Professional and personal growth starts with investing in yourself.
The mistake that people make is thinking that more money or a new car will help them feel more fulfilled.
But the truth is that it won’t.
You have the potential to be great and do great things.
When you invest in yourself, it helps you realize what you can do — you might even be surprised at your capabilities.
This helps improve the quality of your life, making it more enjoyable and more fulfilling.
Below are 10 things that you can start doing to improve your life and invest in yourself today.
1. Never Stop Learning
Just because you’ve got your diploma doesn’t mean that you don’t have to break out your notebook and pen to learn every once in a while.
There is always something new to learn to expand your knowledge and become a better version of yourself.
Thanks to the internet, you can learn and figure out just about anything nowadays; from repairing your CPU to understanding the intricacies of banks, you can access a world of information.
Another thing you can do is to look at all your experiences in your personal life as a learning experience.
If your presentation went poorly or you lost some money on an investment, there are usually nuggets of wisdom hidden in these moments.
You now understand what not to do; you’ve still gained valuable knowledge that will help you improve, moving forward.
2. Discover New Skills
The skills you’re born with don’t have to be the only ones you have for the rest of your life.
There are always opportunities for you to grow your skill sets and reach your full potential.
From social media marketing to graphic design, the internet has webinars and online courses for any skill that you want to learn.
Learning a new skill also opens an entirely new set of opportunities for you that you might’ve missed out on before.
More companies and jobs become available to you because you’ve started reaching their minimum requirements.
Don’t be afraid to explore different online courses; you might surprise yourself at how easily you understand marketing or design concepts.
3. Find Your Heroes
Investing in yourself doesn’t mean you can’t focus on others.
Who motivates you to perform better?
Who do you look up to and want to be more like?
Finding the people that make you want to work harder on improving yourself and your craft are essential to your growth.
That’s why people seek out their mentors and role models.
Your hero could be your father, your kindergarten teacher, your coworker, the security personnel that’s dedicated to their job or the driven owner of your favorite restaurant — anyone that inspires you.
Your hero might be a figure abroad; you can still watch their interviews or read their biographies.
What’s important is that you learn from them.
The wisdom that you can get from another person can change your perspective on a lot of things, even about yourself.
4. Set Personal Goals
What does success look like to you?
You won’t be able to find success if you don’t define it for yourself first.
Whether that may be a swanky mansion or retiring early to travel the world, setting a personal goal gives your daily work direction and meaning. Now you have something to aim for.
While it’s important to dream big, remember to keep it realistic.
If your goal is too unattainable, you may find yourself frustrated with yourself or even burnt out.
A helpful way to set goals is by using the S.M.A.R.T. method. It means: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.
When your goals meet all five of the criteria, it can excite you and give you the push that you need to keep going.
5. Understand Your Money
No one wants to live in debt. That’s why understanding your money can be a liberating experience.
It allows you to be in control of your money and not the other way around, and also helps you make wiser financial decisions.
Financial literacy also helps you understand that not all kinds of income rely solely on your time and effort.
Some, like passive income, help you to literally earn while you sleep because your money is placed in an effective investment.
It’s key that you know how to save, budget, set realistic financial goals, and acquire the insurance that fits your lifestyle because they all help your future self live a more comfortable and peaceful life.
6. Use A Journal
Expressing your feelings and your thoughts somewhere without judgment is a healthy practice in investing in yourself.
A study has found that it not only helps you clear your mind but also reduces your stress and manages your anxiety.
Another study has found that it significantly reduces the effects of depression among those diagnosed.
The best part about writing in a journal is that there aren’t any rules on how to do it.
You can write about anything, from dealing with a difficult coworker to your disagreements with your partner.
Writing about your problems gives you clarity on how to approach it and come up with a solution. It doesn’t have to be filled with negativity either.
When you write about your thoughts and feelings when you’re feeling motivated and inspired, you can return to those passages on your days when your pace starts lagging and you’re more distracted.
You have the power to motivate your future self to keep going.
7. Exercise Regularly
Human beings were never designed to sit at a desk, hunched over in front of their laptops for 8 hours every day.
Our roots come from moving around — hunting for food and gathering materials.
While we may encounter fewer berries and usable leaves in our daily office work, there’s still a need for our bodies to stretch and move around.
Regular physical activity is a common recommendation among medical professionals.
That’s because it not only increases your memory and thinking ability but also helps you avoid heart problems, which is something that no one wants to have.
Starting out doesn’t have to be too complicated for yourself either.
You can start small by going for a walk or a jog every other day, or whenever your schedule allows for it.
The important thing is that you invest in your physical wellbeing now, lest the hospital bills start piling up.
8. Eat Healthier
There’s no secret to eating your fruits and vegetables.
Investing in yourself means consuming the right food to keep your body and mind healthy.
A study found that eating healthy food not only benefits your physical health but your mental state as well.
In the study, the researchers found that eating vegetables regularly can actually make you feel happier.
Countless studies have shown that neglecting your nutrition increases your chances of having health complications further into your life.
While there’s nothing wrong with having a chocolate bar or another slice of pizza, it’s important to keep things in moderation.
Eating healthier doesn’t always mean eating “more” of something. Sometimes, it can mean eating less.
Okinawa Island in Japan is home to the most 100-year-olds on the planet. Their secret? Eating only until they’re 80% full.
With the proper diet and meal consumption, you can take care of your well-being and even extend your life.
9. Practice Active Reading
Books are invaluable sources of knowledge. The next time you pick up a book, instead of viewing it as an activity for mere entertainment, try finding new insights from the author.
Active reading means that you’re engaging with the book as if you’re having a conversation with a wise friend; you’re asking questions and forming your own opinions about the text.
Instead of accepting the premises offered by the author, you can try asking why the author is doing that in the first place or what the author is trying to say.
There’s no law stating that you must accept every idea from every book that you’ve ever read.
Sometimes, you can disagree with the authors.
When you do active reading, you practice your critical thinking skills while forming new and original ideas.
10. Take Time To Slow Down
Growth is an ongoing process and it isn’t linear. Productivity comes in many different forms. A seldom recognized one is resting.
If you notice that you’re becoming unfocused in your work or start feeling anxious about your day, that might be your body and mind telling you that something isn’t right.
It’s at those moments, when you’re honest about having found your limits, that you shouldn’t be afraid to take a few moments to breathe.
Time away from work can be just as valuable as time on it.
Think of it like an engine. When it keeps running nonstop, it’s likely to overheat and break down quickly.
But if it periodically shuts off and gets the chance to cool down, it can run effectively for much longer.
That’s what life is. Finding sustainable habits that keep you going and keep you growing until you get where you want and need to go.
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