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What are the best self-development activities?  The ones that work consistently, reliably and give you the results you desire.  In this article, you will learn 12 of the best activities to improve yourself quickly and effectively.

I start by explaining what self-development is and what it isn’t. I’ll then briefly share my self-development journey with you.  This will help you understand what is possible when you consistently apply self-development activities to your life.

I’ll then uncover the 12 best self-development activities for an awesome life.  Don’t feel you have to do them all! Just pick the activities that resonate with you. The ones you feel are most helpful right now.

Watch the Video Below:

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What Is Self-Development

Self-development is about becoming more and wanting more in life.  It’s having greater success, happiness, or being more effective and proficient. It’s about developing your talents and potential and achieving your goals and dreams.

A key part of self-development is becoming more self-aware. This is understanding yourself and why you do things. It’s knowing your strengths and weaknesses. It’s being clear on your life’s purpose, mission and values.

So self-development is developing yourself by yourself. But perhaps with the help of other people, through coaching, therapy, reading books or watching videos.

The self-development industry in the US is worth $11 billion. Every year $500 million is spent on personal development products, courses and seminars. It’s a vast market!

What Is Not Self-Development.

Self-development is not being “fixed” by someone or something else. The power to change ultimately lies within you, not someone else.

It’s not learning personal development without applying it to your life. It’s not a dopamine hit. This is consuming self-development content purely to feel better now. This often leads to becoming a personal development junkie.

If you want self-development to be more than a hobby or entertainment, then it’s essential that you apply what you learn.

Would you like a step-by-step formula for success? Or to learn the rules that successful people follow? If so, click the button below to discover this for yourself.

My Self-Development Journey

My first experience of self-development was attending a seminar on stress management whilst at university. This was fascinating and encouraged me to learn and practice meditation.

When I moved to London, I became interested in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and was actively involved with the NLP practice groups in London.

There were three books that I read that had a massive impact on me.  There were.

At this time, I wanted to improve my social confidence and dating skills. I used self-development activities to help me do that successfully.

I had a wonderful life in my 30s. I got married, had many friends, a brilliant career and lots of opportunities to travel. So, I lost interest in self-development. 

In 2010, we moved to Sydney Australia and continued to have a wonderful life. However, I didn’t feel happy or fulfilled in my career, despite changing jobs several times. Now, in my 40s, I also had some niggling health issues that influenced my state of mind.  I became more interested in natural health. That then led me back into self-development and especially mind-body healing.

I decided to make self-development my career, so I invested in training to become a qualified clinical hypnotherapist and also launch the Self Help for Life online business and brand.

The 12 Best Self-Development Activities That Will Change Your Life

So now you know what self-development is, lets dive into 12 of the best self-development activities that have changed my life and I’m sure they will do the same for you too.

1. Affirmations

Affirmations are short, positive statements about what you want in life. You repeat these statements as often as you can. Repeating them out-loud is most effective, but silently to yourself is good too.

Affirmations help replace those repetitive negative thoughts that keep you stuck. You’re already saying negative affirmations to yourself, so you’re simply replacing these negative affirmations with positive ones.

Related Articles

How to Create Affirmations That Work Extremely Effectively

How to Write Affirmations that are Believable and Get Results

An alternative to affirmations is Lofty questions. You can learn about these here.

2. Meditation

Meditation is highly effective for reducing stress and anxiety. Meditation helps you gain a greater awareness of your thoughts and feelings. And when you’re meditating, you can change those thoughts and feelings, or let them go.

The easiest way to meditate is to focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and focus on breathing in and breathing out.  Whenever your mind wanders (and it will frequently, especially if you’re new to this), then accept that this is fine.  It’s completely natural.

Then as soon as you notice your mind wandering (and this could be a few seconds after your mind wondered), gently bring it back to your breathing.

Another option is guided meditations. This is listening to a recording of someone giving you relaxing suggestions. You then focus on the words being said. There are thousands of guided meditation recordings available and also guided meditation mobile apps.

3. Creative Visualization

We naturally use our imagination. However, it’s typically for worst-case scenarios or things we are afraid of. Just like thinking negatively, we imagine negatively too.

Creative visualization allows you to counteract negative imagery by vividly imagining what you want instead. It’s seeing situations and activities going the way you want them to go. Creative Visualization is often known as mental rehearsal, especially in sports and athletics.

