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How To Improve Yourself: 16 Tips To Grow Holistically As A Person

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Do you feel stuck in life? Do you find it difficult to overcome bad habits?

If you feel like you’re not growing in one or more areas of your life, consider committing to a lifestyle change to take away bad habits and form better ones.

However, it’s understandable that it’s not easy to break habits, renew our minds, and try new things.

But if you’re willing to make the time, commit to the challenge, and be open to new ideas and experiences, this guide aims to teach you how to improve yourself in most—if not all—areas of your life.

What Is Self-Improvement?

Self-improvement refers to increasing, improving, or growing your knowledge, character, status, and other areas of your life.

To start the process of self-improvement, you must first gain self-awareness by being honest with yourself and objectively looking at your bad habits, lifestyles, choices, and mindsets.

After identifying points for improvement, list specific goals you want to achieve and actions or steps to achieve them. Ultimately, exercise practical steps slowly but steadily to break old habits, get out of your comfort zone, and live your best life.

Why Is Self-Improvement Important?

Practicing self-development lets you live out the best version of yourself. For one, it improves your mental health, as it boosts your confidence and helps you develop a more positive outlook in life.

Also, self-improvement helps us practice a healthy lifestyle, as many strive to eat a balanced diet and build an exercise routine to develop a better shape and feel good.

Overall, growing holistically as a person gives a competitive edge in life, opens new opportunities, and helps develop resilience during tough times.

16 Tips on How to Improve Yourself Holistically

Check out the following self-improvement tips, and try to practice one or more tips to improve your life.

  1. Read Daily
  2. Learn a New Language
  3. Pick Up a New Hobby
  4. Eat a Balanced Diet
  5. Exercise Regularly
  6. Get Ample Sleep
  7. Learn to Set Your Boundaries
  8. Practice Kindness
  9. Write a Journal
  10. Limit Your Social Media Use
  11. Spend Time With Family and Friends
  12. Learn to Deal With Conflict
  13. Travel
  14. Volunteer
  15. Make and Stick to a Budget
  16. Connect With Your Faith Community

1. Read Daily

vector graphic showing an illustration of a lady reading a book graphics related to why is reading important

If you want to gain knowledge, read a chapter or a few pages of a book daily. You can also read online articles, news articles, magazine features, poetry, and other forms of content based on your interests.

But why is reading important? Reading offers a powerful tool to acquire knowledge and gain insight. It also helps improve your vocabulary, language skills, creativity, empathy, and focus.

More importantly, reading improves one’s mental well-being as it can reduce stress by up to 68%.

If you’re looking for something to read, start reading this list of must-read books, which covers genres from fiction to nonfiction. Ultimately, read about something you enjoy first to help you build your daily reading habit.

2. Learn a New Language

One way to challenge and improve yourself includes learning a new language. Studying another language lets you discover and understand more about a certain country’s culture.

Also, according to the University of North Georgia, studying foreign languages boosts your confidence and develops skills in listening, memory, problem-solving, abstract concepts, analysis, and vocabulary.

Socially, a second language opens opportunities to explore a foreign country, meet its people, and find work. You’ll have a competitive edge in your career since you can communicate in another language.

If you’re interested in studying another language, consider signing up for an online course or taking classes in your local college or foreign language center.

3. Pick Up a New Hobby

If you feel stuck in your routine or want to experience something new, try learning a new skill, like playing an instrument or a new sport. Some popular hobbies include reading, fishing, crafting, collecting, music, and gardening.

Having a hobby helps relieve stress from your work or personal life. Hobbies related to arts and music can also boost your creativity. Finally, a hobby lets you meet other people and develop better social skills over time.

If you’re interested in a certain hobby, sport, or experience, try watching online videos about it, signing up for an online course, or joining an in-person workshop to see if it suits your passion and lifestyle.

Ultimately, a hobby will stick if it’s something you like and can do regularly.

4. Eat a Balanced Diet

vector graphic showing an illustration of healthy foods and a diet plan graphics relate to how to become a dietician

You can’t live a great life if you don’t lead a healthy lifestyle, especially a nutritious eating habit. When you eat healthier, you protect your body against various illnesses and chronic noncommunicable diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. 

Regarding self-improvement, consuming healthy foods stabilizes your hormones and emotions, clarifies your mental state, and boosts your self-confidence due to weight loss.

