11 Tips to Fuel Personal Growth
Some simple practices from Kate Hanley's new book, "How to be a Better Person".
Posted January 16, 2018
The new year has come and gone. Perhaps your New Year's resolutions have too?
Luckily for me, I got Kate Hanley's new book, How to be a Better Person, which includes 400 simple ways to make a difference in yourself and the world.
Here are 11 tips from the book and how I've aimed to apply them in my own life.
1. Reflect on your purpose
I recently wrote an article on finding your life purpose. In addition to helping you figure out your purpose, it helped me reflect on whether I was living mine.
2. Find your mental happy place
We all have certain places that just feel good to be in. For me, I just feel serene when I'm in veggie gardens. So now I think about being in this place whenever I need to relax.
3. Make more of your own food
Kate says that a good way to improve your nutrition is to prepare more of your own food. To try this tip out, I made refrigerator pickles. It's easy. You just put cucumbers, dill, salt, vinegar, and water in jar in the fridge (I added garlic and jalapenos too). A few days later, you have a delicious healthy treat.
4. Vote with your ballot
I'll admit that I haven't always appreciated my right to vote. That's why I chose to try this tip and signed up to be volunteer at PostcardsToVoters.org. Now I write postcards with a team of 10,000+ volunteers to help get people to the polls.
5. Share the stage
I am incredibly blessed to be writer for Psychology Today, so whenever possible, I now aim to share other people's work, for example by writing about a book I read or happiness apps that I've tried. It's a win-win because you get to learn about interesting and helpful tools and I get to share the stage with the amazing creators.
6. Keep better track of the things that matter
Kate says it's easier to improve something when you're paying attention to it. Well I recently discovered the app, 1 Second Everyday, which stitches snippets from your life into a personal movie. It made me think, "What would my movie have looked like last year?" And I didn't like what I imagined. So this year, I'm being more intentional about how I spend everyday so that when I look back on my life, it will be a life that I can be proud of.
7. Know how you recharge best
Some of us need social activities to recharge, some of us need to be alone, some of need exercise, and others just need to lounge in front of the TV. After reflecting on what recharges me, I found that I need ample alone time, regular social time, and at least a little bit of time outdoors each day. Now that I know this, I can more easily recharge.
8. Give more positive reviews
As a writer I have the opportunity to talk about myself ad nauseum. So this year, I am spending more time acknowledging other folks who are doing great work. I now try to review at least one psychology book per month on Amazon (books like these: Activating Happiness, The Stress-Proof Brain, and Writing for Bliss).
9. Choose more thoughtful gifts
The kooky radio show, Nothing Funny About Money, recently did an episode that talked about just how bad we are at giving gifts and how many gifts are returned each holiday season. So this year I'm aiming to help people choose more thoughtful gifts by writing snippets for Wrapt Inc, a company that helps people choose gifts that are more meaningful and impactful.
10. Tend to your network
Building strong social networks is a key to success. Although I have a strong network, it could use tending. So, this year I am devoting a chunk of my time to having conversations with purpose-driven entrepreneurs - people who aim to make an income from making an impact. After each chat with a purpose-driven entrepreneur, I write up the key insights to include a new book I'm writing for entrepreneurs, tentatively titled, Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurship.
11. Make time for your soul work
Kate says that it's a good idea to carve out a chunk of time for passion projects and work that enriches the soul. The time I spend writing my Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurship book is definitely food for my soul. When I'm working on this passion project, time flies and I feel in complete alignment with my soul's mission. What can you do to feed your soul?
Needless to say I found Kate Hanley's new book, How to Be a Better Person, to be an easy-to-read and inspiring tool for making impactful changes in my life. I hope by giving you examples of how I applied her tips, you'll be inspired to make small but meaningful changes in your life too.