Creative visualization is much more than seeing the positive outcome in your mind. It includes hearing and feeling it too. You want to engage all the senses, even smell and taste if you can.

Olympic athletes use creative visualization all the time. It’s an essential part of what they do to become the best in their sport.  They might not consciously use creative visualization, but they definitely do it unconsciously. 

Related Articles

A Powerful Creative Visualization Exercise for Rapid Change

10 Steps to Transform Your Creative Visualization Skill

4. Self-Hypnosis

Self-hypnosis is like guided meditation.  However, it’s more goal oriented. People use self-hypnosis to increase motivation or confidence. Or to stop a bad habit such as smoking, overeating or drinking too much alcohol.

The easiest way is to listen to a self-hypnosis recording. There are thousands of those available and some are more effective than others.

I use and recommend the self-hypnosis recordings created by Uncommon Knowledge. Their website is https://hypnosisdownloads.com

You could learn how to hypnotize yourself without using self-hypnosis recordings. I cover this in one of the related articles below.

Related Articles

How to Hypnotize Yourself | A Self-Hypnosis Tutorial

Self Hypnosis and Meditation – What’s the Difference?

5. Journaling

When we keep thoughts in our head, this can lead to overwhelm and confusion.  It’s very easy to blow things out of proportion. To make it much bigger than it really is.

Journaling is writing your thoughts on paper (or in a computer file). When you do this, you gain a fresh perspective, a calmer mind and greater clarity. Writing can help release emotions too.

For the best results, write your thoughts on paper. However, if you prefer to type your thoughts on your computer, tablet or smart phone, that’s fine too.  The most important thing is to do it!

6. Setting and Achieving Goals

Most people use self-development activities to improve or change their life.  This starts with setting goals, so you’re clear on what you want to achieve and by when. Goals provide a focus for all the other self-development activities.

When you set goals, this gives you the desire and motivation to consistently work on self-development activities. You have a specific reason and benefit to work on yourself.

I encourage you to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.

Start by setting goals for this year, and then smaller quarterly or monthly goals.  Equally important is reviewing your goals regularly, at least monthly. Check that you’re on track and make any adjustments to maximize your chances of achieving these goals.

Related Article

How to Set and Achieve Your Goals

7. Coaching

A one-on-one coaching session is a highly effective form of self-development. An excellent coach will ask you direct, dedicated and personalized questions to help uncover your blind spots.

They will help you expand your beliefs about what is possible for you. A professional coach will also identify and help you change any limiting beliefs.

An important benefit of coaching is goal setting with accountability. It’s much harder to wriggle out of a goal that you have shared with a life coach.  You are accountable to the coach. If you fail to achieve the goal, you will need to explain your reasons (and excuses) to your life coach.

In the same way as a Personal Trainer will drive you to do 30 push-ups, when you only feel like doing 20, a skilled coach will spur you to achieve your goals faster and expand on what is possible.

8. Therapy

Therapy differs from coaching. It helps heal past events that stop you from moving forward in your life right now. Therapy helps you deal and resolve traumatic events. Or childhood events that shape your beliefs about what is possible for you right now.

There are different types of therapy.  These include counseling and various forms of psychotherapy. If you see a psychologist, they will often use Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

There is also hypnotherapy, which is what I specialize in. Hypnotherapy can help deal with, heal and resolve past events. Or it can be more solution focused, which makes it similar to coaching.

If you would like me to be your therapist or coach, then this page provides further details.

9. Overcoming Fears

One of the best self-development activities is overcoming your fears. I believe that fear is the biggest barrier to success. It’s fear that keeps people stuck. One of the fastest ways to grow and improve yourself is to overcome fears.

Do things that scare or frighten you, especially those that won’t affect you physically. For example, public speaking, talking to strangers, tough phone calls or recording videos.

Perhaps it’s having that difficult conversation with your partner or boss that you’ve been putting off for weeks.

Rather than tackling your biggest fears head on, you can start gently.  Break down your biggest fears into smaller action steps. As you complete each step, your confidence and experience will grow and you’ll feel more able to overcome the bigger fears.

Another way to strengthen your fear muscle is to do something new, unfamiliar or a little uncomfortable each day.  This could include going to a new café, trying a different food or exploring a more efficient way of doing a task at work.

10. Completing Challenges

A challenge is when you invest a significant amount of time and energy to achieve something monumental in a relatively short space of time. Here are some examples.

