Figure Out Who You Want To Be
The first step to improving yourself is to know exactly what you want to become. Without an end goal in mind it will be hard to plan out how you are going to achieve your ideal self. Who do you want to be?
Once you've figured that out you need to start researching what you'll need to achieve the results you want. This varies greatly by goal so it's hard to suggest a "one size fits all" solution.
I recommend that you start following some bloggers or magazines that talk about what you want to do. For example, if you want to become an avid runner, order a running magazine subscription and immerse yourself in that world. If you want to learn how to cook, go to a cooking class and ask as many questions as you can.
Set SMART Goals And Resolutions
Once you've figured out what you want to accomplish you need to start creating a plan to get yourself there. I highly recommend that you start creating S.M.A.R.T. goals to help make your self-improvement more achievable.
Smart is an acronym. S means specific, M means measurable, A means attainable, R means realistic, and T means time-oriented.
Creating a specific goal is important so you know exactly what you want to accomplish. Broad or vague goals are hard to follow.
Measurable goals implies that there is some way you can measure your progress towards a goal. For example, if your goal is weight loss you would say "I want to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks."
Attainable is basically like mental toughness. You can attain the goal if you feel passionately enough about your self-improvement.
Realistic is self-explanatory. Don't set a goal you can't possible accomplish like losing 50 pounds in a week.
Time-oriented means that you set a deadline for the goals completion. This will give you a sense of urgency and a kick in the butt to start working hard on your goal.
Exercise and Fitness Goals
Credit: sxc.huOne of the most common self-improvement goals is to start exercising more. This fails often because it has no real meaning! A good example of a smart goal for fitness is "I want to go to the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every morning and lift weights for one hour during the next month." It has the 5 elements of a smart goal and isn't unrealistic.
Weight Loss Goals
The weight loss industry is always booming since people are always looking for a magical pill that will make them slim. A smart goal for weight loss is "I will lose 10 pounds this month by tracking all the food I eat and making sure I maintain a 400 calorie deficit each day. I will also only drink water and not eat any desserts." Much more realistic.
Business, Career, or Money Goals
Since the business world is always changing it is difficult to set a smart goal. One example of a money goal is "I will write 5 articles for InfoBarrel each month to diversify my income over this year." That is an attainable smart goal that can help your self-improvement process.
Other Types of Goals
There are millions of other types of goals you can set. Don't sell yourself short and create some smart goals to see a real improvement in yourself.
Some other examples I can come up with off the top of my head are learning a new instrument, creating your own website, or just making more time to spend with your family.
Set Up Your Habits For Success
It's not enough to just set a smart goal, you have to take action!
Things do not magically align, you have to go out of your way to work harder than everyone else and achieve whatever goal you set for your self-improvement.
One way that successful people achieve their goals is they take what they want to carry out and make it a habit. For example, if they have an exercise goal they develop the habit of going to the gym 3 times a week no matter what. It's a priority for them and a habit.
Some other habits could be always ordering water when eating out, practicing your musical instrument everyday, or just waking up ready to start your day enthusiastically.
It's 100% Up To You
People are going to tell you that you can't learn a second language at your age or you can't lose weight. Prove them wrong and use their negativity as motivation. If you let them tell you what you cannot do they will own you. Prove them wrong.
The ball is in your court. Now go set a smart goal and make it a "slam dunk."