There is an internal reward or satisfying feeling we get whenever we are making progress in life. A big part of making progress is by being willing to challenge ourselves to improve in all areas of our lives.
Improving ourselves may involve:
- Developing new skills and abilities.
- Acquiring new knowledge.
- Learning new behaviours and attitudes.
- Forming new empowering habits.
- Letting go of things that are no longer serving us.
Self-improvement leads to growth, which leads to progress. Whenever we are making progress and making improvements to our lives, it opens the door up to new opportunities and possibilities that we may not even been aware of previously.
One of the most valuable things I have done in recent years to improve myself is write more consistently. Having had failed in the past to become a more consistent blogger or writer, I knew it was a habit I wanted to develop. And the only way I could do that was to sit down and write.
That did not come easily at all. There were many times when I wanted to quit because it was easier to do that. However, I knew why I wanted to develop my writing skills, which was to create new and valuable content more consistently and make a difference in people’s lives.
Having formed the discipline of writing every week, it has helped me create more content over the past three years than I had done in the previous seven years. Not only that, I feel my content is inspiring others to follow what they are attracted to and live their greatness.
Being intentional about improving ourselves will bring us great benefits, but the key is knowing what we can do to make improvements. Here are 10 valuable things to consider doing which will lead to us improving our skills, abilities, knowledge and behaviours.
- Spend at least 10 minutes every day being quiet. Improvement starts with self awareness. When we stop and detach ourselves from the busyness of life, it allows us to recalibrate and reconnect to what is truly our heart’s desire. When we’re quiet, we’re more likely to receive insights and inklings that will guide us to what we want a lot easier and faster.
- Declutter your life. Distraction, noise, clutter or messes use up so much mental, emotional and physical energy. If our energy levels are drained focusing on things that are not important, it leaves us little energy to give to the things that matter to us. Simplifying our lives will bring us enormous benefits as we will create the space to make improvements in what we are doing.
- Spend one weekend every quarter completely unplugged from everything. From the time we wake up each day, we are sucked into a steady diet of technology, deadlines and our day-to-day priorities. Getting away, even for a short period of time from our normal environment, will rejuvenate, refresh and help us refocus on where we want to go in life.
- Read every day. While knowledge may not necessarily be power, those who are better informed and knowledgeable tend to do better than those who are not willing to learn. As the saying goes, “Leaders are readers,” hence the more knowledge we acquire, the better decisions we can make that will help us achieve the outcomes we want.
- Develop overall health and wellness. Any improvements we make cannot be focused on one area or aspect of ourselves only. We should give attention to our overall well-being, which means we have to give focus to the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspect of ourselves. This may involve developing a regular meditation practice or doing things that involve looking at every aspect of ourselves.
- Grow your confidence. What we’re willing or not willing to do in life is directly related to our self-confidence. We develop confidence whenever we successfully survive risks we take in life. In order in develop confidence, we must we willing to take risks, which means we must have the competence to take those risks. This cycle of confidence, risks and competence is what will lead to drastic improvements in our results.
- Clarify your priorities in life. Our desire to improve has to lead to outcomes. One way we know what outcomes we want is to be clear on what our priorities are. A simple way to clarify our priorities is to create a plan for our lives. This plan should tell us exactly where we want to go and what we must do to get there. That will determine what areas to focus on to improve.
- Reconnect with someone who inspired and encouraged you in the past. We’ve all had people who have made a positive difference in our lives but we may have lost touch with them. Bringing back people who’ve supported us in the past can lead to the formation of new relationships, which can help us in the present moment and in the future.
- Speak to strangers more often. Most people are programmed to avoid strangers, sometimes for valid reasons especially if it has to do with personal safety. However, if we consider it from a different perspective, strangers can often provide us with valuable insights and ideas that can lead to an outcome a lot faster. Strangers can also teach us things that we may not currently know, which can lead to major improvements in our lives.
- Focus more on outcomes and less on processes. The late Stephen Covey taught the idea of “start with the end in mind” in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. When we are focused on our outcomes, the path we should take becomes much clearer and obvious. When we start with the processes or steps without being clear on exactly where we want to go, it can often slow us down, lead to confusion and frustration, and extend the time it takes to eventually get to our outcomes.
Focusing on self-improvement is one of the most valuable things we can ever undertake. As we continue to improve ourselves, our experience of life improves which means we are happier, healthier and have a better quality life. If we are not intentional about improving ourselves, we won’t live life at the level we really want and more than likely settle for a life that is not what we want.
Question: What is another thing we can to do improve ourselves this year?
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