Walk into any bookstore and you’re sure to find thousands of pages dedicated to personal growth, self-improvement, and life-long happiness. And while you might find some inspiration to be a better you between the pages of a book, usually the best motivation for any meaningful change comes from within.
So in honor of National Self-Improvement Month, here are some simple tips for living a healthier and happier life.
Whether you’ve been struggling to drop a few pounds or have been meaning to take your fitness regimen to the next level, there’s no time like the present. Commit to exercising 3 times a week. Sign up for 5k or a marathon. Or start a 30-day fitness challenge with a group of friends or co-workers. And don’t forget that diet and exercise go hand in hand, so use this opportunity to look for ways to improve your nutrition. Perhaps you want to cut your salt or sugar intake. Or maybe you’d like to rely less on processed foods. Focusing on one small change a week will make the transition easier to swallow and help you become more likely to stick to it.
Achieving personal balance can be a challenge in today’s busy world. But finding the things that calm and center you can make all the difference in an otherwise stressful day. Find an activity that allows you to clear your mind and focus on yourself, and commit to practicing it on a regular basis. It could be yoga, meditation, journaling, music, art, and so on. The possibilities are endless.
Think about your relationships with your friends, family, and co-workers. Do you wish you could spend more quality time with those who mean the most to you? Are you hanging on to old grudges or letting silly pet peeves get the best of you? Take some time to think about how you can be a better friend, sibling, or spouse. Make time to reach out to those you care about. It could be as simple as getting back to the family dinner table, without the distraction of TVs and cell phones. Or making a phone call to a long lost friend who you keep wishing would call you.
In a family environment, self-improvement is something of a misnomer as often we need the support and encouragement of others to be successful. So be sure to let those closest to you in on your plans.