*Guest post by Emily Graham
Even if you are a boomer, you can take a page from those that are coming behind you. According to a generational survey, 94 percent of millennials indicated they are dedicated to making personal improvements in their lives and are willing to spend hundreds of dollars a month in order to make those improvements happen. And while millennial women are dedicated to the idea of improvement in their personal and professional lives, some observers contend that millennials may have become too obsessed with the idea of self-improvement and too little concerned with actualizing it.
Read on for tips from thisisyourbestyear to find out more about making self-improvement work for you.
Apply what you learn
Instead of simply being a consumer of the self-improvement movement and repeating self-help mantras, put what you’ve learned to work for you. There’s nothing wrong with seeking improvement as long as the message doesn’t become an end in itself. Take the next step. Go out of your way to make new acquaintances; broaden your social network and talk to your boss about growth opportunities at work. It may lead you down many rewarding paths in your private and professional life.
Identify your goals
Sometimes it’s necessary to force oneself out of the realm of theory by employing opposite behavior, or what psychologists sometimes call “opposite action,” and circumvent your tendency toward avoidance behavior. Identifying and articulating your goals will empower and motivate you to see them through. Make a list of long- and short-term objectives and revisit them whenever you feel frustrated with yourself or with people you feel may be holding you back. Knowing what you want and what it takes to achieve it will boost your confidence, and those thoughts and feelings will coalesce into action.
Set healthy standards
It’s human nature to compare yourself to others, including your appearance, achievements, and aspirations, but it’s self-defeating and a disservice to your well-being, especially if you suffer from self-doubt and self-image issues. Always bear in mind that everyone is different and everyone has value, no matter who you are, where you come from, how you dress, etc. Embrace your identity and be proud of who you are — that may be the best piece of self-improvement advice of all.
Emphasize nurturing relationships
Many of us are mired in toxic relationships, either because we can’t avoid them (e.g., negative and unhealthy work relationships) or because we’re just accustomed to being around certain people in our everyday lives. Seek out and embrace relationships with people who make you feel good, who empower you emotionally, and make you feel happy about who you are. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to seek out new friends and broaden your social circle.
Take steps to build your future
When it comes to self-improvement, one of the best ways to lay a foundation for your future is through financial stability. There’s no better way to do this than through advancing your career. Consider it a self-care/self-improvement mashup that can help you make inroads toward your retirement goals. Branching out of your comfort zone and finding new employment opportunities with a salary boost is a great start. So too is returning to school for an advanced degree. While many employers offer professional development, taking the reins yourself gives you more control. And with so many universities offering online options, it’s easy to enroll in a master’s program that fits your work schedule.
Frustration is a fact of life, something we all deal with from time to time. How you respond to it is what truly matters. Make self-improvement about being happy with the person you are. Instead of intellectualizing self-improvement, put it to work for you. Seek out new acquaintances and don’t judge yourself by anyone’s standards but your own.
*Emily Graham is the creator of Mighty Moms. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms — from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family.
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com.