A number of people on this earth spend loads of time, and money, investing in other people, or physical possessions, and therefore neglect the person they should be investing in most, which is themselves! Investing in yourself is more important than almost anything else because you are the only person who you will have to spend the rest of your life with.
50 Ways To Invest In Yourself
If you’re not sure how to start investing in yourself, it’s actually quite easy, but here are some ways to begin the process.
Investing in yourself means investing in your health, which starts by engaging in regular exercise. Recent studies have found that sitting behind a desk all day is just as bad for you as smoking, so make sure you make an effort to get at least 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week.
Cardio based exercise which brings your heart rate up (and keeps it there) is best, but make sure you don’t overdo the exercise for your level of physicality. Biking, swimming, jogging, running, gardening, and even housework are all forms of exercise.
According to Harvard Health, stretching is a crucial part of keeping muscles strong, limber, and healthy. Therefore, besides just exercising regularly, you need to stretch regularly as well. This helps keep your joints and muscles flexible and helps lower your chances of an exercise or work-related injury.
Some form of yoga is usually recommended, but even just a few simple stretches at home when you wake up in the morning can go a long way. The experts recommend that you stretch at least once a day for best results.
3| Cook Healthy At Home
Part of investing in yourself also means you need to take the time, and effort, to cook meals at home. Not only is this generally healthier than eating out at a restaurant, but you can control portion sizes and investigate all the ingredients which go into your food.
Some people find it easier to eat healthier when they rid the house of all the junk food so they aren’t tempted and fill the fridge with healthy items instead. Make sure your diet is loaded with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and proteins, and skip out on the added salts, fats, and sugars whenever you can.
Challenge yourself to cook something new and look up the recipe for something you’ve always loved at a restaurant and try making your own version at home. This will help keep cooking, and sticking to your diet, more fun than just eating salads.
4| Pack Healthy Snacks
How many times do you visit the snack vending machine while you are at work? Did you know these items are usually loaded with trans fats and other ingredients which directly affect your health? Start planning ahead and pack healthy snack for yourself from home, such as carrot sticks, almonds, or a healthy fruit and nut bar.
You’ll likely feel more alert and your wallet will thank you too. If you have a desk at work, consider getting a few dedicated snacks to leave there too, such as a container of raw almonds, that way you will always have a snack even on the rare occasion you forget to pack one.
5| Skip The Takeout
Whether or not you pack the healthy snacks, you do need to start skipping the take out. Take-out food, or fast food, is some of the worst food you can put into your body. Even if you select a healthy item from the menu, it is usually packed with unnecessary calories and sugars which probably don’t fit in your diet.
If you’re the kind of person who is too tired in the evening to cook after a long day, then consider meal prepping healthy meals for the entire week on your day off. Portion them out, and package them individually so that you will have an easy meal waiting for you when you get home.
6| Drink Water
According to WebMD, drinking water is one of the most critical things you can do for your health. Every system in your body relies on water to function, and when you deprive these organs of the water they need, you could be heading down a long road of health problems.
Not only that, but dehydration drastically affects your mood and ability to concentrate. Experts recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day. And skip those sugary or diet beverages as those only end up dehydrating you more.
7| Drink Green Tea
As you’re switching out your beverages, consider incorporating more green tea into your diet. In over 15 different studies, people who drank 2 to 6 cups of green tea a day had lower amounts of body fat and generally weighed less than those who didn’t. This is because green tea’s polyphenols have been shown to boost metabolism and speed up the fat burning process.
Green tea has also been shown to lower levels of inflammation, as well as risk factors for certain diseases like heart disease and cancer. Just make sure that when you enjoy your cup of tea, that you stick to unsweetened, or a small amount of honey, and don’t add any sugar, as this will counteract all of the good benefits you are trying to gain from drinking it.
8| Sleep More
No matter how you look at it, your body needs sleep. The CDC in the United States recommends that all adults from ages 18-60 years should get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Besides just getting enough sleep, you can improve the quality of your sleep as well. Start by establishing a bed time and wake up time for yourself, then work on sticking to them.
