Have you ever felt that your life wasn’t good enough? You don’t make enough money? You’re overweight or not smart enough?
We’ve all been there.
No one has a perfect life. There will always be some area within your life that you can improve.
Over the past few months, I have contemplated the direction of this blog. Why would you want to read this blog? What could I provide that would be helpful as well as generate enough income so I can pay my bills?
Because let’s face it—everyone (including me) has bills to pay.
As I was thinking about the niche, or the central idea, that fuels the content for this blog, I had a eureka moment.
I had always considered this blog to be about my interests (hobbies) and as an extension of the lifestyle blog niche.
I was wrong.
Just like you, I am on a path of self-discovery. I have discovered that this blog isn’t only about my hobbies. It is about how I have improved myself in the different areas of my life.
Life should be fulfilling as well as rewarding. God didn’t breathe life into us just so that we could work ourselves to the bones day in and day out. Likewise, he didn’t create us to sit idle either.
There was a purpose for your creation, for your life. Your calling should stem from your roots as well as your experience.
As you continue to travel down the path of life, you improve yourself through your experiences.
Whether by plan or by circumstance, your past will affect the You of your future.
So, why not be intentional about your future?
How can you be intentional when no one knows what tomorrow will bring?
First, let’s start with a setting your goals and then move straight into how to develop a self-improvement plan that is customized for you.
Bookmark this page as you will want to refer back to it later.
There are many different areas of your life. So, you need more than one goal. The areas of improvement that we are going to cover today include mental health, physical health, social health, financial wellness, and spiritual growth.
Grab a pen and notebook and let’s get started.
Think about each area individually and how you can improve upon each one in your life. Write a few notes to begin.
Next, click here to learn how to set and achieve attainable goals.
Don’t worry….I will still be here when you get back.
Well, how was it?
Now that you have some direction, let’s do a quick recap.
Steps To Setting Goals:
- Identify your smart goals. Shoot high, but be realistic.
- Brainstorm ways to reach your goals.
- Make a plan.
- Take the first step.
- Revise your plan.
- Take another step and continue to revise as you go.
An example of a smart goal you can include in your goal setting is:
I want to quit my corporate career and work for myself as an entrepreneur within the next 5 years.
The goal is specific (quit my corporate career), measurable (5 years), realistic (it is possible) and attainable (if other people have done it, so can I).
Now, you should have a paper full of your goals and ideas for how you will achieve them. The “how” is what we are going to look at next.
Taking The First Step Toward Self Improvement: Creating A Plan
As I mentioned earlier, there are many different areas in your life that you can improve upon.
Let’s start with your mental health.
Improving Your Mental Health
Life is chaotic and stressful. If you are a working mom, like me, then you know how hard the struggle is to balance work, family, relationships, and personal interests. It used to be a constant uphill battle to keep my sanity.
That was until I discovered the morning pages.
The Morning Pages
What Are The Morning Pages?
The morning pages are an essential part of my daily routine. They help me to start off on the right foot with a focused mind and lightened spirit.
The morning pages are a tool you can use to “brain dump” everything that is causing increased stress in your life and/or everything that is going well in your life.
Think of the morning pages as a personal conversation with yourself.
Where Do The Morning Pages Come From?
The morning pages was an idea from Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. Preview her book for FREE below.
Julia’s main intention was to help artists find a way to clear their mind and inspire their inner muse.
What Do I Put Into The Morning Pages?
You can include anything you want in your pages. Like your bullet journal, the morning pages are designed for you and you alone. They are personal and not to be shared with others.
Things You Can Include:
- stream of consciousness
- walking yourself through your day
- writing out a struggle you are currently facing
- daily affirmations/motivation
- shopping lists
- events or feelings you don’t want to forget.
Using Morning Pages For The First Time
You may feel silly, sitting down first thing in the morning with your cup of coffee (or English Breakfast for you tea lovers) and staring at a blank page. Silly or not, adding the practice of using the morning pages to your daily routine will improve your mental health and focus your mind for the challenges you face each day.
Grab a notebook and a pen or pencil.
You are going to be using this notebook for a while, so I suggest you get one you want to use. Now, you may be fine with a three-ring binder and a sheet of paper or maybe a spiral bound notebook.
I prefer to use an actual journal. Just like my bullet journal, I prefer leather binding as it lasts longer and is more durable. I also prefer journals no larger than 6X9 and no less than 250 pages.Celestial Journal (Diary, Notebook)
Also, it helps to use a special pen for writing.
DON’T USE A COMPUTER OR PHONE FOR YOUR MORNING PAGES!
Humans are so saturated with technology that we forget the feeling of writing by hand.
Writing using longhand is a type of emotional release. It is calming and frees your mind.
Writing helps to exorcize your inner demons.
“Everyone can keep up. Why can’t I?”
“It doesn’t matter how hard I try. I’m going to fail anyway.”
“I’m not good enough, not pretty enough, or skinny enough.”
Have you ever had these thoughts? I know I have. It’s strange how the bad always seems to outweigh the good.
Writing helps you to focus your mind, brings clarity to your thoughts, and direction to your path.
How Much Should You Write?
The morning pages are typically three pages long.
Shoot for three, but write more if you need to.
You may be going through a tough time and need five or six pages to free your mind of all the stressors in your life. That’s fine. The main idea is to get it out and put it on paper. I bet you will feel a lot lighter after you’ve finished.
