If you want to grow as a person, you have to invest in yourself.
And by that, I mean making power moves—constantly enhancing your lifestyle, developing your skills, and becoming a better person than you were yesterday.
Successful people invest in themselves because they believe they deserve it. It’s not a selfish thing to do at all—in fact, making investments in yourself is crucial for living your best life and achieving your full potential.
So, what does investing in yourself really mean? Well, you’ll need to take concrete actions to improve the situation you’re in. Less thinking, pondering, and dreaming. More doing.
There are many investments you can make. This post covers seven of them:
- Your education
- Your personal strategy
- Your network
- Your physical health
- Your mental wellness
- Your experiences
- Your passion
Keep reading for some specific examples of how you can invest in each of these areas of your life.
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1. Invest in your education.
No matter how old you are, you should strive to keep learning—your education isn’t finished when you graduate from school.
By expanding your knowledge, you’ll become more capable, imaginative, and interesting. Formal education, like high school and college, only scrape the surface—there are many learning opportunities out there that will help you advance in your personal and professional life.
Check out some ways to self-educate below.
Get a degree.
This is the obvious one. Although a degree certainly isn’t a requirement for success, it could help you get a job. (Keyword: COULD.) Some jobs do have formal education requirements.
However, I will say this: I am about to finish my master’s degree this year, and I fully believe that people who didn’t go to college can be just as (if not more) successful than people who graduated with a 4-year degree.
If the career you want to pursue requires a degree, I encourage you to go to college. If you’re not sure what you want to do but you want a degree, then go to college.
If you didn’t go to college, guess what? You’re not behind, and you’re not any less likely to be successful. There are high-paying, stable career options out there for you. You might have to look in unlikely places to find them, but they are yours for the taking!
Take an online course.
If there’s a specific topic you want to learn about for your personal benefit—meaning it’s not a requirement for school or work—you should see if there are any relevant online courses you could take.
I love online courses because they’re flexible. You can move through the course at your own pace, so you can still complete it even if you have a busy schedule.
Here are some places to find free and affordable online courses:
Learn a new skill.
Your skillset is one of the most valuable assets you can invest in.
When you strengthen your existing skills and learn new ones, you open doors for professional opportunities of all kinds. You could find a job that’s a good match for your new and improved skillset, or you could start your own side hustle to earn extra cash.
Skillshare is one of my favorite platforms for learning new skills. It contains courses with short, straightforward videos that are easy to follow. Skillshare is especially useful for teaching yourself creative skills, such as graphic design, hand lettering, or photography.
Teach yourself a new language.
This will come in handy when you travel the world one day! Even in your city, knowing multiple languages can be VERY beneficial. When I moved to Miami, I learned that almost everyone there speaks Spanish (a language I studied in school but forgot everything I learned. Should have paid more attention, I guess!)
Read more often!
One simple and cost-effective way to invest in your education is to read more frequently! You could read an informational book to teach yourself something new, or you could get lost in a thrilling fantasy novel. In general, reading will keep your brain sharp, improve your vocabulary, and make you more creative.
2. Invest in your personal strategy.
No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s important to create a personal strategy and set goals so you always have something to work toward.
Time is the most valuable thing in the world because you can never get it back. To live your life to the fullest, you need to make the most of your moments instead of aimlessly wandering.
I’m not saying your strategy has to be perfect or the end-all-be-all of everything. You’ll probably revise it a thousand times. The point isn’t to get it right the first time—it’s to keep growing and improving each day, even if you change directions.
Below are two ways you can invest in your strategy today.
Write a personal mission statement.
A mission statement for personal growth describes your path in life, your purpose, and how you plan to make a difference in the world. It should reflect your core values and help you uphold them.
If you’re stuck in a rut, unsure of your identity, or facing big life decisions, a personal mission statement will help you get on the right track so you can improve yourself and move forward in life.
Learn how to write your personal mission statement here!
Goal-setting is a crucial step in the path to success because it motivates you and holds you accountable. It turns your abstract, overarching life plan into concrete benchmarks you need to reach to get the things you want.
When you set goals, you develop a clear path to success. If you’re looking for a free, rewarding way to invest in yourself today, try setting goals for your personal or professional growth!
3. Invest in your network.
I speak from experience when I say that the people you surround yourself with affect your lifestyle, mood, and ultimately your success.