Make sure you aren’t drinking any caffeine or sugar near bedtime. Experts also recommend leaving your cellular device, or TV, off and in the other room starting 30 minutes before bedtime.
Also consider investing in a natural wake up alarm which eases you awake instead of jolting awake to a buzzer. You just might find that more, restful, sleep is just what you needed to feel like a new person.
9| Take Care Of Your Health
Taking care of your health certainly isn’t easy, as it involves a combination of all of the above to truly make a difference. But, additionally, taking care of your health also means going to a doctor when something doesn’t feel right.
And this only grows more important as you get older. A number of conditions, which are caught early on, are easy to cure, but once they are allowed to get worse, they could cost you your life. Ensure you stay up to date with routine doctors’ visits, and don’t hesitate to call when something seems off. Also note that this means seeing a mental health professional as well if you feel yourself struggling with your mental health.
10| Create A Mantra
Like Pumba in The Lion King, you can help yourself get through those tough times in life (which will inevitably arise) by creating your own personal, positive, mantra. This needs to be something which specifically speaks to you. Once you come up with it, any time you start having negative thoughts try blocking them with the mantra. You can also write the mantra on sticky notes and place them around the house for you to see and remember later.
11| Get Up Early
People who get up early in the morning are generally more productive than those who sleep in. Not only that but pushing the snooze button has actually shown in a number of studies to actually make you more tired rather than help you feel more rested.
And this applies on the weekends too, you should be getting up at the same time each day of the week in order to keep your body consistent. And soon enough, getting up early won’t be difficult at all.
12| Have A Morning Routine
Wondering what you’re going to do in these mornings when you are up early? Well investing in yourself means its time to have an established morning routine. This can be something simple like brushing your teeth, exercising, and then taking a shower. But if you really want to take yourself to a new level of success this morning routine should also include some time for journaling, meditation, goal setting, and the planning of your day.
Even if you don’t have time to do it in your morning routine, keeping a journal is an important part of growing with yourself. You cause this journal to reflect back on things which have happened, as well as write and track goals.
At any given time, you should have two lists of goals in your life, those for the short term, and those for the long term, and a journal is a great way at keeping these all-in-one safe place. Either way, try your best to journal at least once a day, but for best results you should journal both in the morning and in the evening in order to check back in with how your day went while it is still fresh on your mind.
14| Plan Your Days
This is another reason to keep a journal. You will stay more focused and on task if every morning you write a to do list for yourself for the day. This goes beyond simple household chores and errands if you really want to take control of your life and invest in yourself you should also plan things such as your phone or social media time. This way you won’t be constantly checking your phone or wasting valuable time when it could be better applied somewhere else in your life.
The benefits of meditation are so vast there is truly no reason you should not be making an attempt to meditate on a weekly basis. Meditation has been shown in numerous studies to reduce stress, control anxiety, and help reduce early memory loss. It also helps the practicing individual become more self-aware and be able to focus for a longer period of time.
In order to get the best benefits of meditation, it’s recommended you find 10 minutes of each day in which to meditate. If you have trouble clearing your mind, you can attend a yoga class and often times the instructors there will teach you breathing techniques which can transfer to meditation. For best results, meditate both in the morning and in the evening.
16| Keep Yourself Organized
Staying organized is a favor your current self does for your future self. Because no one wants to go digging for that one thing that they may need for that one project. If you aren’t already organized, head to your nearest home store and pick up a few tools to help you get situated.
Try to organize everything so that you can find it quickly and easily when the time comes. Labels are a great feature especially when you are dealing with a number of different bins of supplies!
17| Have Goals
Investing in yourself means having goals. And as previously mentioned, you need to write these goals down on a daily, or at least a weekly basis to keep them fresh in your mind and keep yourself on track. If you don’t think you have any goals, it is long past time to make some!
So even if you aren’t sure where you want to be in a few years, start by making a goal for the month, no matter if it’s to save money, or perhaps try a new restaurant in town. The whole point is to set your sights on something, and then follow through and achieve it.
18| Track Your Results
Whatever your goal may be, you need to keep track of your results in order to keep yourself on track. If your goal is a weight loss one, weigh, measure, or take pictures of yourself regularly, and write about how you feel with each step you make.
