I’ve been asked, “where do I even begin with personal development??”
The short answer is exactly where you are.
Self-help, self-improvement, and all things personal development can be overwhelming!!
There is so much information out there and even though I can’t remember life before I fell into the self-improvement rabbit hole, I can completely relate to analysis paralysis. Or perhaps you haven’t peered into the abyss but you know something isn’t right and you have no idea where to make a change or how to start.
1. First, ask yourself what you are constantly complaining about?
Or what do you absolutely know is toxic in your life? Start there!
Is your overbearing mother-in-law driving you crazy?
Do you find yourself in relationships with the wrong people?
If you answered yes to EITHER of these questions, then codependency and toxic relationships might be the area to dig into and learn to start setting boundaries the healthy way.
Do you recognize that alcohol might not be serving you? Check out some quit lit.
Do you have an unhealthy relationship with money or food?
These are all indicators of where to start.
2. Set only a few specific and attainable goals.
Setting out to do a ton of very vague things at once is a sure way to miss the mark and lose steam. When we decide to start working on ourselves it can be easy to get wrapped up in the excitement and start doing a ton of things.
Picture this: I’m total transformation babe, I am going to lose weight and become spiritual. In 3 weeks, you won’t even recognize me because I will be exuding health and enlightenment.
Fast-forward to 12 days later and you are burning out from all of the ways you are attacking your vague goals, you really want those french fries, you’re too tired to meditate and then screw it, just return to the old self.
Then you beat yourself up for not being enough to successfully engage in EVERY healthy lifestyle behavior you’ve ever heard of.
3. Celebrate the shit out of each achievement.
Celebrating self-talk is super important because we are the first in line to call ourselves stupid if we make one tiny mistake. We are also the last to throw ourselves a power party when we complete a 5-minute meditation.
If you are running late you tell yourself you need to get yourself together, but when you are running right on time are you telling yourself how proud you are for being so efficient?
Every time you read, go for a walk, or do anything towards your improvement & personal development for even just a few minutes, I want you to celebrate the time you put in!
4. Find supportive people, literature, podcasts, and/or Facebook groups to keep you feeling pumped and empowered.
Personal development can be a really difficult and lonely road. The more opportunities you have to share what you are learning or struggling with the more supported and encouraged you will feel.
You may fall off the wagon throughout your journey, especially in the beginning, but having people you share with will minimize the pitfalls and help you get back on track.
5. Make it fun!
The more you start to build your recovery or self-improvement family the more fun it will be to hang with those people. You now have people that understand you and can laugh with you when you face challenges that are only funny once you dust yourself off.
When I was actively involved in Codependents Anonymous, we learned to laugh at ourselves when our codependent behaviors popped back up. It was a way of practicing self-love and self-acceptance.
6. Get a coach or a mentor.
Having someone that has walked the path and can help you navigate the challenges and pitfalls is priceless and not having accountability can be detrimental to your personal development.
I can’t say enough about accountability and having someone believe in you when you are struggling to believe in yourself.
Before I got a coach I was a self-help collector. I would read and listen and watch documentaries. I would have conversations with my friends about all the things I’d learned and “going” to do.
It wasn’t until I got a sponsor in recovery that I learned the true power of accountability.
Coaching took it to the next level for me and I know I need someone to lovingly call me on my shit so that I can stay true to my intentions.
7. Give yourself grace.
Understand that personal development is not linear, it is a twisty mountain road full of switchback turns.
There will be times that you are killing it and times that you are confused or not feeling it.
You may lose some friends along the way, don’t take that personally.
There will be times when you reflect on your past or even your present, and facepalm, it’s all okay and part of the process.