First off; no-one is saying you aren’t great just as you are. But the moment we stop striving to improve is the moment we finish growing. The world is often changing around us and we should keep changing in order to keep up. If you’re looking for ways to improve yourself here’s 5 ideas to get you started.
1) Be kinder to the environment
There are the obvious ways to be more sustainable like swapping to solar energy or taking public transport to work. Then there are the ways you may not realise you have an environmental choice. For example, reclaimed wood furniture is made from recycled materials which means even your living room decor can help the planet. Natural materials are also a much greener choice so keep an eye out for bamboo, organic cotton and wool. Keeping warm in Winter with a cosy bamboo mattress topper or woollen underlay is two-fold environmentally friendly; it’s a good choice of material and it means the heater can stay off and save energy.
2) Start by helping at home
When you hear about all the charities and relief efforts that need your help worldwide it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and become disengaged. Rather than letting a sense of powerlessness stop you in your helpful tracks, why not look for ways you can make a difference in your own community? From donating food or clothes to volunteering with a nearby organisation; every small act of kindness has the power to improve someone’s life.
It doesn’t have to be for strangers either. Helping your own friends and family through a rough time is just as good. Perhaps you’ve noticed your friend is struggling financially with her job on the line and a baby on the way. If you have the means you could offer her help buying baby furniture or (if you think they won’t accept) a small gift such as a voucher to help them make ends meet. On the smaller side; bring over a hearty meal or drop off a plate of classic sweets to make their day that little bit easier.
3) Live in the moment
If you have a tendency to think about your next steps before you’ve finished your current ones, you may be overlooking opportunities to build on relationships with others and yourself. Brodie Rees is a certified yoga instructor who says our best self is the one living in the now. She can be found at yoga classes around Brisbane and organising overseas retreats through Temple Yoga & Retreats.
“I believe one way to continue to grow and be a better person is to adopt a regular yoga or meditation practice which encourages us to live more in the NOW rather than regretting our past or worrying about a future that hasn't happened yet.
The present moment holds the key to liberation, and really it’s the only place where life truly exists. But you can’t find the present moment as long as you are caught up in your mind, which most of us are. A regular yoga practice asks us to draw attention onto breath and movement connection, which in turn brings us back into the present moment. As Eckhart Tolle says ‘ life is now, there was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be’.”
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4) Change comes from within
Doing things for others is the obvious choice when it comes to becoming a better person. But what if doing things for yourself was just as beneficial? Women’s health and wellness coach, Cherie Rivas, believes becoming the best version of yourself is a sure path to becoming a better person overall.
“Being a better person can come not only from ‘doing’ things that impact positively on the people and the world around us, but also from focusing inwards on our own personal happiness.
Seeing the world around us in a bright, positive light, very much extends from our own sense of personal happiness. When we feel a strong sense of happiness on the inside, we naturally radiate it and share that positive energy with others.
So how do we become happier and improve our own sense of wellbeing? A good balance of positive emotion, genuine engagement, strong relationships, a purpose in life, as well as satisfying accomplishments, all go towards building our sense of happiness and fulfilment.
These elements help us to develop new cognitive (thinking) and emotional (feeling) tools/skills, and effectively enable us to become better versions of ourselves. When we are at our best, we are far better equipped to give our best in all other aspects of life!”
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5) Practice gratitude
Gratitude is, in a nutshell; being thankful, showing appreciation and returning kindness. It’s simpler than most people think and it’s the kind of practice that makes people say ‘she is so nice’.
Send your mum flowers or frame that photo of the two of you in Fiji last year -- for no other reason than because you can. Send a text wishing your friend good luck in their meeting or interview. Thank the person who helped you meet a big deadline or return the favour when their next project has them working after hours. No-one goes through life alone and gratitude is primarily about recognising the support team that gets you through each and every day.
Looking for ways to become a better person means you’ve already taken the first step. You have the motivation, you just needed the inspiration. Test out some of our ideas and seek feedback to see how you’ve changed.