It’s recommended to keep all of this information succinct in something like a journal, but social media can also be a useful tool as long as you have a following of people who support you on your way to your goal.
19| Let Go Of Things That Anger You
Believe it or not, holding on to and suppressing anger can actually cause physical damage to your body. It can lead to increased blood pressure, liver damage, and muscle aches, as well as a myriad of other physical symptoms.
This is why you need to make a conscious effort to let go of the things that anger you. You can do this during your meditation, your journaling, or by arranging to see a therapist. Regardless of how you decide to learn to let go, the first step is deciding that you will and the rest should follow more easily.
20| Work On Your Emotional Health
Besides just anger, working on your emotional health is a critical part of investing in yourself. This means, not only are you letting go of negative emotions, but you are also responding to situations differently. You no longer let yourself feel attacked when someone says something against you, instead you handle it with grace.
You also don’t engage in childish behaviors like tantrums or physical fighting. If you struggle with this, practice having a mature emotional response, which works for you, before the situations actually come your way. Learn how to diffuse yourself, and try a few different methods as needed.
A deep breath, or minute to think, can work wonders! Then next time you are faced with a difficult situation, employ this new tactic, and gauge the results. You might be surprised by your own success.
21| Let Yourself Dream
It may seem a bit silly, needing to allow yourself to dream. But dreams are often the precursors to goals. Of course, they need a little editing before you can write them in your journal and start working towards them, but don’t let that stop you from having them in the first place!
In fact, if you truly want to achieve your dreams, start analyzing them and asking yourself just how you intend to get there—before you know it, you’ll be there!
22| Explore Your Creative Side
This goes right along with dreaming, sometimes as humans age they forget to indulge their creative side. Which is sad, because this is the side that helps you overcome obstacles on your way to achieving your dreams.
So next time you have a cute idea, don’t suppress it, instead act upon it. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And if you are having a hard time getting the creative juices to flow, find something that inspires you, whether that’s music, movies, or even reading a book. Whatever your tactic may be, make sure you devote some time to it so the creative part of your mind can truly grow.
23| Spend Time With Friends
Also, as you age, you tend to spend less time with your friends as you all grow older, have children, and begin to lead busy lives. This is unfortunate because research has shown that not having a good group of friends to spend time with can lead to insomnia, digestive problems, diabetes, and even heart disease.
Humans are social creatures who were meant to live in communal environments, and so loneliness can hit hard. Try to make an effort to get together with your friends once a month, even consider making an event out of it like game night.
And even if everyone can’t come every month, leave the invite open and whoever can come, will. If physical hang out are simply impossible, you can also consider starting a group chat or zoom game night while the kids are sleeping.
24| Surround Yourself With Like Minded People
Besides just having friends, you also need to make sure you have the right friends. People change as they age, and as you grow you may find that you don’t have anything in common with some of your old friends anymore and that you are simply headed down different paths.
If this happens to you, and you are struggling where to go to meet new friends who share your interests, consider joining a Facebook group or community club for an activity you enjoy. In this day and age there are Facebook groups for any and every hobby, so you’re bound to find a group which meets up for whatever activity keeps you love!
25| Leave Toxic People Behind
This goes right along with maintaining friendships and surrounding yourself with like-minded people. If you find, as you pursue your dreams, that certain people suffer from the victim mentality and are nothing but negative all the time, then it’s time to start eliminating them from your life.
This can be tough, especially if the toxic person is a family member, but you can start by resolving to see them less, and only speak to them when necessary. You are the reflection of the people you hang out with, so the last thing you want to do is hang out with someone who has a negative world view and isn’t investing in themselves.
26| Put Your Phone Down
Do you know how much time you spend on your phone? Probably a lot more time than you think! And generally, unless you are a social media influencer, time spent on your phone is time wasted, and if you spend too much time looking at other people’s lives it can actually start to damage your health.
This doesn’t mean you have to delete social media; it just means you need to establish a certain time of your day to spend on it, then spend the rest of the day doing something else. For example, if you work in an office and eat lunch alone at your desk, maybe this can be your social media time.
