It’s 3pm and I’m starving and tired…I only got 5 hours of sleep last night. My assistant just walked into my office at the law firm with a pile of materials in her arms. She plops down opposite me, ready to drive through all her questions so she can move forward on all of HER projects.
Unfortunately, I am not in the mood. I’m hungry, tired, and overly stressed with the 14 other things on my plate that are all more pressing, including a massive deadline.
Imagine the scene.
Can you guess what happened next?
I bet you can.
My inner lion roared up and practically bit her head off.
Thankfully, she handled it well. She left the room, got in her car, and returned with a healthy salad topped with fresh grilled salmon. She told me, “You eat. I have 3 top questions, then let’s let you have 10 minutes of uninterrupted time.”
I will never forget how grateful I was – and how much it helped to just have a few minutes to rest.
I imagine I’m not alone in this experience. As business leaders, we so quickly get caught up in putting everyone else’s needs first that we forget to take care of ourselves.
And suffice it to say, you can’t lead effectively when you are overworked, tired, and hungry. You need to feed your own inner self.
What I learned over the years is that I have to take time for myself. Take time to cultivate my own well- being. Take time to create better habits. Take time every quarter, to work on something new, fresh, and interesting.
I have had quarters where I focused on taking 5 Thai food classes, quarters where I worked on meditation and exercise, and quarters where I focused on learning to play the piano. Do whatever grabs your interest!
To get you started, I’ve put together 101 self-improvement ideas to help busy business owners unwind, enjoy life, and come back more refreshed for their families and their team. They range from strengthening your mindset or changing little habits to exploring your goals and discovering new skills.
I encourage you to keep this list handy and add to it – you’ll be surprised at the difference it will make!
101 Ideas for Self-Improvement:
- Accept failures as part of your growth
- Acknowledge the things that drain your energy
- Acknowledge your feelings
- Adopt new affirmations
- Always be on the lookout for new opportunities
- Always look for something new to learn
- Always try to think outside the box
- Always write down your ideas
- Be open to change if you want to move forward
- Brew a cup of your favorite tea
- Celebrate achievements
- Challenge limiting beliefs
- Clarify priorities
- Clean and organize something messy
- Cook something new
- Create a vision board
- Cultivate positivism
- Develop a consistent morning routine
- Develop healthy eating habits
- Discover your motivation
- Do a deep breathing exercise
- Do a gratitude list
- Do Not Snooze your alarm
- Donate things you don’t need anymore
- Don’t look at your phone right when you wake up
- Drink water more often
- Drop a bad habit
- Eat without looking at your phone or TV
- Every day, read 10 pages of any book
- Every day, meditate for 15 minutes
- Every day, write down something good that happened
- Explore and take risks
- Fill in the gaps of your life with podcasts
- Focus on what you can change
- Get a mentor/coach
- Get out of your comfort zone
- Get up and dance just because
- Give yourself at least one compliment a day
- Have a mini pamper session
- Have more nights with friends/family
- Identify your blind spots
- Keep an emergency fund
- Keep the past in the past
- Learn a new language
- Learn how to ask for help
- Learn how to delegate
- Learn how to manage your time
- Learn how to say “no”
- Learn to deal with difficult people
- Learn to take feedback and critique well
- Let go of anger
- Light an aromatic candle
- Limit your screen time
- List 3 ways you waste time, and think how you can reduce it, and commit to it
- Make a bucket list of things you want to do
- Make and keep promises
- Manage your finances properly
- Master a new skill
- Move your body for 30 minutes
- Once a month, take a mental health day
- Once a week, practice a favorite hobby
- Organize your closet
- Plant a tree
- Play all your favorite songs and sing along!
- Practice mindfulness
- Prioritize sleep
- Put your phone on DND/Airplane Mode for 2 hours
- Rearrange your furniture
- Revamp your style
- Reward yourself for a task well done
- Set achievable goals
- Set up good daily habits
- Show appreciation
- Shun negative thought
- Shut down self-criticism
- Smile first thing in the morning, fake it ‘til you make it!
- Spend 10 minutes planning your day, preferably the night before
- Start a bullet journal or diary
- Start a side hustle
- Stay on top of your medical appointments
- Stop caring about what other people think
- Stop comparing yourself
- Stop negative self-talk
- Stop waiting and start doing
- Stretch a little several times a day
- Support a charity
- Take a walk
- Take an evening and do something creative
- Use less sugar
- Track your steps
- Travel more
- Try to be present in every moment
- Unfollow negative social media accounts
- Use the 1-minute breathing rule at every occasion
- Use the stairs
- Value your alone time
- Volunteer more often
- Watch a sunset and a sunrise
- Write a list of people you are inspired by
- Write a letter to your future self
- Write down your 5-year dream plan and review it every year
Don’t get overwhelmed by the list. Just have fun. Pick one small item and do it.
Live life and THRIVE IN THE MOMENT!!!!!
Kristen David is a former trial lawyer and partner who went from working 85 hours a week and taking home way too little money in her law firm, built it up to a million-dollar-plus business, then sold her shares and pivoted into a business coach guru. She is now an international speaker, bestselling author, and operates a successful business, empowering business owners to build thriving, profitable businesses that are self-managed with systems. She helps busy business owners build those systems by implementing policies and procedures the Fast Track Way.