Rise & Grind - Investing in Yourself

In a world where we are constantly bombarded with distractions and time-wasters, it can be so easy to let time pass by without investing in yourself.

Who do you want to be in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? The decisions you make today will affect the future for better or worse.
We love this quote by Sam Brown. It's a great reminder that there are many areas in our life that need balance. With intention, it is doable! It's your life, your future and you can control where you want to take it!
We've outlined a few practical and life changing ways to invest in ourselves. Read below to see our beginner and advanced versions, depending on where you are in life. 

1. Set Goals

A life-changing way to invest in yourself is by setting, tracking & achieving goals. A goal, without the work behind it, is just a dream. Set goals in different areas of your life such as relationships, finances, career, health and education. For more tips on goal setting read our tips here. 

Beginner: New to goal setting? Start small. Think of one small goal that you've been wanting to accomplish for awhile, like saving $100 or reading every day. Give yourself a timeline, write the goal down and place it somewhere you see daily. Track your progress. 

Advanced: Evaluate where you are in your current goals and push hard for the last few months of the year. Give yourself a stretch goal (push yourself a little further if you attain your original goal).

2. Learn Your Passion

Take the time to find your passion and really work on it daily. This can be anything from writing a novel to reprogramming a computer. The sky is the limit!

Beginner: Make a list of things you've been wanting to try. Circle your top 3 and schedule them into your week. Repeat til you find something that clicks.

Advanced: If your passion is something you feel inspired to turn into your full time job, then go after it. Invest in classes or find a mentor to help you fulfill your dream. Do the work to bring your passion to life.

3. Practice Self Care

Invest in your mental state by practicing self care. Allowing yourself to unwind, relax and process alone is an invaluable step. Self care should not cause guilt, shame or take away from your goals. Active parents, career-driven lady bosses, and busy students have a hard time prioritizing themselves over the other important things in their lives. Yes, all those things are very important but so are you! It’s also important to remember that self-care isn’t selfish. 

Beginner: If self care has felt selfish or unnecessary in the past, start small. Try taking a hot bubble bath after the kids have gone to sleep, buying a foot massager and using it while watching Grey's Anatomy, listening to a calming playlist on your drive home or simply waking up 10 minutes earlier to stretch and mentally prepare for the upcoming day. 

Advanced: Ready to level up your self care routine? Start implementing bigger changes into your daily routine, like creating a pampering ritual before bed. It can be as high maintenance or low maintenance as you'd like. Unwind from your day by turning on some calming music, wash your face, do a face mask if you feel like it, slowly massage in your face lotion to release tension. Go slow and take your time. Your brain and skin will thank you for it. 


4. Be Financially Savvy

Work towards becoming financially stable. If you are paying off debt, sets goals to speed up the process. If you are debt free, how are you savings and investing for your future? What does your rich life look like? Read some of our money thoughts here. 

Beginner: Start following some personal finance instagram accounts. With so many great accounts giving women the confidence to take control of their money, it's a great reminder when scrolling through your phone to add a little extra in your savings or sign up for that 401k at work. We love @debtfreeweirdos , @thebudgetnista , and @savemycents . 

Advanced: If you're ready to buckle down and make some big money changes we recommend reading I Will Teach You To Be Rich By Ramit Sethi. Sethi's book breaks down a very easy, step-by-step guide to making your finances take care of themselves. "Buy as many lattes as you want. Choose the right accounts and investments so your money grows for you-automatically. Best of all, spend guilt-free on the things you love."

5. Read & Write Daily

Take time out of each day to read and write daily. Not into journaling or reading the latest self help book? No problem! There are so many different ways to incorporate this important skill into your routine. Subscribe to your favorite in print magazine, write you grandma a handwritten letter, read the article that your mom emailed or write out your goals. Get creative. 

Beginner: Find a list of journal prompts (like this one here.) Keep this list and a notebook by your bed and each day answer one question. It might not seem like much but it can really get the ball rolling.

Advanced: Start a journal to write down your thoughts before you go to bed. This is called a brain dump. Write whatever pops into your mind, even if it's not in full sentences or with correct punctuation. No-one will be reading this. It could be worries from your day, an awkward interaction you can't stop reliving, a pop lyric you can't stop singing - put it all on paper. You will be surprised at how much better you sleep. 

6. Listen To Podcasts

Even more specifically - positive, motivational, enlightening podcasts are key. What fills your brain, affects your thoughts, so turn off the crime series every once in awhile and put on something that will inspire you to take action in your life. 

Beginner: If you're not used to listening to something, besides music, start by adding a podcast into your normal routine, like while you're driving or cleaning the house so you're more likely to pay attention. 

Advanced: Already a podcast pro? Challenge: Find 3 new inspirational podcasts to try this week. 

7. Make Your Health A Priority

I'm sure when you read that title something popped in your mind. Maybe fast food has crept into your routine, working out has been pushed to the side or you're not getting enough sleep. We get one body in this life, it's the most important investment we can make. 

Beginner: Choose one thing to focus on for the next week. Try adding vegetables to every meal, adding morning yoga daily, or keeping alcohol consumption for just the weekend. Track it on your goal sheet and see how you feel next week.

Advanced: Try taking your health goals to the next level by trying a challenge. A 30 day ab challenge is a great way to focus on one area. Been drinking a little too much lately, try Sober October to give your body a detox. Find a challenge that matches your big goals. 

8. Do Not Settle

It's so easy to let life get comfortable. It may not be the dream job, but it pays the bills. I may not really want to commit to the person I'm dating, but I don't want to be alone. There are too many scenarios that lead to a life of "what ifs?". 

Beginner: Read our blog, on how to get out of your comfort zone and apply it to one area of your life. 

Advanced: What is one big thing that is holding you back? Take the giant and scary leap to move forward. Apply for the dream job. Reach out to your dream mentor. Break up with the toxic boyfriend. 

9. Learn Who You Are

The best part of this process of investing in yourself, is that this one will naturally manifest itself. As you set goals, take risks, learn something new, you will see who you really are and what you want for your future. 
Source: Ellduclos 
Can you think of something holding you back from investing in a better you? Most of the time it's as simple as a word swap.
There are two options: make progress or make excuses, and we more often than not get in our own way.
In Marie Forleo's book, Everything is Figureoutable, she talks about the topic of the excuse. We all make excuses. We may not even realize we are making excuses. It can be a reflection of something we are avoiding or just feel like we can't say no to. Forleo gives an easy tool to identify your excuses, call them out and eliminate them in the future. It's simple, yet so effective. 
The next time you recognize yourself making an excuse, replace the word can't with the word won't. 
For example, "I can't wake up early to workout." -> "I won't wake up early to workout."
Ugh, changes the perspective doesn't it? Be honest with yourself, is the won't statement more true than the can't statement? By giving an excuse, we aren't giving ourselves the chance to fail. We aren't even trying. 
Now, just because you admit to yourself the won't statement is true, doesn't make you a bad person! Use this as a learning opportunity. What is the reason? It can be your priorities are different and you are just being honest with yourself.  The more honest you can be with yourself, the more you will honor and understand yourself and start to take action to overcome excuses. 
Source: Syd.Nord, Marie Forleo