Just recently I wrote a post about the best investments you can make with $1,000.
In that article I mentioned “Investing in Yourself.” Which in a sense, seems contradictory to the typical advice pertaining to investing. Say the word investment in most social circles and people will clamor to the idea of stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.
However, in the same conversation, tell someone you're really investing in yourself, they might be a little caught off guard simply because the concept is foreign to most.
BUT, congrats to you for searching out ways to improve and invest in yourself. Because truth be told, the best investment you can make is in yourself and others!
Today, I will elaborate and help you establish the 5 best ways to invest in yourself, all of which can lead to health, prosperity, and more happiness overall!
5 Great Ways to Invest In Yourself
Below you will find a quick list of some of the best ways to start investing in yourself, this list is not exclusive nor should you feel like you need to everything.
In fact, pick 1 or 2 to start and really focus on that specific area and go from there!
1. Fix Your Habits
One of the best ways to invest in yourself is by breaking some of your bad habits and building a few new good ones.
Maybe you smoke too much or drink too much alcohol. Perhaps your diet isn’t as healthy as it could be, or you’re not getting enough regular exercise and so are missing out on the heart health benefits that regular physical activity affords. It could even be something more trivial like biting your nails, wasting time watching too much TV, or spending too much time on your phone.
The bottom line is any habit that negatively impacts your physical, emotional, or social wellbeing isn’t good. And if you’re like most people, you’ll already have a list of bad habits you want to break.
One of the best ways to break a bad habit is by replacing it with a good one. After all, we are action-oriented creatures, so sometimes just thinking about not doing something isn’t enough.
For example, let’s say you wanted to quit smoking. Instead of simply telling yourself not to smoke whenever you get the urge, do something else like chew some gum. This action-oriented approach will massively improve your chances of breaking that bad habit.
Next, make it really HARD to do your bad habits and easy to do your new ones.
For example, if you want to stop smoking, put your cigarettes in your car trunk or in the garage. This makes it harder to go smoke! Make your new desirable habit – like eating healthy – easy by pre-packing your grapes for example.
While breaking a bad habit or two is definitely one of the best ways to invest in yourself, it isn’t always a walk in the park. Be aware that forming a new habit takes, on average, more than two months — 66 days to be exact, according to research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology.
So don’t give up after just a couple of weeks; persist and you might just surprise yourself.
When it comes to the best ways to invest in yourself, your health should always be a top priority. And that means both your physical and mental health, as focusing on one — especially if it’s at the detriment of the other — will not reward you with the best results.
Here are some easy ways to improve your physical and mental health and wellbeing:
- Drink more water (aim for at least 8 glasses a day)
- Don’t skip meals
- Eat less saturated fat (the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends following a dietary pattern that sees you getting between 5% and 6% of your daily calories from saturated fat)
- Consume less sugar (the AHA recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women each day and 9 for men)
- Consume less salt (the CDC recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of salt each day as part of a healthy eating pattern)
- Eat more fruits and vegetables (aim for at least five 80g portions a day)
- Eat more whole grains
- Eat more lean meats
- Avoid processed foods
- Aim to be physically active every day
- Do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week (dancing, brisk walking, riding a bicycle, pushing a lawnmower), or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity (jogging/running, walking upstairs, martial arts, swimming fast)
- Do strengthening activities that work all your major muscles
- Reduce the amount of time you spend sitting or lying
- Get more good quality sleep (the CDC recommends at least 7 hours per night)
- Follow Run 2 Daily for workouts!
- Strengthen your current skills
- Learn a new skill
- Keep a journal
- Read more books, articles and anything else that interests you
- Consume more webinars, TED talks and the like
- Tell yourself something positive each morning
- Take action daily. This will build momentum and more self-confidence
Absolutely one of the best ways to invest in yourself is by becoming the boss of your money. If you’ve got debts, no savings, and your spending is a little out of control, then chances are your health, wellbeing, relationships and more are being impacted.
Remember: Until you are completely debt-free, your money will never truly be 100% yours. You will be wealthy when you have the right mindset. That’s why getting rid of your debts should always be your number one priority and the good news is that you don’t have to tackle them all in one go.
Set yourself a challenge of eradicating just one debt to begin with. Doing so will give you more money in your pocket, as well as a significant psychological boost.
