7 Easy Ways to Start Working
on Your Self-Improvement

See also: Positive Thinking

Growing as a kid is easy, but as adults, a lot of us struggle to become who we want to be. You might feel like you've missed the mark on so many opportunities that it's too late to change. Maybe you feel trapped because you've chosen a certain career path or relationship that you think you have to keep?

But few things in life are as permanent as we often think. No matter how old you are, what you've done or what you think you've failed to do, there is always opportunity to change and grow.

Self-improvement doesn't have any prerequisites. You don't need to be anyone other than yourself to start improving. Doesn't that take a lot of pressure off your shoulders? Who you are, right here and now, is good enough, and you have everything you need to start changing your life today. Does this sound too good to be true? It's not, and these seven strategies will help you discover just how possible it really is to begin your self-improvement journey.

Accept What's Done is Done but Not Forgotten

You can't change the past, but you can learn from it. Guilt is painful when we don't know what to do with it. We often think that it's a punishment, something we're condemned to carry around the rest of our lives so we never forget something we didn't do or shouldn't have done. But guilt actually serves a purpose. It's there to help us grow, to push past who we've been and move even closer to who we're meant to be.

Let go of your guilt today by writing down what it's taught you. If you hurt someone, what did you discover from that pain? If you failed to do something, why does it matter, and how will you act differently in the future? Let go of the past, but don't forget the lessons it teaches you. They're there for a reason.

Read More

Reading is not something you're forced to do in school. It's the easiest way to expand your mind, encounter new perspectives and reconnect with your imagination. You aren't forced to read self-help books, either. Pick on anything that interests you. From mythology to cooking, there's a book out there for everyone. You can even check out the Open Library to read copies of thousands of books from around the world.

If it's been a while since you read, don't pressure yourself to complete everything right away. It's not only okay but we encourage you to browse and sample various types of literature until you discover something that truly speaks to you. Even if you only read one Wikipedia article a day, you learn something new and grow as a person.

Move Your Body

How many hours a day do you spend hunched over a keyboard or scrolling on a phone? The modern lifestyle may be far more connected, but it's also a lot less active than our parents' or grandparents' time. We need to move to feel alive. It's what our bodies were built for. So, every hour, make sure you stand up, stretch and get some daily aerobic exercise into your routine. Moving can also help you process trauma, work through difficult emotions and alleviate stress. Whether it's through yoga, dance, running or even walking in place, exercise is important and moving your body only has benefits.

Start Learning Something New

Sign up for a free online course at Google, or look up online courses for free in subjects you're interested in. Download Duolingo and pick up a new language on-the-go. There is so much in the world to discover, but we often forget this as we age and get set in our ways. When you open your mind to learning again, you'll be amazed at how much your brain can do when it's exposed to new ideas.

If you discover a new passion, you may even decide to pursue a degree. College is a challenge, but it's also a tremendous personal achievement. If it's finances standing in your way of furthering your education, you may want to look into federal aid and personal loans. There are also scholarships and grants to help learners achieve their goals.

Create an Inspiration Board

Go on Pinterest and start creating a board dedicated for inspiration. Fill it with images and quotes that spark something inside of you. Whether it's pictures of the dog you want to own or a breathtaking landscape you want to one day see, inspiration boards keep your mind set on the future. Self-improvement is not a race. It's all about learning to stay optimistic and work toward what you want, even if you don't know how to achieve it yet.

Say No to Processed Foods

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. McDonald's isn't in the business of health, so don't fill up on fast-food or pre-packaged meals and expect to look or feel your best. You don't have to take on a whole new diet, but if you're interested at all in vegetarianism or veganism, why not research them today?

Cutting out processed foods is more important than how many calories or fat you consume. You'll find that the more natural you eat, the healthier your diet becomes as a result. Processed foods are loaded with refined sugars, preservatives and chemicals that can negatively affect your mood, skin, sleep and more. While you may not have given it much thought before, now is a good time to start thinking about how you choose to nourish your body.

Write an Intention to Yourself

Right now, on a post-It, in a journal or wherever you can, write an intention. Place it somewhere you'll always see it, and you'll constantly have a reminder that today you made a choice to change. You decided to put forth the energy, effort and courage it takes to admit you want more out of life and yourself. That's great. Intentions don't have to be long. Short and sweet can sometimes even be more powerful.

You might write that will get a new job in one year, or today you choose to love yourself more. Every time you read your intention you will feel inspired to keep going. And don't stop at on. You may decide to get a notebook that you fill with intentions. You'll be amazed at how much you're motivated to grow just by putting a desire into tangible form.

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Learn how to set yourself effective personal goals and find the motivation you need to achieve them. This is the essence of personal development, a set of skills designed to help you reach your full potential, at work, in study and in your personal life.

The second edition of or bestselling eBook is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their skills and learning potential, and it is full of easy-to-follow, practical information.

About the Author

Drew is a financial enthusiast, seasoned blogger, music and sports fanatic. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and daughter fishing and boating. He is dedicated to his 20+ year career in the banking, mortgage, and personal finance industry.