Self-Improvement! Who Me???
Just what is meant by self-improvement? Simply put, to improve oneself. I am sure you are familiar with goals and new year’s resolution. Dream-setting is the new term. In all actuality, it is the same. You set a time limit or date to reach your desired goal. This could be to quit smoking, lose weight, stop drinking, exercise more, drink more water, get more sleep, and the list goes on.
Why do so many goals never get reached?
The downside of setting goals is that some maybe too big to reach, like losing 50 pounds by Christmas and it’s a month before Christmas. Other goals require more focus and intensity then you have time for or planned, like working the exercise program into an already full schedule. Break down the plan into small steps. Like the adage of eating an elephant, one bite at a time. For example, quit smoking cigarettes may take you longer but the withdrawals will be less if you smoke one less cigarette a day then decrease to two and then three. You can’t blame your body for being mad at you and creating headaches and body aches when you have been feeding it that substance for a while now. Your body will even tell you that you feel better sticking with the same habit. Your mind must be wiser. This is where the conflict is, and you decide who is going to win. Refocus your intention back to where you made the decision in the first place for your self-improvement goal. Self-talk is a very important part of any goal.
What is self-talk?
Self-talk is the little voice inside your head that seems to have a comment even without thinking it. That subconscious voice that tells you to give up, you’re not strong even, or you’re not worthy. With any self-improvement program, you will learn about changing that negative talk to positive talk of encouragement and power. I picture that little devil on my should and an angel on the other. The minute negativity is heard, I flip it off my should and give my angel a big hooray. This takes a conscious effort during the day to be aware of what thoughts are in your mind. Let that little voice inside your head be your cheerleader. Think how previous you are and honor your body-temple.
Daily obstacles, negative self-talk. Gee Joe you tried this fifty time and have not stop smoking yet. Then you beat yourself up even more because you feel you failed. Most habits are conditionally tied to another habit. For example, drinking coffee to get you going is tied to your morning ritual. Smoking a cigarette after each meal seems to make the meal taste better. Drinking a couple glasses of wine with a movie in the evening to relax.
What can you do to stay motivated?
Getting a life coach or teaming up with a friend with same goal increases your chances of success tenfold. Find music that motivates you or listen to motivational speakers. Pick a program that fits into your concept or beliefs. Start slowly at first and work up. Give yourself time to adjust to the new change and breaking old patterns. Give your self a pat on the back or reward for each stage. Don’t think you failed just because your goal was not reached in a specific amount of time. Give yourself credit for starting and the progress you made.
Self-improvement behavior leads to self-empowerment. Once you reach that goal or have broken a habit, you will feel empowered. You have taken back control of your life. A sense of accomplishment will raise your self-esteem and confidence. You will feel renewed and that will spur you on to the next goal or challenge. Self-improvement goal is an attempt to increase personal growth. Once you reach that goal or conquer that habit, you have grown, you expanded past boundaries.
A good way to take the heavy chore out of self-improvement is to see it as personal growth and not put all that pressure on yourself to meet those goal deadlines. Look at it as personal development. We are here to learn and grow, to learn from our mistakes and be better people. Take the time to re-evaluate your goals and see if there are some that are not so difficult to reach. For example, bathing and walking the dogs on a regular schedule. Drinking wine only on Fridays and getting to bed early on those other nights. Practice meditation by just deep breathing and visualizing peace. Maybe the key is just learn to love yourself first before the long list of remodeling and reshaping.
To Your Health