30 Self-improvement ideas

Amazon has thousands of books on self-improvement, here are a few that are perhaps more relevant to the new work starter.

1. Commit to your personal growth

If you’ve no intention to commit to your personal growth, it doesn’t matter what you read here. Nothing is going to get through.

You are responsible for your personal growth – no one else. Not your mum, your dad, your friend, your boss.

Make the decision to commit to your personal growth and embrace a life-long journey of growth and change.

Kick off your growth by picking a few of the steps below and working on them. The results may not be immediate, but I promise you that as long as you keep to it, you’ll start seeing positive changes in yourself and your life.

2. Read a book every day

Two things will change you. People you meet and books you read.
Books are concentrated sources of wisdom. The more books you read, the more wisdom you expose yourself to.

What are some books you can start reading to enrich yourself?
Some books that people have found useful are Think and Grow Rich, Who Moved My Cheese?, 7 Habits, The Science of Getting Rich and Living the 80/20 Way, The Tipping Point, Outliers and The Difference Maker, so maybe check them out soon.

3. Pick up a new hobby

Beyond just your usual favourite hobbies, is there something new you can pick up? Any new sport you can learn? Examples are fencing, golf, rock climbing, football, canoeing, or ice-skating.

Your new hobby can also be a creative hobby, for example, pottery, Italian cooking, dancing, wine appreciation, web design, etc. Learning something new requires you to stretch yourself in different aspects, whether physically, mentally or emotionally.

4. Take up a new course

Is there any new course you can join? Courses are a great way to gain new knowledge and skills. It doesn’t have to be a long-term course – seminars or workshops serve their purpose too.
Maybe go to a few workshops and they might help you gain new insights, which you had not considered before.

5. Overcome your fears

All of us have fears. Fear of uncertainty, fear of public speaking, fear of risk, fear of spiders.

These fears keep us in the same position and prevent us from growing.

Recognise that your fears are areas where you can grow. Always think of fears as the compass for growth. If you have a fear about something, it represents something you have yet to address, and addressing it will help you grow.

6. Level up your skills

If you have played video games before especially RPGs, you’ll know the concept of levelling up – gaining experience so you can be better and stronger.

Think about the skills and tools you would like to have after you have been in the workforce for a while. What things have you seen bosses or co-workers do that you would like to do. What skills can you level up? Maybe it’s the way one co-worker is good at public speaking, or writing, or using the computer, whatever. Don’t be envious of other people’s skills, learn them yourself.

7. Wake up early

Waking up early (say, 5-6am) has been acknowledged by many (Anthony Robbins, Robin Sharma, among other self-help gurus) to improve your productivity and your quality of life.

It’s because when you wake up early, your mindset is already geared to continue the momentum and proactively live out the day.

If you start the day with some energy it is surprising how your day develops. If you sleep in you have probably noticed how you seem to be sluggish all day, and playing “catch up”.

8. Have a weekly exercise routine

A better you starts with being in better physical shape.

The current thinking is finding at least 30 minutes each day for your exercise. You may want to mix it up with jogging, gym lessons and swimming for variation. Whatever you do, the secret is to put in a bit more effort (not time) every day so that your body gets stronger as it is expecting to be stretched.

9. Write a letter to your future self

What do you see yourself as 5 years from now? Will you be the same? Different? What kind of person will you be? Write a letter to your future self – 1 year from now will be a good start – and seal it.

Make a date in your calendar to open it 1 year from now. Then start working to become the person you want to open that letter.

10. Get out of your comfort zone

Real growth comes with hard work and sweat.

Being too comfortable doesn’t help us grow – it makes us stagnate and weakens us.

What is your comfort zone? Do you stay in most of the time? Do you keep to your own space when out with other people? Shake your routine up. Do something different. By exposing yourself to a new context, you’re literally growing as you learn to act in new circumstances.

11. Put someone up to a challenge

Competition is one of the best ways to grow.

Set a challenge (weight loss, exercise, financial challenge) and compete with an interested friend to see who achieves the target first. Through the process, both of you will gain more than if you were to set off on the target alone.

12. Ask for feedback

As much as we try to improve, we will always have blind spots.

Asking for feedback gives us an additional perspective. Some people to approach might be friends, family, colleagues, boss, or even acquaintances, check out those that have no bias and can give their feedback objectively.

13. Stay focused with to-do lists

Start your day with a list of tasks you want to complete. This helps you stay focused. If you don’t you will finish the day being extremely unproductive.

Some people use “e sticky notes” to manage their to-do lists. It’s really simple to use and it’s a freeware, so maybe you
should check it out.