To start eating healthy, try cutting down on your sugar, salt, and fat intake. According to nutrition experts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a healthy plate consists of:

  • Fruits and vegetables – ½ of your plate
  • Whole grains – ¼ of your plate
  • Proteins – ¼ of your plate
  • Healthy plant oils – in moderation

You can also read books or take online courses about nutrition to learn what your body needs.

5. Exercise Regularly

Being physically active can completely change your life. If you want to improve your health, mind, and body, commit to an exercise routine you can do daily or at least three to four times a week. 

Some health benefits of working out include managing your weight, reducing risks of diseases, and strengthening your bones and muscles. Regular physical activity also positively affects your brain health, as it reduces anxiety, improves sleep, and increases cognitive function.

If you’re a beginner, take baby steps by doing light cardio first and then add strength training to your routine once you feel stronger. Also, don’t just target one part of your body. Instead, train your entire body for a balanced form and strength.

If working out isn’t for you, you can try other forms of physical activity that suit your interests and lifestyle, such as walking, jogging, dancing, or sports. What matters is that you develop a more active lifestyle.

6. Get Ample Sleep

Do you have a bad habit of sleeping late or only for a few hours? A poor sleep routine can have a negative impact on your health and well-being.

Sleeping plays a vital role in supporting your brain function and maintaining your physical health. Lack of sleep can result in long-term health problems, a slow reaction time, problems with focus, and an impaired metabolism, among many others.

To help you get seven to nine hours of sleep, try the following tips:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule.
  • Get natural sunlight for 30 minutes daily.
  • Avoid nicotine and caffeine.
  • Limit electronics before bed.
  • Make your room dark, cool, and comfortable.

If you want to hit two birds with one stone, you can rest and earn money by getting paid to sleep

7. Learn to Set Your Boundaries

Self-improvement happens when you learn to set boundaries with other people. Boundaries help you communicate what behaviors you will and will not accept from people and what others can expect from you.

Moreover, setting boundaries helps maintain your identity, physical well-being, and mental health. Also, healthy boundaries encourage autonomy, set expectations, give a sense of empowerment and self-respect, and maintain emotional and physical comfort.

To set healthy boundaries, apply these tips:

  • Clearly communicate what you want and don’t want.
  • Say “no” to actions or situations that make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Set time for yourself away from your family, friends, or partner.
  • Set precise work hours and mentally clock off after work.

8. Practice Kindness

vector graphic showing an illustration of people getting paid to talk to lonely people

Being kind means being selfless, considerate, and compassionate. To put someone else’s needs above your own requires courage, empathy, and commitment, resulting in further self-development.

Besides impacting those around you, studies show that kindness improves your mental well-being, reducing stress and improving self-esteem, happiness, and mood. Ultimately, it’s one of the simple ways to enjoy life.

Some of the ways we can start practicing kindness include lending a hand to others, attentively listening to others’ concerns, giving gifts, staying connected with family and friends, saying “thank you” and “I’m sorry,” and complimenting others.

Although practicing kindness involves others, don’t forget to be kind to yourself, giving yourself grace during mistakes or failures.

9. Write a Journal

If you feel overwhelmed or want to track your daily progress, consider writing journal entries.

There’s no right or wrong way to journaling. You only need to write down your thoughts, feelings, insights, or other information you want to record and look back on someday.

Keeping a journal increases your self-awareness as you try to identify and organize your thoughts and feelings, reveal your fears, and learn more about yourself. It can also help you de-stress as you pour all your emotions and anxieties into your writing.

To start journaling, try to set a few minutes daily to write your thoughts or anything you want. Keep it easy and free-flowing, and don’t worry about spelling mistakes or what others might think.

Focus on what you want to jot down, and feel free to make it as simple or as decorated as you want your journal to be.

10. Limit Your Social Media Use

Statista reports that Internet users around the world use social media for 151 minutes or 2.5 hours per day. Although social media platforms have made it easier to connect with others globally, using them has had negative effects on many.

Some experience the fear of missing out (FOMO), isolation, cyberbullying, feelings of inadequacy, envy, self-absorption, and social media addiction. 

If you struggle with loneliness, depression, anxiety, and insecurity, consider reducing your social media time or completely getting off the platform.

To help you limit your social media use, try:

  • Turning off your notifications for a few hours a day.
  • Only using one platform.
  • Avoiding mindless scrolling.
  • Downloading an app to manage your phone use.
  • Spending a few hours a day being screen-free.

