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Published on September 3, 2020

How to Commit to Self-Development for Continuous Growth

How to Commit to Self-Development for Continuous Growth

Everyone wants to improve themselves, and we all want to grow in all aspects of our lives. All of us aspire for self-development for continuous growth. However, committing to it is a different thing altogether. Now, you may be wondering how you can be committed to your self-development.

The answers you seek are in these 7 tips on how you can be committed to your self-development for continuous growth. After mastering these strategies, you will gain control of your destiny and feel supercharged.

1. Build Self-Development Through Knowledge

Do you often feel unprepared or find yourself making frequent mistakes?

Self-development is taking action to replace doubt with knowledge. Continuous growth means expanding beyond your comfort level and continually gaining new information to accomplish your goals.

And what about days when you seem to make one error after another? The truth is, mistakes will occur—it happens for everyone. If the fault is yours, own up to it, and let it go. As author Maya Angelou says:

“When you know better, you do better.”

2. Visualize Your Potential for Personal Growth

Are you struggling to understand the next steps in achieving your goals?

Growth comes from knowing how to manifest your aspirations. Imagining anticipated success brings clarity and reveals the actions needed to achieve your objective.

Begin by breaking larger goals down into realistic steps: If a vision seems too large, it may feel out of reach. Practice visualizing your purpose any time you feel stuck, and stay open to making adjustments along the way.

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3. Develop Self-Confidence and Expand Your Abilities

When was the last time you volunteered for a project before being asked? Does hesitation hold you back from success?

Having confidence means believing in yourself and your unique expertise. Take a moment and repeat the following:

“I am worth it. I value my position at work. I deserve to be successful.”

Say it often and with conviction because your brain will interpret it as fact and you will soon believe it.

Remind yourself of your strengths. Start by focusing on smaller abilities then build-up to bigger ones:

I am a great cook. I am an amazing singer. I am an invaluable executive.

Do You Think About Giving Up and Walking Away?

Wanting to resign may be a sign of low self-esteem on the job. When life gets overwhelming, the impulse to walk away can be strong, but before giving up, ask yourself 3 questions:

  • Why do I want to leave?
  • How will it benefit me to ditch this right now?
  • Who will I let down if I quit?

Self-growth naturally happens when you push through, so remind yourself that feelings are temporary. Take a break and contemplate the big picture because it is easy to lose the ability to think clearly in the heat of the moment.

Consider finding an accountability partner for motivation, decide that giving up is not an option, and stay focused on your goals.

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4. Grow Your Productivity by Making a Plan

Do you struggle with managing your time? Is procrastination a constant challenge?

Poor time management will slow your growth.

The simplest way to start improving in this area is by creating a plan and sticking to it. Using a daily organizer or calendar will help you become more efficient and stay on track.

According to Trevor Bibic a personal trainer:[1]

“Good time managers take a few minutes at the start of their day to prioritize tasks and consider how much time is needed to perform them.”

When filling out your planner, note daily, weekly, and monthly items, and include all deadlines, personal appointments, and meetings. Know how long these events will take and schedule appropriately.

At the same time, do not be too strict with your time. Avoid filling in every block of time or you will set yourself up for failure. Structure your day around what needs to be done, but stay flexible and leave room for unknowns that may pop up—they always do.

5. Improve Your Focus and Make Big Strides

Is focus a challenge? Are you easily distracted at work?

Interruptions may be all around you—the beautiful sun shining through the window, a conversation between co-workers, and even conflicts at home are a distraction from work. Staying focused takes mental strength and requires mastering the art of avoiding distractions, but it will keep you productive.

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Here are 4 tips:

  • Remind yourself of the significance of your job. Knowing its value will improve your focus.
  • Reduce the chance of being distracted. Keep your cell phone on vibrate or tucked away.
  • Concentrate on just one task at a time. This will tighten your focus and reduce feeling overwhelmed.
  • Use noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. If possible, block out all office chatter and noise.

6. Create Routines to Reduce Stress and Expand Growth

Is getting up in the morning and out the door on time a daily stressor?

If growth in this area is needed, a morning routine is definitely in order. Indumathi Bendi, M.D., a primary care physician at Piedmont says:[2]

“Carrying out routine activities reduces stress by making the situation appear more controllable and predictable. Preparedness is a key way to prevent stress.”

That sounds good on paper, but how do you make it happen in real life? Follow the early bird catches the worm concept. Rising earlier will give you time to get ready, process what the day has in store, and focus mentally.

Starting your day earlier also means you can finally get in that workout, eat breakfast, and stop worrying about traffic making you late.

Here are 3 ideas for your morning routine:

  • Set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier. There’s no need to conquer Mt. Everest in a single day. Each week thereafter, increase the time by 15 minutes until you arrive at your wake-up goal.
  • Keep your alarm clock out of reach. Getting up to turn it off will literally have you out of bed and on the go.
  • Once awake, immediately make your bed. It is far less appealing to crawl back under the covers when you have taken the time to make your bed look so tidy.

Are You Staying Healthy by Getting Enough Sleep at Night?

Creating a bedtime practice that allows you to get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night is a game-changer. Any sleep expert will tell you having healthy nighttime habits is essential for good sleep. Be patient since it could take 3 to 4 weeks to establish a solid routine, and there may be occasional setbacks.

Here are 3 ideas for your evening routine:

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  • Set a regular bedtime each night. Stay as consistent as possible.
  • Wind down in the evening. Be intentional about skipping things that energize, such as caffeine, exercise, conversations, or upbeat music.
  • Avoid bringing your cell phone to bed. Blue light emitted by electronic devices is known to interfere with sleep hormones, so keep it tucked away.

7. Increase Energy by Challenging Your Body and Mind

Do you often find yourself dragging at work with no idea how to make it to five o’clock?

Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law states:[3]

“A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force.”

That concept is great in theory, but how do you stay energized at work when being in constant motion is not an option?

Try the following:

  • Organize a snack drawer or lunch box. Eating healthy foods (fruits, nuts, yogurt, protein bars) throughout the day keeps your body energized by increasing blood flow and brain function.
  • Stay hydrated. This will invigorate your body and the mind, but avoid too many caffeinated drinks, which can lift you up then make you crash hard.
  • Take a walk. The movement and oxygen will boost your energy and provide exercise, which is always a plus for the mind and body.
  • Try a 5-minute meditation. Find a private, quiet place to sit then get comfortable and close your eyes. Wiggle your toes, stretch your back, let your body relax, and focus on slowing down your breathing until you feel rejuvenated.

Final Thoughts

The key to continual growth and reaching your goals is in taking specific action steps.

Sit down and do a realistic self-assessment of different areas in your life—education, aspirations, beliefs, focus, and daily habits. Be honest with yourself, and identify where there is room for improvement. By taking ownership of your life, you are setting a course to accomplish anything you desire.

Start by committing to these 7 tips on how you can be committed to self-development and watch your success skyrocket!

More on Self-Development

Featured photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon via unsplash.com

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Nancy Solari

Nancy Solari is an accomplished CEO, life coach, and motivational speaker.

How to Commit to Self-Development for Continuous Growth

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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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