Self Improvement Through Spiritual Growth
You were given a purpose in life. You may have yet realized what your purpose is, but you do have a purpose. There is a reason you were born in this time period rather than 100 years ago.
2 Peter 1: 3-8 says
“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Growing closer to God is one sure way to start your day off right. If you are spiritually dead, then how can you improve upon yourself as a person?
To grow is to learn. When you learn, you adapt. When you adapt, you change. This change is how you improve yourself and become the person you are meant to be.
How Do You Grow Spiritually?
You grow spiritually by intentionally spending time in the Word and walking along the path of righteousness.
Study, meditation and prayer should be a vital part of your daily routine. I use my morning pages as a way of praying and opening my soul for God’s word to sink in.
Using my bullet journal, I track the chapters I have read and notate verses that stand out among the rest. I also take my bullet journal to church with me and write down sermon notes.
If you don’t have a bullet journal but are interested in starting one, no worries. I wrote a step by step guide to creating your own bullet journal. To read it, >> (opens in a new tab)”>click here>>>
If you want to use a bullet journal but don’t have the time to create one, I’ve got you covered.
My bullet journal and morning pages journal substitute the use of a prayer journal. Through the practice of using the morning pages, I have grown closer to God and walk a straighter path than what I did before.
Mental health and physical health go hand in hand. If you are physically healthy, you risk less chance of contracting a mental illness. Likewise, if you are mentally healthy, you risk less chance of contracting a physical illness.
If you feel good, it sets you up for a great day!
Have you ever heard the phrase “you are what you eat”?
I believe this to be true. If you fill your body with foods that are bad for you, then you will reap the repercussions of your choices. However, if you decide to eat healthily, maintain a good diet, and exercise regularly, you will reap the rewards of your choice.
What you eat, the amount of physical activity, substance abuse, sleeping well, all of these are your choice.
You are here because you want to improve yourself. Why would you not want to improve your body as well as your mind?
I am not a “sporty” person. I don’t like to sweat and finding the time to exercise is near to impossible. There are a few choices however that I make on a daily basis to keep myself in shape.
Spending time with my kids is a priority. They are only young once. Together, as a family, we play Wii Sports, dance to our favorite songs, and work out in the garden together.
Eating healthy is a major contributor to the lifestyle I want to live. I don’t eat at McDonald’s or Burger King. Just the smell of their food is enough to make my stomach churn.
I used to eat these foods, but after a while of going without them, I find it hard to digest. Some more tips to burning more calories in a day are to park in the furthest parking spot, stand at your desk instead of sitting and drink plenty of water.
You may think I’m crazy, but I’m not a social person. If you are like me, you prefer a quiet room with a computer rather than a room full of people.
Social health is simply forcing yourself to interact with others on a consistent basis.
Today’s technology threatens peoples ability to interact with each other outside of the net.
However, secluding yourself in a room away from everyone and everything was not the reason you were put here on earth. Refer back to the finding your purpose section at the top of this post.
Humans are socialistic by nature. We weren’t created to be solitary.
Combat your antisocial tendencies by placing yourself in a situation where you must be sociable at least once a week.
This could be grabbing a cup of coffee with friends or heading out to see How To Train A Dragon (yes, I can’t wait to see this movie!) at the theatre.
Finances are a huge stress in everyone’s life. Unless you are Bill Gates, at some point in time, you will struggle with money and it will cause you stress.
Getting your finances under control is key to controlling the stress in your life as well as planning an “intentional” lifestyle.
You only have two choices ahead of you.
- Make a change.
- Keep on the same path to financial distress and living the way you are from now until forever.
How Do You Find Financial Freedom?
You live a financially free life by living intentionally. Living intentionally consists of planning, setting goals, and consistently striving toward a better future. It takes hard work and a lot of effort to reach the point of stability and comfort, but it is obtainable.
Plan ahead and then plan again.
Using the bullet journal method, you can plan out your day, week, month, and year with your goals in mind.
The bullet journal method was written by Ryder Carroll (see a FREE preview of his book below) and educates others about how to live intentionally.
Tracking where you are and planning out the steps necessary to get to where you want to be is important to reaching your goals.
Ways To Live A Financially Free Life:
- Plan your meals using a weekly meal plan
- Set goals and actively work toward them
- Make a budget and stick to it
- Pay off debt
- Use automatic savings
- Live frugally buying only what you need
- Cut back where you can on unnecessary expenses
Of course, there are a lot of other ways you can find financial freedom, but this should get you started.
You Are Never Too Old For Self Improvement
Improving yourself should be at the forefront of your brain. You are constantly learning new skills and applying new ideas to your way of life. How you live and the quality of your life is determined by you and you alone.
Your walk with God, your financial freedom, mental health, physical health, and social health are determined by how much effort you put into them. No one is perfect, but perfectionism is not a bad thing to shoot for.
If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this:
You Are Special. You Are Uniquely Made For A Purpose. Find Your Calling & You Will Find A Better You.
Looking For More To Read?
- 5 Tips For Designing Your Life
- Bullet Journal Series: Journaling Through the Year (My Self Development Plan)
- Things To Do In May
- Empowered Woman Makes A Conscious Change For A Better Life
- It’s My Birthday!
- Increase Your Blog Traffic Using A Few Simple Strategies
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