You are determined to forge ahead into 2008 with a well devised list of resolutions; that which you will attach to your refrigerator for daily viewing. Alright, it’s a noble action, creating a list of goals to improve upon one’s self. But before you march out to your local Barnes and Noble or Borders for a copy of something like, “Ten Steps to a New You,” consider a few pointers from a seasoned self-improvement fiend. (Now, note that I didn’t claim expertise…)
There are some good self-help books available. But avoid those that offer cookie-cutter approaches for everyone. There is no such thing. We are all unique people with unique lives and situations. Even in similar situations, we each experience them differently.
If you really want to improve yourself, you first have to take a hard, objective, honest look at yourself. You must first determine what it is about yourself that needs improvement in the first place. Decide if any of your goals seem superficial to you, or if they are things that really matter. Also, it is a sign of good character when you admit something to yourself that you’d rather not admit or would prefer to deny. The things we typically avoid dealing with are those which bring forth important break-throughs.
Tend to yourself by yourself. Are you improving aspects of yourself that are important to you, or something that you think will impress someone else or bring happiness to someone else? Only one person can make any person happy – and that is the self. However, if you continually get feedback from several people about an unpleasant aspect in your personality, it’s worth taking a look at and evaluating. It’s ok to recruit the help of a trusted friend to do this, just be sure that you are your own final arbitrator.
Be nice to yourself. One of the greatest nemeses to real human growth is wrong or overdone guilt. Don’t make excuses for yourself; assume responsibility for mistakes or situations that you’ve brought upon yourself, but to mentally beat yourself up over something or to lose self-confidence is nothing but self defeating. You’re just as worthy as anyone else to be happy and to enjoy achievements. We all have different qualifications and attributes. Be proud of those you have and build upon them. If there is something you want, realize that it can be yours and make a list of steps to attain it.
Dealing with matters of the self is truly an exciting process. Above all, get excited, and enjoy yourself.