in life, it’s hard to get through mundane, day-to-day activities. Having a purpose allows you to grow and it keeps you feeling excited about life.
- Eat Lunch Outdoors
A change of scenery is a great way to relax when you’re overwhelmed. Take your lunch outdoors and soak up some sun to give your mind (and body) a break.
- Leave Your Comfort Zone
A More Compassionate You
Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience. Help those less fortunate by volunteering at a soup kitchen, rescue center, or local library. If time is an issue, consider donating canned goods or books to such places.
- Surround Yourself with Support
Make plans with the people you enjoy spending time with the most. Catch up over coffee at your favorite restaurant, call a loved one you haven’t seen just to chat, or schedule a date with your significant other.
- Avoid Gossip
Whether others gossip out of spite or boredom, it’s best to avoid these conversations. Gossip not only hurts people, it also changes your perception of them, even if you didn’t mean it.
- Cuddle with Your Pet
If you have a pet, don’t hesitate to snuggle together. Dogs are especially excited to cuddle, and knowing how much your four-legged friend loves you can definitely put a smile on your face.
- Show Kindness to Animals
Giving back to those who can never repay you is a great way to show love. Consider cleaning cages at an animal shelter, donating litter, or fostering an animal in need.
- Consume Only Positive Content
If you watch or read about negative things, it can darken your own outlook and sour your mood. Try to absorb only positive content and see if there’s an improvement in your perspective.
- Pursue Your Dreams
Going after your dreams can feel difficult sometimes. But even if you have to take tiny steps, don’t give up. The life you want is possible if you keep working for it.
- Distance Yourself from Negative People
Negativity can be a contagious. If you’re determined to be positive, it’s best to avoid Gloomy Gus types who only bring you down. Focus on creating a community of positive people that encourage each other.
- Practice Empathy
- Be Encouraging
Find someone you can encourage today. It could be as simple as greeting your cashier, leaving a big tip for your server, or letting someone know that you believe in their dreams.
- Release Your Anger
Anger can be hard to let go of, especially if you’ve been holding onto it for a while. But keeping that locked inside can make you bitter and resentful, which hurts your emotional (and mental) health.
- Make New Friends
Broadening your circle of friends if fun and it gives you a chance to form healthy connections. If you’re not sure where to start, consider using a website like MeetUp that allows you to find others who share your interests.
- Give Back When You Shop
You don’t have to donate millions to charity organizations to experience the rewards of giving. You can focus on giving in small ways like using charities like Amazon Smile when you shop. Simply select a charity and 0.5% of your spending will be sent their way.
- Say Thanks
If possible, say “thank you” to everyone who waits on or serves you. This could be the nurse at your doctor’s office, the server at your favorite restaurant, or simply the person who holds the door open for you at the grocery store. You never know who needs to feel appreciated today.
- Compliment Others
A kind word can turn someone else’s whole day around. Plus, compliments help to break the ice with strangers and allow you to build meaningful relationships.
- Be Accepting of Differences
Differences are what make human beings interesting. When you accept other people, you widen your own heart and also make those around you more comfortable.
- Share the Knowledge
Take a chance and volunteer to mentor someone else. Sharing knowledge strengthens relationships, and allows you to find people interested in the same things you are.
- Pay It Forward
One of the best ways to become a better you is by paying it forward for someone else. Next time you’re in line at the coffee shop, buy drinks for the person behind you. It’s sure to brighten their day.
- Be Nice to Yourself
Many people are harder on themselves than they are on anyone else. The next time you’re ready to beat yourself up, ask yourself if it’s something you would say to the person you love the most in the world. If not, forgive yourself and move on.
A Smarter You
- Try Something New
When you try new things, it broadens your mind to the world around you. Eat a new food, change your hair color, or take on an unusual project. All of these are great ways to try new things.
- Read Books that Challenge You
Remember when you were young and you couldn’t wait to get to school so you could read the “grown-up” books? The new challenge was exciting, and that doesn’t have to change once you’re an adult. Read in a new genre or in a category that’s difficult for you. Consuming new content that makes you think keeps your mind sharp.
- Learn a New Language
It’s never too late to start learning a second language. There are several benefits to being bilingual, such as better multitasking skills, increased brain functioning, and improved memory.
- Ask More Questions
Asking questions can be scary. But when you’re too afraid or shy to ask important ones, you end up missing out. Deepen your perspective by asking questions about why or how something is done.
- Practice Discernment
Being wise is a key step to becoming a smarter you. You can practice wisdom by listening before speaking, taking time to examine all your options, and staying true to your authentic self.
- Learn a Strategy Game
Those who know how to play strategy games, like chess, deepen their analytical abilities. They’re also able to look at problems in a new light, and have an easier time staying focused during discussions.
- Become a Speed Reader
Speed reading doesn’t just allow you to finish books quickly. It also aids in strengthening your memory and it exposes you to a variety of new ideas from different perspectives.
- Take an Online Class
Even if you already have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, try taking an online class from an Ivy League. Harvard and Yale both offer free online classes. Not only is the challenge exciting, it’s also a great way to expand your knowledge.
- Create a Mission Statement
- Be Diligent
People who are diligent and keep trying even in the face of obstacles are more likely to make their goals come true. Be persistent when you’re chasing your dreams and don’t be afraid to keep going after what you want.
