Investing in YOU! By M. Allen, MBA
I don’t know about you, but the minute someone mentions the word “invest” I immediately get anxious and feel overwhelmed. Why? Because often times we associate the word “invest” with money. I am not well versed in finance by any stretch of the imagination. The thought of anyone asking me to put my money somewhere and watch it grow (or disappear) is terrifying. Luckily for both of us, this post isn’t about investing your money (directly). It is, however, about the single most important investment you will ever make in your life. Investing in yourself!
Women are nurturers by nature. We will invest our time, energy, and money into other people and things rather than in ourselves. We are constantly looking out for our kids, partners, clients, homes, friends, family, pets, and the list goes on and on. We will send our kids to college knowing full well we had dreams of going to college ourselves. I watched my own mother do just that. When the hell do we have time to think about, let alone DO the things that make us a happier, healthier, and better person? We know how to do it for others, but do we know how to do it for ourselves? It’s much easier and less time consuming than it sounds.
Here are 10 ways you can and should invest in yourself:
Take care of your health.
Yes, this is very cliche. That’s why it’s number one. Plain and simple, you only get one body. You can purchase new limbs and organs, but ultimately you only get one whole body and one whole life (regardless of length). If you are physically unhealthy, you are more likely to be emotionally and mentally unhealthy. Make small changes and then level up. Meditate. Just a few minutes a day can make a big difference. Eat right. I have been a snack queen since birth. I used to eat dessert every day. Since I’ve been exercising regularly, my sweet tooth has surprisingly disappeared. Ain’t nothing wrong with an occasional cheat day. Exercise daily. Do something every day to get moving. I will literally run in place or do squats while I’m watching TV or folding laundry. Run to the mailbox instead of walk. Take the steps. Park farther from the building. Take the kids for a walk during the warm months.
Build your confidence.
Rapper Drake was on to something when he said “Know yourself, know your worth”. Confidence starts right there. Why? Because once you are firm in who you are and what you bring to the table, no one can convince you otherwise. Unless you let them. Stand in your truth, accept your flaws, and always be open to learn and grow.
Never stop learning!
Read educational books. Watch documentaries. Listen to podcasts. My commute is about 2 ½ to 3 hours each day. Work is mostly monotonous. When I get home, it’s crazy. Listening to audio books and podcasts during the day helps to keep me sane.
As the saying goes “your network is your net worth”. In addition to learning, attending seminars and workshops present you the opportunity to meet and interact with individuals who are like-minded.
Listen to your intuition.
Women have been blessed with this thing called women’s intuition! Now, I don’t know how well it works for the opposite sex because I’ve literally watched my husband go left and then be upset because he “knew” he should’ve gone right. Who knows you better than you? No one. Exactly. So why not love and value yourself enough to trust you? Just do it! In the end, you make better decisions that way.
Take time to be creative.
There is something so freeing and calming to being creative. Even if you aren’t the most artistic, you can still be creative. Take a class, redecorate a room, re-purpose an item, draw something, color something. It feels good to get it out, watch it come into fruition, and then look back at it like “Yassss, I did that!” I have pencils, journals, paint, canvases, crayons, colored pencils, coloring books, and sketch pads at home. Be inspired. Be creative!
Set goals...and kick their ass!
Acceptable goals should be SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. These elements are key in making sure you don’t set yourself up for failure. Take the time to learn how to set personal and professional goals for yourself. Write them out, post them where you can see them, and share them with others. Once you’ve set them, break them down into smaller milestones with deadlines. If you’re not taking time to set goals, you’re literally driving to a new place without any directions on how to get there.
The second piece to setting goals is remaining accountable for them. Invest in a coach or partner. This investment may be monetary or a mutual exchange of ideas and time. Either way, a coach or partner will help keep you focused and cheer you on! They’ll even celebrate with you in the end. You can have several different coaches for the various things you have going on. A gym buddy, a business bae, a marriage counselor, a life coach….build a team around you!
Choose to be happy.
In his book "Happier", Tal Ben-Shahar talks about happiness being a choice. You can either choose to focus on the positive aspects of life or live in the sunken nothingness of negativity. Why not choose to be happy?
Take control of your money!
It’s money. You run it, it doesn’t run you! Save for the future and to fund your dreams. Learn from an expert how to invest it properly. Be sure you are properly insured. Minimize expenses and eliminate debt. I know that last one may be rough, but it is doable. Plan and negotiate your way down to debt-free. If you must enlist the help of financial experts or resources, do it. It is worth being able to sleep comfortably at night knowing you don’t owe anyone.
Invest in all aspects of yourself. Don’t leave any part of yourself out. Take care of your emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial self. When you invest in yourself, it is the biggest and most rewarding return on investment you will ever see. It not only opens a world of opportunities, but it allows you to be the best version of you!
Which of the 10 tips listed above do you plan to implement this week? This month? This year?We’d love to hear from you!