11. Spend Time With Family and Friends

No man is an island. As social beings, people long for interaction. If you find it difficult to socialize, especially during low points in your life, try not to isolate for too long and seek others for help or connectedness.

Whenever you can, spend your time making meaningful conversations or experiences with family members and friends. Invite them out to dinner, visit them, have a sleepover, or go on a trip.

Studies show that social connectedness offers health benefits, such as preventing illnesses like depression, dementia, and heart disease, improving your recovery from stress and anxiety, improving your overall quality of life, and reducing your risk of violent or suicidal tendencies.

12. Learn to Deal With Conflict

vector graphic showing a therapist talking to a client - to illustrate side hustle for a therapist post

Many people avoid getting into conflict with others since dealing with conflict can be challenging. However, it’s inevitable, and learning how to manage conflict offers opportunities for growth and can improve your maturity as a person.

If you want to deal with and overcome disagreements, start by accepting conflict. Don’t shy away from it, and face it head-on. However, don’t be aggressive. Look at the problem objectively, listen to the other party actively, and consider their thought process.

After identifying the cause of your problem, develop a solution by working together, focusing on the future and not the person.

Remember that conflicts vary per person and situation. As a result, you must approach each problem with caution and maturity to maintain relationships and grow as a person.

13. Travel

One of the best ways to grow includes choosing courage over comfort, and traveling offers an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone.

For example, traveling requires you to adapt and be resourceful when you encounter inconveniences or challenges. It also forces you to improve your communication skills, especially when traveling in a non-English-speaking country.

Ultimately, traveling offers self-improvement as it opens your mind to different people, cultures, and experiences.

Remember that you don’t need plenty of money to travel. You can explore your country or see the world on a budget if you plan well. Often, backpacking or low-cost trips offer better experiences and life lessons than luxury tours.

14. Volunteer

Like kindness, volunteering your time or skills results in positive changes in you and others. You can spend your free time in a meaningful way by teaching underprivileged kids, helping clean a dirty beach, caring for animals, or advocating for women’s rights.

Volunteering helps you find a sense of purpose, boost your self-confidence, and improve your life satisfaction. It also lets you meet new people, form meaningful relationships, practice your social skills, and improve your social life.

Depending on the type of volunteer work you do, you can also learn new skills that can help in your future career or endeavors. Overall, it brings fun and fulfillment into your life that can help change you for the better.

15. Make and Stick to a Budget

Some of your self-improvement goals should focus on your finances. Learning how to handle and save your money can help improve your overall lifestyle, even if you earn little.

Financial stability starts with creating a budget plan. Tracking your expenses and sticking to your budget allows you to pay your bills on time, save for major expenses, and build an emergency fund.

Ultimately, having a monthly budget plan helps you manage your day-to-day and long-term financial goals easily and avoid making poor financial decisions. Keep in mind that you must have the discipline to follow the budget to improve your finances.

16. Connect With Your Faith Community

vector graphic showing an illustration of a person taking care of an elderly person to show how to become a caregiver for a family member

Regardless of your religion or belief, every person has spirituality and experiences them in different ways. Depending on your belief, finding a faith community online or in your area can help you receive the support you need to grow in your faith.

Being with people with the same beliefs can help you grow spiritually and find people you can connect with on common things people struggle with.

Besides being with other believers, spend time learning more about your faith and connecting with God. Overall, having and improving your faith can motivate you to become your best self and help you maintain a joyful attitude, even through tough times.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Way to Self-Improve?

Among all the self-improvement tips you’ll read and try, the best way to improve lies in having discipline. Having discipline toward any action or habit will help you stay focused until you reach your goal.

What Questions Can You Ask to Improve Yourself?

Some of the questions you can ask to learn what to improve about yourself include: What do I actually want What are my goals? What are my strengths and weaknesses? What are my fears, and how can I overcome them?

Should You Hire a Life Coach?

If you have the means to pay for a life coach, consider hiring one to help you stay motivated and inspired as you make a conscious effort to improve yourself. Life coaches counsel and encourage people to overcome personal challenges and reach their ultimate goals.

Wrapping Up

Overall, adopting gradual lifestyle changes offers the key to improving your life one day at a time. Also, remember that you need discipline to be consistent and consistency to make good habits.

No matter your situation, we hope this article gave you an idea of how to improve yourself and your quality of life. Feel free to share this guide with others who also need a little push and want to change their lives for the better.

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