There are many common self improvement ideas out there that we all have heard:
Think positive! Get in shape! Wake up early! Make to-do lists!
These are all great ideas. So why have so many of us tried them and gotten zero results?
The reason: lack of foundational skills. There are many lists out there full of life-changing ideals and practices that would indeed improve everything if they only took into account the necessity of the fundamentals.
So this year, lets take a step back and focus on developing the tools and skills that we need in order to implement those common self improvement ideas in order to maximize our results.
The Basic Precursors to Self Improvement Success
Ouch! This is a tough one. Which is exactly why I’m ripping of the band aid and starting with it. If there is anything that will allow you to enjoy the maximum benefit of these self improvement ideas, it’s this: Embrace Failure
Embracing failure will allow you to be teachable. When we reject or avoid our failures, we are saying no to the lessons they contain. By being gentle with ourselves, and giving ourselves a break when we are less than perfect, we give ourselves the opportunity to grow and learn. The only other choice we really have when faced with falling short is denial and self criticism. Little good has ever come from either of these tings.
So when we embark on a new undertaking such as getting in shape or sticking to a to-do list, we must remember to take it easy. Set reasonable expectations, and tell ourselves that it is ok when we miss a workout or an item on our list. Failure and mistakes are part of the journey, and we must learn to trust the process if we plan to get ahead and see improvement.
Accept Feedback on Your Self Improvement Efforts
Being open to feedback is a vital skill if we plan to succeed. But boy, can it be tough. The antidote to hurt feelings over constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement lies in our ability to not take things personally. That means, realizing that these things are just information that will allow you to progress, and that they have nothing to do with your worth as a person. Try not to equate your innate value with your performance and anyone’s opinion of it (including your own).
That’s right. “Including your own.” Oftentimes we can be our own worst critic. We can be way harsher on ourselves than we would ever allow anyone lese to be. So try to keep that in perspective. If you notice that you’re giving yourself a really hard time, ask yourself the question: “What would I do if someone else were speaking to me this way?” If the answer is leave or disagree, then you know it’s time to back off and give yourself a break. Remind yourself that this one occurrence does not represent the sum total of your efforts. That you have done well in the past, that this attempt wasn’t really so bad, and that you will have other great successes in the future. Keeping all of this in perspective is vital for making change as you go along.
Keep a journal
So this is the most tangible piece of advice in this article which also makes it the most actionable and measurable. Get your hands on a journal, whether that means picking one up at your favorite retailer or reaching for the one that’s been sitting on the shelf. Now open it up, grab a pen, and start writing.
I highly recommend the free-writing method of journaling. It’s easy because all you have to do is begin. Write anything you want, however you want. Write sideways across the page if you want to. The important thing is to make it your own. Do not judge what comes out, either for content or aesthetics. It can be helpful to write about your efforts towards whatever goals you set for yourself, but this is not a requirement. The important thing is to be thorough and let everything out, so that you maker space for new ideas and inspirations that will catapult your successes into the next dimension if you like. Just let it all go, and soon you will be making progress like you never thought possible.
The only things holding you back are the limits on your imagination. So set it free!
Please tell us about your victories and progress in the comments section below. We love hearing form you!
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