It’s easy to read a self-help book and get excited. It’s a lot more challenging to actually implement those ideas into your life. Where do you start? How do you make time to take action on what you learn?
It’s important to actually apply the information, because nothing changes just because your knowledge changes. Your behavior must change. Information that’s not acted upon is worthless.
Apply self-help tips to your life with these strategies:
1. Use the power of habits. At the end of the day, the ultimate key to changing your life for the better is to create a few great habits. For example, understanding how to lose weight isn’t that valuable. It’s using that information to change your dietary habits that really matters. Take the knowledge you’ve accumulated and identify the most important habits you could create. Building the right habits all but guarantees your success.
2. Have a plan for the day. Without a plan, you’ll never accomplish as much as you could. Plan on how you’ll use your self-help strategies each day. Use the evenings to make your plan and the day to work your plan.
3. Be mindful. Self-awareness is critical in any self-help endeavor. Be aware of your thoughts and actions at all times. Avoid operating on autopilot. You can’t address what you fail to notice.
4. Look for the best opportunities to practice what you’ve learned. Think about your life and when you can apply what you know. For example, suppose you’re working on your small-talk skills. What are the most convenient times to work on those skills each day? Carpooling to work? Lunch time? Afternoon break? Have a plan.
5. Choose a challenge and address it. What is the most limiting aspect of your life? Is it your fitness? Finances? The lack of a social circle? Imagine enhancing that part of your life and notice how it feels. Which area of your life, if improved, would have the biggest impact? That’s the aspect of your life you want to address.
6. Reward your efforts. When you put in a good day, give yourself a reward. If you planned on speaking to three new people and you did, give yourself a reward. It might be drinking your favorite beverage while listening to your favorite song. Find a reward that you love that won’t break the bank.
7. Shake things up. Changing a part of your life can be easier if you get out of your routine. Change your wardrobe. Take a different route to work. Participate in some new activities. Make some new friends. Give yourself a new perspective on life, and you might find that changing your target area is less intimidating.
8. Evaluate your results and find ways to build on them. It’s not enough to just make a few changes. To get the most from your efforts, it’s necessary to evaluate your results and fine-tune your approach until you’ve maximized your results. Notice what’s working and what isn’t. You might make a wrong guess about how to advance your life. That’s okay. What’s not okay is failing to notice that it’s not helping and continuing to do it.
Gathering information has become easy. There is good information available everywhere, and much of it is free. The real challenge is using that information to change your behavior and your life. Look for opportunities in your life to use what you’ve learned. Have a plan for each day and follow your plan.
Identify the part of your life that can use the most work and experiment. Reward your efforts. Review your results. Apply what you know, and your life will change for the better.