Or, if you get home half an hour before your husband or wife does, you can spend time on your phone before they get there. Either way it’s time to be more mindful of your phone usage because your phone never invested anything in you.
27| Always Be Polite
As you start to go out and meet new people, or even just as you come across people in your everyday life, it’s important to be polite. This is because you never know who may be there when you need a favor.
There are countless stories of interviewers who sit in the waiting room and watch how the interviewees treat the secretary. If they are rude, they are sent home before the interview. Don’t let this be you, and instead just strive to be polite to everyone you meet.
28| Find Someone You Look Up To
As you embark on your journey to success by investing in yourself, it’s likely you may lose you way or become discouraged at some point in time. This is why it is critical to find someone you look up to and remember their story the next time you are discouraged. This way you can ask yourself how your idol would deal with the road block and feel inspired rather than discouraged.
29| Always Be Learning Something New
According to scientists, every time you learn a new task or expand on one you already know, your brain makes new neural pathways. And having a brain which is constantly creating these new neural pathways actually delays the demyelination of your brain, which means it keeps your brain from forgetting things and developing issues like dementia.
In all that time you are no longer spending on social media, pick up a new skill—this could be anything from learning a new language, or trying a new hobby.
And if you find you don’t like it halfway through, don’t be afraid to try another new thing, and then another. Basically, in order to properly invest in yourself you should always be trying new things.
30| Play Brain Teasers
Similarly, to learning new things, engaging in brain teaser activities on a daily basis can help keep your mind functioning longer, and enable you to be independent for more years when you’re older.
So, download a few word games on your phone and plan to spend about thirty minutes a day solving them for the best results for your brain. And if you’re having trouble finding time for these, perhaps consider replacing most, or all, of your social media time with these brain teasers.
31| Visit New Places
While your mind develops new pathways when learning new things, you also develop new pathways when visiting new places! Not only is travel good for your brain, but it also lowers stress, and boosts happiness and satisfaction.
Travel also expands your mind and horizons, as you encounter people who are different than yourself and step outside your comfort zone. Even if travel isn’t possible for you, consider visiting a new part of town, or maybe just a new restaurant you’ve never been before, anything which will lead you to broaden your current life view.
32| Read 30 Minutes Each Day
A number of successful CEO’s in the United States report that they read at least one book a week. This is because reading is one of the number one ways to invest in yourself and broaden your horizons. Reading a non-fiction book is like receiving a free education and is directly linked to success. There is a reason unsuccessful people can never finish a book.
So set a goal for yourself—experts recommend 30 minutes a day for best results. But you could also aim to read one book per month, and you’ll already be ahead of 75% of Americans. Try to stick to nonfiction books, and start with a topic you are interested in. But if you read a few nonfiction books, it’s also okay to throw a fiction one in there for fun occasionally too.
33| Create A Vision Board
Another way to keep your creative juices flowing while working towards one of your existing goals is to make a vision board. Grab a cork board from the store and cut out pictures and sayings from magazines which embody your goal.
If arts and crafts aren’t really your thing you could also do this online with a Pinterest board. However, you may decide to go about it, just make sure you put your vision board somewhere visible that you can reference multiple times a day and remind yourself what you are working towards.
34| Always Look To Improve Your Skills
No one is ever “the best” at anything. You may think you are the best, but even if you think it, there is already someone out there learning to do it better. This is why, even if you may think you know everything, it’s time to have some humility and recognize that you likely don’t. Part of investing in yourself is bettering the person you already are.
And in order to do that, you have to point out your own weak points. Maybe you are an excellent employee, but bad at following through. Maybe that’s something you need to work on. Are you a great listener but lack empathy? This could be something to work on as well.
No matter what skills you may already possess, continue to work on bettering them every day and know that there will always be more to learn.
35| Have a Hobby
How do you spend your free time? Is it doing something which will improve the future you? If all of your free time is spent on your phone or watching TV, this is not the case. Instead, it’s time to turn off the media and invest in a meaningful hobby.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; it could be something you’ve always wanted to do, like learn to scuba dive, or start a garden. No matter what your interests are, it’s time to invest yourself in them, so that you will have something to show for your years later in life rather than a list of all the TV shows you binged on.
