We are more than halfway through 2021 and amidst all the chaos and ongoing pandemic, you are committed to improving yourself. One of your major goals for this year is to upgrade your life but you’re not quite sure exactly what areas to focus on or where to even begin.
Well let me just say that self improvement is one of – no, it IS – the most amazing goal a woman can have in my opinion. I personally believe that when we focus on improving ourselves, we begin to see the world around us change too. Most times for the better.
Read: How do you tell apart what you want from what society expects you to want?
It’s as if self improvement is exactly what we need in order to manifest the life that we want to have. Without a real focus on self improvement, we may taste the life we want to live but not necessarily enjoy it in a permanent way.
The focus on self improvement has become increasingly popular over the last few years and you can find tons of articles online about “how to level up your life”, and “ways to improve yourself today”.
Improving yourself is not merely about meditation, and good skin care. While those are important, there’s much more to the journey if you really want to upgrade your life. Notice that I said “journey”, because true self improvement is a never ending journey. You never stop improving yourself. You don’t get to a point and stop. It’s something that you are always doing.
Read: 10 Effective ways to build up your self-worth and self-esteem
In today’s article, I want to share with you:
7 areas you need to focus on if you want to permanently upgrade your life
So let’s get into it.
Let’s start with the most important one here. Mindset is everything and if you can cultivate the right mindset, you will have done at least 60% of the work.
Your mindset drives your actions. Your mindset drives even your perception of different experiences – which ultimately influences your reality.
Must read: 5 Tips To Being A Happier Woman
Having the right mindset can literally be the difference between hating your job and using that job as a stepping stone to greater things. Mindset can literally be the difference between you thinking all men are dogs and realizing that you’ve been dating a “type”.
Mindset can be the difference between being bogged down by other people’s opinions about you or letting others’ opinions control your life, and the freedom and power that comes from realizing that your opinion of yourself matters more than others’.
Mindset is how you perceive your experiences and how you choose to respond to those experiences. Mindset is where you find drive and motivation. Mindset is where you find willpower. The very first area you need to work on if you really want to upgrade your life is your mindset.
Yes. If you truly want to upgrade your life in a permanent way, then you will have to upgrade your education. When I say upgrade your education though, I’m not only talking about college or university education. I’m talking about being committed to lifelong learning.
Don’t get me wrong, I personally believe that a university level education can be useful in terms of achieving your goals and living the life you desire. Quite frankly, I believe that college education is the gateway for many people to change their lives for the better. Myself being one of those people as that was where my journey truly started to take root.
But I also know there are many other alternative routes to the same. If you want to upgrade your life, you should focus on education.
Education opens up your way of thinking so that you are able to perceive things in ways you wouldn’t have thought of before. It can equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to achieve certain goals.
Please note though, that being educated and being qualified are not always one in the same. There are many qualified individuals with very limited and closed mindsets. But I digress.
So how does one go about upgrading their education though? In addition to college or a brick and mortar school, there are a myriad of courses you can take advantage of online. And in today’s climate, the demand for online learning is only increasing. Read here for my recommendations of where to find good online courses. Now let’s move on.
This one is really a continuation of the previous point but I wanted to separate them because upgrading your skills doesn’t always mean doing a full course online or going back to college.
Upgrading your skills can quite literally mean finding out what skills you currently possess that need a bit of refinement and working on them. Or it can mean finding out what skills you wish you had and learning them.
That could be anything from people skills to graphic design. From cooking to organization skills. From craft to coding. From art to time management. From makeup artistry to discipline. From how to do your own hair to anger management. You get the point.
Learning, or improving, these or any other skills – whether it’s people skills or life skills – is something you can do on your own time. You also need to be willing to actually put the new skills you’re learning or refining into practice because skills are only honed when we use them.
And the best part is that you don’t always have to pay to learn or improve many of these skills either. You can learn through YouTube, blogs like this one and by watching others around you. Not by measuring yourself by their standards but by taking inspiration from others honing the skill(s) you wish to.
Your environment is simply where you hang out, where you live, who you hang out with, where you spend your time, who you spend your time with. This is an area that is grossly underestimated. If you truly want to upgrade your life you will HAVE TO upgrade your environment. And when I say upgrade your environment, I want you to understand that I actually mean CHANGE your environment.
Our environment plays a very big role in who we become as individuals. If you don’t think your environment affects you, then I issue you a challenge.
For the next month, pay attention to the different types of environment you find yourself in, and pay attention to your actions, attitude, thoughts and even speech in those environments. Make a mental note or journal it. Then at the end of the month, reflect on it all. I can almost guarantee you’ll notice a difference in your behaviour, based on the environemnt, if you’re being brutally honest with yourself.
You see, we like to believe that we are these super complex creatures that transcend all mortal understanding.
But in reality, we can be so simple at times, it’s quite laughable. We are a combination of our experiences and how we choose to respond to those experiences, and our environment plays a big role in what those experiences are.
Upgrading your environment changes your experiences and outlook on life. Most times for the better. It affects the kind of goals you set for yourself and how you go about achieving them.
Here’s the thing, misery loves company so if you are always in a miserable environment, you will most likely be…miserable.
If your environment is one where there are no opportunities for growth, you will most likely not grow into your true potential unless you – say it with me – CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT!
