What do you really want out of life? Is it a higher rank in the workplace, a more loving relationship or your own successful business? Humans are wired to want to “do better” because in the past this led to a stronger chance of survival. That’s why growth is so addictive. A desire for self-improvement, leading us to better our lives, is one of our Six Human Needs.
No matter what you’re pursuing, self-improvement is a critical part of your progress and happiness. But all too often our efforts at self-improvement fail. We aren’t sure which direction to head in, so we end up stumbling around hoping we’ll just happen upon the job, relationship or life we want. If you’ve ever fumbled through a dark room in search of a light, you know this “tactic” often fails.
To learn how to self-improve, you need to find direction. You can do that by creating clear, actionable goals as part of a self-improvement plan.
Setting self-improvement goals
Setting self-improvement goals is about raising your standards and turning your “shoulds” into “musts.” You can do that by getting total clarity on your vision for your life, then relating your goals back to this purpose. Here’s how.
1. Identify your objectives.
If you don’t have specific goals in mind yet, think about what you ultimately want to accomplish. Picture yourself one year, two years or five years from now: What are you doing? When you identify your end goal, you can work backwards and generate the landmarks you’ll need to hit to attain it.
If moving up at your job is your self-improvement goal, then your immediate objectives could include taking classes or gaining certifications that are helpful in your field. If you ultimately want to become a better parent, then learning how to better communicate with your child is something to work toward in the short-term.
2. Establish your purpose.
What is the purpose behind your goal? This is a critical question to ask yourself. It’s easy to say, “I want to move up at my job and make more money,” but why? Self-improvement is meaningless if you have no reasoning behind it, so determine what will ultimately bring you the most fulfillment.
Do you want to excel professionally so you can feel stable and provide for your family, or is a higher-earning job a way to pursue your other passions? Is being a wonderful parent important to you because you had a rocky childhood? When you have your ultimate purpose in mind, you won’t become deterred when problems or plateaus arise.
Starting the self-improvement process
Wondering how to self-improve but not sure where to begin? Start assessing these areas of your life.
Whether you want to open a business or move up in the ranks at your company, you can always improve in the workforce. Learn a new skill, attend an immersive business event or connect with a mentor who can help you identify your strengths.
Relationships are the bedrock of your life. You have relationships with your family. Coworkers. Friends. Romantic partner. Can you deepen some of these bonds? How can you be more present for your loved ones?
Do you want to get better with money? You can. Learning how to attain financial freedom is a fine place to start in your self-improvement journey.
Your body will function far better with more energy, and the better your body functions, the more you’re able to achieve in your life. You can strengthen and build up emotional, physical and mental health.
Creating a self-improvement plan
What do you do now that you know how to self-improve in certain areas of your life? The Tony Robbins Wheel of Life Assessment can help you identify where you are in your self-improvement efforts and show you how to get to where you want to be. Once you’ve completed the assessment, develop an effective self-improvement plan.
- Get clarity: Hone in on where you are and where you want to be. What do you want, and why? Where focus goes, energy flows. When you have absolute clarity on what it is you want, you’ll stop at nothing to achieve your goal.
- Find the tools you need: How do you make the progress you want in your career? What do you need to thrive? Is it working with a business coach or taking additional educational courses? Lock in the strategies and tools you need for self-improvement.
- Set SMART goals: Having trouble reaching your self-improvement goals? Break them down and make sure you’re following the SMART goal-setting process: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and within a Timeframe. By establishing goals in this format, you’re building your path to them.
- Improve your time management: We often let self-improvement fall by the wayside because we just don’t have the time. But the number of hours in the day isn’t the problem. You must use strategies like chunking and Tony’s Rapid Planning Method to help you get more done.
- Take massive action: You must take massive action to put your self-improvement plan to the test. Keep your focus on your ultimate purpose and get your state of mind where it needs to be. By cultivating a sense of mindfulness, you’ll continue working toward your goals even when you face challenges.
- Measure your progress: Find ways to track your progress. Set metrics that allow you to measure your success. How will you know when you’ve moved ahead of your career? Give yourself clear objectives to hit, like taking a certain number of professional courses in a set period of time, so you can track your self-improvement progress as you go.
- Celebrate your success: Celebrating your wins is just as essential as focusing your energy and goal-setting. Go as big as a spa day or as small as a champagne toast with your partner. Taking the time to recognize how far you’ve come will fuel you to go even farther.
Additional self-improvement ideas
Self-improvement doesn’t stop just because you’ve completed one goal or another. Here are some other ways to enrich your life and attain your dreams.
- Change the way you think: If you spend a lot of time questioning yourself or even putting yourself down, then you’re getting in the way of meeting your goals and improving your life. These are limiting beliefs, and thinking about yourself in a more positive way sets the stage for you to improve the way you treat yourself and others.
- Learn from others: Want to know how to self-improve? Surround yourself with people who are also driven to be the best. Find out their strategies and emulate them. By learning how others succeed, you’ll be driven and inspired to succeed as well.
- Feed your mind: Just as surrounding yourself with the right people feeds your drive, taking in new information feeds your mind. Read a book about someone who inspires you. Watch a documentary on an interesting subject. Make the time to bring new and stimulating ideas into your life.
- Learn a new skill: Expanding your skill set pushes your brain to make new neural connections. When you master something new, you discover that you can master even more. You’ll develop a growth mindset that will make you truly unstoppable.
- Keep a journal: Writing down your goals and dreams makes them more real to you, while releasing your emotions can help you make sense of it all. Those are just a few of the ways journaling can benefit your journey to self-improvement.
Apps to help you stay on track with self-improvement
There are numerous self-improvement apps to help you stay inspired and keep you accountable.
Lumosity: Want to sharpen your brain? Lumosity provides you with access to games and puzzles to help keep you mentally clear.
Day One: Is journaling part of your self-improvement process? Day One allows you to enter text, photos and videos and provides you with reminders, graphics and more.
MyFitnessPal: MyFitnessPal tracks your exercise and diet routines as you work toward your fitness and health goals.
Headspace: Breathe in, breathe out. Headspace brings meditation and mindfulness to your smartphone, helping you relax and recalibrate wherever you are.
Breakthrough: Tony Robbins’ app, Breakthrough, brings you the best Tony Robbins content – no matter where you are. Watch videos, read articles and use interactive tools that help you excel in all areas of your life.
Want to discover more about how to self-improve?
Unlock the secrets to getting laser focused on your goals and creating an action plan with our Personal Growth Guide.