Invest in yourself: 12 ways to improve your life

Invest in yourself: 12 ways to improve your life

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.

How do you invest in yourself to become the best version of yourself? What are the small changes you made in your lifestyle that created a huge impact? Let's chat. Click To Tweet

What it means to “invest in yourself”?

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
elgeewrites Invest in yourself: 12 ways to improve your life walk talk
Credit: ifeandstylemag.com

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.

Not so healthy choices
credit: Tenor

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.

Oprah calling out toxic people
credit: Tenor

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.

If you are a blogger, you can join for blogging community right here.

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.

Donald Catching some sleep
credit: Tenor

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.

Final note

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.

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How do you invest in yourself to become the best version of yourself? What are the small changes you made in your lifestyle that created a huge impact? Let’s chat.

Invest in yourself: 12 ways to improve your life

Bullet journal ideas for books and reading

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.

Do you use BuJo for tracking your reading? If not, how do you keep up with your reading challenges? Which is your favorite bullet journal idea? Let us chat. Click To Tweet

Bullet Journal ideas for books and reading

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?

Reading list

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.

Bullet journal ideas reading list
Credit: kaylasbookgram
Bullet journal ideas reading list
Credit: reyanoenikki
Bullet journal ideas reading list
Credit: robinwilljournal
Bullet journal ideas reading list
Credit: bujoprincessx
Bullet journal ideas reading list
Credit: lillebujo
Bullet journal ideas reading list
Credit: darlingjournals

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.

Bullet journal ideas tracking your reads
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Bullet journal inspiration tracking your reads
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Bullet journal ideas tracking your reads
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Bullet journal ideas tracking your reads
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Bullet journal ideas tracking your reads
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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.

Bullet journal ideas reading habits
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Bullet journal ideas reading habits
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elgeewrites Bullet journal ideas for books and reading morenamonologues
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Bullet journal ideas reading habits
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Invest in yourself: 12 ways to improve your life

35+ New year’s resolution ideas to inspire you

While some of us are already to jump into 2021 and pretend 2020 didn’t happen (even with constant reminders cough cough masks), others might need a gentle push to get onboard. Here are a few New Year Resolution ideas for the year 2021.

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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!

toc

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?

Wear masks

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.

elgeewrites 35+ New year's resolution ideas to inspire you giphy
Credit: Betawards

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?

Eat healthy

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.

elgeewrites 35+ New year's resolution ideas to inspire you giphy
Credit: Giphy

Meditate more

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.

Quit negative self talk

One more step in loving ourselves is avoiding spurring negativity onto ourselves. Avoid using “can’t” and self sabotaging yourself. All the constant worrying and doubts breed more negativity than you need. Make 2021 a positive year for you.

Get some quality sleep

About 62% of the adults worldwide are not getting enough sleep. Even though the science is clear on the correlation between higher productivity and quality sleep, we rarely get them. Prioritize sleep by making it your one of your new year resolutions.

elgeewrites 35+ New year's resolution ideas to inspire you source
Credit: b-renee.tumblr

Stop taking phone to bed

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.

Wake up earlier each day

Waking up early in the morning has some amazing benefits. Even if you are a night owl, try to get up at least 20 minutes earlier than what you normally do and feel a sense of achievement and control throughout the day.

Learn a new language

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?

elgeewrites 35+ New year's resolution ideas to inspire you giphy
Credit: Youtube/FallonTonight

Read more

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.

Create something

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!

elgeewrites 35+ New year's resolution ideas to inspire you giphy
Credit:Studiolescanailles

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.

elgeewrites 35+ New year's resolution ideas to inspire you giphy
Credit: Raminnazer

But as bloggers and creators, social media is part of our daily job and it plays a significant part in our job. While we can’t do away with it, we can control the number of hours we spend on incessant scrolling. Here are our top tips in balancing social media and our online jobs.

End the procrastination

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.

elgeewrites 35+ New year's resolution ideas to inspire you giphy
Credit: Eonline

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.

  1. Start journaling your days.
  2. Reduce alcohol.
  3. Volunteer more.
  4. Save first and then spend.
  5. Cook at least one new recipe every week.
  6. Face your fears/insecurities.
  7. Spend less time on watching TV.
  8. Quit smoking.
  9. Build a budget.
  10. Track your expenses.
  11. Drink more water every day.
  12. Consider therapy.
  13. Listen to more audiobooks when avoid monotony.
  14. Take more baths.
  15. Use your favorite candles. Do not hold them for “some day”.

