“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15-16
In the last year, I’ve made some fundamental changes in my lifestyle to better invest in myself. Some of the areas include my diet, exercise, sleep, and quiet time. I’ve made these changes because I’ve realized the best way I can serve others is by taking care of my mind, body, and spirit.
On the surface, this seems counter-intuitive and for years I thought so too. But now I see it this way.
- When I’m eating right, staying in shape, and sleeping enough, I’m happier, healthier, and easier to be around
- When I’m in tune with the Lord I’m more sensitive to His leading and more open to His prompting
- When I’m prioritizing my day and following a routine I’m less stressed, more productive, able to fulfil my commitments
When I created my new lifestyle I didn’t know if it would stick. In fact, I had a lot of doubts. Would this work for me? Would it make any measurable difference? Could it be this simple?
Since I had doubts and I’m not one to make huge changes overnight, I eased in. I worked on one small change at a time. Once I saw it working, then I began working on the next thing. These small changes, over time, added up to big shifts in my lifestyle and have changed my life for the better.
If you’re ready for change, I suggest starting with investing in yourself. Here are a few areas to focus on based on my experience.
1. Prioritize time with God
When your spiritual life and relationship with God are put first, the rest falls into place. When you prioritize something it means you make sure it happens. Make it part of your daily routine and see how it affects your life for the better.
2. Choose friends and mentors who are a good influence
You have a limited amount of time on this earth. Don’t waste valuable time on people who are a drain or a negative influence in your life. Choose to spend time with loved ones and people who build you up, encouraging you to be your best self.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep is so important! Listen to any successful person and the topic of sleep will come up. Getting enough rest is critical for productivity, energy, and mental health.
4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Related to sleep, good health touches all aspects of our lives. When you’re healthy, you’re happy. When you’re happy, people like you. When people like you, life is easier.
5. Practice gratitude…and forgiveness
Practice makes habit, as they say. And when you look for ways to be grateful it keeps you focused on positive thinking. When you forgive others it allows you to let go and move forward.
6. Set goals with measurable results
When you know where you’re going in life then your decisions get easier to make. When you have a clear direction you’re filled with purpose and drive. Trust me; you want goals to reach for.
7. Plan your day and week
If goals are the destination a plan is your roadmap. By planning how your days and weeks will go it helps you take incremental steps towards your goals. Without planning, your days will be a bit more aimless.
How can invest in yourself today?