“Each day we are becoming a creature of splendid glory or one of unthinkable horror.” – C.S Lewis
It Is Time
There’s this song which I have been listening to, by Waylon Jennings called High Time (You Quit Your Low-Down Ways). It’s one of my current favorite songs. Part of the lyrics go, ” Well, I’m sick and tired of waking up sick and tired; As of today there’s going to be some changes made.”
You can check out the full lyrics and listen to the song here https://genius.com/Waylon-jennings-high-time-you-quit-youre-low-down-ways-lyrics
How apt. I’m sure many of us can relate, in that we do get so sick and tired of being sick and tired. Maybe literally in some cases.
But look, the point here is that you get tired of yourself sometimes. Lord knows I do. I get bored of myself, true story. Why, just the other day, I was primping in front of the mirror when I got tired of me and I rolled my eyes at me. I huffed in annoyance and turned away from the me in the mirror.
Me, myself and I don’t get along at the worst of days. The best of days, I love myself. But that’s another point.
Like I just mentioned, sometimes we do get tired of the same ole us. We look at ourselves in the mirror and what we see makes us sigh in frustration, huff in exasperation or just roll our eyes in self-mockery.
When this happens, it might be an excellent sign that we delve into self-discovery, namely we begin to discover that we need some good and positive changes in our life. Certainly, we need improvement. Maybe, an over-haul is in order.
As a mechanic friend opined, “You need to service your ‘engine’, maybe do a complete over-haul of your personal priorities.”
I do agree. There’s no better way to feel good about yourself than to start doing ways to improve yourself. No better time to begin than right then. What do you have to lose? Perhaps a few pounds during the efforts. It’s still a good thing. It is time for that tune-up.
Here are my methods at self-improvement which help make me feel better about myself. These are honestly tried and true methods. I would never suggest that anyone do anything I wouldn’t do myself.
So without further ado, here are some ways to improve yourself.
Ways To Improve Yourself
1. Eat better, drink better and sleep better. My method is, eat and drink in moderation. Self-control, not gluttony, is what you should apply when eating. This will make sure that you can enjoy all your favorites, even your guilty pleasures. Even food with fat content can be enjoyed if you have self-control when you eat. It is certainly better than gorging on certain food but then not being able to consume other delicacies. Also, have a good night sleep. Have the required hours of sleep at least four nights a week. Your body will thank you for it. Your brain too, come to think of it.
2. Get a hobby or get a new one. I don’t think that there’s anyone who doesn’t have at least one hobby. But if you don’t, then get one. If you already have one or several, than get a new one. The new part here being the ‘improvement’ part, because, well, new. Doing anything new is already an improvement, I believe. Just remember, make it a good new hobby. Don’t try to smoke, do drugs or anything along those veins. That’s not only bad but defeat the whole purpose. Here are some ideas: read, write, fishing, knitting, gardening, cooking. Have fun with it. Having fun and enjoying yourself is improvement, trust me. I would know.
3. Learn a new skill. It might sound the same as number 2, but it’s really not. With a hobby, you don’t necessarily really need skill, just do something you like and enjoy. With a new skill, it requires more of an effort since you naturally wouldn’t have the skill in the first place. So you have to learn. Learn a language. Learn to ride a bicycle. If you own a car, learn the mechanics of it so you can maintain its good condition at least. Do a sport. Bake, cook, and learn not to burn the kitchen down. Learn to climb a tree; you’ll literally go up. It’s a heady place to be at, so exhilarating! Key word, learn. I recently aspire to learn baking. So I started to try my hand at baking bread. You can read more about my early efforts here https://myreadingpoet.com/2019/02/26/quick-bread-recipes-and-first-attempts/
4. Exercise. Well in theory, this is easy. But seriously, take at least 30 minutes daily to exercise. Even a leisurely walk in the evening is exercise. You’ll feel better physically.
5. Get a new hair style. Just do it, don’t be afraid. Have your stylist recommend a style if you’re not sure about the one for you. The point being, it must be an improvement to your looks. Yes, just like that, I said it.
6. Get new cloths. You probably need a whole new wardrobe. Now, I’m no “fashionista”, and I’m that person who wears her cloths until they’re faded and literally raggedy. My nine-year old niece had to remind me to get some new stuff because she said most of the things in my closet are “old and out of style”. Well, I did splurge on some new blouses and skirts. My new wardrobe gives me more confidence in myself, I kid you not.
