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Creating a Better You: Self Improvement Month

Creating a Better You: Self Improvement Month

We all have something in our life we want to change, whether it’s trying to lead a healthier life, attempting to reach the next level in your career or being a better person in general. We are our own worst critics, so the list of “things that need improving” could be long or short. Regardless, September was dubbed self improvement month for a reason; by now, we’ve all forgotten our New Years resolutions or we’ve devised a new one. So take advantage of the spirit of this month to work towards being the you and you’ve always dreamed of being… with these easy tips.

Mind

Our brains are wired for a lot of things and every one of us is different. Take this month to adjust the way you think about yourself and the world. Start every morning by forgiving (in your mind) yourself, your spouse, friends and family so that you can start the day with a clean slate. Say thank you to yourself, your spouse, friends and family each morning; that small bit of gratitude will lift your spirits as you start the day. Remind yourself that you’re beautiful, inside and out. Throughout the day, approach tasks with a positive outlook and, if you start feeling negative thoughts, push them away.  Controlling what you’re thinking about yourself and those around you will impact how you feel and act. It can be very difficult to stay positive all day long, especially with the stresses that life tends to throw at us. Here are a few things that can help:

Meditate or do yoga Even if it’s only for 5 minutes each day, this peaceful time will help you reset your mind so that you can find your positive center.

Diffuse essential oils Basil, bergamot, clary sage, frankincense, fennel, geranium, grapefruit, lavender or vetiver essential oils are proven to promote positive thinking.

Listen to your favorite music Sometimes all it takes to get you jumping is the right tune, so crank up the volume and have a dance party (just make sure your coworkers won’t mind) and you’ll find those positive feelings flood right back.

Don’t snooze your alarm This is probably the hardest for most people who are not morning people. Contrary to popular belief, those extra 10 to 20 minutes of sleep you get after snoozing are not restful. In fact, all they do is delay the inevitable and make it harder to face the day. Instead, get up and use that time to look yourself in the mirror and improve your mind.

Body

Whether it’s losing weight, exercising more, quitting a bad habit or giving yourself more energy each day, everyone has something they want to improve about their body. Body-related improvements can be very difficult though. These won’t be short-term gain type changes – you’ll have to settle in for the long haul. What better time to start than self improvement month! Here’s how you can start your road to the best person you can be:

Set goals Sure, you have your ultimate goal, but getting there may require smaller steps. Separate this month into chunks, either four (the weeks) or three (one goal every 10 days) or whatever works for you. Decide on smaller goals that will eventually get you closer to your end goal:

Run twice the first week; three times the next; four times and then five.

Replace chips with salad in your lunch the first week; soft drink with water the second; mayo with mustard (or margarine) the third and your afternoon snack with nuts or celery.

Cut back on coffee the first week, replace half your coffees with tea the second… and so on.

Meet your goals Add each step to your calendar and complete them before your due date. Changing your lifestyle incrementally like this will be less of a shock and easier to continue after September is over.

Drink lots of water Studies prove that staying hydrated keeps you energized and helps regulate body weight. Plus, now that you’re running three times a week, your body will need to replenish its reservoirs!

Reward yourself Every time you hit a milestone or have incorporated your new, improved habit into your routine, give yourself a reward. Remind yourself that, while you’re looking to improve you mind, body and spirit, that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of the things you love.

Spirit

Regardless of your religious beliefs, your spirit or soul, the essence that makes you, you, needs to be cared for just as carefully as the body that holds it. Here are a few tips to help keep you centered and growing as a person.

Organize your space It can be hard to improve your life when you’re surrounded by clutter or disorganization. Take a day this month to really organize your space. Put all of the things you don’t need in a box and donate it to charity.

Keep learning The universe is a vast place filled with new and exciting things to learn. So go out there and discover it. Enroll in that course you’ve always been interested in; visit all of the museums in your city and read the informational plaques; read a new genre of book; go sky diving to find out if you are afraid of heights!

Smile Studies have shown that smiling can actually make you and those around you happier. Plus, you have a beautiful smile, so you should show it to the world.

Make others happy There is nothing in the world more beneficial for your spirit than making someone else happy. Whether it’s a surprise home cooked meal or an expensive gift (the one they’ve been wanting for eons!), you can bring a little joy into your life by adding it to someone else’s.

No matter what it is that you think you need to improve about yourself, you should always remember to take it one step at a time. Habits are hard to break; thought patterns won’t go away in a day; and your body usually doesn’t want to change. Persistence and dedication all year long will help – and that all starts this month! So good luck and remember – you’re an amazing person!

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