Commit to self-improvement! I could give 1,000 tips on how to do so but it doesn’t really matter if you’re not committed. Results will not appear at first but as long as you keep going, I promise you’ll start to see those changes happening in your own life and the life of the people around you.
Wake up early I’ll start with one that can be quite tricky for a lot of us. We hear stories about billionaire’s routinely waking up at 3.30am to contact clients all over the world and to get a head start against everybody else. Well, you don’t have to go those extremes. Waking up at a consistent time every day, at least before 9.00am works very well for your circadian rhythms, we have to get up early in order to feel refreshed and energised, sleeping in until 10-11am will only make us feel groggy and tired. It takes roughly 16 hours for us to feel tired so waking up feeling awake any later than 9am is a big no because we may not feel tired until after 3am and at that point we aren’t going to get enough hours at night to wake up at an early time.
It is also very important that we do not to hit the snooze button upon awakening; we sleep in cycles, setting our alarms for a certain time we can do but we cannot know exactly what time we’ll fall asleep and how long each cycle is going to last. You can download sleep cycle apps and enter the time you think you are likely to fall asleep and it will advise you what time you should set your alarm (I’ve tried some of these apps myself and they work very well.) If you wake up just at the end of a sleep cycle, you’ll feel great, if you sleep in the middle of one, you’ll feel groggy and heavy, only wishing you did not have to get up. You may think that an extra 10 or 20 minutes of sleep will help you feel better, wrong! It won’t make you feel even slightly better but much worse in fact because you will awake in a phase of sleep inertia as you’ve started a new cycle, when you fall back asleep after pressing the snooze button you need to be asleep for at least three or four hours! Being awake during sleep inertia you can be stuck there for at least a good couple of hours where your cognitive functioning will be too low for you to work at your full capacity, having a cold shower is the most effective way to give you that mental boose if you need to get up out of bed. If you hear your alarm and you feel tired after awakening it may not be because you haven’t slept enough but perhaps you’ve just simply awoke at the wrong time.
Acknowledge your flaws No one is perfect; we all know that. Neither are you, neither am I. What do we do with that knowledge? If things are not going well for you than we have to take a step back and completely reset everything that we think we know about ourself. We have to be humble; we have to face criticism; we have to intellectually examine our own being in order to make things work. We do not point blame on other people or society. That only makes us weaker. We have to do this by negotiating with ourselves, be kind and do not tyrannise oneself.
Network with experts Have you ever had a goal in life but you had no idea how to get started? So then you could not possibly get it done? So you didn’t, you couldn’t even plan it? Knowing the right people helps but then of course we do not know everybody. Well, this is a huge advantage of the invention of the World Wide Web because now we have the power to connect with people who have the know-how. LinkedIn is an incredible website that isn’t just about applying for jobs, there are people on there who are experts in the thing that you want to do, think about a project you really wanted to do in the past – find the profession that links in to doing that, for example if you wanted to publish a book then it would be useful to contact a literary agent – voila, there are many literary agents on LinkedIn!
Grab a new hobby Hobbies help us to develop tastes and our passions in life. There are many diverse activities we can do that stretches our being in different aspects emotionally and physically.
Not many people consider most hobbies to be productive or useful unless you happen to belong to one of those rare few lucky people who manage to turn their hobby into a second job or who manage to utilise the skills they built in their hobby in their work to become more productive, efficient, and happier.
Gardening is a good activity that is relaxing and lets you unwind, you are close with nature and can grow your very own vegetables, if you do not have a garden then consider renting out an allotment.
Painting may not seem like a particularly productive hobby but it can lend some wonderful perspective on your life and can help unleash your creative side. Painting allows you to tap into your thoughts, desires, and feelings floating around in your head and can help translate them into something physical. Your painting might even inspire you to be more productive at work so go ahead and pick up a brush!
Finding a new sport/pastime to participate in is a great idea because there are so many different sports out there and some of them are very niche and quirky, like quidditch for example which has been made a real sport! Without the flying broomsticks the rules are pretty similar to the game you will see on Harry Potter, other obscure sports include footvolley, underwater hockey, swamp football, lawnmower racing, and even wheelbarrow racing.
Why not take up chess as a hobby. Yes, it is a very difficult game to play and learning the rules takes a lot of patience and hours of studying but it’s very enjoyable to play once you know how to and if you’re still not that good after months of learning then at least AI opponents can be a great way to learn as they don’t pose much of a challenge at their easiest difficulty levels. You can play against humans online and can even gain a rating. If you know someone who is really good at chess then play as many games against them as you can, even if you lose, the more you lose the more you learn!
Take up martial arts! Martial arts like karate, jujitsu or taekwondo are excellent for a number of reasons, you get taught self-defence, it keeps your mind steady and alert, keeps you physically fit, and gives you a huge sense of reward after going through the belts. Katas, which are a sequence of choreographed moves are very fun to learn; the kata ‘kushanku’ is the most popular kata in karate, it is the longest sequence and has the greatest number of moves, if you learn it you will feel like you’ve really achieved something.
Take up a new course Courses are a brilliant way to learn and build up newer skills for self-improvement. It doesn’t have to be a long-term course. Seminars, workshops, and online courses serve their purpose too. Creative writing, cooking, massage or holistic therapy, history, languages, herbalist, nutrition, life-coaching, animal care and business; the list is endless
Decorate your house Make your home inspirational, pleasing to the eye, as practical as you can make it, a place that you can truly find leisure in. Making your surroundings beautiful and tidy means that you have your life in order and can go outside with nothing else on your mind.
Get feedback As much as we attempt to get better at an array of things, we’ll always have blind spots. Not being afraid to approach people for feedback and asking for it constructively gives you an additional perspective as you learn how to improve yourself and those people will feel very comfortable to approach you again knowing that you are humble enough to ask the first time, if you do something that wasn’t quite right, they’ll let you know so that you can improve. Not many people are comfortable in doing that, so if you make others feel this way then that puts you ahead of everyone else. Some people like to approach are friends, family, colleagues, a boss. Acquaintances are great to approach since they will have no present bias and can give their feedback objectively.