September is National Self Improvement Month and if I am being totally honest, there is room for improvement in all of us. Take me for example, I can be quite the pessimist. I often try to just look at the worst in situations so if something doesn’t meet my expectations, I am not disappointed because I was expecting the worst to happen anyways. Even though I often have a negative perspective, I am constantly trying to be more positive and be a better person than I was the day before.
This month, I am celebrating National Self Improvement Month by making a more conscious effort in leading with a positive mindset. If you are wondering what you could be doing to be a better version of yourself, here are five simple changes.
Self-improvement really starts with starting the day on the right foot. Before you get out of bed and start your day, or even look at your phone to check emails or social media, really think about what you want to accomplish that day. Think of the things you might not have finished the day before or new goals you would like to set for the day and really focus on accomplishing those things. Starting your day off with good intent really helps put things into perspective and makes it clear as to what you need to focus your time and energy on. Another great thing to do in the morning when you wake up is to just simply meditate and focus on starting a clean slate.
It’s always important to be cautious about what you’re putting into your body and also what you’re exposing your body to. I can’t think of how many times I’ve eaten something and instantly regretted it five minutes later. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to #treatyoself every once in a while but it’s important to ask yourself do I really want this, will I regret eating this in an hour? Most of the time the answer is no, you don’t really want this. If you really want something, just ask yourself, if I still want this in an hour, I’ll treat myself.
It’s also important to be conscious of what you might be exposing your body to. Chemicals in beauty products and going in the sun without sunscreen on are the top two things that come to mind. Before you purchase a beauty or skincare product, look at the ingredients and make sure you know what you’re putting on your skin. Before you go out in the sun make sure you’re putting sunscreen on and make sure you’re reapplying. Burt’s Bees and YesTo are two of my favorite nonchemical beauty brands. Remember, you only have one body so take care of it.
I think social media can be both a blessing and a curse and it can very easily make you feel insecure, unaccomplished, and give you negative vibes. It’s so easy to get caught up on other peoples Instagram feeds and let it affect how you view yourself. You see a friend buying a new car and another friend going on a nice vacation and you think to yourself, ‘Wow they’re doing a lot better than I am’ and you compare yourself to them. But a lot of times what you forget is that a picture on Instagram is just a tiny glimpse inside someone’s life.
Maybe they did buy a new car but now they’re $40,000 in debt and maybe they did go on a nice vacation but they saved for two years to go on that vacation. It’s okay to feel happy for people’s accomplishments but we need to stop comparing ourselves so much to others and focus on ourselves. If you feel like what you see on social media just makes you anxious, jealous, or give you negative vibes, then take a break. Your mental health is much more important than seeing what your friend from high school, that you haven’t talked to in eight years is up to.
I always try to end the day with self-reflection. Before I go to sleep, I try to think of two positives and a negative from my day. I then think about my negative and ask myself, was this something out of my control, could I have done something differently, has this been a frequent negative for me? If possible, I try to turn that negative into a positive. Maybe something didn’t go as planned, I’ll then think, ‘What did I learn from that experience’ or if I didn’t accomplish something I wanted to, I try to remember tomorrow is a new day. If it is a recurring negative thought, then there is a bigger issue that I need to address and work on.
The biggest thing to remember is that nobody is perfect and everyone is a work in progress. Just because someone has a flawless Instagram feed does it mean that they don’t have insecurities or that they’re perfect. Everyone has both good and bad qualities and what is important is to focus on being the best person that you can be and work towards the goals that you want to achieve.