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Published on December 12, 2019

10 Ways to Step Up Your Personal Growth and Succeed in Life

10 Ways to Step Up Your Personal Growth and Succeed in Life

When you apply what you’ve learned about yourself in your day-to-day, you’re setting yourself up for achieving success. There are many ways to develop and grow as a human.

Personal growth is a divine transcendence involving the physical, mental and emotional aspects of ourselves. To me, challenges act as a passageway or path toward greater awareness and a better understanding of your self — the self which is multilayered, dynamic and complex and demands (but resists) change.

Personal growth, however, is bigger than simply changing. If you’ve ever experienced losses or setbacks in your life which forced you to rebuild, that is one way to identify and evaluate the inner workings your self.

You don’t have to go through a major devastation to begin the process of personal growth. All you need to do is take the time to identify where you’re at, especially mentally, which can open many doors you might never have thought were possible to open.

A family member sent me a three-minute and thirty-five-second video on YouTube that changed the way I think, perceive, and respond to life situations. In the video, you’ll learn how to locate yourself mentally by asking the question: “where am I?” It might sound silly, but really, if you think about where you are, you’ll get a sense of how you’ve been navigating in the world and perhaps why you’re not making the progress you’d like, whether in your personal life or career.

Many people are wired to thrive on ego and reject anything that threatens their ego. In fact, our brains often struggle to detect a real threat from a threat to our ego (which you’d know already if you watched the quick video). If you are close-minded or functioning below the line, you’re not allowing personal growth to manifest. Instead, you may think, well, I don’t need personal development or growth. I’m perfect and everything is figured out.

What you might not realize is that personal growth is happening on a daily basis. Each day, things are unraveling and unleashing all around you for the sole purpose of teaching you something or to make you take (healthy) action.

As of recently, I underwent a life-altering mindset shift after I assessed where I was at. I recognized bad habits and things that I needed to work toward and shift. The way we think, whether you accept this or not, influences our actions which thus becomes our behaviors. These behaviors may even induce our daily habits, good, bad or indifferent.

Identifying where you’re at mentally is even more important than asking the question, “what do I want?” You won’t likely get what you want out of life if you’re too close-minded and not willing to improve areas in your life. The biggest challenge I faced was recognizing and being mindful of the ways I was functioning on a mental and emotional level.

This year has been, I thought, an awful year; the worst of my life. Six months ago, I felt that I’d lost everything. In recent weeks, this mindset shift occurred when I began painting again for the first time in quite a few years. I’d concluded that in life, what’s meant to come apart will and if something isn’t meant to manifest, it won’t.

Life can often feel like a series of chaotic events that you can’t control. But in this chaos, something is trying to take a new shape. And that something is you.

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The only control we have is how we think and respond to the things happening around us. Our actions are an extension of our thoughts. How we think determines more than you may realize.

I put to the test, on myself, to try and be more open-minded to new things and experiences. This experiment led me to finally finish yet another novel I’d written and produce the kind of artwork I’d always dreamed of producing. And, this new openness also directed me towards getting the job of my dreams.

So, here are the 10 ways to step up your personal growth for success.

1. Establish an Effective Morning Routine

Morning routines are a great way to develop new and healthy habits. The most successful people wake up way before 8:00 in the morning. If you want you to start your day off on the right foot, sleeping in until the eleventh hour won’t help.

Beginning your day with ease and moving slowly will guarantee smoother transitions throughout the day. Even if you have a chaotic job, how you greet a new day determines a lot.

Statistics now say that a morning routine, which may involve accomplishing personal goals like making your bed or doing an exercise regimen, improves your mental and emotional health immensely, by a large percentage.

Create the ultimate morning routine to accelerate your personal growth and you will see greatness unfolding all around you.

Take reference of this Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day.

2. Establish an Enriching Evening Routine

Evening routines are just as important. My evening routines consist of journaling, meditating or doing some meditative artwork while listening to interesting music.

At the end of every day, after dinner, I write out what I accomplished and what still needs attention. Doing this increased my success because it inspired me to do more, create more and always be engaged in something positive.

After three weeks, I found myself producing about forty paintings, finishing edits on a book project, and completing some overdue tasks.

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Here’s a guideline on how to build a night routine: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

3. Spend at Least 15 to 20 Minutes a Day Reorganizing and Cleaning

A clean office, workspace, or home is the best way to achieve self-efficiency.

A video on Netlix I watched about minimalism influenced me to implement that in my home and work. Minimalism is extremely beneficial for your mental, emotional and even physical health and well-being. A tidy space allows one to move freely and accomplish a lot. It can even be inspiring.

