The meaning of self improvement is not the same for everybody because we are all different and carry our own unique set of values, strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations throughout life. Many people cannot stand doing the same thing over and over again. You want to feel like you’re improving and making a difference.
When you don’t see the progress, you begin to lose motivation and your interest. But what can you do about it? You have no choice but to rely on yourself and take action.
What is self-improvement?
Self-improvement is the act of improving yourself by engaging in a deliberate and conscious effort to increase knowledge, develop skills, change, and improve your personal qualities.
Self-improvement requires continuous effort. You can’t just expect to be successful overnight. It’s a gradual process, and it takes time and patience, so you need to find your own motivation and keep pushing on.
Self-improvement is a journey, not a destination. It’s not about reaching one goal and then sitting back to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Instead, it’s about understanding that the environment you live and work in changes every hour — so there is no point at which you can say “I’m done!”
To improve yourself, you need to first understand who you are, what you want to be, and how to get there — keeping in mind that most goals require a series of steps over time.
So, here are 29 examples of self-improvement goals you can emulate and succeed:
1. Develop an appetite for learning
Life is all about self-improvement, and there are always new skills to learn or old ones that you can work on to make yourself better at what you do.
Stop thinking that you know everything or even think about the possibility of knowing everything. Instead, start believing one person can’t know everything and develop an appetite for continuing to learn throughout your entire career.
2. Take interest in every type of feedback
Be curious instead of critical with your performance reviews—be open to whatever feedback you receive. Even if it’s not the one you were hoping for.
Read also: 16 Examples of a Good Mentor
3. Take initiative
Stop asking everyone else what you should do and start asking yourself what’s the right move for you. Instead, start doing it by following a process that puts your goals first and then make choices based on those goals.
4. Turn the negativity into motivation
If someone says “you can’t do it”, brush it off and prove them wrong as best as you can, because sometimes people like doling out advice like that just to make themselves feel better about not having enough tenacity.
Never underestimate yourself. Always remember that there is someone out there who would be envious of what you have, so when you keep pushing you achieve your goals in the end.
5. Listen to intelligent people
Try to surround yourself with intelligent people. It is good for your personal development because it can help you grow as a person.
Also, don’t forget that there’s safety in numbers — so even if you are not an intelligent person, your colleagues might compensate for your lack of knowledge in other areas.
6. Recognize your effort
Give yourself some credit for the things that you do — even if they are small things like working on your goals every day or trying new strategies.
So, long as you are doing something to further your success, it’s more than most people are doing, which is why they won’t see the same results as you.
7. Focus only on what you can control
You can’t be all things to all people, nor should you try. So, narrow your focus on what’s important and let the rest go. You can choose to do it or not, but learn to let go of things out of your control.
Read more: 15 Examples of Taking Ownership
8. Swallow your pride
Some things are just better left unsaid, so swallow your pride and apologize when you say something wrong. It’s the right thing to do. When saying sorry, mean it with your whole heart and never take it back — true apologies are priceless.
9. You cannot keep everyone happy
You can’t please everyone, so stop trying to keep everyone happy because it’s impossible. No matter how hard you try, there will always be someone who hates your guts and wants to see you fail. You must stay true to yourself and what you want out of life.
10. Plan for the future
You can’t change what’s going to happen in the future. All you can do is planning for what you want to happen. So, stop worrying about the future because you are wasting your time, energy, and resources.
11. Earn your respect
Respect is earned, not given freely. Because if it was for free, everyone would have it, and no one would value it. So, respect others first to get it, not because you expect to receive it.
12. Face your fear
Only you can hold yourself back. Don’t let your fears and insecurities dictate what you do. Face your fears head on — if you can see a way to success, don’t be afraid to take risks.
You will never know what you are truly capable of unless you try. So, push yourself to new limits and accomplishments every day, don’t settle for less than the best.
13. Find time to relax and refresh yourself
Don’t be afraid taking time off to relax and switch off, even if it’s just for a short while. It can help you stay happy and healthy.
We need to take time out from work or other activities that we do on a daily basis, so we can come back refreshed and ready to go again. Even if you are only taking a short break, it will help you stay happy and healthy.
