You may have noticed “Always Improving” in my logo. I find myself saying that often whether I’m thinking out loud, or if I’m talking to someone about my goals and plans. When I think of my own life, I always go back to “always improving.”
Always improving is more than my site tagline or slogan. Taglines and slogans are most often used in advertising, and I’m not trying to sell you anything. I may make recommendations on my site, but I’ve never been a very good salesperson. The products or services I share and recommend on the site are products and services that I actually like and use.
Always improving is so much more than just a tagline or a slogan. It is my mantra.
What is a mantra? As you can see by the image above, Google defines a mantra as a statement or slogan repeated frequently.
We should always be open to improving in every aspect of our lives. Life is about growing and moving forward. I never want to become stagnant. There are times when I feel like I’m spinning my wheels, but those periods are usually short-lived. I’d like to share with you 5 things I focus on to guarantee I am always improving in my own life.
Make sure you stay open for change in order to move forward. Sometimes, people or situations are holding us back. If you know in your heart something is not good for you, let it go. It’s hard. I know. I often pray for guidance and strength to make the right choices and surround myself with the right people.
If you have a behavior that you know if hindering you, considering changing it. I often read novels just to gain new perspective on life. It helps that I’m a book blogger so I get between 1 to 3 books on self improvement per month to read. I just received “Battle Ready: Train your mind to Conquer Challengers, Defeat Doubt, and Live Victoriously” yesterday. I try to keep an open mind when I’m reading that way if something that really pertains to me or my life, the words will resonate with me to spark change. I am also stubborn as hell so it’s not always easy for me to remain open minded.
Another thing I do is listen to different spiritual podcasts during the day. My favorite messages are from the pastor at the church we attended before we moved. I’m a firm believer in what we see and hear affects our thinking. I don’t want to always be listening to negative news or sadness. To keep my mind right, I keep it positive. If you’re interested in what podcasts I listen to, just comment below.
While everyone’s “change” is different, we have to remain flexible and be open to changing some things in order to achieve different, an often better, results.
Goals help me stay focused. Without writing down weekly, monthly, and long-term goals, I feel like my life has no direction. I have a day planner, and I use the different sections to outline my goals. As I move through my week, I cross off my weekly goals and priorities. My weekly goals may be “call the dermatologist to schedule an appointment” or “get an oil change.” If I don’t write everything down, I will get distracted then not do it.
I also have a weekly focus which is something I want to improve on. Currently, my weekly focus is on repeat. I’m focused on staying on budget. Sometimes I focus on sticking to our menu plan. Or I may focus on getting enough sleep throughout the week. The pic above is an example of what my weekly planner looks like. While I’ve been eating better, I’m still feeding the kids meals they’ll actually eat. Mostly my teenager. My boys will eat whatever. I have a separate notebook where I keep up with my menus and my grocery list.
I have recently started using Google Calendar to manage my personal and business schedule. I find myself in more meetings throughout the week so I finally came to a point in my life and career where I needed a digital calendar that I can share with business colleagues to coordinate meetings. That might sound way more prestigious than it actually is. 😂
My monthly goals usually involve a purchase I need to make so I have to save up for it. Or my monthly goal may be to take the kids to get their haircut by the end of the month. My monthly goals usually end up in my weekly goals, and I cross them off from there.
My long-term goals are career goals, blogging goals, big-purchase goals. For example, I want to sale my current house and by a bigger house, on more land, within the next 5 years. I pray about it. I speak it. It’s happening. Even though right now, my situation is looking a little grim, it’s happening. I’m not discouraged. I’m giving myself 5 years to work out the kinks and increase my income.
So keeping a written list of goals helps me.
I’m a procrastinator. I used to think it was good that I thrive under pressure. It’s not. That isn’t a positive attribute. While it can come in handy if you work in a job where you have to think on your feet and turn around assignments quickly, it’s not good that you’re holding up and getting things done under pressure is a result of you procrastinating. It’s stressful.
