Practical Ways to Focus on Self-Improvement in 2018 422

Practical Ways to Focus on Self-Improvement in 2018

This is a guest post by Trevor McDonald.

Is there ever a time when you don’t want to be a better person? Probably not. But a new year offers the perfect time to kick those goals into high gear.

This isn’t to say that you’ve been a bad person, but we all have things we want to improve upon. For example, you may strive to be more patient or empathetic. There are certain goals that everyone can reach for because none of us will ever be perfect.

Knowing that you have room to grow is one of the best characteristics a person can have. If you’ve ever met someone who thinks they do no wrong, you know this to be true.

Self-improvement is an important part of life. It’s also a vital component in keeping relationships strong. Here are some tips:

Tips for Improving Your Health, Mental Clarity and Empathy in 2018

1. Practice yoga.

Best Online Classes to Take from Wellness Experts That Will Skyrocket Your 2018

Yoga is great for the mind, body and soul. It’s a great exercise for anyone at any fitness level. But more than that, a regular yoga practice can also help you manage stress. It’s always helpful to have a healthy outlet for negativity. This way, you’ll be less likely to take frustrations out on others.

Try to practice yoga at least three times a week, and you’ll improve flexibility and reduce stress.

You can practice yoga at home with a fitness DVD or attend class at a studio or gym. You’re practicing yoga to improve yourself, so this should be a lasting commitment. Choose whatever option you think you’ll stick with.

2. Try meditation.

Meditation is the practice of calming and strengthening your mind. It can be a moment of refuge where you can release your stress, anger, and negativity. Most people think of someone who has wronged them as their worst enemy. In fact, you are often your own worst enemy.

Have you ever thought you’re not good enough in some way? We all have a negative soundtrack that plays in our minds.

Meditation can help you quiet those thoughts and change your inner narrative.

To start, you can keep it simple. Sit in a quiet room facing a blank wall. Dim the lights. You don’t want any distractions. Next, take a deep breath in and slowly release. Focus on the exhale. Don’t try to control it. Notice it. As you breathe deeply and heavily, your body will naturally begin to relax.

Notice the way your body feels. Can you feel the weight of your arm as it rests on your thigh? Are your shoulders tense or relaxed? Make an effort to relax every muscle in your body.

Now that you’re relaxed and in position, continue your deep breathing. Notice thoughts as they enter your mind. Here’s the hard part: Don’t follow them. Let them leave as fast as they came. Your goal is to quiet your thoughts, but that may not be possible at first. That’s ok.

Practice meditation every morning, if possible. Over time, you’ll find that you’re less stressed and more in control.

3. Learn something new each day.

This old standby goal can really help you become a more well-rounded person. Whether you’re learning a new skill or how to cope with adversity, you’re on the road to self-improvement.

Think about the areas where you need most improvement. If you’re worried that you don’t have enough skills, maybe take up photography or web design. If you have a fear of failure, find a book or podcast that works on that.

If you’re in a slump and don’t know what to learn, here are some podcasts to get you started:

The Daily Boost (free on Mondays) – 9 minutes of tips and strategies to keep you motivated each day.

Meditation Oasis – Guided meditations, meditation instruction and music for meditation

Happier with Gretchen Rubin – Episodes focused on stress relief and joy

Good Life Project – A movement inspiring everyone to learn, grow and live a better life

The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes – One of the top business and self-development podcasts with guests like Alanis Morissette, Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield.

4. Create something great.

You don’t have to be creative to create. Every one of us has the ability to do great things. Think about your special talents.

What do you have to offer the world? Create a project around that and plan to complete it by the end of the year.

Not only will you feel accomplished, but you’ll also have a greater sense of purpose and worth. If you crochet, maybe you can find an opportunity to volunteer your services to people in need. Say, crocheting blankets for orphans?

Your contribution doesn’t have to be altruistic either. If you’re a musician, this could be the year you start a band. If programming is your thing, maybe you build a helpful app or website.

Whatever you do, find a way to share your gift with the world.

Even when you’re happy with who you are, it’s healthy to strive to become a better person. Continue working on self-improvement and you’ll only improve with age!

