When we date back to the 1960s, people had a very different outlook on how life is, even when we try to trace back to ten years ago, mental health was not given as much focus as it is now. Concerns like self-improvement were never really thought about… Fast forward to our fast-paced world which seems to have been placed at a pause when the pandemic came, a lot of talks started to surround overall wellness and self-improvement.
When we really think about it, self-improvement— these two words seem simple enough and we have heard of it repeatedly, but what does self-improvement really entail? Is it mental health? Is it physical well-being?
Self- Improvement differs for each of us. It’s so varied because each of us comes from different backgrounds and has lived different experiences.
Here are a few tips on how to develop a healthy, and long-lasting self-improvement approach:
- Be honest
Be honest in what you want to achieve. Be honest with yourself, what are your weaknesses? What things can you improve on? For instance, if you are a procrastinator, ask yourself how and why do you procrastinate? What are the things that might help you work better? Honesty is not only practiced in our workplace but a lot of us need to be more honest with ourselves. This is the first step in self-improvement.
Start with Setting goals. And when we say goals, these are very different from your New Year’s resolution. These goals should be achievable and should be directed to your self-improvement. So, step 1 of being honest can be a good start to see what goals you may want to achieve. These can be very small like doing a 30-minute exercise or getting a good night’s sleep. Small goals like these can then be part of a bigger goal like improving your energy to be more productive at work. Goals are very important because they direct you on why you want to improve.
- Watch your thoughts
Be mentally present and self-aware. One famous quote actually tells us a lot about how our thoughts could actually shape our life:
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” -Lao Tzu
It tells you that whatever mental state you have put yourselves in plays a big role in your destiny. When you read a lot of the success stories of billionaires, you can bet that most of them have some sort of state of awareness of their thoughts and always have a positive, go-getter mindset on things. No one has ever become rich— financially or spiritually, by having a negative state of mind.
- Be positive
In line with watching your thoughts, you must train your mind to see the positive side of things. This is easier said than done especially for people who are used to reacting negatively to everything. Do not put your emotions first. When you encounter a difficult situation, think of it from a different perspective. This can help you make decisions that are reasonable and not driven by emotions.
- Support your immune system
To be able to develop a healthy self- approach, you also have to be healthy physically. With the number of people getting sick with Covid- 19 and other diseases, a healthy immune system is vital. Supporting your immune system does not mean bombarding yourself with different over-the-counter medications. A Naturopathic Medicine Phoenix specialist teaches that the best ways to support your immune function do not come from pharmaceuticals, but rather simple natural therapies addressing the fundamentals, nutritional status, and lifestyle.
- Acceptance that self- improvement takes time
Improvement does not happen overnight. It can take you months, even years, but small steps to self-improvement help you reach your goals. Change is gradual and takes time and this also is the best way to ensure that your self-improvement can be sustained. Gradual self-improvement does not only make it easier but it is healthier mentally when change is done at a more paced speed.
- Be flexible
Know and accept that things don’t always go as planned. Have a Plan B, Plan C, heck, even a Plan D! Life is unpredictable. There are a lot of curveballs and the most flexible people often come out more successful than others in reaching their goals. If you stick to one plan and don’t adjust, you will have a hard time reaching your goals. Make a concrete plan but know that these plans may not go as you imagine it, and it’s alright, because no matter the obstacles when you are flexible to the situation, you can always find new solutions to new problems.
- Reward yourself
Be kind to yourself. Celebrate little wins. Remember, the road to self-improvement is long and hard, and romanticizing your little wins will encourage you to reach your goals.
Read more on how to achieve your goals but know how to criticize and make sure that what you are researching is evidence-based. Be wary of empty promises like diet fads that claim to work in a week— we all know that weight loss does not happen in a week and that no capsule can make you healthy overnight.
- Surround yourself with better people
Your friends and family play a big role in your self-improvement journey and being surrounded by supportive people can help you reach your goal faster.
Self-improvement should be done healthily and effectively because we owe it to ourselves to become the best versions of ourselves. It is a continuous process and can be challenging but with the right mindset, a healthy physical well- being and supportive family and friends, it is achievable.
What are your “hacks” to becoming the best version of yourself? Share it in the comments below!