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If you’re on a journey to improve yourself (which you constantly should be!), then you know that sometimes things become difficult or complicated.
You’re surrounded by distractions, you may fall off on your goals, you may feel like a failure, etc. All perfectly normal things that will happen to everyone. Personal development is one of the best things in life because it’s never ending, exciting, and completely in your control.
If you’re looking to take things a step further, check out these tips.
Focus on yourself
“Don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty.”
The keywords here are ‘self’ and ‘personal.’ While others may be involved in your journey, you want to avoid comparing yourself to others or worrying about other people’s lives. Do your best to stay out of gossip, it can be tempting to get involved but it usually doesn’t end well.
I’ve never understood those comments that I read on social media such as, “Why are you wearing x, y, z?” “You should blah blah blah.” If it’s not harming you or others…who cares?!
Also, just be yourself, don’t try to be just like someone else. You’ll be in your own little world and it’s great!
Analyze your day (week, month, year)
“What gets measured, gets managed.” – Peter Drucker
At the end of the day you should take some time to evaluate the things you got done, the things you didn’t get done, what distracted you, what made you feel good and bad, etc. Basically, if you were to repeat your day every single day for a year…would you be closer to where you want to be? Or in the same place?
Whenever I do this I end up having a much more productive day the following day, because time is precious and I hate when I waste my day being unproductive.
If daily analysis is tedious, aim for at least analyzing your week. Do this on Sunday or whichever day you consider the start of the week. Apply the same technique I mentioned above…was there an important project you didn’t get done? Why didn’t you? What can you focus on this coming week to get everything done?
Master getting back on track
“Never quit. If you stumble, get back up. What happened yesterday no longer matters. Today is another day. So get back on track and move closer to your dreams and goals. You can do it.”
One of the best things in life is that every day (every second and minute really) is new. You can choose to change something at any moment. There is no one in the world who doesn’t fail or skip out on one of their habits every so often. We’re all human and there are going to be days where you don’t wake up early, where you skip the gym, where you eat like crap, where you procrastinate…it’s normal. The key is starting over again and getting back on track. Once you do this enough, you’ll master getting back on track and you’ll reduce the number of times you fall off.
Take control of your thoughts and words
“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.”
Having control of your mind and thoughts is a very powerful tool. It takes time, patience, and practice to get to that point. If you can begin changing your negative thoughts into positive ones, you’ll experience a ton of growth and change. You’re still going to think negative thoughts, everyone does. However, the practice of flipping those thoughts has a much larger effect on your subconscious than you think.
The words you speak are also important. I am a believer in The Law of Attraction, so when you put negativity into the universe it’s going to come back to you. Watch the words that you say. For example, saying, “I’m broke” is a huge no-no, even if it’s true. You have to act as if money is coming to you easily and that you are financially secure. As of recently, I refuse to speak like that or even stress about the number in my bank account or the bills I’m paying. Everything will work in your favor, just believe and know that.
Step out of your comfort zone often
“Always go with the choice that scares you most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow.” – Caroline Myss
From experience, I have gained the most confidence and made the most positive changes by stepping out of my comfort zone. If something scares you and you don’t really want to do it, you should probably do it.
Even those simple things. For example, I am currently writing this blog post outside at a Starbucks. I kept talking myself out of coming here to work because I prefer the comfort of my home. I said to myself I can just make a cup of coffee at home and sit in my backyard, but I came here instead. It’s something small, but I’ve already gotten so much stuff done in less than 2 hours that I know wouldn’t have been completed at home because I get distracted and/or tempted to take a nap.
If there’s an opportunity that comes up that you feel like you should take but it makes you anxious, that’s your sign to take action.
Surround yourself with success/motivation
“When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” – Alexander den Heijer
This tip is for those who can be influenced and those who need to be pushed sometimes. You will not be motivated 24/7, no one is. Those who consistently work toward their goals have developed a strong routine and habit of that. That takes time to reach and some people don’t even function like that. You know how we’re told to surround ourself with positive and successful people? Well honestly that can be difficult to find, which is why books and audio are the next best thing.
For myself, I like to read/listen to motivating books or watch/listen to motivating videos and speeches. This is because I am easily influenced by audio (speaking or music). I learn new things or come to realization with every new book I read…I like that.
If I’m in a rut or if I’m procrastinating, sometimes all I need is to be hit in the face with reality so I’ll watch something motivating. This definitely helps to keep things going. The amazing thing is that our resources for such content are unlimited, there’s audiobooks, YouTube videos, books, seminars, and so on. Constantly feeding your brain positive/motivating content can’t hurt.
Baby steps are still steps
“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step.”
Don’t expect huge changes overnight, you know that most things don’t works like that. Continue taking baby steps, maybe multiple baby steps in a day, and eventually you’re going to end up where you want to be. Progress takes time and you should be celebrating every small victory along the way. Patience plays a huge role here. Some of the most difficult journeys that come to mind are losing weight/gaining muscle and paying off debt. A month of working out and eating healthy barely makes a dent in how you look and $500 looks like nothing when you have $60,000 left to go, but overtime these little things make big transformations!
Keep going and keep track of your progress!
Never stop improving!