Did you know that September is Self-Improvement Month? If there’s one thing that humans have in common, it’s that each of us is painfully aware of our own flaws.
We conducted a sweeping “survey of the surveys,” checking sources from blogs, to Quora, to Yelp, in order to determine the 6 Things People Most Wish They Could Change About Themselves. Responses varied widely – from increasing spirituality to reducing fear – but we singled out the six aspirations that appeared most frequently in the surveys. If any of these common complaints sound familiar to you, we have a few easy tips for making those changes yourself.
Top 6 List of the most common self-improvement goals:
# 1 – Become more fit and healthy (and in particular, lose weight).
Yes, this is a nearly universal desire. Closely connected to this response is the second most commonly-voiced aspiration: to exercise more and become more fit and healthy. We’ve combined these two as our Top Goal.
- If you’re having no luck eating less, then eat more – more fruits and veggies. You know they’re good for you, so try to fill up on them, instead of junk food.
- Eat more slowly, chew more
- Eat your favorite foods, but in smaller portions. That’s a good way to reduce intake without as much suffering.
- Take temptation out of your way. Get rid of the bad stuff you know you shouldn’t eat and keep healthy alternatives on hand.
- Plan meals in advance – then simply stick to your schedule
- Maximize pleasure in other ways – if your life is full of fun and happiness, you’ll be less likely to seek your pleasure through food.
#2 – Find our purpose in life.
No small task. Some people surveyed were seeking to understand why they were put on Earth, while others were specifically wondering what they were “born to do.”
- Listen to your heart – or your gut
- Identify and focus on your strengths
- Write down your successes and achievements
- Look for careers on TV that seem intriguing
- Be mindful of anything that inspires you
- Follow up on your own ideas
- Write down a list of things you’d like to achieve, even if they seem far-fetched
#3 – Acquire more skills for success.
The desired skills vary markedly from person to person, but in general, people are wishing they could sharpen the skills that lead to scholastic, career, or life success.
#4 – Improve our personal relationships.
Some people want to become more outgoing, in order to be better at building new relationships. Others wish to improve the relationships they already have. Some asked for the emotional maturity to handle relationships better.
- Start with a smile
- Make eye contact
- Be positive and complimentary
- Do something nice for someone
#5 – Develop a deeper level of commitment and drive to challenge ourselves.
We want to do more with our lives, and we feel like we should. But sometimes we get bogged down by our own inertia, afraid to step out there and take the challenge.
- Step outside of your comfort zone
- Set high goals
- Surround yourself with high-achievers
- Don’t be afraid to explore new possibilities and chart a new course
- Never stop learning
- Make lists and post encouraging notes for yourself
- Figure out what you’re scared of, and just do it
#6 – Develop a higher level of self-esteem and positivity. When you think about it, if you could achieve goals 1-5, number 6 would probably take care of itself! So maybe this aspiration is actually #1.
Tips for Achieving Your Self-Improvement Goals
Step #1 – Remember: nobody’s perfect! We’ll never manage to make every single change we want, and if we’re not realistic about our goals, we’ll do ourselves more harm than good. As you get started, here are a couple basic tips that will help you with all of your goals:
- Focus on the things you can change
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
- Let go of past regrets
- Take baby steps
- Don’t tackle everything at once
- Be realistic
- Whatever you do, keeping moving forward with your life.