There’s also a good chance that you’ll want to keep your momentum up and tackle another debt and possibly another one after that. The more debts you pay off, the more money you’ll have to spend and/or save. It’s as simple as that.
Saving money so you can pay cash for something can be both exhilarating and liberating. At the same time, having money saved for emergencies and opportunities also provides peace of mind. As a result, you’re more likely to sleep better, feel less stressed, and be happier overall.
Helpful Money Articles to invest in yourself!
- Debt: Ways to pay off debt.
- Saving: How much to save by age.
- Making More Money: Ways to make $1,000 on the side
You can invest in yourself — especially in terms of your wellbeing — by investing in your relationships with other people. That’s because good, healthy relationships positively boost your mental health and wellbeing no matter what stage of your life you’re at.
Now, the first relationship you should always focus on is the one you have with yourself. Yep, you read that correctly! Self-care is crucial to your own wellbeing, which is why being kind to yourself on a regular basis is so important.
Self-care looks different to different people. It could be as simple as giving yourself an uplifting pep talk each morning, or giving yourself enough time to really rest at the end of each day. Others may benefit from an invigorating gym session, or a relaxing walk in nature. Basically whatever makes you feel good can be considered self-care and will improve the relationship you have with yourself.
End any toxic relationships you might have
In general, relationships are good for us and afford many benefits. But sometimes we can find ourselves in relationships that are harmful in some way or another. Some telltale signs of toxic relationships are if you feel as though nothing you do is right, you can’t be yourself, and/or everything is always your fault.
While it can be hard to accept that you may have some toxic relationships in your life, by doing so and subsequently eradicating them, you will not only feel better, but will also have more time for your helpful relationships.
If you have a toxic relationship with someone — whether it’s a friend, coworker, or even a family member — take the necessary steps to end it.
Rekindle an old relationship
It’s never been easier than now to rekindle old relationships. Providing you know the person’s name and a few other details, there’s a strong chance you’ll be able to track them down on social media, or at least contact one of their friends or family members.
Just be sure that the relationship you’re considering rekindling is worth the effort. A toxic relationship you previously ended is unlikely to be better the second time around. The same goes for old romances, especially if both of you have moved on.
Focus on rekindling relationships with people who brought happiness to your life once upon a time. Just be aware, though, that people do change with time, so the relationship may turn out to be not quite as you remember it.
5. Invest in Time
The final way to invest in yourself on our list is time. By that, we mean valuing the time you have and using it to the fullest. At the end of the day we all only have X amount of time on this earth, so it makes sense that we should maximize it as best we can.
While it might sound simple, one of the best ways to invest in yourself is by getting up a bit earlier each day. It provides you with an opportunity to exercise, meditate or simply gather your thoughts before the start of your normal day, setting you up for greater things.
Also consider investing time in your creativity.
We’re all good at something and it can be truly rewarding to allow your creative juices to flow. Being creative is a way of ensuring continual learning, inspiration, and enjoyment. Plus, there's a chance you might be able to turn your creativity into an additional income stream by selling some of the stuff you create.
It’s a win-win!
Extra: How to finally ditch the “I am too busy excuse!“
Final Thoughts on Investing in Yourself!
On January 1st, 2020 I ran two miles.
I am actually anti-New Year's Resolution because a start date typically implies and end date, however, I decided I would see how long I could keep the streak of running at least two miles daily going.
In the winter – running is hard because it's much colder and going to the gym to run can be really easy to shrug off.
However, I wanted to win the day daily and prove to myself I could stick to something. Well as of today, I have now ran at least 2 miles daily for over 240 days.
The habit is so ingrained it's really not even a thought at this point.
While this is just one way to invest in yourself – physically and mentally – the fact that I proved to myself daily I could do it has helped in other areas of my life.
That is the power in investing yourself – you prove to yourself you can do what you put your mind to!
As we part, the biggest recomendation when it comes to investing in yourself is to start small and finish big!
Do not overwhelm yourself. Make small, simple goals like saving a few dollars or eating four salads a week and build from there!
Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $300,000 in student loans with his wife in less than five years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, being outside, traveling, and helping others with their finances! I got serious with money when I used Personal Capital to track my finances.