Before we talk about investing financially, I think the best investment is investing in yourself.
(This is Part 1 of the series about investing in yourself in all aspects of our lives starting with Personal Development).
I started IO40 (InvestOver40.com) to remind myself at mid-life that there’s much more I can do in life, I still want to go after my dreams and feel excited about doing what I love every chance I get. And, if you’re reading, I hope you do too.
Listed below are ways big or small that we can invest in ourselves and will make a huge positive impact to improving ourselves.
1. Reflect and set new goals
Make a regular check in with yourself for self-reflection and set new goals both personal and professional. Take the steps to apply S.M.A.R.T. goals framework and make your goals happen.
(Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-bound)
2. Create a vision board
A vision board is a visual representation of what you want in life, you can make a physical board or create online or use mobile app. It helps to unlock your dreams, goals and successes, the important part is to contemplate on your vision everyday to train your mind to act on them.
I use Trello to create my vision board on my phone to see it everyday. I also use it to keep a gratitude list.
3. Create habit / routine
There is no one size fit all routine, everyone is unique in their own ways. Our mind and body operates differently. Create a habit and routine that works for you. You know yourself best, so create something that you can commit to long term.
4. Make plans for your day / week
Whether you have a routine or not, having plans for your day or week will increase your productivity. It is an effective way to ensure your to do list gets done. Spend some time on a Sunday night to prepare and plan for the week and a few minutes every night before sleep makes a big difference in what you accomplish the next day and over the week.
5. Create a bucket list
What now? A bucket list after vision board and routine? Yes, but they are different. A bucket list is an extensive list of the things you want to do before you expire. Having a bucket list helps you spend your money where you will find worthwhile because those are the things you eventually want to do. Think of it as a dream list or a less-regret list, so that you can invest in those experiences.
6. Follow your passion / curiosity
Up until now, in order to make a living you may have been working at a job that you don’t necessary enjoy anymore. Consider if it’s time to change job, switch career, if you have a passion that you have been wanting to pursue, maybe plan on making the switch or as a side hustle. For those who doesn’t have a strong passion, what are you curious about? Explore.
7. Continue education
Learning is a lifelong journey. As an adult, no matter at what age, returning to studies is never too late. It may be that you want to remain current at your career, develop new skill, train for a new job, earn a degree or develop a personal interest, all are good reasons for continuing education.
8. Find a hobby
Hone on existing skills or find new hobbies allow for new learning opportunities. I personally love listening to music and playing piano. I set the new year with a goal to learn new pieces of piano songs every month, with consistency, the amount of learning over a year has been fun and eye opening. Do you have a lifelong desire for specific hobby?
8. Pick up creative pursuit
Engage in creative work or project is fun. Activities such as writing, illustration, DIY, craft, arts, pottery, to name a few encourage self-expression and improves mental and cognitive well-being.
9. Learn new skill from Youtube
We are lucky to have internet and platform like Youtube that allow us to connect with people across the globe. I am appreciative of what people share online, there are a lot of resources and videos on Youtube that teaches various different skills, all of which are free if we are patient and take the time to learn and put in practice. You can learn virtually anything you want just by googling or searching for how-to’s or tutorials. There are also a lot of motivational videos that will keep you inspired. Some of my favorite channels are:
10. Read self-improvement books / ebooks / blogs
Reading books is a great way to gain new knowledge. Ebooks and blogs are also good resources. Find materials that give you a boost of inspiration and positivity, make sure to not only learn but also apply and take action.
11. Listen to podcasts
You can really make use of time by listening to podcasts when you drive, during your commute, while you wash dishes or clean the house. It’s an easy way to multi-task. There are so many podcasts out there now covering all sorts of topics and they are all free.
12. Take a class
Have you ever wanted to take a class to learn new skill like flower arrangement, baking, painting, dancing, etc.? Look into your local community for classes you can sign up, it can be a fun one time or weekend activity, start with a one time short lesson to see how you like it so you don’t feel overwhelmed to register for a full course and not start at all.
13. Learn a language
Being able to speak multiple languages can open up to understanding other cultures and bring about different perspectives. It stretches your brain and it makes traveling even more interesting when you actually put your newly acquired skill to test.
As a parent, I easily think about investing in my children all of the time, I am sure most of you do, I think that’s the human nature, we think about their needs, their future and their happiness. We sometimes lose ourselves and our own identity other than being a mom or dad.
The fact is that we don’t have to. If you take care of your own well being and take the time to invest in yourself, it will be good for the family overall. Not only you should invest in yourself in your 20s, but at every age of your life.
Now, what is the one thing you are going to take action to do today that is investing in yourself? Comment below because I am interested to hear and would love to cheer you on.