The best part of self improvement is making life effing incredible again, earning more money, and inspiring others to live to their potential, too.
But even though you identify as a self-improver badass (and you automatically think someone’s cool when you recognize they’re part of the self improvement club too), you don’t really feel like you’re improving all that much lately.
You’ve got some awesome habits like meditation and journaling, but you haven’t been consistent. You’ve accomplished a lot in your career, just not lately.–You feel a little stagnant, maybe a little frustrated, like there’s so much more you could be doing and experiencing. Like you’re letting yourself down.
And your confidence has taken a major hit.
You’re probably in need of a self improvement reset.
It’s a thirty-day commitment where your entire reason for being from the moment you wake till the second you sleep is to improve yourself. During the self improvement reset, you’ll eliminate some of the distractions and low-value habits that have snuck up on you over the past few years and kept you from taking bigger strides. You’ll get back into the routines that make you feel confident and inspired again. You’ll relearn how to take pride in everything you do so you can excel in everything you do, and especially the things that are most important to you.
You’ll become the example for others again.
In my experience, everyone who isn’t currently in the 100% self-improvement mindset is in need of this month-long reset. Is that you?
(This article concludes with a 5-step action plan to get you back on top of your self improvement game! asap)
1-You feel angrier than usual
Yep. When you aren’t making the progress you want in your career and in life, your dissatisfaction and lack of agency turns into anger pretty quickly–over the dumbest shit, too! Stubbed toes become the end of the world, you cuss more than usual, and when stupid little things go wrong–like shoelaces that don’t want to untie–you do a weird little inward scream that causes your forehead vein to bulge.
Maybe that’s just me…
2-You get more frustrated at your friends and family than you should
The clicking noises they make when speaking, the fidgeting, the being human—this is all causing you to grind your teeth into a powder and freak out on people who can normally do no wrong.
You’re acting harsher to the people and things you love, which is totally out of your character. And you’re blowing up over the little things you can’t control because you’re not taking responsibility for the biggest things you can control.
3-Your weeks are blending together
When you don’t have major self-improvement milestones to differentiate one week from the next—more strength, more clients, spiritual breakthroughs etc.—the days and weeks just run together. It’s terrifying, actually. Another reason for the weird little inward scream you’ve picked up.
4-You’re spending more time on social media and various distractions
If you aren’t absolutely committed to making the most of your minutes and hours, you become less selective with your activities, and you start filling your time with shit that doesn’t matter. This leaves you feeling listless and unfulfilled, like nothing could make you feel centered. So you just dive back into instagram and pretend that life isn’t slipping away.
5-If you’re single, you can’t stop craving a relationship
Little known fact here: Singleness is the best thing that could ever happen to you. You get the time and space to take care of yourself, heal old wounds, and grow into exactly the person you want to be—no restrictions.
When you aren’t taking full advantage of the self-improvement playground that is singlehood, though, you forget about your freedom. You get a little bored…your usual distractions aren’t fulfilling, and you develop a rapacious appetite for someone to occupy your time.
But when you have full ownership of you, and you’re making each week better than the next, relationships are the last thing on your mind. Because you’re satisfied and inspired by the life you’re living.
6-Your important projects just never seem to get done
You’ve got stuff going on because you’ve built a pretty cool life based on your self-improvement. But lately, all the cool projects you’ve lined up for work and home and play…they’re just not getting done. (Kinda hard to do when you’re distracting yourself all the time!) You might’ve even fallen out of your daily planning habit because it’s only hurting your self-confidence to see those important tasks go undone day after day.
7-You’ve gained a couple pounds
The laissez faire approach to self-improvement is a slippery freakin’ slope. You back off of your routines a little, and a little more, and a leeeetle more, and before you know it it’s been a month since you’ve exercised regularly. And it’s affecting your body composition. Which affects your confidence. Which makes you make weaker and weaker food and exercise decisions. Which…you get the point.