14. Speak to people
Make sure you speak to everyone in the office regularly, even if they are not directly under your supervision. It’s always essential to keep good working relationships with colleagues and build strong ties that will be useful in the future.
Read also: 18 Great Ideas for Staff Development
15. Work for the team
Always remember that it is never about you. Even when you are the boss, remember that you are working for your customers. There is no ‘I’ — it’s all about teamwork and delivering the right results for everyone.
16. Let your boss know how you feel
Don’t complain about your boss to other employees, but feel free to complain to your manager if they are not taking you seriously or giving you the support or opportunities that other employees get.
17. Be objective about the future
Stop thinking that experience is the ultimate predictor of future success. If it were, no one would ever fail or make the same mistake again. They would just keep repeating their success.
Instead, try to understand what you have learned from your experience and apply the knowledge when facing new challenges.
18. Contest only what you can win
You don’t always need to win an argument — at the end of the day, it is just a pointless battle that you are more than likely never going to win.
So, all you are going to do is waste your time and energy. If other people think they are right, let them believe that because everyone has their own opinion.
Also, people might disagree with you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like you or want to hurt you. It just means that they think differently from you and vice versa.
19. Speak thoughtfully and mind your language
Always think before you speak. Words are powerful, and if not used correctly, they will mislead people, especially in this day and age when false information spreads very quickly.
Also, understand that words like “you people” can be very damaging. When you generalize about a group of people, it is best to avoid using words like “you people” or any other language that could offend someone.
20. Don’t hold preconceived notions
Don’t look at everyone who has different views from you as an enemy. It is common for people, especially in the office to develop preconceived notions about others.
Everyone is an individual so, avoid judging people for how they look or what they think. Everyone is different in their ways, and you should accept them for who they are.
21. Be more tolerant
Some people have a hard time being around those who are different from them or those with different beliefs but try to be more open.
Remember that you don’t need a reason to hate someone just as much as you don’t need a reason to love someone. Miracles happen every day.
Read more: 16 Examples of Taking Responsibility at Work
22. Challenge yourself
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Life is full of obstacles that are there to make you stronger. No matter what you think about yourself, try your best to change it around. Compliment yourself with the little things that you do.
23. Always try something
You can be anything that you want, so why not try? There is no harm in trying. Even if things don’t turn out the way you want them to, at least you tried — and what’s true is better than what’s not.
No matter how hard things get, keep going. It might be the only way you’ll see the light of day. Don’t stop trying because you never know what will happen next and what kind of opportunities will come your way.
24. Never quit
If someone tells you “no”, it doesn’t mean you should stop doing what you’re doing, and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s time to quit. If anything, ask why they said no and find out the real reason so that maybe next time you can get a yes.
25. Be positive
Seriously, it’s so much easier to be negative about everything because people will allow you to complain all the time. But being positive makes people want to help you and support your cause.
Negative thinking and self-doubt will ruin almost anything, especially your chances of succeeding. Refuse to let anyone or anything discourage you from believing in yourself.
26. Don’t be afraid to seek help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help even when you think you don’t need it. It’s really hard to do everything on your own, and sometimes things world becomes easier when you share your challenges with someone else.
Yes, you may not want people to think that you can’t do something on your own, but when the time comes, and you need someone to help you out with something, don’t be afraid of asking for assistance because sometimes we all need a little help.
27. Always be supportive
Even if your work colleagues make bad decisions, that doesn’t mean you should stop supporting them. If they’re down, be there for them, no matter what, and let them know that you’re there for them.
28. Apologise when you’re wrong
Say sorry when you’ve done something wrong. It’s important to know when to say sorry because it makes you more of an adult.
It’s also important because you’ll feel better about yourself knowing that you can own up to your mistakes.
29. Go with your gut instinct
It’s okay to go with your gut instinct, even if some people tell you that there is another way that will certainly work out better than your original idea. Just be able to explain why you made the decision that you did and what your gut said.
It doesn’t mean to do everything your gut tells you, but don’t assume that just because someone else has a different opinion than yours that it’s right either.
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