Everyone has considered improving themselves—whether in their career, personal relationships, or even mindset and habits. At the beginning of this new decade, you are probably hoping for the chance to start again. This is the time most people start reading self-help books. However, these efforts often fall to the wayside around mid-year, lost in the flurry of responsibilities and daily tasks.
Keep the following guidelines in mind when starting a new self-help program:
1. There is no deadline
An easy mistake to make is thinking you have to see improvements in the first year (or month). Keep reminding yourself that this is a life betterment project. You should expect results to be slow, especially at first, when you are still getting used to the book’s suggestions. In relation, do not be pressured to read the entire book in a year. Take it a chapter at a time or even a page at a time. Let the thoughts sink in and highlight or mark lines that are meaningful to you.
2. You are accountable
No one else will monitor your progress with the tenacity you are capable of. You need to remind yourself about daily goals you must meet, or mindsets you should be practicing. A good way to keep track is by writing it down. Having a physical copy of your progress that you wrote by hand helps you feel more connected to what you are doing. Likewise, don’t beat yourself up for not meeting a goal. You have your entire life to become a better person, so just dust yourself off and start again.
3. Actions, not words
Sometimes, people discontinue self-help programs because they seem to be all talk. But even books that are written in a deeply spiritual or inspirational way can affect your daily life. The work is left to you, though, to translate the words into actions. When you read a tip or a guideline, don’t take it as is. Adapt it to your life, and make sure you have actionable steps. “Cut back on sugar,” for example, is made more specific by saying, “I can only have 20g of sugar this week.” Always have practical, measurable mini-goals.
4. Tell somebody else
While no one will be able to monitor you, telling someone about your self-improvement plans further helps it become more concrete. You might have heard of accountability partners; they are friends or colleagues who can be there to support you and cheer you on when you have small victories in your journey. This would even be better if your partner will also share their progress with you. Lifting each other up and taking turns doing the encouraging will let you both keep at the project longer.
5. Journaling keeps you on-track
Complement your self-help book with a growth journal. Having a place to write your goals personally will help you keep track of your progress and, at the same time, appreciate how far you’ve come. While you can make your own self-help journal, it is more convenient to get one that is made for you. This is especially important for reflections; when you see a prompt someone else chose for you, it lets you come up with more candid and spontaneous responses than when you prompt yourself.
Taking action on self-help tips needs more than just finishing a book. Most people who read these types of books never see improvements in their life because they don’t put the effort in and treat it as an actual project. Commit to a self-help project by writing down your goals and plans, keeping yourself updated on it regularly, and showing other people your progress. Who knows—your self-help journey might even inspire others to make changes in their lives.
If you’re looking for self-help journals, get in touch with us to see how we can help.