5 Deliberate Actions That Can Help You Improve Your Life
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Life Strategies Coaching
Sometimes it feels like improving your life is an uphill battle. Indeed, at times, it can feel like for every two steps forward you take, you get knocked back one, slowing your pace and your progress.
The good news is that there are many relatively small things that you can do to change your life for the better. This post lists only five options of many. Some of them take a bit of a commitment, but their dividends will pay off. Why not give them a look and a try?
1. Join A Social Group
This may be especially important during COVID. We have all felt so isolated because we are urged to stay home until we can get enough people vaccinated. But there are online groups that you can join. Toastmasters International urged its clubs to go to Zoom back in March, so you can find a Toastmasters club anywhere in the world to attend.
You can also get together with your friends virtually. I celebrated New Year's Eve by hosting a reunion with friends from high school, and it was great! I also meet for a virtual Happy Hour with friends from my last school once a month. And I have been staying in touch with my family through Zoom as well. It is a great way to feel connected even in these days of relative isolation.
Having a network of friends improves self-confidence. It gives us a way to help us deal with things like stress or grief.
It even improves the immune system.
All these things also have secondary benefits. Because friendships lower stress, people with strong and healthy social networks are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. And people with strong social ties also tend to live longer than those that don’t.
Whether you consider yourself religious or spiritual, a belief in a higher power often gives each of us a greater sense of purpose. Faith can help us connect with that power, and we can connect with it and other people on a deeper level.
Various religions have different doctrines, for sure, but most of them share basic philosophies in common. It sounds crazy but, think about it, really. Is there any religion that says that we shouldn’t help the poor? Is there a belief system that says that we shouldn’t be kind and forgiving to one another?
The name of the higher power may change, but many of the tenets of different belief systems are basically the same. Pick one that resonates with you, and then stick with it for better mental and physical health.
3. Learn A New Language
Learning a new language like Spanish, French, German, or Chinese can be useful for work. Or you may just enjoy learning new things! Learning any new language offers many benefits. It helps keep your brain sharp, but it also helps you see things from different perspectives.
Some universities will let you, audit classes on foreign languages. Community centers may offer classes in a foreign language that are open to the public. You may be able to find books on learning new languages at book stores or thrift shops near you. And you can download a free or cheap app to learn another language on your phone, tablet, or computer.
4. Change Jobs
If you hate your job or your company, you might read this as “quit your job and start over,” but you don’t necessarily have to. If you worked hard to get where you are but yearn for a change, consider a lateral job change in your own company.
See if you can work in a new department. Filling a position while someone is on vacation or while management is looking for someone to fill a spot permanently can help provide a different perspective and a break from your old routine.
Changing your job just temporarily can provide a nice change of pace. It can you to understand your own abilities and versatility. And it can help you to understand what the world looks like from someone else’s office.
5. Go Back To School or Get New Training
Even if you’ve already been to college, and even if you can’t or don’t want a full four-year degree, going back to school can be beneficial. College is a unique experience where you get to meet new people. The people there are dedicated to learning and looking at new ideas.
Even if you’ve already been to college as an undergrad, many people find that the experience is quite different when they return as adults. You may just want to audit a class as opposed to taking it for credit.
Admittedly, some of the things listed in this post require a commitment of time and, in some cases, money. However, other things on the list above are things you could do pretty quickly and with little or no financial burden. Why not give one or more of them a try? They can't hurt. And they may offer you the kind of boost in improving your life that you were looking for!
Until next time.
I will be starting a new group (this will be Group 15) on Monday, February 1, 2021, so now is the time to enroll in the program if you want to learn as much as you can about the job search process and the tools you need to be successful in your search.
If you have undertaken a job search in the last few years, I don't have to tell you that it's changed. It is far more impersonal. Everything is done electronically. It is hard to break through to get the Hiring Manager's attention so they can give you serious consideration as a candidate for the job you want.
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