All of us, more or less, are drawn to the idea of improving ourselves, turning over a new leaf, being better tomorrow than we were yesterday, and so on. I mean, there’s a reason why New Year’s resolutions exist, and why they get thousands of people signing up for gym subscriptions each January, right? Self-development is big business.
But what if you’re not really in the mood to head down to the gym, or what if it’s just not a viable avenue for your self-development as things stand?
Well, luckily, it turns out that there are a variety of things you can do to seriously transform your life, over the course of a rainy weekend or evening in. You just might want to stop by the local blinds store if you’re nervous about the neighbours peering in at you acting strangely.
Take up a meditation practice
What if, in order to meditate, you didn’t actually have to put on saffron robes, learn Hindu mantras, and start eating quinoa?
As it just so happens, meditation can be as straightforward as you sitting down for a few minutes in silence and letting your attention follow the course of your breath.
Various researchers have come to the conclusion that meditation changes the structure of parts of the brain, and is associated with an improved sense of wellbeing, awareness, and calm, in addition to other things.
Various meditation apps exist that can help you to begin a private practice at home without the need to seek out a guru or anything of the sort. Some examples of popular meditation apps include Calm, Buddhify, and Insight Timer.
Keeping a journal — pretty much the same thing as keeping a diary, but for adults — can, in fact, be a great self-development practice for various reasons. For one thing, it helps you to order and make sense of your thoughts. Much of the emotional distress and uncertainty we face in everyday life is due to emotions and ideas we carry around with us without fully articulating.
When we sit down with pen and paper, and puzzle out what’s on our mind, we remove a good deal of the stress from those latent thoughts and feelings, and we begin coming up with solutions.
On top of this, journaling can also help us to identify trends and patterns in our lives, and identify areas where we feel that we’re on the wrong trajectory and need to adjust.
Visualise and write out your perfect day in detail
There’s a saying that “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there”. For us to feel like we’re making positive progress in our lives, it’s quite essential that we have some goals to strive towards. Some sense of what we really want out of life.
One of the easiest ways to identify goals worth working towards, is to sit down for a while and imagine your perfect day, then write it out in elaborate detail. What job do you have? Who are you in a relationship with? Where do you live?
Once you’ve crafted this vision, repeat it to yourself every day to work it fully into your subconscious mind. Then make a plan to pursue it actively.