You already established that you do not have the life you want, you want more of yourself, and you started to seek self-improvement in certain areas of your life. Passion and confidence hit and you know you can meet your goals this time. In order to do this you have to come up with some self-improvement goals, and of course develop a self-improvement plan. Without a plan you will fuck things up exactly the way you did so many times before.
Maybe you feel motivated to work out, maybe you want to learn a new skill, or why not develop a healthier lifestyle. Whatever area of self-improvement you are aiming at, one question comes to mind…
…how do you keep that feeling of motivation going?
Feeling motivated is what pushes us to start something in the first place, and you get that feeling many times during life. You get that feeling after watching an inspirational movie, after watching a great speaker, you get that feeling even after listening to a certain song when you are in a good mood. But you always lose it. You have it for an hour, or maybe for a whole day, but reality strikes and you totally forget about it. You forget about feeling ambitious like it was never there.
How many times this happened to you? How many times did you felt the drive towards doing something and you suddenly forgot about it?
What makes us let go of stuff that once stimulated us?
We lose momentum. Keeping momentum alive is the key to achieve anything. You know that desire and excitement you get when you tell yourself that you want to learn something new? Now, that is momentum, that passion you are feeling when you get engaged in something new. Sadly, we often lose that passion in a beat because we don’t act in the moment, we press the pause button, and let ourselves get caught in society’s hustle and totally forget about it.
Bet your ass that there are countless things you let on pause somewhere thinking “I’ll get to it someday”? How many places you wanted to explore? How many skills you wanted to learn? But you never got to do it. Always finding excuses: to tired, to lazy, to busy, better sticking with something familiar that doesn’t involve any kind of effort instead of doing something new and exciting.
You have to start setting up self-improvement goals and stop waiting for a magical fairy to transform your life overnight.
One key to set up self-improvement goals: know what you want to achieve
In order to change any area of your life you have to get out of your comfort zone, and it is a little uncomfortable (hence the name, duh!). A self-improvement plan has to begin with 4 major steps. These are the steps to self-improvement that helped me a lot when I was feeling completely lost, they gave me direction and aim, and they keep my motivation running every time I feel like giving up (because yeah, whoever you are, you get this freaking feeling sometimes).
1. Figure out what you want out of life and learn to focus on self-improvement
Now stop for some minutes and start imagining yourself living the life you dream of. Ask yourself this questions and imagine the shit out of it, every little detail.
- How the life that you want looks like?
- What job do you imagine yourself doing?
- What is the attitude you have towards yourself, towards people?
- How do you want to influence people?
- How are you creating a better world?
- What will make you happy?
Squeeze the answers to this questions, every little detail you find that triggers your enthusiasm. Write that shit down. I’m not joking, write it. Leave alone the fear that people will consider you crazy if they would find out what you are doing. This process is all about yourself, and you have to be confident, you have to stop external disturbances that slow down your self-improvement. Writing down your goals helps your mind to make them a priority.
You can’t expect to reach greatness if you don’t know where you want to land. You can’t just say “I want a better life, I want more money, I want more comfort”. Better find out what would make you say “I have a better life, I feel more comfortable”.
You have to know your outcome in order to reach it.
2. Think about who you are and you want to become
For sure there are things you love about yourself and you are proud of. Some other things, not that much loving and pride. So why not start creating yourself by keeping what you like and replacing the awfulness with some awesome skills? Have no idea where to start? Don’t panic, there are many places to get inspired from, and the most important ones are right in your face and just need paying attention to.
Steal from others
Yeah, no kidding. You won’t get in trouble for this, I can assure you, so chill out. Look out for people you admire. Take every aspect of their behavior you are crazy about (their health habits, how they plan their day, the way they create, their clothes, their attitude, their values, their actions). You go add those aspects into your own life.
Let’s take an example here. You always get nuts when seeing leather pants on some random girl, but somehow you never get to wear them because you don’t consider yourself being the right fit? It probably is all in your freaking head. Imagine yourself in those leather pants but seeing from another perspective, like you would see someone for the first time, someone you don’t recognize. Try imagining yourself like out of your body. Crazy sounding shit, I know, but it so freaking works. You stop being so hard on yourself and may discover that you actually have the attitude to wear those leather pants you’re crying over.
Make lists of all the details, all the habits that catches your attention in other people and start making them part of your self-improvement goal list. Getting the right habits builds you up, improves your life’s quality, and makes you confident on being yourself.
3. Keep momentum alive by implementing self-improvement habits
I know you hear this a lot if you are in the process of self improving. You see it so often it becomes sickening at some point. But it is there for a reason.
There are two things that keep us moving forward. And without any of them, our energy runs low and the state of comfort hits – this is the moment you give up.
Firstly, we have our drive, our passion for something. This is the best state of creating. When feeling the passion flood our body things seem so easy and exciting, we feel absorbed in what we are doing. This is pure self-improvement motivation. But there are days filled with laziness, no sign of passion or drive. For those lazy days when we do not feel drive towards nothing at all, we have habits and discipline to keep us advancing.
Habits are habits. You do them regardless of what day it is, of what mood you are into, without having to set up time for that. They are already implemented in your day, just like brushing your teeth or taking regular showers. They are part of your day no matter what, and you don’t feel the struggle to do them. Having habits is indeed important because they often boost our energy bit by bit when we are feeling down. Habits can often awaken momentum out of nowhere.
I sometimes know that I have to write, but I am feeling so “not in the mood now”, “not enough inspiration”. But I developed the habit of starting writing anyhow, anything, just writing, and I wake up after an hour with a bunch of ideas and pages written. Just by relying on a habit, feeling no motivation to start with.
Momentum, passion, are feelings that sometimes come naturally, out of the blue, but sometimes you have to generate them.
Embrace habits to improve your day
Finding things that makes you feel better about yourself: songs that you find inspiring, motivational speeches, quotes cards, inspiring mementos, anything that works for you. Everybody has it’s thing, you just have to find yours.
There are a lot of ideas out there for little habits that can boost your mood and you can start out with 7 habits to boost your day.
All you have to do is find out what works out for you and start doing it every day. You have to be persevering and do it every single day because for a behavior to become a habit it might take on average around 66 days as researches suggest. More about the time it takes to develop a new habit here.
4. Forward your life
Think about how you see yourself after 20 and something years. What kind of person you are? Who are you surrounded by? Do you live a peaceful life? Are you in the heart of the city craving for adventure? Are you living a creative life? Have you developed skills on something in particular over time?
Let’s say you want to become a healthier person. What kind of actions are you taking 20 years from now about your health? What healthy habits do you have in the future and what exercise routine you follow?
Just by hoping for a healthier life, won’t make you wake up some day craving for apples in the morning instead of chocolate. Hoping for a fit body won’t make six packs appear on your belly from nowhere. In order for those habits to be part of your future life they have to start from somewhere, and there will be no better moment to start a new habit than this very moment is. Having clear goals of what you want to have in the future helps you find the motivation you need today.
Once you make lists with this aspects you will:
- Get to know yourself better
- Develop a clear self-improvement goals list
- Get an idea on exact changes that you need to make about your habits
- Generate the motivation you need to reach your goals
- Seek self-improvement every day so you become your best self
- Focus on self-improvement today so you create an awesome future self
So, have a long talk with yourself, question everything and keep your mind open for new and exciting ideas. Get to know yourself in order to become your best self.
What helps you set up your goals to establish a self improving plan?