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Well-being

Six Tips to Start Investing in Yourself

It’s easy to forget that you are your own best asset because so much time is spent reacting to the wants and needs of others. With the omnipresent demands of family and work, you find little time for yourself.

But by not investing in yourself and your betterment you are diminishing your personal value. Over time you will find yourself feeling depleted, bored and frustrated, realizing you’ve done little to improve your wellbeing.

As we ease into this new year, take a moment to pause, reflect and reset how you live in the present and what you want for yourself in the future. Creating a “personal investment” plan entails mindset, action and belief in what can be. Here are six tips to get you started:

MINDSET

Appreciate and accept what you have

It’s easy to lose sight of your accomplishments and the good in your life. In today’s hyper-connected world people are constantly sharing their achievements and good fortune. Without a healthy dose of self-esteem you can under-appreciate your efforts. It’s not uncommon to shine the harshest light on yourself. This unwittingly draws your attention to what you don’t have.

Tip 1: Reflect on the past year and make note of what you are grateful for, your favorite experiences, memories, personal highlights and career successes.

Amplify what matters most

You spend years gathering and holding on to wants and needs that you thought were critical to who you are, such as; I want and need the next promotion, I want and need a bigger house, I want and need more stuff, etc. During this dizzying pursuit, all too often you lose sight of what matters most, including your own best attributes. They get pushed down or layered over by doing what you think is the right thing to do, act or be in order to gain success and acceptance.

Tip 2: Get reacquainted with what’s best about you, and make sure it’s front and center in your life and how you interact with others. This could be your playfulness, kindness toward others or sense of adventure. You owe it to yourself and those around you to let your best self shine bright.

ACTION

Acquire a new skill

There is a prevailing sentiment that once past age forty, you’re too old for change or you can’t spare any time in an already over-scheduled day or there is no imminent business need to learn a new skill. With this mindset you are compromising your personal and even career growth.

Tip 3: To enhance your personal value, identify a new skill to add to your repertoire. If this skill is within the context of your current job check to see if your company will pay for it.  Go one step farther and create a learning agenda for the next twelve months. Each month pick an interesting topic to investigate or skill to learn.

Actively pursue your life

Investing in your health and physical well-being should be non-negotiable. Not surprisingly, this can be relegated to the sidelines. Without awareness, you can spend most of your day sitting in the car, at work and at home. Exercise has mental as well as physical benefits. It can provide a welcome relief from daily stresses and serve as a distraction from negative thoughts. Increased physical activity can lift your mood and improve sleep patterns.

Tip 4: Be active. Be engaged. Get up and start doing. Put yourself into motion. What form of exercise do you like most? Dancing, walking, running, swimming, skiing, racquetball, boot camps, biking, spinning, etc. Add a healthy dose of exercise to your daily routine.

BELIEF

Anticipate happiness

When dealing with day-to-day career and life challenges, it’s easy to let unjustified fears drag you down. This could be apprehension about increased responsibilities, job security or family. The unknown can create scenarios that play out over and over in your head usually ending in disaster. This is referred to as pre-worrying; thoughts that consume so much mental space that you aren’t focusing on the present thereby losing valuable time to positively influence your situation and those around you.

Tip 5: Instead of being weighed down by the heaviness of worry, opt to be lifted up by the joy and prospect of happiness. The next time your mind is flooded with anxiety about a future event, bring your attention back to the present and anticipate a positive outcome.

 Allow good things to happen

How much of your life is spent moving away from what you don’t want? You may not have thought about your life through this lens, but for most people they make decisions for a negative reason: in order to avoid what they don’t like or things that cause them angst, pain or discomfort.

Tip 6: Open yourself up positive change. Move toward what you want by spending your time and energy in activities that your believe in and will enhance your personal growth.

You owe it to yourself and those around you to invest time and energy in what will make you flourish and prosper. In 2015, how are you going to invest in yourself?

Peter C. Diamond, “The Amplify Guy”, is the author of Amplify Your Career and Life: 4 Steps to Evaluate, Assess and Move Forward. He is a professionally trained, certified coach. He works with executives and others to guide them through change, ranging from navigating career shifts and creating better work-life fulfillment to achieving renewed self-respect. For more information, please visit www.petercdiamond.com, and connect with him on Twitter, @petercdiamond.