Self-Improvement Starts with Reading, Flossing, and Sleeping

Setting goals that rely on lifestyle changes can be intimidating for many. While you may have wonderful intentions, making a change is difficult, especially when New Years Resolutions have a reputation for failing. It is possible to increase your chances of sticking with resolutions, or lifestyle changes at any point during the year, even difficult ones, by first proving to yourself that you can make a successful resolution. By undertaking a task at which you can succeed, you are reinforcing capability and encouraging yourself to take on bigger challenges in the future. What do you want to do in 2012 and beyond?

Here are eight changes you can work on now that will have a long reach in to other aspects of your life. Take your self improvement anywhere you can!


I had a supervisor years ago who set aside 30 minutes per day to read and was thus always informed about new research and theories in the field. Whether you choose 15, 30, or 60 minutes every day, the pages and hours will quickly add up. Read technical writings to increase knowledge, fiction for relaxation, or even blogs. Listening to audio books instead of the top 40 is another way to increase what you are reading and will drastically change your commute.

Improve Relationships

How often do you tell those around you how much or why you appreciate them? When your friend list is in the hundreds, do your friends know that they are more than just another contact? Sending notes of appreciation and affirmation through social media, email, or text messages can be worked in easily at your convenience, whether you resolve to send one expression of appreciation each day, each week, or as it occurs to you. Making phone calls to friends and family members is another way to improve relationships. By reaching out to those who matter, you will make someone feel special, improve your relationships, and start to experience more gratitude in general.

Try Something New

I have a bloggy friend that has resolved to try one new recipe or craft from Pinterest each week. Taking on these small projects can greatly increase your feelings of accomplishment and help you be ale to take on bigger goals and resolutions. If Pinterest isn’t your inspiration, you may want to try new restaurants or other local establishments, or even sign-up for’s new healthy recipe alerts.


You know you need to do it more, for your teeth and for your health. Write on your mirror or post a note as a reminder. I have one friend that kept floss in her desk to use while she studied. Flossing at stop lights is much better than picking your nose and less embarrassing than car dancing. Find what works for you.

Learn Something

Taking on a new language may be a major resolution, but using a new vocabulary word each week may be more manageable. There are apps and email services to provide a new fact every day on a variety of subjects, depending on what is interesting to you.

Reset The Alarm

Waking up 30 minutes earlier each day will allow you to accomplish more than you might imagine. It also allows you time to start your day in your own space rather than rushing off to the office. You may have time for more reading or running errands, allowing a more relaxed lunch hour or for you to arrive home earlier. Eliminating the need to rush in the morning will lead to a greater sense of relaxation throughout life.

Hit The Hay

On the other hand, you might want to try going to bed 30 minutes earlier each night. Most American adults are not getting the 8-10 hours of sleep that they need each night. The difference in your energy, health, and mood once you start sleeping enough will likely amaze you.

Pamper Yourself

Can you work regular massages, pedicures, or salon appointments into your budget? What about regular dates with a good friend? Although it may include a financial investment, such things can make a major impact on emotional health.

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