Author of "Your Journey from Fired to Hired"
Career Advice

6 Surprisingly Easy Tips to Self-Improvement

How many things do you need to do today?  If you’re like me, one list doesn’t begin to cover it.  In fact, at this very moment my phone has 10 different lists ranging from groceries to errands to work ideas.

But chances are your lists are missing one critical element…time for you!  I’m not talking about pampering yourself with a massage or even grabbing lunch with a friend.  Clearly those types of activities are important for a well-balanced life, but they don’t necessarily make a positive impact on your success.

Instead, I’m talking about spending…or better put…”investing” time to make yourself better tomorrow than you were today.  And before you go running for the hills thinking I’ve read this stuff before and I just can’t make it happen, understand that first attempts at anything rarely succeed.  In fact, check out these 50 famous and extremely successful people who failed at their first career.

You see, these folks refused to accept the word “failure.”  Instead, they regrouped, learned from the experiences, adjusted their strategies and often charged headlong toward the same walls.  And they eventually won!  So take a deep breath, leave your previous efforts at self-improvement in the past and “invest” the next few minutes to consider if these ideas can work for you:

1.  Get Better Every Day!  I know it can be an overwhelming concept, but I promise it’s really not that difficult.  It’s somewhat akin to eating an elephant.  (I know who really wants to eat an elephant and where do these sayings come from?!?)  Everything, especially tough topics like self-improvement seem less overwhelming in smaller chunks. Admittedly I’m a Lifehack  fan and “42 Practical Ways to Improve Yourself” definitely can make that elephant feel more like a piece of rich chocolate cake!

2. Become a Reader.  Well it’s certainly no surprise that reading makes this list.  After all, it’s a given that reading expands your mind and horizons!  With that said, while I’m a voracious reader I understand that others (like my husband!) simply aren’t.  But remember, there’s no unwritten law that requires you to read 1000 page philosophical banter.  Instead, maybe reading 2-3 short blogs each day fits your style better.  For a start, you might enjoy this list of “101 Self-Improvement Blogs That Help You Thrive.”  And I’m honored to give a special call out to two of my friends who made this powerhouse list.  Be sure to check out Farnoosh Brock @ Prolific Living and Harleena Singh @ Aha!NOW.

3. Listen to Ted.  If you’re interested in opening your mind to new ways of thinking (which hello propel growth!) you’ve simply got to check out TED Talks.  TED is a non-profit organization founded in 1984.  While the concepts were originally Technology, Entertainment & Design ( get it TED!) based on an overwhelming interest in the content these short 18-20 minute segments now cover everything from science to academia.  And they are available in over 100 different languages!

4. Simply Unplug.  While downtime is important, successful people realize that watching the latest reality show on TV does NOTHING to move them closer to their goals.  In fact, a recent study shared in Business Insider reports that “67% of rich people watch one hour or less of TV per day.” You see it’s easy to complain that we are simply too busy to devote time to self-improvement but when really honest, we could all tune into ourselves more and the latest House Hunters episode less.  And for those of you feeling smug because you don't watch television....hello Facebook and general net surfing count here as well!

5. Commit to One Hour.  Make a simple commitment to spend one hour each day on your goals.  I know you’re probably rolling your eyes right now thinking…one hour?!?  I can’t get it all done now.  But before you skip by this one, remember that hour you just gained above from turning off the TV or computer.   What if you did something really wild and reinvested it in yourself and your goals?  And instead of promising yourself you will do this now and forever more, make a commitment to try it for 8 weeks.  If after 2 months you don't notice a difference, then you're free to move on!   If you’re still not sure, do yourself a favor and read this short blog, “The One Hour a Day Fast Track to Goal Achievement.”

6. Just Say No.  Ultimately, we all have the same number of hours and minutes in each day.  And you have the power to decide how you spend them.  Just understand that when you say “yes” to others, you are ultimately saying “no” to time for yourself.  Now understand it may not be the easiest transition you ever make.  In fact, my younger self had great difficulty making my mouth form the word “NO.”  Much as I wanted to say those two little letters, they just wouldn’t come out.  But funny thing, as my confidence and self-esteem increased so too did my ability to protect my time.  Still not sure of the power this word can provide to your life?  Give this article sharing  CEO success secrets a read.

So take out your phone and look at your lists.  If investing in YOU isn’t there, stop right now…take a minute and make it #1 on your list.  Sure it may be your second, third or even fourth attempt at making yourself better each day.  But without the effort, you will forever remain the exact same person.  And I promise you will be surprised at what a difference that visual reminder makes!

I’d love to hear from you:  How do you find time for self-improvement?

Article written by:

Kathi Miller-Miller is a sought after career specialist and author of “Your Journey from Fired to Hired.” Kathi draws on her 25+ years of success (and failures!) to offer her readers advice on topics ranging from dealing with a boss that drives you crazy to managing millennials...all in a light-hearted and easy to read style.

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