As an artist, a polished space inspires me and promotes calmness. In turn, this mental clarity allows me to work without distractions and interruptions, ensuring a nice flow.

Inspiration and influence drive creativity and working in a dreadfully messy and chaotic environment will hinder and impede your ability to finish tasks. Organization is a big part of personal growth and will set you up for success and achieving a great deal of work.

4. Consider Time-Blocking

Time-blocking is the best time management tool out there.

I am a creative individual and enjoy doing many things including painting, drawing, sewing, photography, and writing. These activities are my lifestyle and passions. Without them, I feel like something is missing. And yes, I do a lot each day. So, time-blocking keeps me in check and disciplined. If I set aside three hours in the morning to write, I stick to it and do nothing else.

Time-blocking can also prepare you for the workforce if you plan to get a job in the future. In a job, you must be punctual and spend a set amount of hours. Even time-blocking your hobbies and wellness activities is a great way to set up personal growth for success.

Learn more about time-blocking here: Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks

5. Make an Appoint to Check-In with Yourself Each Day

Daily self-check-ins have a wide array of benefits. I spend only fifteen to twenty minutes each morning or afternoon to evaluate how I’m feeling and where I am mentally and emotionally.

Taking the time to identify where you are mentally can also improve your ability to manage stress and anxiety. You might use these check-ins to journal and empty your mind of useless thoughts or worries. I call this ‘brain dumping.’ A clearer mind makes more room for you to focus on what truly NEEDS focus.

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Have you ever found yourself obsessing over something silly, something that you later realized doesn’t need so much attention? This is one reason these check-ins are so empowering. You’re in control of the inner workings of your thoughts and perceptions.

6. Cut Those Bad Habits Out

We are habitual creatures and our minds are hardwired to thrive on habits. Unfortunately, bad habits are easier to cultivate than good ones. Stepping up personal growth means leaving those bad habits behind so you can stop sabotaging yourself or getting in your own way.

Bad habits can force us to miss out on great things. If there are bad habits you’re having a difficult time scrapping, use journaling to identify them and work through them. Writing is a great tool for getting to the bottom of and resolving issues.

7. Practice Self-Love Regularly

At a meditation group I’ve been going to lately, a poster on the wall in the room caught my attention. It said that if you’re peaceful with yourself, the world will be peaceful too. This is so true. Inner peace promotes peaceful responses and actions. Practicing self-love fosters this peace and promotes inner growth.

Meditation is one way I implement self-love in my life. Doing so has resulted in a calmer and quieter mind devoid of useless nonsense.

There are many ways you can implement self-love into your life: 30 Ways To Practice Self-Love And Be Good To Yourself

Just do what feels good to you, what enriches and moves you.

8. Give Back, for No Reason at All

When I began giving back, either to my community or supporting organizations, this gave me new insights. Everyone experiences similar struggles and setbacks and we’re always trying to overcome something and better ourselves.

Volunteering is a great way to step up personal growth. You’re giving your time and attention to other people (instead of yourself) and spreading goodness. That’s one thing the world needs right now: goodness.

Volunteering also creates peace in environments that may otherwise be chaotic and in disarray. Invest your time in helping others and you’ll be surprised by how this changes you.

9. Strive for Simplicity

We can’t always avoid complicated situations in life. Again, it’s imperative to be mindful of how you’re responding to the things that happen to and around you.

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Simplicity is the key to happiness, less stress, worry, and negativity. If you’re living in an environment that is utter chaos and in shambles, you’ll find yourself functioning at an extremely unsatisfying level.

We don’t always realize the sources of our stress. Something as small as a disorganized and messy house can have such an unforeseen and monumental impact on our mental sorting and functioning.

Strive to apply simplicity in as many areas of your life as you can. This will set you up for success down the road.

10. Practice Mindfulness as Often as You Can

At a conference I attended a while ago, the speaker introduced mindfulness by telling the audience to sit with feet planted on the floor, eyes closed and focus on breathing. But mindfulness is so much more than that. You can find joy in the mundane by simply being fully aware and in tune with your inner self and outer environment.

Even if you’re someone who is leading a rushed, jet-set lifestyle, no one is too busy for practicing mindfulness. Move slowly, breathe normally, and be completely aware of everything around you.

Being mindful increases your chances of success and will help you achieve tasks in a calm and peaceful manner. And, you’ll accomplish more! You’ll make fewer mistakes and the likelihood of causing further stress in your work or personal life will hugely reduce.

Final Thoughts

If you want to step up your personal growth and achieve success in life, it all begins with you. Stress has detrimental effects on all aspects of health. We might not realize that that is the reason we’re self-sabotaging or remaining stagnant.

