Did you know that September is Self-Improvement Month? If you didn’t know it before, well now you do – you’re welcome!
So, what does September being Self-Improvement Month mean to you, exactly? In and of itself, absolutely nothing! In that regard, it’s sort of like New Year’s Resolutions – they sound good on the surface, but they can’t do anything or make anything happen on their own.
Just as folks make New Year’s Resolutions every year just because that’s what you’re supposed to do whenever January 1 rolls around, you could also make a list of Self-Improvement Goals every September just because that’s what you’re supposed to do. But what will that achieve for you? Nothing at all, if all you do is make a checkbox list.
Self-Improvement Month only means something once you decide to be intentional about it, choose to do something with it, and then take real action! Understand too that I’m not writing this as someone who has everything figured it and already has it all together. If I’m honest, I write this to encourage myself – I recognize that I DON’T have it all together, and in fact NEED some self-improving. And if you’re honest with yourself as you’re reading this, chances are good that you need some self-improving, too.
Ok, enough of the why – let’s start talking about the how. What are some practical ways to start making yourself a better version of yourself during Self-Improvement Month? I’m glad you asked! Here’s a summary of some tips originally offered to members of the U.S. military in a Sandboxx blog from 2019. The beauty of these strategies is that they aren’t just military-specific; they really apply to anyone and everyone who’s ready to improve themselves:
Those in the military always have an upcoming Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) they’ll need to pass. The challenge presented in this self-improvement tip is to beat your best time, achieve the highest number of reps, etc. If you’re a civilian, set a goal of reaching your own personal best in whatever exercise regimen you follow. Don’t have an exercise routine? Then start one this month!
It’s healthy to spend time with people who know your abilities & potential, and are willing to challenge you to go beyond your daily grind, get outside your comfort zone, and try things you normally wouldn’t do. The older you get, the harder it is to break away from old habits, so it’s good to find people who care enough to challenge you to be better. Those kinds of relationships are worth nurturing and maintaining!
For those in the military, this means taking active steps towards achieving the next rank. For you, it could translate to working towards earning your next job promotion. Or if you’re looking to make a career change, there’s no time like the present for getting yourself ready to make the jump! Register for a class, earn a certification … this month, do something to help yourself take that next step!
Volunteering is a great way to do some good in your community, but the fact of the matter is that it’s good for you, too. It’s not hard to find a place which could benefit from your willingness to serve – you could start with a local hospital, school, library, animal shelter, or church. Research shows that volunteering boosts your self-confidence, wards off depression, and helps you establish a greater sense of purpose, among other benefits.
What do you do whenever you get home after work? Eat dinner while watching TV? Mindlessly scroll through social media until bedtime? You might want to reevaluate how you spend your free time, especially if you’re trying to achieve some goals. Here are a few things that can steal your time, if you let them: checking emails, shopping online, getting lost in social media, and saying “yes” to every request. You’ve only got 24 hours in each day – prioritize your time!
There are entire bookstore sections devoted to self-help and personal development – chances are pretty good that you can find something which piques a personal interest, or speaks to an area of your life you’d like to develop. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is a classic, but there are also plenty of others. Not a big reader? Most books have audio versions available, as well.
Whether you decide to enroll in a college or community college course, take a class online, or join a local apprenticeship program, there are plenty of practical ways to learn something new outside of your normal work sphere. For example, you could take a financial class, an art class, cooking or dance lesson, etc. Not interested in pursuing a traditional learning avenue? LinkedIn and YouTube offer lots of good learning opportunities, as well!
Life in the military can be pretty unpredictable. For that matter, life in general is pretty unpredictable too! One good avenue for personal growth is learning to let go of all those things you really can’t determine. If you spend more energy focusing on the things you CAN control, it will help free you up to give those situations your best efforts. Take time to be thankful for all your many blessings, as well.
Well, now it just feels like we’ve gone from preaching to meddling! We get that it’s not always easy to eat healthy, especially when you’re busy, but making a commitment to eat healthier is worth the effort. Why does it matter? Eating healthy improves your energy levels, helps prevent disease, helps to keep your waistline in check, helps you to live longer, and also helps to improve your overall mood. Ok, sermon over – you get the point!
As you’re working towards making progress on your personal goals, it’s also important to stop and celebrate your wins along the way, too. If you don’t take the time to reflect on your growth, it can honestly be hard to stay motivated. Stopping to reflect helps you to see where you’re actually making progress, and it also helps you to understand where you still have opportunities for personal growth. Reflecting helps to keep you in the driver’s seat when it comes to how you choose to live your life!
If you’re a business owner or leader, this is a good time to give some thought as to how you can improve your business, as well. Here are just a few tips we’ve been able to cull and curate from successful business leaders in their respective fields:
Let’s be honest – this hasn’t been an easy year for any of us. 2020 saw the spread of the pandemic, and in 2021 we’re still struggling to recover and establish some sense of “normal.” While the new “normal” may never again look exactly like it did in the past, there are still things to celebrate, there is still cause for hope … and there is still room for improvement.
At Carport Central, we truly hope this September will be your best Self-Improvement Month ever! And if you’re in the market for your best metal building solution, we invite you to partner with us to help you get your perfect building. We’re here to help Provide Shelter for Your Way of Life, as well as for your business! You can reach out to us anytime by filling out this simple contact form, or you can always just pick up the phone and give us a call at (980) 321-9898.
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