It’s that time of year when all the new year’s resolutions you made way back in January have mostly turned into misty memories. Was that really you vowing to go to the gym every single day and stop eating sugar for the rest of your life? In hindsight, it seems pretty obvious that most of those resolutions were never really going to work out! The journey of self improvement isn’t one that you can make every January by making vast changes in your life. Rather it’s something that you’ll continue to go through forever, a path that you will continue to walk down every day.
Here are some tips to help…
Improve Your Fitness
Eat healthily. First of all, if you spend your life drinking hot chocolate on your couch and eating convenience food for dinner then we all know that it’s going to be pretty difficult to get and stay healthy. This time of year there are plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables in the store, so it’s time to buy some of those and experiment with your cooking. If you tend to buy fast food at lunch, what about trying out batch cooking every Sunday? That means that you’ll get a healthy lunch every day made up of your favorite foods. You shouldn’t cut out snacking entirely – a lot of us need a little pick me up mid morning at work! But stay away from the office vending machine – instead, take some peanut butter and apple slices to work with you, or prepare a smoothie with your favorite fruits every morning. That way you’ll be full up and healthy at the same time.
Get active. If you want to get healthy, then you can’t just focus on food. It’s important to make sure that you’re active as well – although if you hate the gym that’s a lot easier said than done! If you do want to start exercising more then why not hire a personal trainer for a few sessions? They’ll teach you how to use the machines so that you don’t feel self conscious at the gym and they’ll also help you to devise a fitness routine that suits you and your body and what you want from your fitness. If you don’t feel comfortable going to a gym yet, why not start walking more often? Ditch the car and walk to and from work, and make sure that you take the stairs instead of the elevator wherever you can. You could even borrow a friend’s dog as an excuse to go out on a walk every now and then! Finally, what about trying out some yoga exercises at home? Yoga With Adriene’s routines will improve your core strength, flexibility and spiritual health in no time.
Set yourself goals. It’s important to make sure that you have some goals in mind, whether that’s running a marathon one day or simply making it to your Zumba class without missing one all term. Make sure you reward yourself for hitting your goals, whether that’s walking your ten thousand steps every day for a week or letting yourself eat some dark chocolate as a treat in the evenings. After all, a life without treats is no life at all!
Improve Your Career
Be assertive. It’s important to make sure that you assert yourself in the workplace. A lot of women assume that they aren’t as capable as they really are, while a lot of men think they’re a lot smarter than they actually are. This tends to work out much better for men, as they put themselves in the positions where they can get more money and power at work simply through force of will. Make sure that you ask for what you deserve at work, whether that’s responsibility or money, and that you assert your ideas. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself – no one will know what your thoughts are unless you make them heard.
Work on being a good employee. Unfortunately, in the workplace you need to learn to play the game, which generally means that you have to grin and bear it more often than you’d like. Make sure that you’re reliable, that you show up on time, and that your boss sees you as a safe pair of hands who will always get the work done on time and to a very high standard. There’s nothing better than being trusted at work. You can also make sure that you carve out your own little niche by making your own skills obvious and asking for more responsibilities – remember that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Improve Your Personal Life
Cut yourself some slack with your family life. If you have kids already, remember that you can’t be Superwoman. A lot of us wish that we could somehow miraculously combine our work life and home life and magically get more hours in the day to do both of them to our highest ability, but the truth is that if you work full time and you have a family, you can have it all but you also need to cut yourself some slack. A flexible employer is important, so be clear in job interviews that that’s what you want so that you can attend all the school events that are important to your kids. It’s also important to do your best to prioritize. You might not be able to clean the house every single day and make a huge home cooked meal every night, and that’s totally okay. Doing what you can is enough.
Be open about what you want. In terms of relationships, it’s important that you make sure that you’re clear about what you want. A lot of women feel that they need to put themselves down in relationships in order to make sure that men don’t find them needy or overbearing. Remember that a man needs to know the real you in order to truly love you, and that he won’t enjoy you stifling yourself in order to be with him if you should really be together. A real man will accept you and will love and support you as you continue your journey to always be the best you that you can be – so tell him what you want, whether it’s a serious relationship or a fling, and let him make his decision based on that. If you don’t want the same thing, it won’t work.
Improve Your Self Esteem
Get a makeover. Let’s face it – a lot of us feel better if our hair is freshly cut and we know we’re wearing our most flattering jeans that look great on our butts. It’s important, therefore, to keep feeling good about yourself through your appearance. Remember that it’s a way to express yourself so there’s no need to try to blend into the background. Bright jewel tones are good, wild bold prints look incredible. Buy new underwear and make sure that your bra fits you well – your line in your clothes will look a whole lot better and it might just help you if you’ve been suffering from back ache. If you’re clueless with your makeup, go to a beauty counter and ask for some help. If you only want to keep the basics, then focus on eyebrow pencil, BB cream, a good primer and mascara – and remember that if you add a bright lipstick, you’ll immediately look more dressed up and put together.
Keep learning. The best way to feel good about yourself is to know that you’re intelligent and to know that you are efficient. Being confident in your own abilities means that you can feel confident in pretty much every area of your life. Make sure you stay politically aware and informed, and keep reading, whether it’s fiction or non fiction. You might think that novels aren’t particularly useful but the truth is that they reflect the way that society is viewed and might just make you look at your life in a completely different way. You could also try online courses. Not only can they further your career prospects if you study something close to what you do every day for a living, but they can also help to spark your intellectual curiosity.
Be kind to yourself. Finally, you need to make sure that you’re kind to yourself. Start treating yourself as your own best friend and remember that everyone goes through the world with their own burdens. If someone’s unkind to you, it isn’t something to get stressed or self-deprecating about as it reflects much more on them and the kind of day they’re having than it does on you. If you’re tired, relax. If you’re hungry, eat. If you have a headache, get some fresh air. You deserve to feel good in your skin and to remember that you should treat yourself with kindness and care. Think about the advice you’d give to your best friends and your loved ones, and remember that you need to take that yourself in order to be happy in your life.