How are you going to upgrade your life without upgrading your finances? You can’t. Without focusing on your finances, you will continue to make the same financial mistakes and will most likely remain in the same position you’re currently in, or worse.
The fact that you’re reading this post tells me that you want to improve your life, which also means improving your financial situation and basically your relationship with money.
I’m not necessarily talking about becoming filthy, stinking rich and living an affluent lifestyle. Although affluence is a wonderful goal to have because it affords you financial freedom and confidence. But not everyone has that goal and that’s perfectly fine. My goal doesn’t have to be your goal.
But even if you’re not trying to become a billionaire, you still need to get your finances in order if your intention is to permanently upgrade your life. Develop financial literacy because that will allow you to make smarter decisions with your money.
Get yourself out of debt and increase your spending power. Not because you’re trying to have all the wealth in the world, but because more spending power means you have more wiggle room to react to life’s inevitabilities.
And if you’re being honest with yourself, even if you don’t want to be a billionaire, you would like to have more spending power and more financial confidence. That’s why you have to upgrade your finances when you begin your journey of upgrading your life.
Read here to find out some tips on how to upgrade your finances.
By this I don’t mean only romantic relationships. I’m talking about friendships and, yes, family relationships as well. I’m also talking about the most important relationship of all, the relationship with yourself.
This will probably be one of the most difficult areas to upgrade, besides mindset because these two areas may feel like they’re challenging you to change who you are. And while they may very well be, they are a necessary part of the process.
Let’s start with the most important relationship: your relationship with yourself. Is it even any question that in order to upgrade your life, you have to foster a good relationship with yourself?
I think this one is pretty obvious because if you do not have a good relationship with yourself, you are more likely to sacrifice yourself for your goals or to not follow through on your goals. That shouldn’t be so because self love and goal setting should go hand in hand.
Self love is everything because self love reminds you why you are doing this in the first place;why have you chosen to upgrade your life and keep you accountable to yourself.
As for the other relationships, my advice can be summed up in one sentence really: if it’s toxic you need to drop it. While it may be relatively easy to drop a toxic friend, it’s not always that simple when it comes to romantic relationships. It is a hell of a lot more complicated when it comes to family relationships, and I understand that.
Sometimes the toxic family member you need to drop might even be a parent. When it comes to toxic friends, you can simply cut them off. Toxic boyfriends? You can kick him to the curb. But a toxic parent? Not so easy. You may have to resort to setting boundaries instead.
At the end of the day, you will have to get toxic relationships in check because they can break you and cause you to question and even give up on your resolve to upgrade your life.
This one might seem a bit shallow or unnecessary to some but it is not. And I know that many will say that we are not supposed to judge others simply by their appearance, and you might be right. But the fact of the matter is that the first thing people see when they see you is your physical appearance.
The very first point of information that we receive about someone is, in fact, their physical appearance. This includes the way they are dressed. Think about it, you wouldn’t go to a job interview dressed in your finest pajamas, would you? Why not? Because you know that you wouldn’t be taken seriously and you would most likely not get the job.
Even if you are a more qualified and a more suitable candidate for the job than other applicants. You just wouldn’t get it because the way you are dressed tells your prospective employer that you are not serious.
Whether or not we agree with the notion, the fact is that how we show up in the world matters. We make our initial assumptions of people based on how they “look”. And that includes the way you are dressed.
As you upgrade your life, it is my assumption that you will interact with different – more upgraded – environments. If, for example, your aim is to be in more affluent environments, then you’ll need to look the part if you wish to be taken seriously. And speaking from personal experience, the service and interactions I receive when I am well put together is a hell of a lot better than when I don’t put any effort into my appearance.
I want to make it clear that I do not believe there can be any justification for treating someone as less than human simply because of how they are dressed.
The second most important reason for upgrading your wardrobe is for YOU TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF. When we feel good about ourselves, it translates into our daily interactions.
Think about it, when you’re dressed in an outfit that you are confident you look good in, heads turning when you walk into the room don’t bother you, do they? In fact, you welcome it because you KNOW you look damn good!
Some people might consider it shallow to think that clothes and the way you are dressed – or put together – actually affect our moods and self-confidence. But they do.
I am well aware that there are exceptions to every rule.
What I am giving you here are guidelines that, if applied correctly, can result in your life being permanently upgraded. These are all things that I personally worked on to upgrade my life.
To change my life from that of a broken, poor little girl living in the country with no future and no opportunities, to that of the woman I am today: confident, strong, full of hope for the future, in love with myself, living my best life to date and knowing that there are still more amazing things to come in my future!
And while my journey is still not complete and is still unfolding, I am nowhere near where I used to be: poor, suicidal, depressed, self-loathing, no self-esteem, no hope, no future.
Thanks for reading and I do hope these tips are helpful for you. Check out my other content while you’re here and read Liline’s article on 10 Genius Ways To Organize Your Life. I’m sure you’ll find something you like. Drop me a comment below and I’ll catch you in my next post. Till then…
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[…] my post about how to upgrade your life, I shared that if you can upgrade your mindset, you would have done at least 60% of the work. The […]
I loved all of your insight – especially your comments on education! It really is so much more than a degree from a university. I think that you cannot grow in your career, relationships, finances and everything else you mentioned without upgrading your education first.
Definitely agree with you. You have to educate yourself!