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest
Directly into your inbox every Monday.
Previous ArticleNext Article

The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success 4

The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success

In today’s world, most jobs are demanding both physically and mentally. Competition is not always based on the best resume, education, or experience. Having the upper hand in your profession is most likely linked to your ability to think quickly, act appropriately, and carry out difficult duties with the utmost quality.

You need to be able to bring something new, different, and maybe even better to the table. So, how can you get the edge? How can you maximize your professional potential and output?

Believe it or not, the answer to that question might be found outside the workplace. It may be what you do when you are not at work that makes the difference in your work. What is it? EXERCISE, that’s what!

Replace Some Screen Time or Other Time Wasters.

Everyone needs to take a break from the workday. Television, gaming, social media, and video-viewing are what we often go to for this.

Try replacing some of your downtime with exercise, or trying exercising while you are in front of the screen. Exercising instead of sitting will not only help relieve some stress from your day but also help release some built up tension so you can actually rest better at night, helping you be better prepared for the next work day.

Exercising a few hours before bedtime elevates your body temperature. When your body temperature returns to normal, your brain and body are ready to sleep.

Exercise Sharpens Your Thinking.

It is a fact that as we age, our cognitive abilities decline.

While researchers may not have found the cure for dementia-related disorders, they do know that exercise helps delay onset or slow down its progression. Exercising during the years of 25 – 45 can boost the brain chemicals that prevent shrinking of the brain. It has also been shown to create new brain cells and increase proteins found in the brain that help keep thinking skills sharp.

Exercise Reduces Sick Time.

Exercise improves general health functioning and helps build your immunity to illnesses.

It has also been shown to increase our ability to think and work under stress, rather than giving in to the stress and being more susceptible to illness.

This keeps you reporting to work on a regular basis, and taking less sick days. The more you are at work, the more productive you are, and the more your employer values you.

Working Out Increases Your Stamina.

Long work days can leave you drained and listless. If you know you are facing long meetings, strenuous work sessions, or overtime for increased production demands, you can prepare to meet these challenges head-on.

As you exercise, over time your stamina will be able to withstand longer and more strenuous workouts. It also translates into helping you stay sharp during those long, arduous workdays.

Yes, How You Look Does Count.

best ways to become a millionaire

While it may never be mentioned, your appearance is noticed by employers, co-workers, interviewers, etc. You do not necessarily need to look like a buff bodybuilder, but having a svelte, strong appearance is a benefit.

Other’s first perception of you is of great importance. Think about interviewing prospective employees. Honestly consider the impact of their first impression on their employment outlook. Healthy looking is definitely a check in the “yes” column.

Energy levels are also higher when you are exercising regularly, and your energy is part of how you are perceived overall. When you start to feel better about yourself, you begin to present a more positive image to your coworkers.

It Boosts Your Confidence.

When you have conquered a goal in your exercise plan, like being able to run an entire mile instead of having to stop and walk some, you know you have accomplished something. You are on your way to bigger and better goals.

There may have been times along the way that you felt like that milestone would never come, but here it is. You feel proud and motivated to keep working toward your next goal. You see the fruits of your labor. You are energized and begin to feel better about yourself overall.

You begin to feel a sense of accomplishment that does not leave when you exit the gym doors. You carry that as a boost in your confidence as you go into work.

Bring the Habits of Exercise to Work.

What else do you learn through exercise? Goal setting, resilience, perseverance, learning new things, taking chances, organizing and managing your time, just to name a few. These are great skills to boost your performance at work, too.

You begin to realize that you can take what you have learned through setting up and sticking with an exercise plan to the workplace. You can use all these skills in your career. As you do, you will become more confident and thus, more effective in your daily tasks.

All of these are learned by starting, committing to, and following through with a fitness plan, and can become more of a life plan.

If you are looking for a job, being physically fit might not get you the job, but it will definitely help your chances. Your first impression is incredibly important, so do not brush off exercise and fitness lightly.

Exercise has so many benefits like sharpening thinking, building stamina, increasing energy, reducing negative effects of stress, building immunity, and boosting self-confidence. This can really help you in your professional success.

The benefits extend beyond your exercise time.

They stay with you day in and day out. If you are not currently exercising regularly, just start today, doing something small. Some sit-ups in front of the television, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cleaning up your diet, or increasing your walking pace as you move around the office are good ways to get started. You will feel the benefits, even with these small steps.