Welcome to the New Year! Here are 12 quotes (one for each month) that I will be focussing on this year to improve myself – giving me the best chance to not repeat any mistakes I made, become a better person, move myself closer to the person I really want to become, and help more people. Life can only change as a result of the improvements we make by the actions we take. You’re more than welcome to come along for the ride.
OK, so there are some things within my life that are either not changing as quickly or in the direction that I would prefer. I ask myself if I am that definition of an idiot? You know what an idiot is, right? The person who keeps doing the same things over and over and expects a different result. Perhaps I am an idiot…
1. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.” —T.D. Jakes
It is time to do something different.
This next quote interestingly ties physical activity with brain function improvement. Did you know that, the benefits of physical exercise, especially aerobic exercise, have positive effects on brain function on multiple fronts?
2. “The mind is just like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.” ― Idowu Koyenikan
But, it’s not only the physical exercise that is important. Cognitive improvement can become a habit too. There are many little brain games and ways to exercise your mind available. Here are some simple examples of change that can expand your mind:
- Change up your existing routines
- Get out and socialize
- Become interested and/or curious about new things
- Learn something new
Most people think I am easygoing. It appears to many that nothing is really a problem for me. Well, guess what? I struggle too.
3. “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ― George Bernard Shaw
I do have one belief that keeps me going… I believe I can handle anything life throws at me. Simply by knowing myself, working with what I’ve got, and believing that’s more than enough to learn and move beyond whatever is placed in front of me.
Looking to my past, I had no idea this is where I would be today. What I did learn along the way, though was that the only person I can truly depend on for certain is myself. So, with that in mind, how can I plan for the uncertainty that is my future and be pleased upon my arrival there?
4. “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” – Anonymous
My answer is not to look at what I want or where I want to be in the future but rather, who I want to be. And then, of course, take a single action everyday that will bring myself one step closer to being that person. Here are some examples of how to accomplish this – a seemingly daunting task that can only be done one little intentional step at a time!
- Invest in yourself
- Decide who you really are
- Be who you decided to be – everyday
- Choose your values and live by them daily
- Write out what you want to be
- Measure success based on your own definition of success
- Make conscious choices about how you will be affected by the things that happen in your life
- Seek forward progress
- Evaluate the past but always look forward
- Keep learning
- Stick to your morals, values, and principles
- Create good habits
- Surround yourself with the people who are like what you want to become
- Prioritize projects and tasks
- Respect others
- Repair damaged relationships
- Embrace change
- Look for the opportunity to help someone everyday
- Allow others to help you
- Accept that you are exactly where you are because of you BUT you can change where you are by taking the first step forward
When I’m trying to improve myself – creating a new habit, developing a skill, or achieving a personal goal, it can be difficult to not to compare myself to others.
5. “Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to the person from yesterday.” Anonymous
To see your true value you only need to look at your own strengths. This is a major key to success. Have you grown? What have you achieved and what progress you have made towards your goals? Creating a habit of noticing your strengths has the benefit of creating gratitude, appreciation and kindness towards yourself. It will illustrate how you have grown, the obstacles you have overcome, and an upward trend leading you toward where you are heading.
I am not always a nice person. I want to be kind and compassionate so others will want to be around me.
6. “Be the type of person you want to meet.” Anonymous
In order to become the type of person others want to surround themselves with, focus energy inward first. Are you your own best friend? Before you can make anyone else happy, you have to be happy.
Sometimes I feel weak and flawed. Let’s face the facts – I am!
7. “Love yourself enough to work harder.” Anonymous
There are no words that I can write that would more eloquently state this than the words ofJaeda DeWalt, “Love blossoms from the inside out. That is why it is so important to do the work necessary to heal our emotional wounds, to love ourselves and stand strong in who we are. Only then, are we truly free to give and receive love, unconditionally and in abundance.”
My life is not perfect. My business is not perfect. But both are better than they have been. I have had to continually reinvent myself and my business along the way and I am certain that my journey is far from over.
8. “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” Paulo Coelho
To get to a place of tangible reinvention, there is value in stopping and asking questions, and looking deeply inside yourself. Do whatever it takes to take next action. The payoff will be priceless. You and everyone around you will benefit.
Change is difficult. It always takes me out of my comfort zone. I don’t know about you, but when my life feels stagnant or I feel like I am not growing as I should be, I sometimes need help motivating myself to take a leap of faith toward my unknown. Change can be intimidating.
9. “Change is your friend not your foe; change is a brilliant opportunity to grow.” —Simon T. Bailey
When something in our lives is not working, we may need to take the action to change it. In situations like this, allow yourself to feel the pain you’ve been hiding from and let it inspire you to take control of your life. Other times, a life event might force change. The best part of the dramatic life events is that you can use their inertia to change your life and make it even better.
It’s not always easy to remain consistent and build forward momentum. I guess the saying that if it were easy, everyone would be doing it is actually true, huh?
10. “The dreaming has to be backed up by the doing.” —Carrie Wilkerson
Proper planning and a drive to succeed are two needed pieces to completing the puzzle of success. However, taking action is like the final piece. However, we also need to realize that completing the puzzle is not the real endpoint, it is always another starting point. Successful people just keep expanding themselves, accepting for their next challenge, and taking the next action.
You can reach more goals in less time by setting up SMARTER goals.
If I don’t like who I am I can change.
11. “No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.” ― Madonna
You can decide to change who you are intentionally by evaluating your habits, your beliefs, and/or your looks. It’s all up to you. You can do it!
12. “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” ― Jim Rohn
Yes, formal education is important but it is really your life outside of school where you will learn the most important lessons. Learn and do something new everyday that moves you one step closer to reaching your goals. Your self-education keeps all your dreams, aspirations, and goals in life attainable!
I plan to continue to improve myself and share what I learn with all of you this year and, God willing, for many years to come. May you bless me with your knowledge as we continue our journey, build relationships and help one another toward each of our success’.