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  • 6 of the Most Important Self-Development Tips

    June 20, 2022 5 min read

    6 of the Most Important Self-Development Tips

    The process by which a person's character or abilities are gradually developed.

    I love self-development but sometimes I feel guilty about taking the time to do it. And I feel like I don't have time to take care of myself with all that I have going on. But I need to remember that it is necessary for my health and happiness.

    Self-development doesn't look the same for everyone but here are some tips that I use that could help you.

    Tip #1: Get To Know Yourself

    The first thing I did was get to know myself. I needed to figure out what was important to me and what skills I wanted to develop. Some things that I wanted to develop were: reading, journaling, drinking enough water, exercising, and doing one thing for myself every day. I also wanted to get to know myself better, with all that I have going on with work and family I never had time to really understand myself. I wanted to start checking in with myself to understand what my body needs and how I am feeling.

    This first step is all about you and what you want, not what mainstream media tells you to want. This honestly is the hardest step because at first, I didn't know what I wanted, I was not used to thinking about myself and my needs. But, after taking a couple of days and really trying to get to know myself I figured out a few things I wanted in my life, that's that key, start small and grow from there. Don't overwhelm yourself! That's the opposite of what self-care is!

    Tip #2: Goals

    Let's make some S.M.A.R.T. goals

    S - Specific: We need to know what we are working towards. For example, I want to read more so, I made a goal of reading at least 10 pages of any book a day.
    M - Measurable: To help me measure my goals I got an app and a planner. I put all my goals in this app called habit tracker and it has really helped me to stay on track and remember my goals. And it is so satisfying to click the complete button! I also got a planner to schedule out when I will do those goals. Every week is different and sometimes I don't have time in the morning or before bed to do them. So, I plan week by week.
    A - Achievable: When I first made my reading goal I was trying to read 20 pages a day and instead of it being fun it was stressful because I didn't have time to read 20 pages. When I bumped it down to 10 I felt like a failure but then I realized that I was reading 0 pages a day before this and even if I was only reading 5 pages a day I was doing better than I was before. I also was more focused and excited to read when I bumped it down to 10 pages a day.
    R - Relevant: If exercising is not something that you value or want in your life, don't make it a goal. If you are not a reader and don't want to be don't make it a goal. Make goals that are relevant to you! I like soda and a lot of my friends have made goals to get off soda. I have no desire to stop drinking soda so why would I make it a goal to go off soda just because my friends are? I can be happy for them and support them but they should also be happy for me and support my goals.
    T - Time-bound: I have heard that it takes 2 months before a new habit becomes automatic. I usually have 2 check-points when I am developing a new habit. At one month I see my progress and if there are some habits that are slacking I check in with myself to see if this is actually something I still want to develop. If it isn't then I will take it out and change it for a new habit if I want. Then I check my progress at the two month mark and see what needs to be changed and reward myself for what I have accomplished.

    Tip #3: Make A Plan

    Now that we have our goals figured out we need to make a plan. I would get a planner, calendar, or make a note on your phone and schedule out your day. Figure out when the best time is for you to practice these new habits. For me, the best time is in the morning and right before bed. I get up in the morning and do my exercises this helps get my body awake and moving. Before I go to bed I read and journal to wind myself down so I can sleep better and not be on my phone right before I go to bed. I don't have a certain time for doing something for myself because it's sometimes as simple as blasting music with the windows down as I drive to and from work. Life gets busy and plans change last minute so don't worry about having to change your schedule around. It is easier though if you do them at the same time every day but if you can't don't worry about it. Also, If you miss a day or two DO NOT beat yourself up about it! Just keep pushing forward and trying your best!

    Tip #4: Surround Yourself With Support

    I am all about moving in silence and not everyone needs to know what is going on in your life, but one thing that I have found helpful is to tell people about your goals. Don't tell everyone and ESPECIALLY don't tell people who won't support you. I only tell my husband and my best friends because I know they will support me and help me on those hard days. This also makes me more responsible because I know that they will check in on me and I don't want to let them down. I also know that on those hard days I can reach out and get the support I need to keep going.

    Tip #5: Don't Stress

    Don't stress about it. We need to be more understanding and not so hard on ourselves. I like to imagine if my kids were making these goals and wanting to develop these habits I would push them to be their best, but if they missed or had a hard day I would treat them with absolute forgiveness. Why shouldn't I treat myself the same way?

    So, when I feel that I am getting hard on myself I like to think about how I would react if it was my kid I was talking to. If I miss a day, who cares! There is always tomorrow! If a goal doesn't fit my lifestyle anymore then change it! If a goal is too hard, change it! These goals aren't set in stone! Give yourself some mercy but don't make excuses and get lazy about your self-care. It's a fine line but you'll know where to draw it.

    Tip #6: Small Victories!

    Reward yourself for the small victories! Did you complete all of your goals for the week? Or even smaller than that, did you complete all your goals for that day? Take pride in the small victories! Starting new habits is hard and we can get so down on ourselves for not being perfect right at the start. We need to remember that we weren't doing these things before we set these goals, so whatever we can do is progress!

    You Got This!

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