A Brief Weight Loss Story : Self ImprovementSofia | | 1 | Stories
Many who embark on a course of self improvement see giving money to charity as one of the easy ways of making themselves a better, selfless person. This is infinitely true, and giving to charity wherever possible is always a wonderful thing to do, but if you don’t have much spare cash or are unsure about which charity to choose, you can still help.
Charitable giving is one of those things that everyone means to do, but never gets around to. If you are genuine about improving your sense of self, make today the day where you actually do something. If you do decide to give money, first be sure you can afford it – there is little point in rendering yourself financially troubled just because you gave to charity. The whole point may be to help those less fortunate than yourself, but not by making yourself unfortunate.
With this kept in mind, find a charity that you feel passionate about. There are major national charities which get a lot of press and airtime, which subsequently leads to a lot of donations. Occasionally, instead of giving to one of these institutions, look around the internet for a smaller charity. The more obscure an illness, usually the less funding it gets – but that doesn’t mean it does any less of a job. These people still need help, and your money will be more useful to them. Still give to the big national charities, but do mix it up a little and vary your giving.
That said, only choose three charities at most to donate to. While you may just be giving for the sake of giving, it is important to think about what can be done with your money. If you have $100 to give, and split that between five different charities, each organisation only gets $20. Instead, select just two institutions and suddenly your money goes a lot further. Just remember that next time you donate, you can give to two completely different charities. Over time, your giving should even itself out.
But what charities need, perhaps even more than small donations, is your time. For true self improvement that is more than just a neat lifestyle choice, instead of giving cash, give yourself. This can include fund-raising, helping to promote awareness or just general administration work. If you have a particular skill – such as web designing or arts and crafts – offer to your chosen charity for free.
By doing this, you really will be improving your character. Giving just cash, all the time, can be a little too easy – but by actually helping a charity to function, you’re doing much more for the greater good. Experiences like these can teach you things that will change your life as a whole and make you a better, happier person – which is exactly what self improvement is all about, after all.
Self Improvement: The Body Beautiful
When asked what are of themselves they’d like to improve the most, an overwhelming majority would respond with an answer relating to their physical description. Issues people have with their bodies are wide ranging, even if the supposed problem is inconceivable to others. If it matters to you, it’s important. By improving whatever body issues you have, you’ll find your general state of being much more relaxed and happy, and you’ll probably be looking fabulous, too.
One of the biggest problems people have with their bodies is their weight. This can range from feeling too big or too thin, to just not liking their shape. By deciding to finally do something about whatever it is that bothers you, you’ll almost feel better immediately.
If you need to lose weight, then join a healthy eating plan. Note the non-use of the word “diet”. Learn to eat well, regularly and allow yourself the occasional treat. If it helps, consult a dietician for advice. It is always best to seek someone calling themselves a “dietician” and not a “nutritionist” – dietician is a protected term (such as Doctor) whereas anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. The truth remains that simple methods are the most effective, so while the latest diet craze may be supposedly having wildly spectacular results for others, in the long term a plan of sensible eating will work the best.
Even if you’re happy with your weight, exercise is hugely beneficial and should be encouraged for all. Exercise produces endorphins, known as the feel good hormone, and many find their natural disposition is greatly improved by regular exercise. Self improvement is all about feeling better, after all.
You don’t have to go the gym to exercise; literally anything that increases heart rate is classed as aerobic exercise and is therefore encouraging the body to produce endorphins. Of all the hundreds of ways to increase your heart rate, there is going to be something you enjoy. Once you’ve found it, the benefits are two fold – you enjoy the activity, while getting the resultant buzz from the endorphins and keeping fit, too.
Very few physical problems are utterly insoluble. If you really think fixing a body issue will make you happier and improve your life, then there is no reason – nor any social stigma – that should discourage you from doing it.
Self Improvement: Break Free From Your Past
It is an accepted fact that even those that appear whiter-than-white have one or two skeletons lurking in the closet. Films and television tends to teach us that these secrets are explosive – murder, abuse and so on – but for the average person, they’re far more mundane than that.
Have a think about your past – are there any issues that you remember immediately, and recoil at the memory in the same instance? These are the experiences you need to focus on. To truly move on in life, you need to learn and accept your past – be it an embarrassing moment or something far more sinister.
To begin, write down the experience in full. If it is something embarrassing or you’re ashamed of it, don’t worry, only you will ever see it. Write down exactly what happened, why it affected you so badly and what kind of effect it still has on today. Instead of recoiling and dismissing the thought, spend a good half an hour actually thinking about it – for some, this is the first time in decades that they’ve really relived in the memory in full, and the process can be liberating. However, it can also be upsetting, so try and bear in mind that you’re doing this for the greater good.
