Do you want to become a better version of yourself, overcoming those negative habits that have plagued you for so long? That sounds great, right? Keep in mind, however, that old habits die hard and there is no quick fix to achieving your goals.
If you truly want to make a difference and transform your life for the better, you must adopt the right approach. The path you take toward self-improvement will dictate whether or not you achieve your goals.
Read on to learn about the 10 healthiest approaches to self-improvement.
1. Become Self-Aware
How can you make changes and become a better person if you have no idea what’s wrong with you in the first place?
Only when you are aware of your flaws and limitations can you attempt to fix them. Therefore, before you can start working on yourself and bringing change to your life, you must first identify the areas where you need to improve.
Once you have identified your life’s problem areas that need to be addressed, devise a personalized plan to make the necessary adjustments and accomplish the intended outcomes.
2. Take an Optimistic Approach
This is very important: whatever approach you use to improve yourself, make sure it makes you feel motivated and optimistic.
The approach you’re using to address your issue—whether it’s dropping a few pounds or meeting new people—should not make you feel stressed or stifled. Simply put, it should not be overwhelming.
Your approach shouldn’t make you feel that you cannot do what you set out to do or that your efforts are in vain. Instead, it should give you the sense that you’re on the right track to arrive at your destination sooner or later.
This approach will fill you with motivation and encourage you to keep doing better.
3. Come Up with an Action Plan
Once you have recognized your problems, devise a plan of action for addressing them.
Sure, simply recognizing your problems will not result in any fundamental changes; in fact, once you have identified what is wrong with you, you may become even more distressed. If you create and implement a strong action plan, however, you will feel content knowing that you are working toward your personal growth.
Taking a step forward by creating a workable plan is also not enough itself. If you want to see some meaningful changes in yourself, you must stick with the plan.
4. Make Gradual Changes
Have you ever heard the expression “slow and steady wins the race”? As it turns out, it also applies to your quest for self-improvement.
You must let go of the assumption that making a big, abrupt change in your life will help you reach your destination more quickly. Instead, the best way to improve yourself is to start slowly, take baby steps, and make small improvements.
Keep in mind that there are no quick fixes in life. If your journey begins with a dramatic change, there is a good chance you won’t be able to keep up and will probably give up halfway through.
Therefore, the best way to get where you want to go is to make one small change at a time. Only once you are comfortable with that change should you consider making another small one. The idea is to break things down into smaller, more manageable steps, ensuring that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
5. Have a Goal-Oriented Approach
Not having a clear objective in mind defeats the entire purpose of self-improvement. After all, you must have an idea of how your future self will look and behave to determine what changes you’ll need to make to your current self.
Also, keep in mind that the goal you set should be compelling enough to motivate you to take certain actions you may not have done otherwise. Aside from being compelling, it should also be achievable. Unrealistic goals will do nothing good for you and may even cause you to lose faith in yourself, convincing you that you’re a lost cause.
Once you have the big picture—your dream goal—in mind, break it down into smaller, more manageable goals. For example, if losing weight is always at the top of your New Year’s resolutions, you can finally do something about it by setting monthly targets of shedding just a few pounds. In the long run, this will help you achieve your ideal body.
6. Stay Committed
When it comes to self-improvement, you must be prepared to put in the time and effort. You’ll only be able to reach your destination by being fully committed to your goals. In other words, changes in your everyday life or behavior should not be fleeting, coming and going depending on your motivation; they should be a habit for you.
Disciplining your mind is the only way to come closer to what you want to achieve. For example, if you wish to achieve the desirable (though superficial) physical attributes of a “perfect physique,” joining a fitness program can help you stay motivated.
Tip: To stay fully committed, write your goal on a piece of paper and post it somewhere you can see it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
7. Be Prepared for Impediments
If you’re convinced your self-improvement journey will be smooth, you’re in for a disappointment.
Every such quest has its own set of challenges and roadblocks, so the best approach is to be prepared for those obstacles, equipped with a clear strategy to overcome them.
Because every self-improvement journey is unique, each presents its own unique set of hurdles. So, first and foremost, identify any potential bumps in the road that may cause you to lose focus or become demotivated. Once these are identified, put together a list of coping strategies to deal with them.
Preparing ahead of time will give you an edge, making it easier to overcome any challenges you may encounter along the way.
8. Give Yourself Rewards
We cannot think of anyone who doesn’t love receiving and unwrapping presents. So why not reward yourself for making a concerted effort and taking the first step toward bettering yourself?
Rewarding yourself will help you stay motivated, in addition to driving you to work harder to achieve your goals. Keep in mind, however, that you must use caution while rewarding yourself.
Choose rewards that do not contradict what you’ve already accomplished. Let’s say you’ve worked really hard to get your sleep cycle in order. You shouldn’t throw it out of whack in the name of a reward by staying up late or eating sugary snacks before bed. Instead, choose something that motivates you to keep trying and improving. For example, if you lost one pound in a week, gift yourself a high-quality exercise mat or perhaps a set of dumbbells.
9. Take an Evidence-Based Approach
Whatever approach you adopt, make sure it is evidence-based. There should be evidence that what you’ve been working so hard for won’t fail you in the end.
At the same time, avoid succumbing to fads. They may provide you with your desired outcome incredibly quickly, but they will do so in the unhealthiest way possible.
As previously mentioned in this blog, there are no quick fixes in life, and, if something seems to be one, you can bet it will have dire long-term implications. Therefore, do not fall for miracle cures or the allure of overnight transformations.
Instead, conduct extensive research on the approach you intend to adopt. This is pretty much the only way to get started on a successful self-improvement journey.
10. Adopt a Personalized Approach
One of the most common mistakes made when people embark on a self-improvement journey is to follow in the footsteps of a friend or sibling.
If you want to be successful, you must understand that everyone approaches self-improvement differently, because everyone interprets self-improvement differently. As a result, there cannot possibly be a one-size-fits-all solution here.
What works for your friend may not necessarily work for you. We all are different, we all need an approach tailored to our individual needs. Therefore, before embarking on a self-improvement journey, make sure that the approach you’re adopting is a good fit for YOU.
How will you find out what works best for you? A little self-evaluation mixed with some trial and error can help you find the best approach for your daily routine and personality traits.
The Last Word
So, there you have it: the ten healthiest ways to improve yourself. If you put in the time and effort to get these approaches checked off your to-do list, you will surely be rewarded in the end.