A woman spinning in a field with the sun set behind her.

Self-Improvement through self-reflection

It is possible to love yourself and want to improve yourself as well. In fact, I believe that it is only from a place of kindness and love for myself that I can make any long term self-improvement.

A woman spinning in a field with the sun set behind her.

Why it’s important to self-reflect

A lot of times we find ourselves looking at other peoples lives and thinking that we don’t measure up, when really we are not seeing the full picture.

Don’t just focus on what I wish I had or what do I want to become. It is just as important, if not more so, to reflect on what am I that is already great? What do I have that I am grateful for? What accomplishments have I made that I am proud of?

Think of some of my skills that I naturally have or personality traits that other people admire? These things come easily to me. How can I build on them?

Two girls playing in a stream.

What are self-Improvement goals

Goals are actually so important, they give us a feeling of purpose, something to strive towards, to look forward to.

I think the secret to a long happy life is to constantly be learning and to understand that we don’t know everything. That you are continually a beautiful work in progress.

People have goals in all aspects of life and in all shapes and sizes. It is important to understand yourself before you make any goals. What is achievable for you at this present time in your life.

Two people making pottery on a wheel.

Looking to the past

Honestly, we can learn a lot from older generations. With the age of social media and constant comparison that we are in now, the need to improve and to have lives as wonderful as what we think we see online is overwhelming.

I see written on t-shirts of little kids “I can change the world”, which seems like a wonderful aspiration. But are we setting them up to feel disappointed or to feel that others are disappointed in them, or us, if they don’t “change the world”?

Honestly, my grandparent’s main aspiration was to give their kids a better life than they had.

They had a goal, but a reachable one. Their goal was to change THEIR world.

An old wooden house with an old car parked in front. Black and white photo.

Where to start with Self-Improvement

Sometimes we think to broadly. Something that is going to be achievable in a year’s time. This is great but you also need to set realistic goals. Break down bigger goals in to small easily achievable milestones.

Visualize how your future will look when those goals are reached. If you visualize, plan, and truly believe in the success of the outcome, the easier it is to achieve.

Journaling or making notes

Who am I?

Start a journal or write a real letter to yourself describing who you are right now. Read the letter and really accept that person. Now, write another letter about who you want to be.

Make a list of small reachable goals that you can achieve on your way to becoming the person you described.

Know that you WILL fall off track. Know that CHANGE IS HARD. But, also know that you are STRONG!

Self-help and compassion

Write a letter to yourself with love and compassion for when you do fall off track.

What words did you use? Was it positive or negative speech. Think of how you would talk to a person in your life that you love. Tough love rarely works. But coming from a place of kindness and compassion does lift people up.

Changing habits is difficult. Give yourself permission to accept that it is difficult. Don’t feel ashamed when you find it difficult, even if others find the same thing easy. Remember that not everyone has the same strengths. Things that are easy for you are hard for other people too!

A woman writing in a journal.

Take action

Make any bad habits you are trying to eliminate harder and the good habits you want easier to achieve. Trust yourself, you are capable!

What does this look like in real life? Maybe your bad habits are eating junk food when you’re board at night.

Remove the junk food, but also make sure to replace it with quality food that also feels like a treat! Don’t make the change feel like punishment, just a change.

Find another activity that you can do in the evenings, pick up a new skill like crochet. (Trust me this can be very addicting!)

Dealing with setbacks

When you falter and things get off track, get back into it! The more you practice the behaviour the easier it will get.

Remember that there is discomfort in growth and change, you need time to adapt before you can experience the joy in the new changes that you are working towards. Give yourself time, and remember to be kind to yourself.

Self-reflection and personal growth

Live the life you want

What does your life look like when you attain your goals. What would you do differently if you achieved your self-improvement goal?

For example, if you lost 10 pounds you would be wearing a new wardrobe, doing yoga, eating a beautiful healthy rainbow coloured smoothy bowl?

Do those things now! Not only will this help you achieve your goals but loving yourself completely, just as you are. Start telling yourself that you deserve this new life now.

Don’t put your life off hold until you achieve your goals. Make it about self care, treat yourself with kindness and talk to yourself the same way you would a friend in the same situation.

A yogurt and granola breakfast bowl with blueberries on top. In the background is more of the ingredients to make this breakfast plus orange juice.

Change is a good thing!

Try new things. People love routine, going to the same restaurant or going to the same conservation area for walks in nature.

Every now and then, change things up. This opens you up to new explorations and experiences which will stretch you and bring you new experiences.

Self-reflection and self-acceptance

You cannot find happiness. Happiness and self-acceptance is a choice. Relationships with people close to you, knowing your worth and value, growing and learning new things and working towards goals bring us joy and fulfillment.

Reflect on how great your life actually is. You’ve just grown accustomed to it! Make a list of all of the wonderful things in your life right now and all the wonderful things about you right now. Reflect on it often!

A group of girlfriends laughing.

Self-Improvement activities

It is important to always have goals, have something to be working towards and to be excited about achieving. These are some important and popular self-improvement activities.

Purpose and meaning

What gives your life purpose and meaning? This will look different for different people

  • Get involved in the community.
  • Find a job that you think is important or meaningful. This might look like a monetary job outside of the home or it might be caring for your family and serving them in the best way you can.

Self-improvement for your mind

Always keep learning, your mind needs to always be challenged. Your mind is on of the most important things you need to think about when it comes to longevity and is hard to get back once you start neglecting it.

My grandmother worked a few days a week up until her 80’s as a secretary for a lawyer. She did the crossword puzzle and constantly used and challenged her mind. She knew that excersizing her mind was just as important as physical activity.

An elderly woman reading a book.

Physical health and nutrition

This is perhaps the most common goal people have. Make sure to approach this in a healthy way. Since there are so many differing opinions on this, make sure to do something that works for your body and your lifestyle.

When self-Improvement becomes destructive

The constant need to improve and reach for perfection can quickly turn into a hamster’s wheel you can never get off of.

Maybe things are not going as quickly as you would like, or you are comparing yourself to other people. Feelings of, I will never measure up to this person or other negative thoughts creeping into your head.

Fixating on these negative aspects can tear us down and actually prevent us from achieving our goals.

Everyone is different. You have a different mind and body. You will find joy in different things and different things will be important to you.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. It is completely true that every person is way more concerned with how they look, how they are perceived by the outside world than they are about you and what you think are your weaknesses.

Take brakes, don’t obsess over it. Remember that you are enough!

Self-Improvement Planner

As a fun activity and to get the ball rolling, I’ve made a self-improvement planner to use as a starting off point to get to know yourself and to find out what is important to you!

This planner is beautifully designed with great interactive questions, quotes, and notes for you to make. It is completely free to print and download, if you would like to sign up for the exclusive FREE PRINTABLES library! Hope you enjoy!

A mock up of a calendar for finding yourself.

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