How to Work on Yourself: 5 Tips for Self-Improvement Success
If one of your New Year’s resolutions includes working on yourself, you’re not alone. We here at Friends Do This believe that if you don’t take care of #1 (read: YOU!), then no one wins. Working on yourself can include a number of things. I could include practicing self-care, learning something new, or building healthy habits.
But prioritizing yourself is no easy feat. Especially when work, family, and friends are constantly demanding prioritization. But since a job and keeping your family happy are kind of system critical, we put together 5 ideas on how to work on yourself all year long.
Ready to better yourself this year? Leggggo!
What does working on yourself mean?Working on yourself can be summed up in three words: putting yourself first. Working on yourself means that you take the time, energy, and focus you might otherwise spend on someone else (for example, your needy bestie, your nagging mom, or your up-to-no good sister) and put all that good juju towards yourself.
They call it “work” because working on yourself takes a lot of continuous effort in order to achieve results. You can’t simply work on yourself for a few weeks, call it quits, and think you are set for life. Working on yourself means that you continuously perform tasks and rituals that prioritize you.
What are the benefits of working on yourself?There is a great saying: “Hurt people hurt people.” When you work on yourself to achieve a happier sense of being, the benefits don’t end with you. Pursuing self-improvement will likely also have a positive impact at work with your coworkers and on your interpersonal relationships with friends and family. Working on yourself leads to greater enjoyment of life and more resilience toward stress. Win-win!
5 Ways to Work on Yourself
When you prioritize bettering yourself, you make huge strides in creating a positive sense of well-being. Some fun slash “I can do this and not abandon my resolutions by January 15th” ways to work on yourself, include:
Write more letters to friends and family
OK, before you go saying “Come on Friends Do This. This tip is a little self-promotional don’t ya think?,” hear us out! In a world that is largely dictated by deadlines, character limits, and filtered content, letter writing gives us the chance to sit down, slow time, and truly think about our words. Plain and simple, putting pen to paper is down right therapeutic and can be a meditative experience.
We love what Harnehmat Kaur, Co-founder & Organiser, Daakroom has to say about writing greeting cards: “The idea of immersing yourself in the thoughts of a singular person, for a singular conversation is something that only letters can do in our notoriously-notification-filled age.”
There is truly magic in writing your friends a greeting card. They will get a fun surprise in the mail and you’ll reap the benefits of immersing yourself in thought about them. Plus, licking an envelope and sticking stamps is wildly therapeutic. Try it!
Volunteer one day a month
While doing something for someone else sounds a tad counterintuitive, volunteering is what we like to call a quadruple threat. Volunteering can help you make friends, learn new skills, advance your career, and even feel happier and healthier. Boom!
It’s been shown that volunteering helps reduce stress, combat depression, and provide a sense of purpose. Think about it, nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person. And don’t even get us started on working with animals, which has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
If you’re looking for ways to better yourself in 2023, doing good for others and the community is your ticket to a better you. It will take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and leave you with a true sense of purpose. To get started, think of activities you really enjoy doing. If you love walking on the beach, find a beach clean up group. Love board games? Find a nursing home near you and see if they need volunteers!
Make your bed every morning for 66 daysWhy 66 days? They say that’s roughly how long it takes a good-habit to stick. Why your bed? Who doesn’t like feeling successful before you've even left your bedroom for the day?! Making your bed may feel like a small task with minimal benefits but by accomplishing something first thing in the morning, you start your day with a win. Not to mention that a clean room will help relieve stress. Try this for 66 days and tell us we are wrong!
Create a Vision Board
Everyone has something that they want to bring to fruition. But if you can't really see it, it can be hard to direct your efforts in ways that actually help you achieve your goal.
That's where a vision board comes in. First, you have to commit to the idea that you can put something in the universe in order to attract it. (If you are not there with this general concept, we highly recommend the book “You are A Badass” by Jen Sincero). Once you have the belief and detailed vision of your own ability, you can convert that visualization into action via a vision board.
Let me give you an example. Last year, rather than a New Year’s Resolution, we here at FDT picked a word that would help guide us throughout the year. You can read more about that here. My word was “Grow.” So I wrote that word on a huge piece of paper, taped it to my wall where I walk by it everyday, and then wrote all the ways in which I wanted to act on that word. So I wrote things like:
- Raising goats (growing my love for animals)
- Dropping social media as an offering for my digital marketing agency (growing OUT of something I hated)
- Raising chickens (growing my own food)
- Getting married (growing my family)
- Becoming an AirBnB host (growing my empire)
I didn’t necessarily achieve all my goals but I did make some serious steps forward on every single one of them. I put that shiz in the universe, wrote it down, looked at it everyday, and truly believed I could do it. And it all started with getting it out of my brain and putting it on paper.
Spend less time on Social Media
Feelings of inadequacy? Negative self-perception? We have social media to thank for a lot of our sad times self-talk. Sure it helps us stay connected to people but shouldn’t we maybe start doing that in more direct one-on-one ways?Try setting a goal for yourself such as decreasing your usage by 50%.. If you don’t think you have the self control to limit yourself on your own, set up time limits within the app and it will alert you when you reach your limit. Here’s how to do it on an iPhone.