With the entire incident written down, send it to yourself in the post. When it arrives, open it and read it again. As this is happening on a fresh day, it allows time for perspective and sense to come through and you should feel slightly differently to how you did at the time of writing.
At this point, if there’s something you can do to rectify the past, do it. It may be contacting someone you had a fight with or apologising for past behaviours, it could even be something extreme like going to the police. If you can do something, then do try and do it, for only until the issue is resolved can you really move on. Force through the awkwardness, telling yourself that at the end of the road a calmer, happier you await. After all, a short period of unpleasantness is infinitely preferable to more years of misery at a certain memory.
With this done – or if it wasn’t something you could rectify – then complete the exercise by destroying the written text. Fire, as long as it is done safely, is most people’s preference for this, as you can watch your past burn away slowly rather than a sudden and almost violent action like tearing it apart. Watch the past smoulder and try to finally release all that negative energy surrounding it.
You may need to repeat this process several times, and in fact it may even be best if you do. But by confronting an uncomfortable past, you are opening doors for a more pleasant future.
Self Improvement: Breaking The Pattern
One of the things a human being needs above all is change. Even people that claim to be creatures of habit like a little variety from time to time. Getting stuck in a rut and living the same monotonous life every day would wind anyone down, and you can instantly improve yourself by breaking free of these self-imposed restrictions.
It is often assume that only wholesale changes apply to getting out of a rut, such as leaving a bad relationship or getting a new job. The truth is much more trivial than that, and those in jobs they like and marriages which are loving can still feel worn down by the repetitive nature of their lives.
One of the biggest causes of repetition is traditional, that one thing that tells you time and time again to repeat the same actions. And all just because you’ve done it before. Every Christmas, for example, you find yourself eating the same food, with the same people and getting bored singing the same songs. It might be ‘tradition’, but unless you enjoy that tradition, it’s utterly pointless. This applies to everything where tradition exists; unless you still actively enjoy the activity and would do it even if it weren’t tradition, stop doing it!
Changes in even smaller phases like that can rejuvenate the mind. To begin, go for those things that really seem pointless – such as watching a different genre of film from your usual, changing your IP provider or buying a different newspaper. You might not like the experiment, but even small differences can help stop you from feeling like you’re just living Groundhog Day.
For the ultimate feeling of breaking the pattern, do something that you’ve never had the courage to do before. Maybe you’re always wanted to try skydiving but have been too scared, or you’ve had a crush on someone in your office but have never had the courage to say something. In these instances, simply ask yourself “what’s the worst that can happen?”. By running through the worst case scenario, you’ll find it loses it’s fear. This type of thought processing is known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and is widely accepted by psychologists across the world as genuinely having the power to change lives. By facing your fears and doing something completely different, you’ll unleash a feeling of new energy unlike anything you’ve ever felt before.
Self Improvement: It’s All About Organisation
One of the main gripes that people have about the modern world is that they don’t have enough time. There’s many different sayings and colloquialisms that lead to the belief that time is just slipping away, when in reality, time just isn’t being used properly. Truly organised people are never the ones saying that there aren’t enough hours in the day – not because they’ve found the secret to reversing time, but simply because they’ve learnt to manage effectively.
Some of the things you dislike about yourself, the things that have spurred you into believing you need to improve yourself, can be solved purely through effective time management. If you dislike how short tempered you can be, or how you never see your friends and family enough and worry they feel neglected – the problems are easily solved.
One of the best ways to change the way you use your time is to document it first. There are numerous programs available, free, on the internet which run a clock on how long you spend working on a computer. They’re actually designed for freelancers who bill by the hour and need to prove the time they’ve spent working, but the function is the same for finding out where your time goes. Install it on your work computer and you’ll soon see where your time really goes, and how the six hour stint you’d thought you’d spent working in the afternoon was actually an hour of working and a lot of time spent checking Twitter, writing emails and posting on forums. It should be quite a wake up call.
Knowing where you go wrong, set yourself goals. Organise a chore you dislike – anything from cleaning to responding to letters – and set aside an hour a day in which you do nothing but that. If you have time spare in that hour, start preempting the next chore. By compartmentalising those chores that you hate, you’ll free yourself up the rest of the time.
Keep a diary and stick to it, don’t cancel engagements just because you’re too tired or feel like you can’t be bothered. These little non appearances add up, and if you usually just cancel, you never know what you’re missing. Use a diary you can carry in your pocket or briefcase; amazingly, so many people don’t, and then wonder why they miss appointments.
Essentially, when instigating a system which you hope will improve your life and self, you need to know exactly how your life works. Writing everything down and analysing the results will let you see where improvements can be made – and don’t worry, before you know, documenting your life will become second nature.