Investing doesn’t always have to be about wealth or money. IMHO, the best investment would be to invest in yourself so that you have a fulfilling life, and that would possibly help you earn as you as want to.
The past year threw curveball on many of our plans and dreams. And for many of us (including me) it has been a drastic wake up call. I realized that my life could turn upside down in a day and I was not anywhere closer to whom I wanted to be, if and when that happens.
The gap between the person that I am currently and the person that I want to be is quite huge. And I consider anything that I do to fill that gaping hole is an investment in myself.
Why investing in yourself matters?
AKA what are the primary benefits in making a bet on yourself or by making an investment on you as person, not your job or business?
Investing in yourself:
Makes us grow into a better person
Helps us to build self confidence
Opens avenues for financial and career development
So what do you think are that areas that you can work on to start investing yourself?
1) Set SMART goals
Knowing where you want to go in the next 1, 5, and 10 years will give a great start in helping yourself reach there. This applies for both personal or business/professional growth.
And not just any goal or target, but set a SMART goal.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time bound
Setting a goal and a plan to achieve those goals is the critical step towards your dreams.
2) Develop your skills
Many a times, developing your skills or even learning a new skill can boost up your resume and open new avenues in terms of your career. But there are quite a few skills that help you to lead a better life in general.
Enrol in a few free webinars or workshops
Youtube and TED talks are also great resources
Advance your education through certifications
Stay on top by subscribing to publications and blogs
3) Read read read
You knew I was going to say this, right?
Reading is the best and most economical way to invest in yourself. The reading habit gives you a second hand view into lives of others and a chance to learn from their experiences. It also gives you a glimpse into their perspectives and way of life.
If you are newbie, here are few non fiction titles that are short and can be a good a good starting point.
If you are into fiction, these books are a good for a kick start.
4) Find a mentor/coach
Your path to success need not be always alone. Finding a role model or a mentor for yourself can have a huge impact, both in your personal and professional life.
A mentor can help you navigate the hurdles along your career path. You can find a business coach and even a life coach who are willing to share their experiences and knowledge, online.
5) Manage your life better
One of the best ways to invest in yourself is to spend time to organize your life and manage your time better.
A simple time audit exercise might go a long way to know where you spend your time and efforts on and then if they are worth it. I never knew how many hours I waste deciding which book to read next, rather than reading itself.
Planning your week and days ahead and creating routine for yourself may seem complex at first, but once you have tried it you will never go back to being a “unplanned chaos”.
6) Put your health first
More often, in the pursuit of success and wealth, we put our health on the backseat.
Investing on yourself means keeping your body and brain healthy. Put in some time to exercise or some physical activities in your new routine.
I know most of us run on caffeine but replacing that with just water. Include greens and other healthy choices in your daily routine.
These small habits affect our mood and happiness, and thus increase our productivity as well.
7) Choose to be happy
Speaking of mood and happiness, make a conscious effort to keep yourself positive and cheerful.
I know with all that is happening around the world, it is definitely not easy to be light and happy always. But it is ok to step back when it gets overwhelming and choose to be happy.
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”- Abraham Lincoln
8) Get rid of toxic relationships
As a step towards choosing to be happy, get rid of those negative and toxic friendships from your life.
We are made of habits that we pick, subconsciously or not, from our surrounding. It goes without saying what happens when we are staying in an environment that is not conducive to our growth.
If you want to invest in yourself, invest in choosing positive and supportive friends, and getting rid of those who are not.
9) Find a community
Surround yourself with people with whom you belong and those who travel in a path similar to yours. The more social relationships you have, the better your mental well being will be.
You don’t have to go out of your way to build a community, just look around (and online) based on your interests.
The book twitter fam would be a great place to find your tribe, if you are a bookworm like me.
Make some time to create and cultivate new relationships, so that they add meaning to your life. And maybe they will create new opportunities further down in the future.
10) Give space for your creative process
While creating your new and improved schedule, ensure you have some creative space for yourself. Creative space may mean different to different people.
I can’t do without some quiet time during the mid day. Usually, I need some white noise and maybe a power nap to get through my second day, especially if it is hectic. That never fails to help when I am too distracted and can’t churn out a 1500 word article immediately.
My friend does mandala art or Zentangle to keep her thought spirals away. There are few more who swear by early morning meditation.
It doesn’t always have to art or painting, it can be anything that makes you think differently than usual.
Find out what your creative outlet is and OWN IT.
11) Give yourself a break
More than everything, please be kind to yourself. Be conscious about how you speak to yourself. Ask if you will say that to your friend. If you won’t, then why are you so hard on yourself?
It is okay if everything doesn’t go according to your plan. Forgive your mistakes, acknowledge that you can do better and work on it. No need to pull yourself down, especially when the world is so hard you as well.
12) Catch up on your sleep
Finally, the most important one. Do not mess with your sleep cycle! Try to go to bed at reasonable hours and wake up refreshed. Put your screens away before you hit the bed.