8-You don’t feel like the example
Whether it was for your children, your friends, your spouse, or your coworkers, you always took pride in setting the example. You exuded confidence because you always gave some useful insight or bit of motivation to people when the conversation ended. But lately, you’re feeling down on yourself because you aren’t adding as much value as you used to. If people followed your example…they’d almost be standing still.
You used to challenge people. When people told you they were up to the same ol’ same ol, you inspired them to get out of their comfort zone with all the cool shit you were up to. But lately when people ask how you’ve been…your stock reply?
“Same ol’ same ol’.”
10-You’re going back on personal promises and commitments
You were the person that always kept your word—you never flaked. If something was important to you, whether a belief or a principle, you stuck to it like gorilla glue.
But now you’re letting more things slide.
Your word is becoming less and less reliable because you’re not even keeping your promises to yourself.
Even though you’re technically included in the self improvement club, for these reasons mentioned and more, you don’t feel the purpose and drive and confidence that comes through the self-improvement lifestyle. And that means you’re in need of a month of massive self improvement.
1-Go on a full social media/tech fast for an entire month and schedule three email & text checks per day
Distractions are the biggest threat to your happiness and productivity right now, so it’s time to eliminate them: social media, TV, Netflix—all of it! (Don’t worry: you can reincorporate some of these lower value activities after the month is over.) But it’s important to reset your daily habits so that you can focus exclusively on the high-value habits and actions you haven’t made time for that will substantially boost your confidence.
This commitment to refrain from low-value activities is the foundation of your reset.
2-Define your daily routine and stick with it for an entire month
I recommend five minutes each of gratitude, prayer, visualization, and affirmations, then thirty minutes of exercise, then an hour of real work before any text/email checks, then a 20-minute meditation in the afternoon, then journaling before bed and planning out your next day. Simple. Effective. Repeatable.
This basic structure gives you discipline and sense of momentum that makes good decisions easier.
3-Write out a list of your biggest excuses, plus the actions that lead to those excuses, and commit to refraining from all of it for an entire month
For instance, if your biggest excuse is that you don’t have enough time, you’d write out all the things that are sucking up your time, and you’d stop doing that. (Cough, Facebook, cough.) Check out this article to learn how to quit your biggest vices for good.
4-Write out a list of essential daily goals at the beginning of each week
Create a list of goals for your career, education, self improvement, fitness, and every other category that you want to devote time to each day for one week. (Physically write this list on a piece of paper.) Then transfer these goals to your daily planner every night so you’re aware of the most important things you need to do tomorrow. Keep that daily planner on you all day and refer to it frequently.
5-Get an accountability buddy asap
I don’t care if it’s your best friend, your highschool track coach, your preacher, your mentor or your Mom…you need accountability. Now.
It’s way too easy to rationalize to yourself why you had to skip x y or z goals, so you need someone to call you out on your BS and to be in the back of your mind when you think about taking the easy way out. My clients often tell me, “The best thing about having a coach is that when I’m about to make an excuse, I think, ‘But what would I tell Dan?’
Accountability works. But more than that, it’s a necessity when you’ve been off the track for too long—even if you’re a seasoned self-improver. Ignore it at your own peril.
It’s no shame to have fallen out of your self improvement routines, because life happens. New babies happen. New jobs happen, or old jobs get lost. Things get rocky with your spouse. You get injured or sick.
The only thing that matters though is that you get back on top of your game and stop making excuses for being where you aren’t. Take full ownership of where you are and why you’re there; be 100% honest with yourself. Then follow the steps mentioned in this article, commit to a month of massive self improvement, and get back to being the badass you know you are.
As a “lost millennial” turned solopreneur writer and coach, I write on massive personal development for sites including Entrepreneur, Fitbit and Fast Company, and I teach ambitious people how to become successful solopreneurs and balanced human beings here at Millennial Success.
Originally published at millennialsuccess.io