Working on self-improvement and bettering your lifestyle is a great way to improve your physical and mental health. However, without taking into account your needs and limits, it can turn into a long and difficult battle against yourself. To avoid increasing your risk of mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and stress, it’s important to break down and fully understand your self-improvement journey.
Understanding self-Improvement without creating an obsession
Taking on a self-improvement project simply to be a better version of yourself is all the reasoning you may need to fully commit to the experience. However, it’s crucial to develop a personal growth plan with realistic goals and measurements to truly bloom into a better person. Ask yourself why you’ve decided to do this, how you’d like to benefit from the experience, and what opportunities you’d like to take advantage of as you progress.
Obsessing over your self-image and rushing through programs won’t transform you into a happier, healthier, brighter person. Instead, it can have the opposite effect; if you’ve set expectations too high, it can be a hard hit to your mentality and motivation. Pacing yourself and developing a checks and balances system that prioritizes your health is crucial for successfully measuring and seeing advancements in personal growth.
Set Reasonable Goals and Expectations
While you don’t need to break down your goals into minute-by-minute bite-sized pieces, breaking up your overall objectives can make success feel more obtainable. Start by acknowledging what you want out of this strategy; why do you want to accomplish this particular end goal? What kind of changes are you hoping to see? Outlining these answers can provide you with motivation throughout the process, giving you concrete reasons to work toward.
These questions can also help you think of alternative routes to get to the end goal. By coming up with secondary plans, you’re less likely to be hard on yourself for missed opportunities or taking breaks. For example, if you want to lose a certain amount of weight, don’t just focus on hitting the gym for X amount of days a week. Instead, also consider what you’re eating, how you can edit your schedule if you happen to miss a day, and what home workouts you can do instead.
Define Boundaries While Testing Limits
Acknowledge that you’re going to make mistakes and need to take breaks. The path to your objective shouldn’t be set in stone – too many factors can arise to throw off your plans and hard work. Instead, take time to acknowledge the possibility of a delay in your plans or the need to adjust your end result. While pushing your limits doesn’t always result in a negative outcome, pushing too far, too hard, too quickly can lead to physical and mental damage that will set you back even further.
Prioritize Your Health
Not only do you need to take your physical health into account, but it’s also important to consider the mental health toll of personal growth. Forming new habits and working towards ambitious goals can cause you to test your limits. It’s crucial to pay attention to your body’s response and use an encouraging inner voice.
With mental health resources like BetterHelp, you can talk with an experienced professional about your personal growth plan and how you can take into account your mental well-being. With their support, you’ll have the tools necessary to notice and change your attitude towards a situation that may increase your anxiety and stress.
Develop a Strong Support Group
Find close friends, family members, and mentors to help you not only stay on track but stay positive as well. Discuss your plans and desired outcome and take into account their feedback and suggestions. If a trusted teacher or friend remarks on the timeline or intensity of your program, consider discussing alternatives or adjustments that would be more realistic for you.
A quality support group will not only be there to support you but will also point out when you’re looking worse for wear. As you work on yourself, it can be difficult to gauge your gradual deterioration in energy, motivation, or comfort. Your support group is there to notice these changes and provide just as much encouragement of a break or change in your plans. While measuring personal growth can be what you need to finally cross the finish line, it doesn’t need to be an anxiety-inducing process.