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Do you do resolutions anymore? Are any of yours on my New Year’s resolution ideas list? Which are your favorites? Let us chat.

Invest in yourself: 12 ways to improve your life

Things To Do Without Leaving Your House

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?

So how are you doing during these trying times? How have you been distracting yourself? What are the things that are on your to do list? Let us talk. #Coronaoutbreak #Lockdown #stayingsaneathome Click To Tweet

Let’s have some fun, first!

1. Bring out those DIY supplies that you have been hoarding all these years now. Knit, draw, color. Whatever is your do, take time to do them.

2. Watch the meerkat cam or catch other animals on live camera on Youtube.    

3. Try one of the virtual museum tours if you are into culture and art. Museums of Amsterdam, London,South Koreaand even the Vaticanat your fingertips.

4. Learn a new language or more realistically, learn to say hello in different languages. Duolingo might interest you!

5. Can you name all the countries in the world. Learn with the World Geography games site.

6. Now you got all the time, and there is no excuse to not do those at home workouts. Keep fit!

7. Do a puzzle a day. Suduko or crossword anyone?

8. Do it like the Japanese. Drink or have dinner with your buddies over video call.

9. Bring out those board games and play with your family or friends, whoever is around.

Clean up around the house

1. Do a fashion show and try every one of your dress. Discard or donate anything that do not fit or “spark joy”, Marie Kondo style.

2.  Clean up your media folder on your phone and PC. Delete those duplicates and let your phone breathe a bit.   

3.   Are you one of those oldies that still has music stored on your PC or even CDs? Welcome to 2020, clean that up! I bet Media Monkey is still going strong.

4. Match all your Tupperware lids to the containers. In addition, the desi version of this is pick all the polythene covers lying around the house and collect them in a huge one.    

5. Make a budget and check your finance. We need to ride out this tough times!

Things to do house

6. Get your taxes done early this year! Even though the governments would probably move the deadlines to pay the taxes.

7. Also ,why not catch up on the 8 hours sleep or how much ever you want to finally?

8. Throw out your old and expired make up stuff and clean the vanity table.

Things to do house

Bookish things to do

1. Start by making a list of the books that you wanna read during the Corona virus shut down.    

2. Write reviews on Goodreads for the books that you loved. Authors need you!

3. Clean up your Goodreads virtual shelves. Remove the ones that you no longer wish to read and remove duplicates.    

4. And update your wishlist. Soon this will be over and you will be treating yourself with book hauls.   

5. Pick up a classic that you have been dreading to start. Read 20 or 100 pages, as you choose, everyday and finish the mighty book. War and peace, anyone?    

6. It is a good time to do those Bookstagram shoots that you have been postponing for a while.  

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.    

Alt text blogging terms

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!    

6. Respond to all the comments on your blog. If you are on WordPress self hosted, this plugin will help you filters out all the comments that are missing replies. Thanks to Avalinah for the recommendation.

7. Clean up your blogging feed and follow only those who matter and interest you.

Things to do house

8. Create a course/ebook or anything to build that damn email list.

9. Join that e-course that always wanted to but didn’t “Because TIME”.

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Let’s chat

So how are you doing during these trying times? How have you been distracting yourself? What are the things that are on your to do list? Let us talk.

Invest in yourself: 12 ways to improve your life

How do you manage your writing slump? (& ten tips to survive)

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.

writing slump

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?

elgeewrites How do you manage your writing slump? (& ten tips to survive) LastMinutePanic CalvinHobbes


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.

writing slump

For example, I wrote the post ‘how I follow your blog‘ months after I wrote ‘why follow your blog‘. 

4. Lists saves our life

Another thing that never fails to gets started is making a list. Make a list of 10 items. or 20. It could be on anything. Do not try to hard or to make sense. Dump everything on the blank page.

You can even write list of ideas for your posts that you can expand later. I do that often. It never hurts to have an idea bank.

Here are some lists for you to get started. 

3. Pomodoro technique to rescue

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.

2. Use your creative muscles

When everything fails, shut your work down and go do something else. Read. Draw. Sing. Dance. Just do not obsess about what you are supposed to be writing. A creative break usually gets us back in the mood to write something. If doesn’t, well you did something else creative didn’t you?

1. Enjoy what you do

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. 

writing slump

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. 

reading slump