When you’re starting to look at ways you can improve yourself, it can be hard to know where to start. There are so many different areas that could use improvement, and so many different techniques to help you achieve the results you want! Luckily, if you’re just getting started with self-improvement, we’ve got some great tips to help you get started on the right foot. Here are some of the best self-improvement tips for beginners!
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Keeping a gratitude journal is one of many proven ways to foster positivity in your life. When you have an attitude of gratitude, you become more aware of what’s going right in your life, and less focused on what’s going wrong. If you find yourself trapped in a spiral of negativity or self-criticism, stop and reflect on three things you’re grateful for instead.
Use your five senses
List five tips to improve your life. For each one, describe how it can help you use your senses better: smell, sight, taste, touch and hearing. For example: Get a massage. Using our sense of touch allows us to relax and recover from stress by giving us a soothing break from our busy schedules. Add a little eucalyptus oil to give yourself some aromatherapy as well!
Keep a gratitude journal
Keeping a journal of all your gratitude is one of the best ways to boost your mood and improve your self-esteem. Studies have shown that expressing gratitude improves overall health, happiness, and even physical health. Just start by writing down five things you’re grateful for each day—it doesn’t matter if it’s about big things or small things—and watch as those good vibes sink in deeper over time. You can thank us later!
Set realistic goals
The first mistake many people make when embarking on a self-improvement plan is setting unrealistic goals. If you’re hoping to shed 50 pounds, become an Olympic athlete or quit smoking in a week, you’re not going to see results. That said, if you do take small steps toward a goal—and don’t let yourself get discouraged—you can still be successful. Start by carving out 30 minutes a day to exercise and another 10 minutes each day to clean up your diet. Before long, those small changes will add up to noticeable results.
Set specific goals
Before you can improve yourself, you need to know what you’re trying to improve. If you set specific goals, then it’s easier to hold yourself accountable and it’s easier to tell if your actions are helping or hurting in those areas. For example, rather than saying I want to get healthier (which is impossible to quantify), try something like I want to run 1 mile every day. If you hit your goal, do something else—that way if anything comes up or gets in your way, a simple setback doesn’t derail your larger goals.
Schedule time each day to accomplish your goals
To ensure you stick to your resolutions, make sure you schedule time each day to accomplish your goals. A study in Social Psychological and Personality Science found that people who schedule their goals are 28 percent more likely to actually reach them than those who don’t. The study also found that by giving yourself an idea of when you will accomplish a goal, it makes it seem much more realistic and attainable. Keep in mind: Don’t spend hours on one task—even if you manage to finish something small, give yourself credit and move on to another activity.
Monitor your success
One of the best ways to see where you’re doing well and what you need to improve on is by monitoring your success. Whether that means setting up weekly check-ins with an accountability partner or tracking your progress with a journal, make sure there’s a plan in place so you can measure your personal goals each week. For example, if you want to be more mindful, try keeping track of how many times per day (or week) you find yourself judging someone. If it’s higher than 10 times per day, look at what may be causing it—and consider working on it! It might be hard at first, but don’t beat yourself up over it; instead focus on actively working towards being more mindful throughout the day.
Make sure your goals are challenging but achievable
It can be easy to get discouraged during self-improvement journeys—especially if you feel like you’re not achieving your goals as quickly as you’d like. Try setting SMART goals, or objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Write down your goal in a positive way (e.g., by using phrasing such as I will or I am going to rather than I won’t) and avoid negative words (i.e., no). Don’t let feelings of failure stop you from pursuing something again; next time, use these tips to set SMART goals that are even more challenging.
Don’t compare yourself to others
It’s easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others. Even if you feel you aren’t good enough in comparison, try not to focus on that. What matters most is setting goals and following through with them, rather than making sure they align with what everyone else is doing. There’s always going to be someone smarter or prettier than you; don’t let their success take away from your own. It can be hard at first, but you can find happiness by remembering how far you have come and how much work it took to get there—not how far your friends are ahead of you. Remember that everyone has struggles and challenges, so don’t be discouraged by what seems like a discrepancy between your life and theirs.
Work hard. Play hard. Rest up. Have fun. Go easy on yourself.
There’s no magic formula to success, so don’t be afraid to try things out as you go along. Self-improvement is a process of trial and error—it often requires getting a little lost before you find your way back again. That said, there are some rules worth following. For example, if you work hard on something important to you (like your health), it’s okay to reward yourself with fun at times. If something isn’t working out like you hoped it would, don’t kick yourself too hard—just pick yourself up and keep going.