Sometimes ‘life gets in the way’ and we find ourselves stuck in routines, frustrated and bored. Seek to improve yourself and gain inner peace by making small changes, it doesn’t have to be drastic! The increase in your quality of life will be worth the hassle. It was the 1960 self-help book by cosmetic surgeon Dr. Maxwell Maltz, called ‘Psycho Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life’ that theorised the idea that it takes 21 days to form a habit.

So if you want to commit to personal growth, here are 15 tips for what you can do:

1. Live Green: Don’t just throw out everything, recycle anything you can, get a compost heap, grow your own food, and feed the birds! Donate those old clothes to charity, have a car boot sale, turn off the lights once in a while. It could save you money, too.

2. Read a book everyday: ‘Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body’ and it is a much easier workout. Books are sources of knowledge and no one can argue that reading regularly increases your intelligence. It gives you mental stimulation and is a relaxing activity. Reading improves not only your vocabulary, concentration and memory but also analytical thinking skills.

3. Have manners: Not just saying please and thank you but also getting to know your neighbors, giving an honest compliment to somebody, answering your texts right away, smiling at children or holding the door for someone.

4. Pick up a hobby: Whether it’s a musical instrument, painting, baking, D.I.Y or fishing, having a pastime can relieve you of stress or boredom and boost your self-esteem and creativity. They stop you from worrying about small problems.

5. Declutter your home: Clear out the basement or store cupboard that’s been brimming over for the past year, go through all your rooms for the junk you don’t use anymore and sell it, recycle it, but just get rid of it! A cluttered home is a cluttered mind…

6. Take a course: Learn a new language or hands on skill with an evening or weekend course, the sense of achievement when you succeed at it will be enough satisfaction.

7. Spending plan: Or as most people know them, budgets. They don’t have to be horrible. Write a list of all your expenditures – rent, bills, shopping, night’s out etc. – and if you can manage money better, savings give you a chance at a holiday!

8. Volunteer: Helping people and doing good things for others can also make us feel good. It also gives us a sense of self-worth and community.

9. Time management: Place your alarm far away from your bed so you have to get up to turn it off, and try to get up ten minutes earlier every day to give you more time. Always try to get a good night’s sleep (8+ hours on average). Keep lists, calendars or diary books to schedule your busy days.

10. Exercise: Stretch, especially in the morning. Walk to your destination instead of driving, or better yet, cycle. Join a gym and take some friends or go alone with your headphones.

11. Let go of the past: Take time to reflect on your own without judgement, understanding your past can help you realize why you are holding on to it in the first place. Once you move on, you can start fresh with a new perspective.

12. Be a mentor or have a mentor: Talking to an unbiased third party can really help once in a while, it’s arguably the best free service you can receive. You can learn from their mistakes or help improve someone else by showing them the way. Mentoring someone can stop you from thinking about yourself as much.

13. Learn chess: Apart from helping you improve your strategic thinking and problem solving skills, it teaches planning and foresight. Scientifically speaking, it grows dendrites in the brain which are branch and attached to neurons. They conduct signals.

14. Meditate: Deep breathing is not only a relaxation technique but helps with your self-awareness to keep you grounded and calm. It can be a source of inspiration and it’s thought to increase your consciousness.

15. Stop procrastinating: Think about your goals and go for them. Put down the games, stop watching television and start writing the novel you always wanted to. Go for that training you’ve been thinking about. Apply for the job you saw advertised.

Charlotte Appleby
I never know what to say about myself when people ask. I’m your average Joe. I’m from a big family and something is always going on. I’ve learnt to appreciate the peace and quiet now. Writing is my real passion; I started my degree in creative writing this year with the vain hope of one day becoming published. I’m working on a collection of poetry, a fantasy novel, stage plays and short stories of all variations. When I’m not scrawling, scribbling or typing, I can usually be found on my guitar. Music is another important aspect of my life and I’ve been playing for over a decade. I also have some weird hobbies like growing tropical plants, fire dancing and collecting coins.