Six Tips to Start Investing in Yourself in 2015

Six Tips to Start Investing in Yourself in 2015
By Peter C. Diamond

It’s easy to forget that you are your own best asset because so much time is spent reacting to the wants and needs of others. This is particularly true if you’re over 35. With the omnipresent demands of career and family, you find little time for yourself.

By not investing in yourself and your betterment, you are diminishing your personal value. Over time, you will find yourself feeling depleted, bored and frustrated realizing that you’ve done little to improve your well-being. Worse yet, you will be left behind as others are advancing and enhancing their career and life. A tennis instructor once said, “Either you are on a quest to continually improve your tennis game or you are getting worse, there is no staying the same.” The same holds true for your career and life.

As we ease into this New Year, take a moment to pause, reflect and reset how you live in the present, and what you want for yourself in the future. Creating a personal investment plan entails mindset, action and belief in what can be. Here are six tips to get you started:

MINDSET
Appreciate and accept what you have
It’s easy to lose sight of accomplishments made and the good in your life. In today’s hyper-connected world, people are constantly sharing their achievements and good fortune. Without a healthy dose of self-esteem, you can underappreciate your efforts. In comparison to others, they may not seem as meaningful or grand. It’s not uncommon to shine the harshest light on yourself. This unwittingly draws your attention to what you don’t have.

Tip 1: Reflect on the past year and make note of what you are grateful for, your favourite experiences, memories, personal highlights and career successes.

Amplify what matters most
You spend years gathering and holding on to wants and needs that you thought were critical to who you are, such as; I want and need the next promotion, I want and need a bigger house, I want and need more stuff, etc. During this dizzying pursuit, all too often you lose sight of what matters most including your own best attributes. They get pushed down or layered over by doing what you think is the right thing to do, act or be in order to gain success and acceptance.

Tip 2: Get reacquainted with what’s best about you and make sure that it’s front and centre in your life, and in your interaction with others. This could be your playfulness, kindness toward others or sense of adventure. You owe it to yourself and those around you to let your best self shine bright.

ACTION
Acquire a new skill
There is a prevailing sentiment that once past age 40, you’re too old for change or you can’t spare any time in an already over-scheduled day or there is no imminent business need to learn a new skill. With this mindset, you are compromising your personal growth and perceived value as it relates to your colleagues and others in your industry.

Tip 3: To enhance your personal value, identify a new skill to add to your repertoire. If this skill is within the context of your current job, check to see if your company will pay for it, especially if it will benefit your team or organization. Go one step farther and create a learning agenda for the next 12 months. Each month, pick an interesting topic to investigate or skill to learn.

Actively pursue your life
Investing in your health and physical well-being should be non-negotiable. Not surprisingly, this can be relegated to the sidelines. Without awareness, you can spend most of your day sitting in the car, at work and at home. Exercise has not only physical benefits but also mental. It can provide a welcome relief from daily stresses and serve as a distraction from negative thoughts. Increased physical activity can lift your mood and improve sleep patterns.

Tip 4: Be active. Be engaged. Get up and start doing. Put yourself into motion. What form of exercise do you like most — dancing, walking, running, swimming, skiing, racquetball, boot camps, biking or spinning? Add a healthy dose of exercise to your daily routine.

BELIEF
Anticipate happiness
When dealing with day-to-day career and life challenges, it’s easy to let unjustified fears drag you down. This could be apprehension about increased responsibilities, a new boss, your continued job performance or family. The unknown can create scenarios that play out over and over in your head, usually ending in disaster. This is referred to as pre-worrying; thoughts that consume so much mental space that you aren’t focusing on the present, thereby losing valuable time to positively influence your situation and those around you.

Tip 5: Instead of being weighed down by the heaviness of worry, opt to be lifted up by the joy and prospect of happiness. The next time your mind is flooded with anxiety about a future event, bring your attention back to the present and anticipate a positive outcome.

Allow good things to happen
How much of your life is spent moving away from what you don’t want? You may not have thought about your life through this lens, but for most people, they make decisions in order to avoid what they don’t like or things that cause them angst, pain or discomfort.

Tip 6: Open yourself to positive change. Move toward what you want by spending your time and energy in activities that your believe in and will enhance your personal growth.

You owe it to yourself and those around you to invest time and energy in what will make you flourish and prosper. In 2015, how are you going to invest in yourself?

Peter C. Diamond, “The Amplify Guy”, is the author of Amplify Your Career and Life: 4 Steps to Evaluate, Assess and Move Forward. He is a professionally trained, certified coach. He works with hundreds of senior-level executives and others to guide them through change, ranging from navigating career shifts and creating better work-life fulfillment to greater career and leadership enlightenment, and renewed self-respect. His corporate clients include Leo Burnett, United Airlines, National Association of Realtors, Razorfish, mcgarrybowen, Fresenius Kabi, PVS Chemicals, Human Rights Watch and Intelligentsia Coffee. For more information, please visit www.petercdiamond.com and connect with him on Twitter, @petercdiamond.