Taking deliberate steps to improve your life today is one decision that will pay off in days to come if you keep at it! 2017 is now behind us, the question before us is how did you fare? Did you make the most of it? Are there things you wish you did or didn’t do? Whether you’re into new year’s resolutions or not, change is something we all crave and taking action towards that change today is the best resolution you can make. An adage says “whenever you wake is your morning.” This could be yours if you want it to.
Taking deliberate steps to improve your life today is one decision that will pay off in days to come if you keep at it!
2017 is now behind us, the question before us is how did you fare? Did you make the most of it? Are there things you wish you did or didn’t do?
Whether you’re into new year’s resolutions or not, change is something we all crave and taking action towards that change today is the best resolution you can make. An adage says “whenever you wake is your morning.” This could be yours if you want it to.
You can either join me as we:
Take a step back
Take a seat
Take a look at options, and
Take action today
Take the easy way out and make excuses. It’s totally your take but it will be a mistake if you choose the latter.
I hereby invite you to join me on this journey of 2 steps to a better you, but before we proceed
WHAT IS SELF IMPROVEMENT?
According to Dictionary.com, self-improvement is the improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Newton’s first law of motion states that “an object will continue in its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted on by an external force.”
In other words, things will continue as they are if nothing is done to bring change. Such actions that bring about desired positive change form the crux of self-improvement.
And just how does one go about this?
It starts with self-evaluation. Where and how do you currently rank in certain areas?
Assuming you want to improve your education, the following table is a good place to start.
SELF-EVALUATION QUESTIONS: EDUCATION
What is my current education level?
What is the next level attainable in my field?
What is the highest level attainable?
Are there pre-qualifying exams to get to #3
If yes to #4, what are they?
What is the duration of #5?
How much will the exams cost?
How much will it cost to get to #3?
How much do I have for #3 and #5 if applicable?
How much more do I need to get to #3, #5?
Answering these will bring clarity and simplify the process. It could help you decide between traditional school or online classes, saving money or taking study loan.
WHAT NEXT? SET A GOAL
A SMART goal will be
Get an MSc
e.g. collate results of tests, assignments, project
e.g. has anyone obtained an MSc before?
e.g. is it a rational goal?
e.g. obtain MSc in 12 months
TAKE STEPS TO IMPROVE
The next step will be actually taking steps to reach your goal(s). Here’s where many fail. Consistency and diligence here have big payoffs. Here’s how to take steps to improve your
SELF-EVALUATION QUESTIONS: FINANCES
|1.||What is my current net worth?|
|2.||What is my current indebtedness?|
|3.||What are my assets?|
|4.||What are my liabilities?|
|5.||Do I have a budget?|
|6.||Do I track my expenses?|
|7.||Is my salary enough?|
|8.||Do I have other sources of income?|
|9.||Do I have retirement savings?|
|10.||What are my financial goals?|
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR FINANCES
EARN MORE: START A BUSINESS
One way to improve your finances is to earn more. How? By starting a business or a side hustle to complement your salary. To earn more, it is necessary to learn how to start and grow a business for instance
Dropshipping is an online e-commerce business model that allows you operate a retail business without having to buy stock or keep inventory. Customers place orders on your dropshipping site, you place customer’s orders with a supplier (the difference is your profit), supplier fulfils customers orders.
The diagram below summarizes dropshipping:
Shopify currently hosts over 500, 000 online stores some of which are run by drop shippers. Apps like Oberlo and others help you completely automate your dropshipping business.
REAL LIFE EXAMPLE:
Irwin Dominguez started a dropshipping business and grew it from zero to $1m in just 8 months.
- Freelance Writing
Freelance writers are independent writers who write for a living. Recent reports show that freelancers now make up over 35% of US workforce, with over 70% of American Millennials ranking work flexibility only second to paying bills as pre-condition for job acceptance.
Upwork and Fiverr are popular content mills. Experts however advice creating a personal website and running your full-fledged writing business for more independence and income.
REAL LIFE EXAMPLE:
Bamildele Onibalusi is a successful Nigerian freelance writer living the location independent life. He started from zero at the age of 16. Recently he launched a Facebook challenge where he taught newbie writers how to reach their first $1, 000 a month. The challenge has been very successful.
SAVE MORE MONEY
Cutting costs and saving more are smart ways to improve your finances. If you aren’t saving you’re destroying your financial future and fortune.
Manually monitoring your savings, checking, and retirement accounts, for instance, can be a real hassle, not to mention your spending pattern and habits. Fortunately, apps like Mint, Bill Tracker and You Need a Budget (YNAB) can automate these tasks for you, plus present reports in beautiful dashboards fitted out with great UI, and they’re secure.
You can also subscribe to blogs that teach you how to save more like The Penny Hoarder, Dollar Stretcher etc.
REAL LIFE EXAMPLE:
Learn how blogger Wonderful—You was able to start from scratch and save enough money to buy a house within 2 years.
How many books did I read last year?
What popular blogs/sites do I visit for educational purposes?
How more informed am I now than a year ago?
What DIY projects did I learn and implement last year?
How many how-to videos did I watch last year?
How many new subjects did I master last year?
Any additional online certifications last year?
How many professional exams did I attempt last year?
How many exams in #7 did I pass?
How many refresher courses did I take last year?
How has my IQ improved over the year?
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR KNOWLEDGE
For instance, Google recently started free Digital Marketing certification training. Mastering this course and some others can help you set up a digital marketing agency as a consultant.
College knowledge is great but sometimes self-limiting. Continuous learning, on the other hand, boosts self-confidence and accelerates self-improvement.
Thanks to the internet you can now learn anything, anytime, anywhere via Google, Youtube, Online Universities like MIT Open Courseware etc.
Assuming you’re running an online business like drop shipping you can also learn how to effectively use Facebook and other social networks for social marketing to boost your business. There’s no limit to what you can learn.
A. JOIN A BOOK CLUB AND READ, READ, READ
Having group support can spur you past your lazy limits. Seeing other group members making progress pushes you to try, take more action and open more books. There are many such groups online like OnlineBookClub.org, Our Shared Shelf, Oprah’s Book Club etc.
Recent reports show that successful people read at least 60 books a year. Reading opens you up to a whole new world, you learn from people’s experiences and perspectives.
REAL LIFE EXAMPLES:
“Read 500 pages…every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” — Warren Buffett
The journey to a better you begins with taking stock, making a plan and taking action. Bonus points if you’re also taking steps to help those in need. Whether it’s through volunteering at the local soup kitchen or making a small donation to the Red Cross, you’re making a difference and that’s worth a lot.
Here are two steps you can take today. Be like Nike, just do it.