It’s important to maintain a network of positive, motivated, and supportive people. You should also limit contact with toxic people, or completely eliminate them from your life if possible.
There are also some lesser-known ways to invest in your network and form relationships with people who will help you in life. Read them below:
Find a mentor.
A mentor—in both business and personal contexts—is someone who guides you, supports you, and inspires you. Good mentors are non-judgmental, and they always have your best interest in mind.
If you feel like your family and friends don’t understand your aspirations, a mentor could be beneficial for you. Ideally, you’d want to pick someone you admire who has already done what you’re trying to do in life.
To find a personal mentor, think about the people you know: friends, family, and acquaintances. Is there someone you look up to and would like to form a closer relationship with? That person is a potential mentor!
Here are some places you can look for a business mentor:
- Your existing professional network
- Networking events
- LinkedIn and other social platforms
- Industry-specific blogs
- Online mentorship networks like FindAMentor
- Volunteer events
Attend networking events.
Industry-specific networking events are opportunities to meet important contacts who could land you your dream job later on in life. Since I work in the communications industry, I’ve been to many networking events for advertising and public relations professionals.
I’ve even been to events for bloggers (and those are more fun, of course!)
Follow social media accounts that inspire you.
If you’re like me and you can spend hours scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, this is an important tip. The people you surround yourself with include the social media accounts you follow.
If you constantly see content on your feed that annoys you, angers you, or makes you feel insecure, just hit the UNFOLLOW button! Don’t worry about people being upset that you unfollowed them. It’s not that serious, and your mental health is more important than their pettiness!
Follow accounts that post motivational, inspiring, or uplifting content. Bringing positivity into your feed will lift your mood!
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4. Invest in your physical health.
I’m not perfect—with so much going on in my life, sometimes I neglect my health and wellness. (Yes, that is coming from a wellness blogger!)
I love going to the gym, and I try to eat healthy food whenever I can, but I’ve been traveling a lot lately and it’s been hard. However, I’m going to get back into my usual routine soon because I know how important it is to take care of my body.
Here are some ways you can invest in your physical health:
Eat food that is good for you.
Go grocery shopping, cook more often, and be aware of what you’re putting in your body. Eat mindfully instead of overeating or undereating. Give your body nutrients now, and it will thank you later!
Make exercise a habit.
It’s difficult to form habits in general, and exercising regularly every week might not sound fun to everyone. However, it is important to do something physical at least a few days a week to maintain your health!
Keep up with your doctor’s appointments.
I’m guilty of putting things off that are A. not fun for me and B. not incredibly urgent. Not all doctor’s appointments are for emergencies, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Regular check-ups are crucial for long-term health, and they’ll give you peace of mind.
So, if you’ve been putting off all your appointments so far this year, I challenge you to schedule them today!
Get enough sleep.
I function so much better when I’ve had at least 7 hours of sleep. And honestly, it’s hard for me to be in a good mood if I’m dead tired from the day before.
Sleep affects both your mental and physical health, so it should be a priority! The best way to ensure you get enough sleep is to create a routine that works for you. (Remember that routines only work if you stick to them!)
Sometimes, I have trouble falling asleep at night, but these melatonin gummies help. If I can’t sleep, I eat one gummy and it usually puts me to sleep in about 30 or 45 minutes. The gummies are vegetarian and non-GMO.
5. Invest in your mental wellness.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: mental health is just as important as physical health. I’ve struggled with my mental health for most of my life. When I’m in a good place mentally, my life is great. When I’m struggling, my quality of life suffers tremendously.
I’ve learned that investing in my mental wellness is a helpful way to improve my mental health. Good mental wellness practices include self-care, stress management, positive self-talk, and feeling secure in your identity.
Here are some ways you can invest in your mental wellness:
To maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, you need to practice self-care regularly. Your “me time” is self-care time. Any activity that helps heal your mind, body, and spirit is an act of self-care.
I won’t go into too much detail here, but I’ve written several articles on self-care. Check them out below:
- 60 Easy Self-Care Ideas for Everyday Life
- 30 Ways to Practice Self-Care in Under 30 Minutes
- 30 Fall Self-Care Ideas
- How to Plan the Perfect Mental Health Day
- How to Build Your Own Self-Care Routine
- 31 Self-Care Kit Ideas for Physical and Mental Wellness
Be kind to yourself.
