10 Ways to Improve Yourself [Things You Can Do Now]
The first step to lasting change begins with mindset. Do you sometimes feel stuck where you are and feel like there is nothing you can do to change your circumstances? If you do, that’s okay, everyone has felt like that at one time or another. Change is difficult because we are on 95% autopilot.
How to Better Yourself?
Your brain has become wired to think and react a certain way based on your background. Things what you have learned from your family over the years, your education, mass media messages you have absorbed, your political beliefs, your environment and where you grew up and currently live, your friends, and many more factors.
Even if it may seem daunting to change after hearing that news, advancements in brain scanning technologies, like functional MRI, or fMRI, gives us hope that we can.
In fact, make lasting changes for the better because your brain’s neurons can make both more connections and stronger connections in places where the links are currently weak. (Source)
While we always hear bad news on television (bad news sells, of course!), there are people around living great lives and achieving their goals and dreams. You probably know some of the people that are doing well, and you may be wondering their secrets. The truth is there are no secrets. But more than likely, they are just like you with one big exception, they make different choices than you on a daily basis.
Think about where you are today, right this second you are the sum total of your thoughts, actions, decisions, and beliefs up until this point. For better or worse, you are responsible for all of it.
You may be thinking:
- things like you had a rough childhood,
- your family did not have any money,
- you didn’t get to go to college or finish high school,
- you haven’t had any lucky breaks, and so on.
And while all of these things may be true, they will not stop you from succeeding unless you allow it to. There are those that have a head start in life, and their path may be more comfortable, you can still catch up with them and surpass them.
Do You Have a Fixed or Growth Mindset?
Measuring yourself to others is not the point. Ultimately, you compete with yourself. You want to get a little bit better, day by day, inch by inch, step by step. You can continuously create a slightly better version of yourself every day.
Are you ready to develop a mindset that is conducive to growth and continuous improvement? If so, you can improve.
A “growth” mindset, as opposed to a “fixed” mindset, means that you are open to learning new knowledge and skills that take you to the next level or create additional opportunities in your life.
Carol Dweck, a renown Educator and researcher, popularized these terms in her book, and it originated in the Education community. The concept has spread from students to entrepreneurs and many others that want to improve to the next level. (Source)
Open your mind up to growth mindset and be receptive to the possibilities. The bad news is changing is not easy; the good news is that you can do it if you are ready to put in some work.
10 Ways to Improve Yourself
Stop Worrying About Things You Can’t Control.
Let’s face it; we have enough to worry about without worrying about things outside of our control. People worry about the economy, the President, the stock market, and the list goes on forever.
The best practice is having a laser-like focus on the things you can do. We let life get in the way of fulfilling our dreams. If you can be flexible, you can still chase your dreams!
You are not stuck doing the same things that you are now. There is probably someone, or many others, that are successfully doing what you want to do. Because of this, you know it is possible. Study what they are doing and model their success.
You do not have to “reinvent the wheel.” Follow them on social media, read their books or blog, reach out to them if you can and ask for advice.
Limit TV time
TV is a ridiculous time sucker. Instead, pick up a book! There are millions of books on every imaginable topic. Start by aiming for 30 minutes a day.
Famous personal development guru Les Brown says that reading 30 minutes a day changed his life. Reading opens you up to different perspectives and is a breeding ground for new ideas. There is a big difference when you are reading for yourself. The information is very specific, and you can learn from others’ mistakes. It is the next best thing to having a mentor. (Source)
Do you think you don’t have time to read? Use audio-books instead. This is a secret weapon yielding a wealth of knowledge. Like Brian Tracy says, “turn your car into a university on wheels.” Serial entrepreneur James Altucher says to read 500 books so that you can develop your knowledge base. (Source)
Many people that have turned their life around started by immersing themselves in books that feed their brain with the knowledge from others that have succeeded in the way they want to succeed.
Reading books can help you see things in new ways that you did not previously see. Look on Amazon; there are books on every topic you want to learn.
Get a Mentor!
The third tip brings us to something I mentioned in the second tip. Seek out someone that has the knowledge you need or the success you desire. Even if you must pay, it is a worthwhile investment. (Source)
People are generally willing to help or at least point you in the right direction. If they can’t help or don’t have the time, they will often suggest someone else more accessible.
A mentor can be someone local or someone far away. You don’t have to physically meet with them if it is not convenient. Although it may be ideal to meet, with the opportunities available with communication, with real-time video capability, it can be like you are right there.
Plan Your Day and Tackle the Most Difficult Items Early in the Day
It seems productivity is generally better in the morning for most people.
Everyone is different, I am a bit of a night owl myself, but I have found that doing things early in the morning gives you a feeling of success and success breeds more success. Write out your to-do list the night before or early in the morning before starting your day.
If things get off course (they will sometimes), then rework your list to make sure you get the important items completed.
Remember the 80/20 Rule and focus on high impact items. Being busy does not mean you are productive. Don’t “major in minors” as Denis Waitley would say, concentrate on things that hit the bottom line. (Source)
Do not obsessively check email or think you have to pick up every phone call. Some if the most successful check email only once or twice a day.
Assign values to the items on the task list to differentiate between essential items and things that could wait.
Make sure you are doing the things that align with the value of your time. Delegate, outsource or eliminate tasks according to your strengths, skills, and how much you like to do the job.
Write down Your Goals
I can’t stress enough. Writing down your goals improves your chance of accomplishing them. Put it in a spot you can see it often, seeing it over and over will plant the seed in your brain.
Make goal achievement something that is not optional. Place a deadline on your goals so that you can’t keep putting off the required actions. You do not need to know all the steps to achieve the goal at first. You can figure out most of it along the way. (Source)
Not knowing keeps so many from even embarking on worthy goals. No one knows everything about how to do something in the beginning. It does not have to stop you.
Don’t be afraid to fail; the knowledge will bring you closer to your goal or succeeding the next time.
The more time that goes by, the more difficult it is to get back on track. Even if you are tired or busy, take some time every day to do something. You will be glad you did.
That feeling of accomplishment will help you build momentum. If you are feeling overwhelmed, think about what is the “one thing” you can do right now to get you closer to the goal.
Get Good at Networking
There is a lot to be said for the adage “it is who you know.” Many of the jobs I have had is directly attributed to keeping in contact with the people I have worked with before and with friends.
You will find that the bigger your network, the more opportunities you will see.
Join or update your LinkedIn social media account so that you can connect with like-minded individuals in your industry or your desired industry.
Follow those that admire on Twitter. Twitter is another source of finding those that are doing what you want to do. Use keyword searches to find influencers.
Eliminate the Negative Self-Talk
We all know someone that is always saying things like “I never get lucky,” or “it will probably rain,” or generally just expecting bad outcomes. These words become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Be careful; your mind is listening! Trade the negative words and thoughts for positive ones and you will be surprised at the results. Your subconscious will require a lot of training to change.
Take Time out to Re-energize
Connect to your source energy through meditation, prayer, affirmations, visualization, or music. We all must “sharpen the sword” to optimize performance.
Take a walk to refresh your mind. Get out into nature when possible to quiet your mind. Often ideas will flow when you get into a quiet environment.
Do Not Give Up!
This one is easy. Things often do not go as planned but it does not mean there isn’t a detour or another way to “skin the cat.” In this age of convenience and instant gratification, we tend to throw in the towel too quickly.
The real rewards are reserved for those that persevere through the setbacks. We are often a lot closer than we think. Wouldn’t you hate to find out if you had just hung in a little longer you would have succeeded?
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