7. Make a new friend or two. No one expects you to be a social butterfly overnight or ever. Besides, having lots of friends or being an extreme extrovert person aren’t necessarily the best self-improvement measurements. It speaks more about personality than character half the times. However, making a friend is more about stepping out of your comfort zone, and to be the initiator. It gives you confidence. Your new friend might stick or not, but you will have the confidence to stand there in plain sight and not hide or be pushed into the background. Many people have testified that they feel better about themselves once they stepped out of the shadows into the light, so to speak.
8. Play a musical instrument. The guitar is the easiest, I find. Now, I just have to sacrifice my finger tips to callouses. I swear I drew blood (mine) the first few weeks I started to learn. Them strings don’t play around! However, you can try the piano or clarinet. That’s also easy, literally a ping.
9. Spend A Day Pampering Yourself. When you imagine yourself sick and tired of everything, you just might literally get sick and tired. This is a regression, so naturally you need improvement in certain areas. Start by being ‘less tired and sick’. So, pamper yourself. Take a day off from what makes you tired and sick, even if it’s your family, much as you love them. It’s not as if you’re abandoning them. You’re simply taking care of yourself for a while. Sleep in for the morning. Go be alone and find peace. Buy yourself something nice. Do something for yourself. Spend the day just appreciating yourself. Make you a priority.
10. Read A Book. Did you know that there are actually people who don’t like to read books? They prefer to obssess over their phones instead, taking countless selfies and whatnots. However, I have an older niece who loves to read. Almost every night, she would read a chapter or two of a book (fiction). She prefers it to watching TV. She said that reading books relaxes her mind the same way people unwind in front of the TV. It does wonders for her attitude. For me, reading helps to improve my writing skill. Just remember, books are a great source of wisdom. Wealthy in books, means wealthy in wisdom and knowledge.
11. Write. You don’t have to consider yourself a writer, poet or blog in order to write. You just have to want to. Did you know that writing can stimulate the brain? It’s true. There are days when my mind feels sluggish, and so sometimes I would pick up a pen or open my computer to a new page, and start writing random stuffs. This is one of the ways I am inspired to write my poems and short stories. In time, I find myself improving in my writing skill as a poet and blogger. I wouldn’t have dared to publish my works online for the public before. Now, I have confidence. So start writing; it’s free but quite good for your self-improvement. Also, stop writing in short form, and start spelling correctly. Work on your grammar.
12. Challenge Yourself Within reason, start challenging yourself. If you’re a lazy person, challenge yourself to a task or chore. Wake up early if you’re a lazy riser. Challenge yourself to do something you would never do under ordinary circumstances. The saying goes that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But for me, I challenged myself to start learning a new language these past couple of years. It is slow progress since this old brain is learning something new, but it is progress nonetheless.
13. Conquer Your Fears. I have this fear of heights. So sometimes when I’m at a high-story building, I would deliberately look out the glass windows and see how far I am from the ground. It’s safe, of course, since you do have to be wise as well as brave. It’s a slow progress, but I have started to not be so afraid of heights anymore. That is improvement.
14. Do. Yoda says, “There is no try. Just do,” or something like that. Well, yes. Don’t procrastinate. Do not put off until tomorrow what can be done today. The sooner you get it done, the sooner you will see the result. Take action today.
15. Get A Mentor. Or simply, take note of the people around you from whom you can learn more. If someone you know has something good to teach you about the good things you lack in life but which you can acquire, then learn from them. You can even talk to them and ask for their advice. Never be afraid to learn from someone on ways to improve yourself.
16. Habits. Stop the bad ones and get the good ones. Quit smoking and drinking; quit biting your nails or nibbling on your hair-tips. Take a bath daily, make sure you don’t have body odor or bread breath. Don’t slouch. Wake up early, sleep at a reasonable hour at night. Exercise. Don’t be lazy.
17. Avoid Negative People. I love this one. There are way too many negative people who can pull you down with them. It is one thing if they will listen to reason and advice, letting you help them. It’s quite another when they whine, grumble, complain, gossip etc. incessantly because they love doing it. Don’t let such people ruin your life. Stay away from them.
18. Stay Positive. Be hopeful, life is full of it. As long as the Sun rises, you will always have a new day for new opportunities, to learn from yesterday and hope for the future. Do today what you can do to start making a better you. When you look at the mirror, see yourself in a positive and hopeful light. Love yourself, you have to want to help yourself. Now, do.
Room For Improvement
There you have it, my list for ways to improve yourself. Always be better; there is always room for improvement.
Just a note, that these ways to improve oneself are not simply to acquire something new in your life. Sometimes, improvement is about feeling good and happy with life, so you can continue in life. Other times, it’s about reminding yourself that life is precious and hopeful, so you can aspire to be more. That is also improvement, when you have positive thinking. Thus, my list such as it is.
Are there other ways you can share with me? Do comment.