Self improvement may sound like a daunting project, but mostly it just requires common sense applied consistently. In today’s world, however, common sense is often in short supply. If you’d like to improve your life, your business, or your performance in a particular area, try these seven fundamentals:
Tips for Self Improvement
Self Improvement Tip #1: Complete tasks.
You often hear that it’s important to believe in yourself, which may sound like touchy-feely psychobabble. But it’s actually quite important to have good self-esteem and to be confident in yourself. One of the simplest, best ways to boost your self-belief is to complete what you start. When you start anything, you can be sure that at some point you will hit an obstacle or two. Obstacles are there for a reason: to make you stronger. So quit quitting and stick to the task until it is complete. No self improvement book on the market will elevate your belief in yourself as effectively as finishing what you start.
Self Improvement Tip #2: Amaze your clients.
Les Brown says, “It’s not enough to satisfy your clients: you must amaze them!” Do whatever it takes to “wow” a client. Always be early, and stay a little longer than required. Go the extra mile to let them know how much you you value them. Deliver what you promised, and more!
Self Improvement Tip #3: Take responsibility for yourself.
There are two things you can do with the circumstances of your life: accept them or change them. When accepting your circumstances, make the most of them by never blaming others for anything. Read the book Leadership and Self-Deception for excellent guidance in how to own your life and interact effectively with others.
On the other hand, it might be necessary to change your circumstances. If you don’t like the cards you’ve been dealt, get new ones! Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself in order to reach where you want to be. A mentor or coach can be very helpful during this process, but make sure that they know what they’re doing and have achieved their own success. Decide to reinvent yourself if you’re certain that your new destination is better than where you are now. Don’t just bail on your current situation because it’s difficult: make the change only if it will take you to a better situation or outcome.
Self Improvement Tip #4: Quiet the negative voices.
You have two kinds of negative voices: internal and external. The internal ones between your ears say things like, “Are you nuts? You’ll never be able to achieve that goal. If you dial that phone, you’re gonna get a no.” Learn to tune out these voices, or rewrite your mental tapes with encouraging and positive statements.
The external voices are the naysayers – the people around you who pull you down. You can’t afford this, so figure out how to handle them. I’m not saying that you have to get rid of the negative people in your life, but I did! My goals are too important to be sabotaged by people who impede my progress. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people who support and validate you. If the voices you hear aren’t moving you forward, you need to change the music.
Self Improvement Tip #5: Find better ways of doing things.
This will require some thought and possibly some planning. If you’re like me, always racing at warp speed, you’ve got to carve out time to slow down and think. I do this every morning, getting on my stationary bike at 3:30 am and listening to giants in my field. Then I take time with my Bible and notebook, and I think and plan. It’s amazing how much faster we’re going since I started doing this. But I never do this during productive business hours – that’s a time for action.
Self Improvement Tip #6: Be productive, not busy.
When someone mentions how busy they are, I wonder, “Yes, but are you being productive?” Years ago, I used a Franklin Covey planner, which is brilliantly designed. As I used the section for listing tasks, I began to notice that I really couldn’t achieve more than seven in a day. That helped me focus on a new number: the seven highest revenue-producing activities for our business. Those are the things to which I give highest priority.
To assess whether you are being productive or just being busy, analyze each task you do to see if it will get you closer to your objectives. List every activity and mark it with a B for busy or a P for productive. While many of the busy tasks do need to be completed, focus on the the productive tasks and prioritize them.
Self Improvement Tip #7: Set elite standards.
Spend time with people who are more successful and smarter than you. If you look around and realize that you’re the smartest person in the room, find a new room with smarter people, so you can learn from them.
At my stage in life, many people begin slowing down, but Dawn and I still work like younger people. Our peers are talking retirement, but we want to keep getting better, opening new markets, and gaining more clients. For us to get to the elite level, we have to set our standards higher.
How about you? Evaluate where you are, and remember that if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. Decide what self improvement you want to achieve this quarter and this year. (For extra help with this, see our tips on how to know your numbers.)