How to Deal With the Rough Days of Self-Improvement

What to do when nothing seems to be working

The stress that comes with self-improvement is frustrating and can even at times be unexplainable. Who knows when you’ll ever reach your full potential? For now, you’ve been told to put your head down and get to work when it comes to becoming a better version of yourself. What better time to start than in the first month of 2021.

You’re probably are sick of the number of people who are constantly saying “This is my year!” Or “New year, new me.”

Well, what makes people like this extraordinary is that they have the confidence to say it. Even if you’re someone who doesn’t like to set New Year’s resolutions, you still probably have some goals that you would like to accomplish this year.

You’ve been through a rough experience with your self-improvement journey so far and you may have even thought about giving up on it last year, which is typical to do.

One point of self-improvement is to become a stronger person mentally, you have to go through tough experiences in your journey in order to become better. It’s just part of the process, think about some of the obstacles you had earlier on in life and how those obstacles helped you in a certain area of your life now.

It’s the same with self-improvement except for the days where you’re having trouble keeping your head up is more extreme. Mostly because you know that the day is coming and two because you’ve put in so much work and right when things were starting to get good you hit a block. This block is nothing like your ordinary block that you deal with in everyday life like with rude customers at your job, this block is one that has the ability to set you back for a long time.

Longer than you would ever expect, it’s important to have a blueprint for days like this and a few go-to techniques that you can use to deal with these days and to defeat them when they get in your way of growth.

You’re working on yourself constantly which is good, even though no one is telling you about the improvements they see, you still have to trust yourself that you’re doing the right thing. This is the hardest part, we have no guarantee that what we’re doing now in this self-improvement journey is working, so we have to go into it with a blind eye and hope for the best.

Read Like There’s No Tomorrow

When you’re having one of these rough days, it’s important to distract your mind with something healthy, something like a book. Books can be boring and get a bit of bad rep from a lot of people but they can actually help you discover a lot about yourself and the world around you.

Visit your local bookstore and look for a book that catches your eye, it doesn’t have to be one book, it can be multiple. Once you find a book that’s interesting to you, take time to read while you’re at the store or invest in yourself and your mental health and buy the book to go.

Reading has the power to open your mind to a variety of different topics and avenues to take in life. The genre of self-improvement can help you on your personal journey, it’s not like the books you read as a kid where there was a story involved with a monster and five main characters. The protagonist in these books is you, that’s right, these books are geared towards you to become a better version of yourself.

If you’ve lost all motivation to continue in your journey then it is best of you to start reading more and more books like this. Don’t just skip to the parts of the books where you’ll think you will find the answers to all of your problems but try your best to read the whole thing.

Books are filled with different sentences that speak to you and they can be found all over the place. It’s vital that you take time to read each page even if you’re finding some of it boring, you’re leading yourself up to the good parts of the book, the “aha-moments” as some people would call it.

A few books that you can look to for more encouragement are: “How to Win Freinds and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey, and “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale.

Have the Morning to Yourself

Pick a day out of the week to where you have a morning to yourself. Spend this morning doing something that will help your mind and body. This even means treating yourself a little bit too.

Yesterday morning, when waking up stressed, I decided to get out of the house and go for a drive. On this drive, I got food from one of my favorite breakfast places and had a little feast in my car while I watched some YouTube videos. This was a very relaxing time for me and I realized that this was something that I needed after a long week of school and work.

Try to find something in your morning that brings you joy, you ideally want to try finding a day out of the week where you’re free from work or free from any responsibilities that you have to do.

If you don’t have a day like this on your schedule then that’s why you pick out a morning to do it. The drive doesn’t have to stop at breakfast, you can also go for a drive down to your local mall or even catch a movie. You can run one or two errands for your personal responsibilities but don’t let that well-needed drive turn into a typically stressful day for you.

It’s good to have a morning like this at least once a week, whether we know it or not, days like this are needed. Even when we do resort to some relaxing things during our weeks like meditation or self-care, we can find those things to be tiresome because they’ve become part of our daily routine.

Do something that’s out of your routine at least once a week, let your mind be free, and don’t restrict yourself from doing too much. Take time to work around your busy work schedule but if you’ve been having a really hard time on your self-improvement journey then you know how important time like this is.

When taking your morning drive, try listening to some music that’s been on your playlist as of recently. Sing along to the song and don’t hold back, have as much fun as you can to the point where you’re even laughing at yourself. These are times you won’t forget and will have you smiling randomly throughout the rest of your week.

Photo by Liam Pozz on Unsplash

Come Up With a Plan

In order to regain motivation for self-improvement, you need to come up with a plan of how you’ll hold yourself accountable during the process and how you can still be happy at the same time.

There will be more rough days ahead but you’re going to have to be able to keep pushing even when they do come. You have to have trust in yourself for this plan to work, this includes giving yourself motivation on a daily basis.

This plan should include certain times of the day when you will work on yourself and the goals you want to see in yourself after a certain time period. Keep in mind that this will take time and that no plan is perfect.

Along the journey you may realize that your plan wasn’t made out to be that easy, this is ok, make adjustments to your plan along the way and find a way to make to something you can do on a daily basis.

One of the questions you should be asking yourself is “how can I work on myself in a smarter way?” Be knowledgeable and realistic on how you develop your plan, create small steps towards your goals in these plans, and make them something that is manageable. You want to be able to look back at this plan when times get rough so make it count.

Self-improvement is not the easiest path to take when it comes to success but it’s the one that seems to work for most. Don’t let these hard days deter you from your purpose, keep your head up and keep working, your time will come before you know it. I’ll leave you with a quote from Sanjo Jendayi that says

“Greatness is sifted through the grind, therefore don’t despise the hard work now for surely it will be worth it in the end.”

A young adult who’s writing is geared towards self-improvement and self care. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

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