14. Acknowledge your flaws

Everyone has flaws. What’s most important is to understand them, acknowledge them, and address them.

What do you think are your flaws? What are the flaws you can work on now? How do you want to address them?

15. Get into action

The best way to learn and improve is to take action.

What is something you have been meaning to do? How can you take action on it immediately?

Waiting doesn’t get anything done. Taking action gives you immediate results to learn from.

16. Learn from people who inspire you

Think about people you admire. Who are the people who inspire you? Who are the people you envy? What do they do, or what have they got that you want?

These people reflect certain qualities you want to have for yourself too. What are the qualities in them you want to have for yourself? How can you acquire these qualities?

17. Quit a bad habit and cultivate a new habit

Are there any bad habits you can lose? Oversleeping? Not exercising? Being late? Slouching? Nail biting? Smoking?

Stopping a bad habit is as good as developing a new one.

Some good new habits to cultivate include reading books, waking up early, exercising, reading a new personal development article a day and meditating.

18. Avoid negative people

As Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”

Wherever we go, there are bound to be negative people. Don’t spend too much of your time around them if you feel they drag you down.

19. Learn to deal with difficult people

There are times when there are difficult people you can’t avoid, such as at your workplace, or when the person is in your inner circle of contacts. Learn how to deal with them.

Good people management skills will go a long way in working with people in the future.

20. Learn from your friends

Everyone has amazing qualities in them. It’s up to us how we want to tap into them. Of all the friends who surround you, some are going to have things you can learn from. Try thinking of a good friend right now. Think about just one quality they have which you want to adopt. How can you learn from them and adopt this skill for yourself? Speak to them if you need to – for sure, they will be more than happy to help!

21. Start a blog about personal development

To be a great team player you need to help others grow, so first you need to be walking the talk. There are expectations of you, both from yourself and from others, which you have to uphold.

The writer of these 30 self-improvement tips, runs The Personal Excellence Blog, where he shares his personal journey and insights on how to live a better life.

Readers look toward articles to improve themselves, which enforces to him that he needs to keep improving, for himself and for the people he is reaching out to.

22. Get a mentor or coach

There’s no faster way to improve than to have someone work with you on your goals.
As a new starter at work you may have a mentor allocated, or have to find a coach to help you with your

goals. By having a supporter you will achieve significantly better results than if you had worked alone. 23. Reduce the time you spend on chat programs
Having chat programs open at default on your computer or iPad results in a lot of wasted time.
This time can be much better spent on other activities.

You will get a lot more done by switching them off. Reduce the distractions. Nothing is that urgent that you need to drop what you are doing. Multitasking is exhausting and usually results in doing several things poorly instead of one thing well.

Disable the auto start-up option in the chat programs and launch them when you want to chat and really have the time for it.

24. Learn chess (or any strategy game)

Chess is a terrific game to learn strategy and hone your brainpower. Not only do you have fun, you also get to exercise your analytical skills.

You can also learn strategy from other board games or computer games, such as Othello, Chinese Chess, WarCraft,
and so on.

25. Stop watching TV

Most of the programs and advertisements on mainstream TV are of a lower consciousness and not very empowering.

The time you free up from not watching TV can be used constructively for other purposes, such as connecting with close friends, doing work you enjoy, exercising, etc.

26. Start a 30-day challenge

Set a goal and give yourself 30 days to achieve this.

Your goal can be to stick with a new habit or something you’ve always wanted to do but have not. 30 days is just enough time to strategize, plan, get into action, review and nail the goal.

27. Meditate

Meditation helps to calm you and be more conscious. Some people find that the nights when they meditate (before they sleep), they need less sleep.

The clutter-clearing process is very liberating.

28. Join Toastmasters (learn public speaking)

Interestingly, public speaking is the #1 fear in the world, with #2 being death.

After you learn about how to communicate better, present yourself and engage people you will become an excellent public speaker.

Toastmasters is an international organisation that trains people in public speaking. Check out the Toastmaster clubs nearest to you.

29. Let go of the past

Is there any grievance or unhappiness from the past that you have been holding on to?

If so, it’s time to let it go. Holding on to it prevents you from moving on and becoming a better person. We’ve spoken about new starters recognising that school grades are only the start, not the finish. But there will be other mental baggage that young people will carry for a long time.

Try to break away from that part of your past, forgive yourself, and move on

30. Show kindness to people around you

You can never be too kind to someone.

In fact, most of us don’t show enough kindness to people around us. Being kind helps you to cultivate other qualities such as compassion, patience, and love.

As you get back to your day, practice random acts of kindness to the people around you, and see how they react. Not only that, notice how you feel as you behave kindly to others. Chances are, you will feel even better about yourself.