At the end of the day, your mindset is influenced largely by the way you speak to yourself. If you have an inner critic who won’t shut up or you’re so much of a perfectionist that you can’t get anything done, you should work on being kinder to yourself.
Read more on how to end negative self-talk and silence your inner critic.
Make time to relax.
Relaxation cultivates positive thinking and reduces stress. I wish I knew that in college!
As an undergrad, I completed two bachelor’s degrees in three and a half years. (I know, it sounds crazy!) I’m proud of my accomplishment, but I would never recommend my college lifestyle to anyone.
I took between 15 and 17 credit hours every semester, I had jobs, I volunteered, I went to networking events, and I joined clubs. Getting involved with your university is a good thing, but not when you take on too much responsibility and overwhelm yourself without having any time to relax.
Since then, I’ve learned how crucial it is to find balance in life. As a freelancer, maintaining that work-life balance is tough, but I’m doing my best. (I went to Disneyland a few days ago, so that’s a start!)
Now that I have time to relax, I’m so much happier. My mindset is better than it’s ever been, and even though my life isn’t perfect, I still find joy in it.
6. Invest in your experiences.
Experiences make life meaningful. Designer bags are great, but I’d take a Europe trip over a Chanel purse any day! Experiences are more valuable than things, so you should invest in them!
Here are some ways you can invest in your experiences:
Travel around the world.
I haven’t gone on an international trip in almost 2 years, and I feel like it’s about time to get out of the U.S. again. Traveling is fun, and some scientists say it even has health benefits!
If you feel bored with your life and need a change, why not take a trip? There’s a whole world out there to see!
Explore your local area.
If you don’t have the money to book an international flight, you could take a day trip somewhere that’s close to the city you live in. No matter how close or far away it is, exploring a new place might give you the thrill you need.
Get on Google and look up some new places near you. Even if you think your city is boring, I guarantee you’ll be able to find something—whether it’s a shop, restaurant, outdoor destination, or obscure landmark.
Be willing to try new things.
When I was a kid, I pretty much only ate cheese pizza (without the tomato sauce) and chicken nuggets. I’m still a slightly picky eater to this day, but I’ve learned that trying new things is a part of enjoying life.
To truly experience life, you need to get out of your comfort zone and do things that scare you sometimes. If you’re bored with what you’re doing now, try something new. Quit your job. Dye your hair. Get a tattoo. Just do it!
7. Invest in your passion.
When strangers ask, “What do you do?” it’s interesting that we always respond by telling them about our professions instead of our passions. If your profession and your passion are one and the same, you are incredibly lucky. That’s the type of career I’m working toward!
Passions are important because they keep you going. This blog is my passion, and I have been so much happier since I started it! My blog and freelance work get me out of bed every morning. Every day, I wake up excited to work on a client project or write a new post for this blog.
If you’re not investing in your passion enough, now is the time to start! Here are some ideas for you:
Start a side hustle.
Especially if you have a creative passion, there’s potential to make money from it! By starting a side hustle, you’ll be able to turn your passion into profit. And if you work really hard, you could eventually turn your side hustle into a full-time job!
It’s WAY easier said than done, and the entrepreneur lifestyle isn’t for everyone. But if you’re fed up with your 9-5 and you want to do something you enjoy while still paying your bills, consider starting a side hustle. You’ll only regret the chances you didn’t take!
Take on a passion project.
Side hustles are great, but not everyone wants one. Instead of becoming an entrepreneur, you could start your own passion project!
A passion project is something you create only for yourself and not for anyone else. It’s meant to be therapeutic and enjoyable for you. A side hustle comes with all kinds of business-related problems, but a passion project is just for fun. Since it’s meant to be a relaxing activity, you can use it as an escape from the stressors in your life.
Not sure what kind of passion project to start? Check out 35 creative hobbies you can try out and eventually turn into a passion project!
Become a teacher.
I’m not referring to becoming a schoolteacher (but if you have a passion for teaching kids, go for it!)
If you are passionate about an activity that you also have skills in, you could teach others how to do it! For example, if you’re passionate about fitness, you could become a personal trainer. Or if you love knitting, you could teach beginners how to knit!
You’ll find joy in teaching others about a skill or activity you’re passionate about—and you could even make some money in the process!