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Last Updated on February 3, 2021

3 Simple Ways to Invest in Yourself and Change Your Life

3 Simple Ways to Invest in Yourself and Change Your Life
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Learning to invest in yourself may be the most profitable investment you ever make. It yields not only future returns, but often a current pay-off as well.

The surest way to achieve a better quality life, and be successful, productive, and satisfied is to place a priority on investing in both personal and professional growth. The effort you put into consistently investing in yourself plays a large role in determining the quality of your life now and in the future.

1. Develop Your Skills

Improving your skills doesn’t always mean investing in higher education, though that’s surely an option, and perhaps a necessary one depending upon your career field. Investing in your knowledge and skills can take many forms.

In addition, expanding your level of knowledge and skill isn’t limited to the business arena and doesn’t necessarily need to be formal. There are many “skill investment” avenues.

Advance Your Education

Extra classes, advanced degrees, and relevant certifications, are all valuable investments. Take classes, either in person or online. (Lifehack also offers different online courses that help you to break free from your limits.)

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If you’re interested in getting ahead in your career, this may be a great place to start to invest in yourself as extra skills will open more doors. Set goals around your education and start investing time in research.

Utilize Available Training

Enroll in workshops, attend conferences, or participate in webinars. Many of these are free for participants, so take advantage of them as often as possible.

Expand Your Knowledge

There’s a lot of information available on nearly any subject imaginable. To invest in yourself, read books, peruse articles, watch TED talks or YouTube videos…anything related to the talent or skill you want to work on.

Keep Current

Stay up-to-date on the latest trends or advancements. Subscribe to publications, read blogs of experts, and follow the latest news.

2. Explore Your Creative Side

There is a fountain of creativity within most of us that has never been tapped or certainly hasn’t been used to its highest potential. We may need to unearth and hone our individual creativity by learning a new skill or spending time on something that brings us joy.

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Creativity in any form helps us to grow personally and professionally, to view problems and solutions in different ways, and to utilize other parts of our mind that may have been previously untapped[1]. It’s important to keep in mind that creativity has many faces. It’s far broader than being a painter or sculptor; it’s also about trying new things.

  • Learn a new language:  Take a class or use language training software.
  • Try gourmet cooking: Enroll in a formal class, by a new cookbook, or ask someone you know who enjoys cooking in a different way.
  • Write something: A book, short stories, poetry, anything.
  • Explore the outside world: Try gardening, bird watching, or landscape photography.
  • Enjoy music: Play an instrument, learn a new one, or join a music group of some kind.
  • Create something tangible: Paint, sculpt, make pottery, make jewelry, or design your own clothes.

Choose some form of activity that you have never tried, haven’t practiced in years, or have never explored fully.

3. Nurture Your Mind and Body

Nurturing both your mind and body allows you to have more to give now and in the future—more energy, knowledge, compassion, ideas, strength, and physical and mental endurance.

Expand your mind by learning new things and keeping your mind active, as this helps to grow and maintain your mental ability when you invest in yourself.

  • Read: Pick up a book, a newspaper, or a magazine to get started.[2]
  • Explore culture: Attend performances, listen to different styles of music, travel, or join an organization or group composed of people from different backgrounds.
  • Open your mind: Engage in conversations with those who disagree with you. Look at an argument and try to make a case for the opposing point of view.
  • Keep your mind active: Play word games, board games that include strategy, or try using your brain to perform simple calculations rather than relying on a calculator.

When you decide to invest in yourself, also decide to care for your body. If you care for your body in the way that you might maintain an expensive car, it will perform marvelously and last for a very long time. Remember the basics:

Give It High-Quality Fuel

Make healthy food choices as often as possible. What you eat does play a large role in your energy and ability to perform. Socializing is good fuel for your brain, so make sure to get together with good friends as often as possible.

Don’t Push It Too Hard

Rest and relax often, slow down, and don’t overload your system. Also, don’t shift gears too quickly; it causes stress and damage to your body.

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Get Regular Maintenance

Go to the doctor when you’re sick; don’t put it off until you totally break down. Better yet, use preventative maintenance; get check-ups, take appropriate vitamins, and pay attention to irregular or erratic behavior.

Polish the Exterior

Many people dismiss their appearance as frivolous and self-indulgent, but it’s not as long as you don’t go overboard. We’re not talking about facelifts and Botox; we’re talking about getting a fabulous haircut and wearing clothes that make you feel confident and attractive.

More you can do to take good care of your body and mind: 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

Final Thoughts

Investing in yourself truly makes a difference in your life, your well-being, and your ability to thrive and perform to the best of your ability. The extent to which you invest in yourself, mind and body, not only shapes the way you interact with the outside world, but it often reflects the opinion you have of yourself.

Your future is in large part determined by your willingness and ability to invest in yourself now.

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More to Help You Invest in Yourself

Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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Royale Scuderi

A creative strategist, consultant and writer who specializes in cultivating human potential for happiness, health and fulfillment.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement
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If I told you that there was one activity that you could do frequently that would dramatically accelerate your rate of self-improvement, would you do it?

SWOT Analysis may very well be the solution to your problems of feeling lost, unproductive, worried about the future, and the general struggle that inevitably arises on the road to personal development. It is quick to carry out, reliable in terms of changing your perspective, and effective in getting you the results that you desire.

So what exactly is this SWOT Analysis? You will find everything you need to know about it below as well as how to do it and all of the amazing benefits that it will bring to your life.

What Is SWOT Analysis?

SWOT Analysis is a business term that has steadily made its way over into the world of personal development due to its effectiveness in getting things to improve — whether that be a company or, more recently, a person.