36| Find A Way To De-Stress
A number of studies run by Harvard Health have found chronic stress to be a major stepping stone to disease and an overall unhealthy life. Experiencing major stresses can impair cognitive function, lower immune response, and even increase the chances you will die from heart disease. It is absolutely critical that you find a way that you enjoy destressing and invest in it for your own future health! If you engage in meditation, this should help on a daily basis.
But you also should have an activity which helps you de stress in more major ways, such as a weekend getaway, or a trip to the spa for a massage. Whatever your choice de-stressor may be, make sure you make some time in your life for it.
And if you find your stress level is still climbing out of control, it’s okay to seek help, or consider cutting out some of your obligations which are not part of your goals. Even though you may not want to, you’ll likely find you feel better (and are better prepared to attain your goals) without over stressing yourself and wasting your attention elsewhere.
37| Practice Confidence
While on your self investment journey, it’s also necessary to put some time into building your self-confidence. Besides just creating a mantra, you’ll want to make over your body language so that other people can see you are self-confident as well. This is also the time if you are used to being pushed around, learn to stand up for yourself.
The reason you are investing in your self-confidence is because it is necessary to have a strong belief in yourself during your journey—in order to keep yourself on track when things may get difficult. If just anyone is able to talk you down, then you’re liable to be completely knocked over mentally at any point.
If you’re struggling with bringing up your self-confidence, consider reading a book about it, or even just mentally (and physically) preparing yourself for things more often. This can help you feel more confident when a certain event comes around because you’ll be prepared to handle it thanks to your previous thinking.
38| Put Money Towards Experiences And Not Things
No matter what you think of possessions, they will never love you back, nor will they ever be invested in your success. And when you buy possessions, often time this isn’t something which will help you grow mentally.
Rather than acquiring clothes, cars, or shoes, consider investing in an experience which will make you richer as you invest. This could be anything from a class to learn a new skill, or a trip to see a new locale.
If something like clothes or shoes is really your passion, then consider learning to make these items, or designing your own pieces, as a mental expansion to just simply shopping for them in the store.
39| Get Rid Of Clutter
This is closely tied to spending money on experiences, not things. When you buy too many things, chances are they will begin to pile up and become clutter in your life. People with a lot of clutter are often disorganized physically, as well as mentally.
Start getting your life in order by clearing out the clutter and donating, or trashing, the things you don’t use. As a general rule of thumb, experts say if you haven’t used something in a year, you probably don’t need it.
40| Improve Your Communication Skills
Communication skills are a critical part of being able to flourish within our society. So, as you embark on your self investment journey, make sure you work to improve your communication skills. If you don’t know where to start, there are a number of places which offer classes to teach you the art of communication.
You can also do your own research online and then try out your newly learned skills at your next get together. Remember that communication skills includes both verbal, and nonverbal forms of communication, like body language.
41| Create A Budget
Although investing in yourself doesn’t necessarily mean financially, it is definitely still a part of it in the grand scheme of things. You cannot invest in yourself financially when you are overdrawing your checking account each month or using your credit card to make ends meet. Stop this habit by making a budget and sticking to it.
There are a number of budgeting apps which can help you with this, or you can use the old envelope trick, where you pull out all your money in cash and put it in separate envelopes for what it is supposed to be spent on.
When the envelope is empty, you can spend no more money in that category for the month. If you’re having trouble not overspending, consider cancelling things like your TV show subscriptions, or cutting back on the number of times you eat out and eating at home instead.
42| Live Within Your Means
So now you have a budget, and it’s time to live within your means. Therefore, no more using credit cards. When your friends invite you for a night out, if you don’t have any more money to spend, learn to say no. This is an important step of investing in yourself, as you cannot move forward financially if you are always accruing debt which is pushing you a step back.
Sometimes people find it easier at this step if they physically destroy their credit card by cutting it up. Or you can freeze it in an ice block in the freezer, so then if you needed to use it, you would have to wait for it to melt, giving you time to think if you really need to spend the money on the purchase or not.
