Investing in Yourself

Imagine you’re a kid again. There’s a shiny new thing at the local department store that caught your eye months ago. You asked Mom for it, but she said no. But it’s all you can think about. You want it! So what do you do?

You save money. One penny at a time, you fill your piggy bank until you’re pretty sure you have enough to buy it.

Now think about your life today. Are you living your best life? Have you reached your ideal? Most of us would say no, there’s room for improvement. There’s a vision of how you want things to be that you haven’t quite reached yet.

What if you treated that vision of your life like you treated that thing at the local department store? What if you invest in your life, one penny at a time?

Not sure how or where to start? Here are five ways to invest in yourself. These investments add up to more than you might think.

#1. Work from the outside in.

Sometimes, we need to start the ball rolling. The best way to do that is to change something simple. And the simplest changes for most people are those we can make in our appearance.

Maybe it’s time to be bold and try a new hair color. Maybe you would like a couple of new pieces for your wardrobe.

Or perhaps you’ve been holding back, resisting the urge for a manicure or pedicure because you don’t want to “waste” the time or money. But consider this: Does a manicure or pedicure make you feel good about yourself? Is paying for one going to deprive you or your family of the essentials? Will the time you spend caring for yourself be to the detriment of those you love?

While only you know those answers, it’s safe to say that spending time caring for yourself will only help you to better care for those you love. “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Max Planck, a German quantum theorist and Nobel Prize winner, said that. And he’s right. Change the way you look at the investment you’re making by prioritizing even simple things like getting a haircut, enjoying a pedicure, or picking out and purchasing a new shirt. It isn’t about the time or money you’re losing, it’s about what you’re gaining instead by listening to and answering your own needs.

#2. Now take a look inside.

Remember that ideal life you wish you could be living? Sure, most of us want millions of dollars we can sprinkle around in all the ways that are uniquely us. But that’s not really what that ideal life is about. Dig a little deeper. It’s not about money. Not following?

What if you won the lottery? What would you do with your winnings? Would you buy a remote island and isolate yourself from society, keeping all friends and family out? Or would you pay off your debt and that of those you love?

Paying off debt isn’t your ultimate dream. It’s what you get by paying off that debt. By paying off your debt, you’re really giving yourself more freedom and security. Freedom to spend, save, or dream. By paying off the debt of those you love, you’d be giving them the same gift. In this scenario, paying off debt is the vehicle that helps you get to the thing you want the most.

Now think about your ideal life once again. What is it that you really crave that’s missing from your life right now? Is it a little more freedom? Is it the ability to help those around you who are struggling? Figure out the why behind what it is you envision doing.

Take the time to make sure you know the difference between your why and the vehicle you’ve chosen to deliver that intangible thing to you. It matters because you can’t invest in yourself if you don’t know where to put those pennies.

The act of sitting down to think this through is an investment. You will better understand what you value and what you’ve been craving.

#3. Make a plan.  

Once you’ve dissected your ideal life, you can begin to work toward it. By starting on the outside and investing in the simple things that are within your reach, you’re training your brain to think bigger: You’re influencing your insides. Now it’s time to exercise your brain some more.

Example

The ideal life:

Your ideal life is you becoming your own boss in your very own company. Why? Because you want the flexibility that comes with that so you can spend more time with your family. You even have visions of including your family in your work so you can spend even more time together working toward a common goal.

The problem standing in your way:

You’ll lose your financial security by leaving your job and starting your own business.

So what’s the solution? How do you get what you want without jeopardizing your security? That’s the part you’ll have to figure out and plan for. Perhaps the answer is building your business while you still work for someone else. Or maybe you need to work on paying off debt first, then you can start your business.

Investing in yourself in such a big way is never easy. It’s going to be hard and require some sacrifices. But the payout in the end will be more than worth it.

#4. Invest in your health.

Before you start Googling the keto diet, think about the last mysterious ache or pain you had. What did you do about it?

The answer is nothing, right? You ignored it. It eventually went away.

That headache you had for three days last month, you ignored it too. And the bloating that keeps coming back. Oh, and that scaly patch of skin on your arm.

We often measure how well we’re taking care of ourselves by the number of pounds we’ve dropped on the scale this week and whether we remember to schedule that annual checkup. While an annual physical and dieting are important, we can invest in our health in other ways.

Start by taking your aches and pains seriously. Unless you have a reason for that headache (like you didn’t sleep well all week because you were too stressed about work), recognize that headaches aren’t part of a functioning, healthy body. It may be your body’s way of telling you that you need to cut back on the coffee or increase the vitamin D.

Be proactive in your health by setting a bedtime and sticking to it. Stay away from screens for an hour before bed so you can fall asleep more quickly. Take a walk after you eat your lunch to help prevent bloating.

Listen to your body. You’ll discover it’s letting you know exactly what it needs.

By investing in your health, you’ll be giving yourself permission to invest in yourself in other ways too.

#5. Invest in your oral health.

Remember that first step to invest in your appearance because it gets the ball rolling on other changes that will have an even larger impact on your life? Maybe you should add a smile makeover to your list.

Investing in your oral health will not only help you to have a beautiful smile, but it will also improve your overall health. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment to invest in your overall health.

Not convinced on the importance of investing in yourself? Read about the life-long benefits of self-care.

 

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