Room For Improvement

Tips for Self Improvement Month

Improvement_HeaderSeptember is “Self Improvement Month,” and while we’re not sure who comes up with all of these different monthly themes and celebrations, we do know that all of us have areas where we can improve. The best part is that you don’t have to make drastic, life-altering moves—what might seem like small changes and tweaks can have big impacts. The following are a few easy ways to improve yourself without a lot of time or money.

Be more positive

All of us have our down moments, but there are reasons sayings like “it’s darkest before the dawn” exist. The key is your mindset—instead of thinking the worst about a situation, find the opportunities in it.

Do something new

We all get into comfort zones, whether it’s what we have for lunch or what we do on the weekends. Try to mix it up instead: try an ethnic food you’ve never experienced, spend a Sunday on a day trip somewhere you’ve never been, or just listen to a different radio station or type of music on your way to work.

Quit a bad habit—and start a good one

You don’t need to wait until New Year’s to stop smoking or start a better diet. All you need is the willpower and some support. (This article on Lifehack can offer some tips on quitting those bad habits.) You can also use the time to start a good habit—maybe waking up early to get some exercise, or using the time you used for smoke breaks to meditate or even read a bit.

Set short-term goals

Having a sense of accomplishment can do wonders for your attitude and outlook, so why not give yourself some goals to reach? They don’t have to be grandiose, either; simple things like “Save $200 in 30 days” or “Make someone laugh at least once a day” are relatively easy. So think about some fairly simple things you’ve been putting off doing and set goals to complete them.

Learn something new

It could be a new language, something creative like painting, information about a period in time or historical figure, or even a new culture. The key is to not only learn new things, but to actively search out new things to learn. And be sure to stretch yourself by delving into something about which you know nothing—you just might find an entirely new area of interest!

Ask for feedback

Most people don’t enjoy being told they’re wrong or need to improve in some area. But what better way to find out where you need to improve? The keys are to ask those who you respect and know will be honest (but not mean-spirited), and to be willing to take what they say to heart (but without offense). Sure, it might be a tad uncomfortable for you, but if you act on what they tell you, you’ll almost certainly be better for it in the long run.

Of course, none of these will mean much if you don’t follow through and continuing to find ways to improve yourself. So get out there, mix things up, and make yourself the best you can be!

Mark Dye

About the author: Mark Dye

Mark Dye has been writing articles, recording podcasts, and putting together books on personal finance for nearly a decade. His work has been recognized by the American Bankers Association and the Institute for Financial Literacy, and received an 2011 APEX Grand Award for Writing. Follow Mark on Google+.

Contact: Mark Dye


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