Consistent sleep pattern can be the best investment you can make on yourself and your physical well being.
A well rested person can be more productive, more creative and more happier than others who are on constant sleep deprivation.
The key to investing in yourself is patience. None of these tips would make you a different person overnight. You keep practicing them daily and in the long run you will see the change in yourself professionally, mentally and emotionally.
With the New Year just around the corner, it is time to pull out your planners for tracking your TBRs and reading challenges for 2021. Here are some bullet journals spread ideas for book lovers to organize your reading schedule.
I love lists and planners. But as someone with minimal artistic talent, I totally suck at bullet journaling (or BuJo). Of course, that doesn’t stop me from drooling over these amazing bullet journal set ups over Instagram. How about you?
I usually have a hard time choosing my next read, often. Having a reading list for the month or week, or even the year would be a great idea for your reading bullet journal set up. These are some of the ones that I loved for your inspiration.
Tracking your reads
How do you track what your reading habits? I do so on notion and excel but BuJo spreads are much more fun and interesting, especially if you are artistically inclined. Here are some bullet journal set ups to help you track what you read during the month.
Know your reading habits
I love being able to look at how my reading style and habits have been over the year or month. Bullet journals can help to do just that too.
While some of us are already to jump into 2021 and pretend 2020 didn’t happen (even with constant reminders coughcough masks), others might need a gentle push to get onboard. Here are a few New Year Resolution ideas for the year 2021.
It might be quite literal this time when we say that “we can’t wait for the year to be over”. Seriously 2020, move over already. Despite having 2020 throwing a serious curveball over my plans, I am hopeful about my new year resolutions. And I really hope you are too!
New year’s resolution ideas to inspire you!
And those of you who do not want to wait for the New year’s eve to changing yourself, why don’t you start right now?
Well, just because it is a new year, it doesn’t mean we should be done away with common sense. So wear your masks when you are in public. In fact, I am gonna continue doing this when am having a cold flu, even after the pandemic goes away.
Get into shape
Getting into shape or getting some exercise is one of the top new year resolutions year after year. Maybe we all need it after a year of cooping inside our houses, don’t we?
Include fruits and vegetables into your meal at least once in a day. And it may not be a big production, here are some healthy ways to do that.
Take the stairs
Quickly burn a couple of calories by avoiding the elevator and climbing the steps. Studies say that this simple exercise gives you an energy boost of a caffeine drink.
Manage your stress level and keep yourself calmer and in the “now” with meditation. Even if you are not religious, take a class or use an app to guide through the process.
Give yourself compliments
Be nicer to yourself and we all deserve it after the rough couple months we have had. A small “great job” or “I am good enough” could go a long way into making your daily life better.
Talking about quality sleep, avoid taking your phone to your bed. Late night scrolling and binging on videos are a major factor in keeping us awake.
Learn to say no to things
Quite often we find ourselves committing to things and events that we no longer are interested in. And that includes people too. So start by saying no to every time sucking activity that don’t add value to you.
Be more punctual
Or even better, try being a few minutes earlier to your appointments. It goes a long way in making a great first impression. And if you are someone who is always rushing behind your schedule and to do lists, this would be a great start.
Keep yourself and your brain active by learning a new language this year. With the job markets being crazy, who knows when that might help you?
One can never read too many books right? Yes, join us in the yearly reading challenges. And if you are a non regular reader, try to squeeze in a bit of reading in your daily lives. You can start from here.
Quit reading bad books
This one is mainly directed for myself. I have a terrible case of seeing every book to the end, even if I don’t enjoy them at all. Who else is with me?
Life is too short to read bad books. If you are not enjoying a particular book or if it doesn’t interest you anymore, it is okay to DNF or Did not finish for the uninitiated.
How about spending 30 minutes each day to create something? Take a photograph or learn calligraphy. If you are not an crafty person, spending a few minutes every on a creative project would help you ward of boredom. Who knows, you might find a new hobby!
Be more active
Another thing to thank 2020 for is the work from home and lesser commute. But seriously it may have tied to our couch or the work desk most of the day. So a great New Year’s resolution idea would to be more physically active in general.
Spend less time on social media
Now this sounds like a cliché of New year’s resolutions. But it is so important that even Mark Zuckerberg considered doing it.
Don’t we all have that one thing that we are supposed to do now but here we are reading this article about New Year’s resolution ideas? Or usually end up on Youtbe or Reddit?
Oh just me!
But if you have a problem with procrastination (trust me, I do) this year we can all try to chuck that monster out of our lives. What say? Let’s get things done!
Start a self care routine
We all deserve a bit of TLC now and then. A simple skincare regimen can make your day more satisfied.
Young or old, it is never too late to start a daily, weekly or monthly self care routines. Start working on things that would make you feel happier to put up a routine for yourself.
Be less passive
Going with the flow might work for many but one of my New Year’s resolution is going to be to be involved and taking control. Stop being passive to life’s turns but be more proactive and take charge of them.
