3 steps towards self-improvement in September


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Starting a journal helps to document progress while promoting self-reflection.

Syllabus week passed, so it’s no surprise that most of us are starting to drown in assignments and other responsibilities. We’re often in such a rush to get everything finished that we don’t look at what can be done to take some of that stress off our shoulders. September is Self-Improvement month, so take a step back, reflect and give yourself some room to grow. Here are just a few ways to get started.

Know where you stand

The first step of self-improvement is self-awareness. We all make mistakes and that’s normal. If you are repeating the same mistake, ask yourself why that might be. It is important to acknowledge mistakes and bad habits that are blocking you from better mental, physical or spiritual health. Ask friends and family members for feedback and honesty when it comes to how they feel about you. Don’t be afraid to seek help and different perspectives from a counselor or other professionals. Once you become aware of your weaknesses, the improvement piece gets easier.

Set a process, not just goals

Sure, setting goals is important and provides direction. While goals are meant to motivate, more often than not, they turn into a strenuous to-do list that seems unattainable. Don’t get focused and distracted by the outcome. Instead, follow a schedule for what you’re going to do to achieve these goals. For example, if your goal is to get good grades, then you should make a routine of finishing assignments on time, meeting professors during office hours and staying organized. Not only does it take the pressure off, but it allows you to take it one step at a time while still improving along the way.

Track your progress

One way to keep up with how you are doing is to start a journal. It doesn’t even have to be an everyday commitment at first. Use it to write down your thoughts, your pit and peak of the day or short self-reflections. This is best done in a quiet area where you can think. Having a place where you can translate and release your emotions can even help lower stress and anxiety. Consistency is key to forming healthy habits and keeping a journal is not only promoting discipline, but it’s also helping you connect with yourself in a different way.

When practiced correctly, self-improvement can be incredibly empowering and rewarding. This process is different for everyone. Keep in mind that self-improvement and change don’t just happen overnight; it takes time and commitment. So take a spin class, schedule an appointment with the Health and Counseling Center or start meditating. The sooner you start, the sooner you will see results.