With the coming of a new year, it is very easy to fall back into old habits. This is especially possible if you’re not actively thinking and practicing how to have a new kind of year. You might end up feeling like you’re in a ditch or stuck. And that’s not good.
It is important that we all constantly improve ourselves in order to have the full lives we are meant to. This involves taking active steps towards making sure your life constantly and consistently evolves. Why is this important? Improving yourself can lead to tons of great things. It opens you up to new experiences and opportunities, helps you grow mentally and psychologically and causes ideas and your mind to grow.
Think of yourself as a river. A stagnant river never has anything good in it. It smells, doesn’t have life like fish and other animals etc. thriving in it and generally looks awful. No one wants to drink from or even be close to a stagnant river. But a flowing river, on the other hand, is very much the opposite. Flowing rivers have abundant life, nature, and even boats floating. So, ask yourself, do you want to be a stagnant river or a flowing one?
Now the big question is – “how do I do this?” Well, we have 5 practical ways you can take control of your life and live one of constant evolution. And as you follow these steps, you’ll see how much change you’ll experience towards becoming a better you.
1. Include Meditation in Your Daily Routine
Anything you want to achieve first starts in the mind. Your mind is what formulates your thoughts, these thoughts inform your actions, your actions form your habits and your habits feed your character which in the end makes you who you are. So, getting your mind in order is very important.
I recommend meditation as a great way to settle your mind and channel the best thoughts for your life. Be it by meditating on the words of God via a Bible, taking some time in the morning when you just wake up to process your day calmly or taking deep breaths now and then. There are awesome ways to calm your mind.
Think of your mind as a snow globe with a snowman in it. When shaken up the snow/particles in the globe are all over the place and even make it difficult to see anything inside. But when you keep the snow globe still and wait for the snow to settle, you start to see things clearly.
2. Learn a New Skill or Start a Hobby
If you didn’t already know, learning new things activates parts of your brain you may not have been using. There is a white matter in your brain called myelin which helps in performance. When you learn a new skill, the myelin in your brain thickens which helps you learn even better and consume more permanent knowledge. So, learning new skills helps you learn faster.
Apart from this, learning a new skill helps your mind evolve and opens you up to new experiences in life. It could be learning how to knit so you can make yourself a new sweater or going for swimming lessons. Here are a few people who have credited learning new skills that you may recognize – Warren Buffet plays the ukulele, Michelle Obama runs, Bill gates plays bridge and other card games, and Richard Branson likes playing chess. Learning expands your mind to do more and be more.
Music has such a huge power over us. How else do you think a song like Whitney Houston’s I Look to You can move you to tears? Studies show that music, playing instruments and dancing have cognitive benefits, and you can benefit from them.
Relaxing music can put you in a calm and relaxed mood; high tempo music can get your body moving for some exercise while some music with sparse high notes could help you work more effectively.
To figure out which music style would best help you, I recommend trying different types of music out. Pick a selection of songs from contemporary and highlife to rap and blues and see which ones work on what for you. This can go a long way in improving your life and productivity.
4. Face Your Fears Head-on
Fear is one thing I believe everyone in the world has in common. Everyone is scared of something and most times it comes in the form of anxiety. Your palms start sweating, voices in your head start speaking and sometimes yelling, and you feel overwhelmed by what could be. Some say it is invigorating, but I’d say most times its paralyzing. Facing your fears head-on is a sure way to get the kind of personal breakthrough you need in 2019. Whenever I’m feeling afraid, I think of the meaning of fear I’ve chosen to believe;
I tell myself nothing I’m scared of is real. However, I make it real when I give it power by thinking about it, speaking about it and believing it is real. By believing fear isn’t real I take away its power and become free from it. And you can too.
A great way to do this that I’ve personally done is to first convince yourself long enough that whatever you’re afraid of can be overcome. Once you’ve done that, go right ahead and do the thing you were afraid of. Do it immediately! You will find that what you were scared of was actually easier than you thought it would be.
5. Read Personal Development Content
Filling your mind with motivational and inspiring content that will help develop you personally is a great way to turn your life around. It will motivate you to do more and be more, which in turn will expand your mind and your life.
I personally love listening to motivational podcasts. They combine some of these points as perfectly. I meditate because I use my headphones to listen to them and some of them have background music that suits my prevailing mood.
In your bid to improve your life, there are loads of steps you can take. By starting with these you will be well on your way to becoming the best version of yourself anyone has ever seen…including you.