- Watch a TED Talk Every Day
TED talks are popular thanks to their positivity and encouragement. Try watching one every day for a month and see if you notice a change in the way you embrace your goals and dreams.
- Do a Crossword Puzzle
Much like strategy games, doing crossword puzzles improves your brain function. Try completing one once a day for a week. See if it changes the way you look at problems and obstacles.
- Learn to Observe
Developing observational skills can give you a fuller life by letting you see things you wouldn’t normally. It can also help you discern people’s true intentions and understand the world around you.
- Visit a Museum
If you’re not a history or art buff, museums may seem boring. But soaking up the culture in museums is rewarding and opens your eyes to a world you may have never thought about before.
- Take an Improvisation Class
Improvisation, sometimes called improv, is a cool thing to try. Not only is it fun, it introduces you to new people, improves your motor skills, and sharpens your ability to think on your feet.
- Learn to Read Body Language
One of the most useful things you can learn is body language. Knowing how to read that enables you to reach out to people who are uncomfortable, and listen to what others aren’t saying out loud.
- Visit a Different Country
If you want to grow in new ways, try visiting another country. Not only can you soak up culture and meet new people, but you also learn more about yourself.
- Learn One New Word Each Day
Growing your vocabulary is fun and keeps your mind sharp. Look for exciting words that are just as cool to say as they are to use. Then drop them into the conversation when you’re talking with other people.
- Keep a List of Inspiring Quotes
A simple way to become a smarter you is to listen to wisdom that comes from others. Make a list of inspiring quotes and when you’re not sure what your next move is, read through that list for guidance.
A More Confident You
- Face a Fear
Is there a fear you want to conquer? Give it a try. Facing and beating your fears can lead you to a happier life. It also boosts your confidence when you see that you’re stronger than your fears.
- Embrace Independence
Being on your own can be scary, but it can also be helpful. When it’s just you, you’re free to discover who you are and what you truly want in life.
- Schedule Self-Care
Between working and taking care of a family, it’s hard to remember you. Make sure you schedule some self-care each week. Self-care activities like getting a manicure and going to the gym can improve your confidence.
- Stick to Your Morals
It’s important to do what you believe is right both in business and in life. Not compromising your morals will leave you feeling better physically and emotionally.
- Live in the Present
Staying caught in the past can make it hard for you to function in the present. Don’t allow the past to drag you down or prevent you from being the best you possible. If you need help coping, look for a counselor. If money is tight, search for a therapist who bills on a sliding scale.
- Be Yourself
- Practice Positivity
Remaining positive is difficult in tough times. But when you approach a situation positively instead of negatively, you start looking for solutions and are more likely to experience a good outcome.
- Take a Personality Test
Personality tests are fun and can be enlightening. One of the best tests is the Myers Briggs type (take it free). It will give you an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. Your results can also point you toward professions that would be a great fit for you.
- Be Patient
Having patience is a trait anyone can learn. Practice patient by letting others go first in line, waiting your turn to speak during a conversation, and taking a deep breath when you notice you’re getting overwhelmed.
- Don’t Give Up
Along with patience, it’s important not to give up. Just because things aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like doesn’t mean progress isn’t being made. This is true whether you’re in line at the grocery store or pursuing a life-long dream.
- Make a List of Great Things about Yourself
If you have trouble being confident, make a list of things that make you great. Keep it nearby so when you start feeling down, you can remember all the things that are amazing about you.
- Overhaul Your Wardrobe
Cleaning out your closet may seem daunting, but it’s also cathartic. Getting rid of what you don’t use or don’t like opens the path for you to fill your wardrobe with new things that make you feel confident when you wear them.
- Write a List of What Motivates You
Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated when life gets tough. Write a list of what motivates you and review it regularly. It’s easier to get through hard times when you remember what you’re fighting for.
- Be Proud
Take a few minutes each day and remember all of the awesome things you’ve accomplished so far. This exercise can keep you motivated even when you’re facing big challenges.
- Try Karaoke
Even if you’re not into singing, karaoke is a fun way to blow off steam. It allows you to let go and enjoy a moment where you can just be creative and free. Plus, nothing builds your confidence like getting on stage and belting out your favorite tune.
- Act spontaneously
Being spontaneous isn’t just fun, it’s also good for your confidence. When you take a chance and it turns out well, you can’t help but want to do it again.
- Speak from the Heart
Many people are afraid of being honest with their feelings for fear of looking stupid. But when you speak from the heart, you deepen relationships and others are able to get to know you better. Plus, your own confidence is increased when you know others accept you as you are.
- Stand Strong
Stand up for yourself and others when you feel called to do so. Standing strong lets you use your influence for the greater good and it boosts your own self-confidence.
- Keep Growing
Confidence is hard for a lot of people. But those who don’t have it often miss out on a lot by being afraid to take risks. Grow your confidence so you can lead a fuller, happier life.
Start Using Your Free ‘Be Your Best Self’ Life Planner
Personal development helps you grow, achieve your goals and live a long, happy life. It’s a vital part of life. It is the foundation of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health. Personal growth is in your hands. Only you can make it happen.
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