S.W.O.T. is an anagram that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When assessing these four key pillars in life, it gives a very good picture of which direction you should be heading in and even highlights some of the best ways to do it.

All in all, it is a great way to reflect on past actions and to decide on the best way to move forward.

How to Do a SWOT Analysis

Carrying out a SWOT Analysis is relatively simple. The best way is to take out a pen and paper and write down four columns: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. From there, you can begin to fill out each one and apply it to whatever situation you find yourself in.

If you are considering expanding your enterprise, you might want to write down the current strengths and weaknesses of your business as well as the opportunities that you could possibly move into and the threats that you might need to minimize.

If you are an individual looking to improve yourself, you can carry out a SWOT Analysis either on the micro or macro level. A micro example would be focusing on one specific area of life. For example, you could write down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats when it comes to dating, productivity, or changing your job.

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You can also take it to the macro level. You might simply write down your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats across all areas of life — or simply the areas that you want to focus on for now.

SWOT Analysis is very easy to do and is excellent for the bigger picture stuff. Here is a rough template with a few questions across various areas of life that you can use for your own personal development purposes:

Strengths

What professional qualifications do I have that make me stand out from everybody else?

What do I exceed at where most people are either average or below average?

What achievements have I been awarded?

What struggles have I overcome in the past that give me hope for the future?

Weaknesses

Where do I fall short where others seem to excel?

What bad habits do I have?

What thoughts tend to hold me back?

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Opportunities

Is there any significant advancement happening or about to happen that I can take advantage of?

Is there a new position in a company that maximizes my skillset?

Is there a gap in the market that I could potentially fill?

Is there an opportunity that is low-risk (i.e. I can fail fast and decide if I want to keep pursuing it)?

Threats

What competition do I face in a certain area?

What is the most likely thing to throw me off course? Is it me?

If there was an economic downturn, would I be in a position to survive? Could I even turn it into an opportunity?

Benefits of SWOT Analysis for Self-Improvement

Now that you know what it is and how to do it, you may already start to see all of the benefits for your personal growth that can come from a SWOT Analysis. If you haven’t already started to think about how to use it in your own life, here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. It Gives You an Actionable Plan

One of the most obvious benefits of doing a SWOT Analysis is the fact that it gives you an actionable plan. It is rare for someone to actually sit down and write out their strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats they are facing, so you will be getting well ahead.

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More importantly, taking the information from all four of these areas allows you to create an effective plan for yourself going forward — whether that be doubling down on your strengths, a plan to overcome your weaknesses, or how to leap at one of the opportunities in your life.

SWOT Analysis is designed specifically to drive actions and decisions — it is not simply a discussion exercise that you put to one side once you are finished with it.[1]

2. It Allows You to Zoom Out

Far too many people are so trapped within their day-to-day activities that they forget to see the big picture. Not being able to see the forest for the trees is one of the things that hold many people back from reaching their full potential.

SWOT Analysis allows you to take a moment of reflection, see the big picture, and then to make an informed decision about what your everyday tasks and activities are going to be, rather than the other way around.

It is important to be able to zoom out from time to time to make sure that you are on track with whatever your objectives are in each area of life. SWOT Analysis is the best way to do just that.

3. It Helps You Recognize New Aspects and Patterns

One of the unique things about SWOT Analysis is that it manages to combine different areas of your life and lets you see patterns, opportunities, and much more that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

An example would be the combination of your strengths and your opportunities. When you look at both of these side-by-side, you get a good idea about where the crossovers are, and, as a result, you get a clear picture of what opportunities are worth pursuing based on your strengths.

Another example would be looking at your strengths and threats next to one another. When you have a decent idea about what your strengths are in a certain situation, you can start to see how those strengths might come in handy when it comes to mitigating certain threats that you might face.

The truth is, any combination across SWOT Analysis creates a unique perspective that will be extremely useful for your own self-improvement.

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4. It Minimizes Risk

Branching out from the previous point, a SWOT Analysis is carried out to help minimize risk [2]. Although this is primarily a benefit from a company’s standpoint, it can also be helpful from an individual’s perspective as well.

On a personal level, risk can come in a variety of forms. It might be an imaginary risk that feels real, like asking your crush out or asking your boss for a raise. It might be an actual risk where you are thinking of expanding your business or entering a new market where you have little experience. Either way, seeing the threats you face as well as the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities you have allows you to go down the path that minimizes risk and maximizes gain.

5. It Can Marks Stages of Your Path

An interesting way that companies use SWOT Analysis is that they carry it out every month or every quarter in order to reset and recalibrate their destination. It can be used in a similar way by you as well. Just like there are certain times when businesses use them, there are certain times when you should use them.[3]

Every month or every couple of months, take the time to do a SWOT Analysis to see how you are progressing. What strengths have been added? What weaknesses have been discovered? What opportunities have revealed themselves or been lost? What new threats are you facing and which have been removed from the picture?

Not only will carrying out a SWOT Analysis on a frequent basis accelerate your self-improvement by helping you see where you want to go with less distraction, but it is also nice to see how things change and, hopefully, get better.

It is also worth looking back at your SWOT Analysis from the start of the year when you reach the end of the year to see how far you have come.

To Wrap Up

So there you have it. SWOT Analysis might just be the tool and technique that you have been waiting for to truly take the next step in your self-improvement journey. It is practical, easy to carry out, and effective in terms of planning your next moves.

Whether you do it on a consistent basis to ensure that you are moving in the right direction or you only do it when you feel lost, SWOT Analysis will always be right there waiting to help.

Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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