We all want to be the best versions of ourselves. The one that sets and completes any goal, without hesitation or procrastination. The one that when faced with a wall, doesn’t give up, but immediately builds a ladder or a tunnel to get over it.
The one that has the endless energy to do all of this, everyday.
However … being that person day-in and day-out is easier said than done. Not because we’re lazy, per say, but simply due to a variety of factors, like being uninspired, not having enough perceived time, etc…
The kicker is, no matter what your goals for self-improvement are, we’re always going to have to put in effort to get there. And, since being a verifiable Superman or Superwoman everyday isn’t necessarily sustainable, it makes sense that instead of aiming for a lofty ideal, we simply take small steps everyday toward becoming better.
Consistency is key, and once we establish your good habits, they’ll carry us to where we want to be.
Whether you’re looking for inner self-improvement, want to achieve a healthier outlook, or are honing yourself to reach any other goals you might have, it’s important to foster daily good habits that will help you get there.
Try doing these 10 small things on a daily basis to put yourself first and make little improvements that add up!
1. Try something new every day.
Nothing lends itself to personal growth quite like experiencing new things.
On the other hand, getting stuck in the same routine doesn’t give you very many opportunities to grow and learn. So make an effort to experience something different every day! Not only can this re-inspire you in your work or passion, but can also boost creativity by presenting you with new ideas and perspectives.
You don’t need to shake everything up too much, either. Your “new thing” can be as simple as trying out a new recipe or taking a different route to work. Whatever it is, make it a point to do something new every day to avoid getting stuck in a stagnant comfort zone.
2. Start every day by making a plan.
It’s no secret that having a plan is much more likely to foster success than just going with the flow, so it’s probably worth your time to plan out exactly how you’re going to grow every day.
It doesn’t have to be set in stone or even super-specific, but give yourself a minute (even before you get out of bed) to give yourself a mental run-through of everything coming up in the day and everything you’d like to accomplish. By spending just a moment or two doing this, you’ll have a “roadmap” for achieving what you want every day and will be able to mentally plan out your path to success every day.
3. Harness the power of positive energy.
Negativity has a way of setting you down the wrong path – if you put yourself in a bad mood by complaining about everything, you have less energy to put towards improvement. On the other hand, positive thinking is proven to reduce your stress which will help in your quest for self-improvement!
Start off every day with a couple of positive affirmations, and make a concerted effort not to get caught up in the negative energy and complaints. This little mind switch can go a long way in improving your overall mentality and helping you to grow.
P.S.: One thing I’ve grown to love is laughter therapy. It sounds odd (why should we need a set point during the day to laugh?), but this is actually a concept utilized with cancer patients. The theory suggests that by spending a certain amount of time every day laughing, you release all types of beneficial hormones like endorphins, that help relieve stress and repair the body. However, you can also use it every day to your advantage to put yourself in a great mood (this is especially great in the mornings). Browse through funny memes until you’re cry-laughing, watch some comedy (even a couple short clips on Youtube), or read some of your favorite jokes or discover new ones online.
4. Seek out knowledge.
They say that knowledge is power. They also say that you learn something new every day, so the best way to make that learning work for you is to actively seek out knowledge about the things that are the most relevant to your personal growth.
Whether it means subscribing to an interesting online magazine or listening to a relevant podcast on your daily commute, make sure to set some time aside to learn something really useful every day!
5. Make tiny signs of progress towards your goals.
We tend to only see the big picture when it comes to improvement and like to visualize the final result, but forget all the little wins that need to happen in the process in order to make them a reality.
Work on taking baby steps every single day to boost your consistency, rather than attempting huge and unrealistic leaps every once in a while. For example, if your goal is to increase your cardiovascular fitness, measure out your running ability and aim to run for just five minutes more every day. It adds up!
6. Keep track of any progress you do make.
Setting some time aside daily to actually write down what you’ve accomplished is a great way to keep accountable and to look back at how far you’ve come. This process can be as quick or as in-depth as you like – just make sure to log the relevant stuff.
It’s easy to minimize your own progress if you don’t track it, so keep a journal or other accountability system so that you can see just how far you come and stay motivated to keep going!
7. Establish consistent routines in the morning.
One of the best ways to set yourself up for success every day is by establishing a productive routine first thing in the morning.
Getting up early, squeezing in a quick workout, and nourishing yourself with a healthy breakfast are all proven ways to start your day off on the right foot and boost both your mood and your productivity – in other words, setting up the perfect environment for improving yourself!
8. Prioritize the difficult first.
If you have goals but also have a procrastination problem when it comes to getting the more labor-intensive tasks done, it might behoove you to just bite the bullet and get them out of the way first. Try rearranging your day to get the hardest parts of your day out of the way first thing in the morning. This way, you’ll get the things done that you want to do without interruptions and excuses popping up later.
9. Maximize your mindfulness.
Practicing mindfulness in all of your activities (i.e.: being fully present and aware) can help with anxiety and help you make better decisions. When we do anything from a place of full awareness, we can be sure that we’re doing things in alignment with how we are feeling, and can make necessary adjustments, either to the task or to our thoughts.
Meditation is a great tool for mindfulness. In addition, it has been shown to help decrease the hormones that control your stress response, contribute to better mental health, and may even improve your brain’s ability to process information – all of which are fantastic for any aspect of your self-improvement! [*]
Dedicate a couple of minutes every day to improve your mindfulness; even just five minutes or so will do wonders for helping you “reset” and fostering a successful mindset.
10. Take some time to review your day at the end of it.
Instead of climbing straight into bed every day, take a minute or two to give yourself a quick evaluation: were you able to get everything done that you wanted to? Did you make any progress?
From there, you can use your own mini-evaluation to change up your upcoming game plan as needed to get yourself to where you’d like to be.
Remember, all the little things you do every day are like drops of water being added to a cup. They may not seem “extraordinary” in the moment, but when you look back one day soon, you’ll notice that cup is nearly full.