Self-improvement is a lifelong commitment that requires patience, kindness, and willingness to try new things. It means keeping a flexible mindset and remaining adaptable and optimistic, even when you feel as if the changes you want in your life aren’t happening soon enough.
With that said, even if you want to make a change in your life, it can be hard to decide what to focus on first! It’s also important to know how to set off on the right foot. Read on to learn some super simple ways of improving yourself that you can implement today.
1. Wake Up Early
Waking up early is one of the top recommendations for habits that will improve your life, and there’s a good reason why. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a morning person, waking up early will give you several more hours in the day to yourself.
You can spend those precious hours working out, meditating, writing in your journal, or reading a book. It gives you the time you need to set a positive precedent for the day and give yourself a brighter outlook.
2. Morning Rituals
Even if you’re not a morning person, you can still create a morning ritual whenever you wake up that can help you prepare for the day, get into a positive mindset, and help accomplish your goals.
Your morning ritual can be simple as drinking some hot lemon water to stay hydrated and energized while listening to energizing music. Many successful and well-known people practice consistent morning rituals.
Tim Ferris is all about making his bed as soon as he wakes up in order to start off a pattern of accomplishment. President Barack Obama opted for exercise as early as five in the morning and then chose a mug of green tea instead of water.
3. Practice Gratitude
Robert Edmonds, a leading gratitude researcher, defines gratitude as “a felt sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life.”
By making it a practice of learning how to recognize aspects of our lives that we’re grateful for, this sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation will come much easier throughout our day.
Practicing gratitude provides a host of benefits, such as:
- Being healthier – practicing gratitude is associated with better sleep and less stress
- Reducing negative emotions – anger, bitterness, and resentment are felt less often when you’re focusing on aspects of your life to be grateful for
- Coping better – you’re better able to see the good in life, even when situations occur that you can’t control
- Improved relationships – you’re less likely to take your relationships for granted when you remind yourself just how precious they are
We don’t usually pay attention to our thoughts, but when we do we find that they’re often hectic, crowded, negative, and anxiety-provoking. Practicing meditation for at least 10 to 20 minutes a day helps you recognize these thoughts and then patiently set them aside in a kind manner.
Although this practice is difficult and frustrating at first, consistent meditation is mental hygiene. You’ll find that you’re less negative throughout the day, more self-aware, focusing is easier, and you’re less reactive and more introspective.
5. Stay Active
Regular physical activity not only helps you build muscle tone and control your weight. It also has major benefits for your physical and mental health. It can help prevent or avoid health problems, including:
- Metabolic syndrome
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
Exercising also boosts your energy and quality of sleep. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of the two.
This can be running, walking, swimming, biking, rock climbing, or whatever gets your heart thumping.
6. Avoid Toxicity
Toxicity exists on a spectrum and can be subtle red flags to overt abuse. However, a few classic signs are:
- Controlling behavior
- Never giving, always taking
- Always wanting to be right
- Being dishonest
- Playing the victim
- Not taking responsibility
If you’re regularly around a toxic person, you’ll find that you frequently feel uncomfortable, ashamed, and fatigued around them. You’ll begin second-guessing yourself and your decisions, which can make an impact on your attempts at self-improvement.
Cutting toxic people out of your life is a process. However, it’s important to know that you don’t owe them any explanation and that you can simply create some distance rather than an overt break-up. If you do need to sit down with them and have a conversation, do so in a public place.
7. Read Books
They don’t have to be self-improvement books, either! Reading as little as 20 pages a day is said to improve your empathy, creativity, and combat against dementia.
Unlike watching television, reading isn’t a passive activity. It requires you to focus, use your imagination, and hone your critical thinking in order to fully immerse yourself or grasp new concepts.
Professor Maja Djikic, a psychologist specializing in the field of personality development, states that “reading fictional literature could lead to better procedures for processing information generally, including those of creativity.”
What’s the best book to pick up and read today? The one that fascinates you the most.
Improving Yourself for a Happy Life
Hopefully, these ideas will get you inspired and motivated to begin your journey of self-improvement. No matter what you decide to focus on first, improving yourself is going to take time.
Focus on making small, consistent changes each day that will make lasting impacts on your future.
Want to learn more ways to improve your life? Read our blog for more tips and ideas!