When I started working from home, I had to set some boundaries for myself. It’s easy to let the day slip away when you don’t have someone telling you to clock in by 8AM, eat lunch at noon, and clock out by 5PM. I use a time blocking method that I need to tweak even more. I have my days blocked off where I have time set aside to wake up, feed the boys, get them started for the day, work, lunch, work, run errands. I try to make sure that anything I schedule is within the allotted time frame I’ve given myself so it doesn’t disrupt my work schedule too much.
Before I started this method, I was working myself like a crazy person. I wasn’t paying attention to my productivity during the day. I was working into the wee hours of the morning. And I was doing that 7 days a week. That got exhausting. With the way I have things set up now, I try to be in bed by 11PM. I’m a night owl so I do have to make myself go to sleep. In a perfect world, I’d be up all night and sleep all day. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t agree with me.
Sticking to your schedule helps promote improvement. You can tweak it as your life changes or depending on what’s going on at the time. Time management holds you accountable and shows that you’re really making the best of time given in every day.
I’m 35. I’m not sure why, but lately, I have been thinking about my mortality. It’s not even that I think I’m going to die soon or anything. It’s just I’m not a spring chicken anymore so it’s time to make some real changes to ensure that I don’t subject myself to health problems in the future. I have too many people depending on me so I need to do my part to stay in my best health. I haven’t always done that. When I get motivated and get things on track, something happens to set me backwards.
I did all of my physical exams recently, blood work, etc. I do go to the dentist twice a year for cleanings. I have recently started taking a Vitamin D supplement that my doctor prescribed. I have a multivitamin that I always forget to take. I keep up with my vitamins and probiotics when I make a checklist in my planner. I draw squares for the days of the week then “x” them out when I’ve taken them. I haven’t been doing that so I need to start again.
I’ve also started making changes to what we’re eating. We haven’t been eating beef. I’ve been cooking with turkey meat. I’ve also stopped frying. Luckily, the kids haven’t noticed. I’ve been making it a goal of mine to eat fruit every day and a handful of spinach. I have a salad at lunch, and that’s usually where I throw the spinach in. I stopped drinking soda for about 3 weeks, but I did have a couple of Dr Peppers last week. I’m just being honest! I had a super stressful week last week, and I fell off the wagon. I’m back on now.
Another thing I’ve done is start switching to natural household and cleaning products. I subscribed to Grove, and that’s been fun. I love that I get products shipped straight to my house. I have gotten freebies in every order, and it’s awesome that I’m not locked in to a monthly commitment. I can put off shipments if I want. I’ve been ordering about every two months. We’ve started using natural deodorant, toothpaste, soap, and shampoo. We’re using non-toxic floor cleaner, all purpose cleaner, dishwashing soap, and more!
Even my dogs have had changes. My youngest fur baby, Titan, has tummy issues. And he has sensitive skin. I started feeding them a grain free diet. Their food is salmon and sweet potato, and Titan’s tummy issues are gone. Plus, both of their coats look shiny and fab.
My teenager has been a bit resistant to some of the changes so I’m not forcing her. But, hopefully I’ll make an impact, and she’ll decide on making changes of her own as she gets older.
Focusing on your health definitely shows you’re always improving.
Another way to promote improvement in your life is to always remain thankful for what you have and what you will achieve. I make it a point to be thankful for blessings I’ve received and blessings that I know are coming. Although I don’t have them yet, I know they’re on the way!
Every day we’re alive is really a gift. If we have food in the fridge, a reliable car to drive, good health, happy children, no traffic on the drive to work, a parking spot up close at the grocery store….I could go on and on.
I had someone ask me once, “How can God bless us with me when we’re not thankful for what we have now?” That really made sense to me, and I have made it a point to think over my day and express my thanks each night before I go to bed.
Leave me some comments! What are you doing in your life to guarantee that you’re always improving?