Personal growth means you’re willing to truly grow and expand mentally, emotionally and physically. How you navigate life has a ripple effect–good or bad. It’s important to recognize that sometimes we all make things bigger or worse than they actually are, which only can interfere in relationships and friendships.

Asking yourself the fundamental question, “where am I at” and actually doing what you can to be more open-minded will change your life. Because knowing where you are will put you on the path towards achieving your long and short-term goals.

More on Personal Growth

Featured photo credit: Stanislav Kondratiev via unsplash.com

More by this author

Tessa Koller

Author, Motivational Public Speaker and Artist

9 Happy Habits That Will Change Your Outlook and Your Life How to Work Towards a Healthy Life Balance 11 Ways to Handle Stress Wisely How Many Hours of Sleep Do I Need? (What the Science Says) 10 Ways to Step Up Your Personal Growth and Succeed in Life

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

Memory plays an integral role in our lives, both in the short and long term. If you’re wondering how to improve memory, I’m here to tell you that there are natural and effective ways to do so.

Despite what you might think, improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it.

Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve memory efficiently and reduce the risk of memory loss.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts, and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder, then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. Research suggests that the more information and distractions you receive, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory[1].

Fortunately, meditation can help.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which, in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

While any amount of meditation will do something to help your memory, one study pointed out that “8 but not 4 weeks of brief, daily meditation decreased negative mood state and enhanced attention, working memory, and recognition memory as well as decreased state anxiety scores”[2].

Therefore, if you’re looking for the most benefits, try sticking with a meditation practice for at least 8 weeks.

However, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get Plenty of Sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then it’s likely that you’re not able to remember well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities, including your memory.

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If you want to learn how to improve memory, how much sleep should you be getting?

Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation[3], you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things[4].

If you want to improve memory, get plenty of sleep.

    Maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!), but if you care about improving your long and short term memory, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

    Try these three things to naturally improve your sleep cycle:

    • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
    • Don’t eat too late
    • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

    Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

    However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory.

    3. Challenge Your Brain

    When was the last time you challenged your brain?

    I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or under-sleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and memory games.

    To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

    Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-solving ability, and memory.

    There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

    • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

    If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

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    Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it; try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

    4. Take More Breaks

    When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctly remember working all the hours under the sun—and many under the moon, too!

    At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat, and tears.

    However, if you want to know how to improve memory, taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative, and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

    Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

    One 2011 study from the University of Illinois concluded that “the brain is built to detect and respond to change…and prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance”[5].

    This is based on something called the “vigilance decrement.” This can be applied to many things. For example, we often don’t notice the feeling of clothing touch our bodies because our brain becomes accustomed to the sensation. However, if you change clothes, you’ll likely notice the difference in texture and temperature for a few minutes.

    When you take a break from memorizing information, it refocuses your attention and energy, leading to increased focus overall.

    It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart, and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

    Basically, make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

    5. Learn a New Skill

    I love this quote, as it’s 100% true but frequently overlooked:

    “Learning never exhausts the mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci

    From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

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    Let me give you an example of this:

    Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day, many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

    Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

    The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you rather than letting you work in your own way.

    Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction into learning a new skill (computer coding).

    It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career, and the ongoing learning made the call center job much more bearable.

    Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus, and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking out new information. When learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly becomes a habit, too.

    If you want to know how to learn something new every day, check out this article.

    6. Start Working out

    If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

    Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory[6].

    Regular physical activities increase blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. A well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

    Even if you don’t have much time, research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines[7].

    Interested in getting started?

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    Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

    • Join a gym
    • Join a sports team
    • Buy a bike
    • Take up hiking
    • Dance to your favorite music

    7. Eat Healthier Foods

    I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

    This applies to your brain, too.

    The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health, as well.

    Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery, and dark chocolate. But any fruits, vegetables, or foods high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory. Here’re some ideas: 15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power

    Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain, leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

    If you want to improve your mental health, eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

    • Turmeric – Helps new brain cells grown
    • Broccoli – Protects the brain against damage
    • Nuts – Improves memory
    • Green tea – Enhances brain performance, memory and focus[8]
    • Fish oilFish oil supplements can increase your brain power

    Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

    Also, remember that your brain is about 75% water, so dehydration can have a huge effect on the way your brain functions. Stay hydrated if you really want to improve memory!

    Final Thoughts

    I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be helpful for you.

    You don’t need to implement them all, but you can try out the ones that appeal to you.

    But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory and avoiding cognitive decline, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested.

    More on How to Improve Memory

    Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

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