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These days it’s all about being the “complete package”, but this is quite a thing to strive for. When it comes to self-improvement, we can’t give ourselves too much pressure. And as the New Year is on approach, thoughts turn to what we can all do as individuals to make ourselves function a little bit better, inside and out. This always stems from one simple thing, our insecurities. And as we take the opportunity to give ourselves a fine-tuning, before we make generalizations on what to improve, such as “our health” or “our fitness”, what are the key areas we all need to focus on before we make these substantial changes?
Look At What You Are (In Comparison To What You Want To Be)
The hardest part about looking in the mirror and dissecting what we want to improve on means exposing ourselves, warts and all. While we all strive for something to improve on what makes us feel more confident in ourselves, there is no point in making crash generalizations. It’s better to look at our face, body, and attitude in the mirror and set ourselves a benchmark, the best version of ourselves that we can strive to be. Sometimes, it’s about those little annoyances in life, maybe those crow’s feet are a constant reminder of the stress you have, which can be easily fixed by various wrinkle treatment options, but sometimes, it goes further than skin deep. When we look at who we want to be, the important thing to remember is that we shouldn’t emulate our heroes, but rather, find characteristics about the people we admire and implement them into our own lives. It’s always nice to have goals like this, because it keeps us sharp, and makes us realize that we are all a work in progress.
Making Small Changes That Last Longer
The numerous New Year resolutions we all make are mammoth ones. As a result, it’s hardly a surprise that when people decide that they are going to start working out in the New Year they give up so soon. It’s because they haven’t made the appropriate preparations, they think it’s “go hard or go home”, and this means that they push it too much, and finds it way too difficult to sustain. When you make massive changes in your life, it’s better to make smaller ones that you barely notice, so a year from now, you can look back and see how far you’ve come. These can be lifestyle changes. For example, if you want to eat healthier, and your diet isn’t very good at the moment, it’s better for you to introduce some vegetables on the side of your evening meal, rather than making a huge plate of salad that isn’t so appealing. As you get used to this small amount of goodness, you can increase it as you go. Eating healthier means you will feel better, and so you will begin to make the effort to implement healthier things into your diet. You have to listen to your body in this respect. We are all different, and what might be nourishing for one person is not for the next. And while people believe that salad and water is the pinnacle of a healthy diet, if it doesn’t make you feel satisfied, it’s not going to be a surprise when you reach for sugary snacks!
Use Your Knowledge!
You might not think you have time for books or anything that’s deemed educational. But we can place a lot of weight on reading as many books as possible to develop ourselves in our intelligence. But, it’s all about quality, not quantity. There is no point in you reading the complete works of Confucius if you don’t get anything out of it. Conversely, you may get a lot more out of what is deemed “low art”. Put simply, you don’t need to visit museums to increase your intelligence. There are so many fantastic podcasts out there, but if there’s something you’re interested in, you will enjoy this much more. If you’re looking to improve yourself by reading more books, and you’re not usually one for reading, it’s about gaining an entryway into the habit of reading by picking up books that you think you’ll enjoy. It’s important for us to use our brains, but we need to develop our intelligence as we see fit. There is such a snootiness about people that read philosophers or Shakespeare, but if you’re not getting anything out of it, you’re not going to feel that you’ve learned anything anyway! When it comes to developing your knowledge, it’s not just about what you want to learn, but it’s the lessons you get from everyday life. The person that reads one book over the course of a year and gets so much out of it in comparison to someone who has read 52 books, purely to show off, is always going to prosper.
Improving yourself is such a grand statement. Instead, don’t think of it as giving yourself a complete overhaul, but more about focusing on little bits. We’re all works in progress but when we look at our insecurities, whether physical or emotional, we can feel tempted to catch up on the things we may have missed out. Whether we do this is by exercising more in the gym, or reading as many books as physically possible, if we’re not going to get anything out of these practices, are we actually improving ourselves? If you want to give yourself a fine-tuning, it’s about the finer points. It’s far easier for us to make habits that stick when we make small changes. And as New Year is approaching, the temptation can be to make grand sweeping statements. But if we want to make changes that last a lifetime, not just a couple of months, focus on the small things, and make sure you do one thing at a time. Do it this way, and you will see how far you’ve come 12 months from now.