Create a cleaning schedule
Are you one of those people who spend tidying up their place every time someone might drop in? That has to change because you are a grown up and you might want to live in a clean place.
This year create a simple cleaning schedule that will not overwhelm you and you will stick to. Stop living in a sty!
Reduce your multitasking
One of the lies that we tell ourselves is that we can multi-task and end up half-assing everything. It definitely is not adding to your productivity but adding to your stress and anxiety.
Promise yourself that you will reduce multitasking and focus on one thing at a time.
More New year’s resolution ideas
If these resolutions didn’t suit your fancy, then here are more New Year’s resolution ideas for you to choose from.
Start journaling your days.
Save first and then spend.
Cook at least one new recipe every week.
Face your fears/insecurities.
Spend less time on watching TV.
Build a budget.
Track your expenses.
Drink more water every day.
Listen to more audiobooks when avoid monotony.
Take more baths.
Use your favorite candles. Do not hold them for “some day”.
Do you do resolutions anymore? Are any of yours on my New Year’s resolution ideas list? Which are your favorites? Let us chat.
With almost 25% of the countries in the world have imposed a lock down due to the Corona virus pandemic, staying in seems the only way to go. And that might be a bit too convenient for us bookworms, right? If you were one of those introverts, you would have preferred to stay in with a cuppa.
For others staying in might be hard and can quickly become too much. But when there is literally no other safe way to get away from it, why not make the best use of the downtime?
Things to do without leaving the house
So, let us talk about the things to do inside the house during the lock down time aka “don’t leave your house if you value it” time, shall we?
7. Do a virtual book club meeting. Maybe with some chai. Or wine!
8. Join readathons and read with others to keep your mind distracted from everything else.
9. Finally, dust your book shelf, and those on your night stand, the coffee table, and pretty much everywhere else.
Tidy up your blog
1. Ensure your posts are all on brand. Do they follow the same color scheme and format?
2. Begin by cleaning up your tags and categories on your blog.
3. Next, add Alt text tag information to all the images in your posts.
4. Add a Pinterest sized image to all your posts, or at least the most visited ones.
5. In addition, once you have done adding one Pinterest image to the important posts, add one more Pinterest sized image to them and maybe hide them inside your post. Thank me when the traffic improves!
Almost everyone I know and follow on the blog world is either taking part in the #NaNoWriMo or cheering for someone who does. I definitely am in the latter category and all am hoping is to not get stuck in a blogging rut once again. *knocks wood*.
But as a writer, be a blogger or a novelist or a poet, getting into a rut seems too scary, yet it is very possible that any day you might. There are days when I just stare at the blank page waiting for the words to pour out for hours and they wouldn’t.
Well, if this scenario sounds a little true for you then this article is for you. If not, please let us know what kinda crazy potion do you drink each night.
I am gonna try and tell you the secrets of managing the slump or rut so that your writing doesn’t have to stop.
10. Write like you talk
Do not worry about your writing voice.
Why try to change a voice that you use daily to talk to people in your real life? Talk to your readers as you would talk to your friends and family. Don’t try to be the pompous ass that you are not in real life. If you are one real life, DO NOT FOLLOW THIS ADVICE.
9. Talk to a person
More often than not, I get stuck when I try to generalize my readers and talk to them, as a faceless crowd. It is easier to think of that one person who would enjoy your story or post and just write for them. It is definitely less intimidating.
8. Don’t self sabotage
Negative thoughts send us down a spiral. It happens to the best of us and it is easier to say to be positive. But to truly overcome that try and understand its pattern and then solve the cause.
Worried that you are you not organized? Get a spreadsheet or a planner. Worried that you are you not creative enough? Start writing. You are not a real writer? Write MORE.You can do it.
7. Best laid plans
One can never stress enough on the importance on planning. Instead of waiting for an inspiration to strike every time you need to post on your blog, working with a plan makes sense doesn’t it?
Every week I start with a blog plan and schedule for the week which avoids the time I spend on frantically searching for topic when I actually write.
6. That elusive perfect ritual
Every post or article we write is different and the process we end up might be different as well. What I am trying to say is, do not fixate on your perfecting a writing ritual.
There is no one perfect writing process. If you do have one, please share it below in the comment section.
5. Write a spinoff
When you are stuck without knowing what to write read some of your old works. Write a sequel or part two of your most favorite. If you are a blogger, I believe every post can off shoot more posts.
Despite all these I do suffer from ‘staring at the white sheet’ more often than I would like to admit, and there is only one thing that gets me going. I set a timer for a short time, say 20 minutes and start freewheeling. I am sure you will start making sense in one or two bouts.
Lastly but the most important thing is: write for yourself and enjoy what you do. When you push and push you might end up frustrated, which ultimately is not achieving anything. Write for writing sake and enjoy the writing craft, I am sure your readers will thank you for it.
These are some of the things I do when I have to get over the writing rut, be it for a blog post or copy writing. Let me know if it works for you.
How often do you struggle to write an article or post? What are the things that you do to manage the rut? Do you follow any of these ideas? Let us talk more.