SELF IMPROVEMENT tips to better your new year....

If you're looking to improve your life, I'd like to share some useful activities -- backed by science -- that can be done in as little as a few minutes per day. Others will require some stretching and soul searching, but the payoffs are tremendous. 
As you make these rituals a habit, if done with the right intention and attitude, it may help you live with more inner peace and happiness, as well as increase your success and influence.
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1. Express more gratitude.
Here's a practical use of your time with great benefits. Make a list of five people at work for whom you are thankful. Think back on the key contributions they made, or events that have happened in the past week involving these people. Your next task should be to express sincere gratitude to them. Whatever your method (email, text, handwritten note, or phone call), make it personal and heartfelt and let these people know how you feel about them and their work.
It's been scientifically proven that if you perform this ritual for 21 days straight, you'll be training your mind to scan for positives instead of negatives. This has been found to be the fastest way to teach optimism and significantly improve your outlook; its effects are noticeable even six months later.

2. Be intentional about learning from someone.

The best conversations in life are initiated by wanting to learn about what other people do, how they do it, and why they do it. People love to talk about themselves, and if you're smart enough, you'll show up with the humble gesture of "I want to learn from you." Starting today, spot three people you'd like to learn from and schedule coffee time with each one, even if it's for 30 minutes. It will make you a better person, and the other three people will appreciate the chance to pay it forward. 

3. Invest financially in others.

Science has determined that a giving mindset leads to happiness. In one study of more than 600 Americans, as reported by Greater Good Magazine, "happiness was predicted by the amount of money they gave away: The more they invested in others, the happier they were. This relationship between 'pro-social spending' and happiness held up even after taking into account individuals' income." Greater Good also mentions a survey conducted by the Gallup World Poll between 2006 and 2008 that found that in 120 out of 136 countries, people who donated to charity in the past month reported greater satisfaction with life.

4. Forget time management -- be a good manager of "self."

By managing your life, tasks, and priorities efficiently, you can seamlessly transition to more productivity, higher work satisfaction, and better personal well-being. Here are five ways to reach your most optimal level of self-management:
  1. Don't multitask or juggle too many things. Research says it can be damaging to our brains. You end up splitting your attention over many tasks, losing focus, lowering the quality of your work, and taking longer to hit your goals.
  2. Start and end meetings on time, and don't get sidetracked or allow the meeting agenda to get hijacked.
  3. Set boundaries and say no to people when needed, so your valuable time is protected.
  4. Identify the time of the day when you're most productive and focus your energy on doing the most important things during those times.
  5. Be aware of time-wasters such as visitors dropping by your work space to gossip, useless meetings, distracting phone calls, and anything else that disrupts your state of flow.

5. Practice forgiveness.

Before you deem it some sort of religious fluff, practicing forgiveness in the workplace newresearch has shown, has a positive impact. In one study involving more than 200 employees, forgiveness was "linked to increased productivity, decreased absenteeism (fewer days missing work), and fewer mental and physical health problems, such as sadness and headaches." As Greater Good reports, the research is important because it raises our awareness about potential outcomes when the people we work with hold on to negative feelings after a conflict. If they can't cope by forgiving, they are likely to be disengaged, lack collaboration, and act aggressive.
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  1. Great tips! Very motivating. Everyone should try to incorporate at least one of these tips into their life.

  2. Love the tips especially " being a self manager"!
    Thanks for sharing

  3. These are good ways to self improve. I will save this post and make sure I am doing as many of them as I can. -Jessica Martin

  4. Thanks so much for the time management tips! As a college student, I love the boundaries tips. I often turn down some unimportant social outings for school work and blogging but it is all about setting your priorities!

  5. These are really great tips! I love the idea of expressing more gratitude cause I always whine about everything.. even the smallest things!!

  6. This post is very motivating and I am so thankful that I found it. I love these tips and they are all so important.

  7. I like being a good manager of self, that is an awesome term. So many times I see people micro managing other people and I think, if you spent more time managing yourself it might be more productive. LOL

  8. Gratitude and forgiveness are absolute MUST DOs. There's no way to forge relationships without them.

  9. Love all your self-improvement tip, truy believe if we stopped worrying about what other people are doing and concentrating on our own actions including practicing forgiveness and gratitude we would all be better self-managers!

  10. I work at a school, and there are so many activities that could be classified as time-wasting. Some are beneficial for building relationships; however, boundaries need to be set. To offset this, I come in an hour before school starts to work in my room without interruptions.