43| Have Debt? Get A Side Job
Conceivably, if you’ve followed the above two steps, you now should no longer be adding new debt to your life. But what if you have debt from before? Now is the time to pencil any amount of money left in your budget toward debt repayment. Consider cutting back on fun spending to pay debt down even quicker—as this will lead to you being debt free much faster.
If your debt is simply massive, in the thousands of dollars, consider getting a side gig like food delivery or dog walking. You might be surprised at what a difference even just $200 extra dollars can make in a month when it goes towards paying off your debt. Before you know it, you’ll be debt free, and that is the most amazing feeling.
44| Save Money
While you are paying down your debt, it’s difficult to save money. And honestly, paying down your debt is more important that saving, at that point, because your debt is likely growing.
Once your debt is trimmed down, or gone, it’s time to reroute some of the money you were paying towards debt into savings (you can add back some fun things as well but aim to save 10% of your income if you can).
This will keep you from sliding back down the slippery slope of debt in the future, especially if an unexpected bill comes up. And saving money is literally the financial version of investing in your future self, and you’ll never regret that you did it.
45| Make The First Move
Sometimes in life you will be discouraged. Maybe you had a job interview and they didn’t call you back, or that cute guy or girl didn’t ask for your number. Life is too short to wonder what might have been. Instead, save your future self-time and needless thoughts by making the first move. Haven’t heard from a job interview? Call them and ask why.
At least then you will know in future interviews what to do differently. Ask that cute person on a date. Want to try something crazy like bungee jumping? Don’t wait for a friend, ask a friend to go with you instead! If everyone on earth was always waiting for someone else to make the first move, nothing would ever get done! Be the change you want to see!
46| Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
This is part of making the first move. In society, we are often told to wait until we are ready, but if you are doing something truly crazy, chances are you will never be ready. Now is the time to step out of your comfort zone and force yourself to do something new, try something different, be the person you always wanted to be! You will never regret it and this is one of the best ways to invest in the expanding of your horizons.
47| Write A Letter To Your Past And Future Self
Do you wonder just how far self-investment can get you? It’s important to track your progress. Do this by writing a letter to your past and future self. In the letter to your past self, forgive yourself for anything you may have done wrong and acknowledge everything you have done to get this far.
Then, write a letter for your future self, and tell yourself everything you want to do, and where you want to be in five years.
Then close them and resolve not to look at them for five years (or longer). If you write a physical letter, this is very easy to accomplish. You can also do this digitally, but then tuck away the letter in a desktop folder which tells you the date to read it.
Likely you’ll forget about it, but when you do find it in a couple years, it will be amazing to check in with yourself and see all your progress! Hopefully, you’ll be further than you can even imagine now!
48| Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
It’s also time to stop comparing yourself to others. No two people on this earth have the same journey or the same dream. You are completely unique, and there is absolutely no reason to compare yourself to others, ever.
If you find you struggle with this, create a second mantra reminding yourself how unique you truly are. And when you look at someone in jealousy, or dismay, repeat your mantra and know you are one of a kind.
49| Forgive Yourself For Mistakes
Whatever you’ve done in life, no matter how bad it may be, it’s forgivable. But before you can move on and become a success, you must forgive yourself for these mistakes. Remembering that you are human, and that everyone makes mistakes, can go a long way.
If there is a physical reminder of a mistake you made, it’s time to get rid of it, as this can help free you from emotions such as guilt and regret. And you’ll likely make more mistakes in the future, and you have to know this is okay. Learn from your mistakes, then forget them, and move on so that they don’t hold you back from achieving your dreams.
50| Find Happiness Within Yourself
Last, but certainly not least, investing in yourself means you know that you are the only person on this earth who can make yourself happy. Happiness is a perspective, and it’s a decision. No matter what is going on in your life, if you decide you are happy, no one can take that from you. Now is the time to make that decision.
Make changes in your life to make it better, and decide that regardless of what comes your way, that you will be happy in everything that you do.
Investing in yourself isn’t a one-time thing. It’s a process, a lifestyle. But once you choose it, you will never look back, and your future will be bright because of it. Even if you can’t do all fifty things on this list, or are overwhelmed by it, consider conquering a handful of them at a time, maybe just five.
And when you conquer those, then try five more. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is once you get started—so don’t delay and start investing in yourself today!