  • Training and then running a marathon
  • Starting a business
  • Changing jobs or your career
  • Losing a significant amount of weight.

When you set challenges, it forces you to step up and become more.  Challenges help you prove that you can do something, that you thought was difficult or even impossible.

Challenges are fantastic for overcoming habits and for achieving the more important and meaningful goals in your life.

For challenges to work effectively, you want to specify an exact amount of time.  This could be 30, 60, 90 or 100 days.  For me, 100 days works incredibly well.  I started Self Help for Life and my Hypnotherapy business in 100 days.  You can achieve so much in 100 days when you put your mind to it. It’s also long enough to make it a habit.

I do a 100 Day-Challenge every year and I use Gary Ryan Blair’s 100 Day Challenge program to motivate me, inspire me and keep me accountable during that time.

Related Articles

How to Change Your Life in 100 Days

100 Day Challenge Review | Gary Ryan Blair

11. Taking Action

I touched on this earlier, but it’s so important! Learning a new self-development activity, tool or technique is useless if you don’t apply it to your life. Or a Stephen Covey says “to know and not to do is not to know”.

So here are some examples:

  • Reading and learning the most effective dating techniques versus going on dates
  • Researching the most effective ways to speak in public versus speaking in public
  • Learning all the different ways to make money on the internet versus starting an internet-based business.

Knowing is easy. You can gain the knowledge by going to university or surfing the web. All the information you need is readily available.

Doing is applying what you’ve learned and testing it out.  You’re not fully committed at this stage.

Living is taking consistent action on what you’ve learned. You improve through repetition. This leads to consistent and predictable results.  The action becomes a habit and perhaps even part of who you are.

12. Expressing Gratitude

The key reason for doing self-development activities is to achieve something that we don’t already have.  It’s easy to become focussed (even obsessed) about achieving goals and major life changes.  This can lead to unhappiness and frustration, especially if the goal takes much longer than you intended.

It’s easy to forget what you have now and the good aspects of your life. Therefore gratitude and appreciation are so important.

Take a few minutes to be grateful for what you already have. Write all the things you’re grateful for and that you appreciate. Create a gratitude journal and list additional things each day.

Focus on simple things such as having enough food, good health, a safe and comfortable place to live or enough money. Be grateful for waking up and experiencing another day of your life.

Related Article

The 11 Benefits of Gratitude and How to Practice it Daily

To Conclude

So now you have a list of the 12 best self-development activities, including many of the ones I do regularly. If you want to crush your goals, be happier more fulfilled and more successful, then apply some of these self-development activities to your life and reap the benefits.

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul

Let’s be honest, most of us start the day passively. You wake up late, skip breakfast and rush to work, hoping you will get there on time. This leads to a very reactive life. Practicing a daily morning routine will help you feel great and tackle your day more proactively.

A daily morning routine programs your day for success. It helps you create positive habits, develop the right mindset to achieve your goals, and overall feel better about the day. Highly successful people recognize how invaluable a daily morning routine can be.

In this article, you will learn the best daily morning routine for an outstanding life. Practice these healthy morning habits today and become more productive and successful.

Watch the Video Below:

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What is a Daily Morning Routine?

A daily morning routine is something that you do early in the morning before anything else. Its purpose is to program your day for success. Getting yourself in the right mindset early in the day develops new habits and helps you in achieving your goals. It gives you the time to work on your personal development consistently.

Many of us start our days very reactive. Maybe we get out of bed late and rush to get to work. Then at work, you’re already stressed and reacting to people and situations. This leads to living a very reactive life. Getting up earlier and doing a morning routine gives you the ability to start the day proactively.

A daily morning routine is a great way to do the activities that are important to you early in the day. Maybe you want to exercise or meditate or repeat affirmations. Perhaps its reading and learning. If you do these activities early in the day, you can have a guilt free day because you’ve already done those things that you should or want to do.

The Daily Morning Routines of Successful People

What are the most successful people doing in the morning to achieve their goals and live an outstanding life? This was a question that Hal Elrod was very interested in answering. He researched many of the most successful people in the world to find out what they did in the mornings. He found out they did a lot of different things. However, he also identified several morning activities that many of them did.

What do most successful people do in the mornings?

From his research, he identified 6 main things that most successful people did in the morning. He came up with the acronym of S. A. V. E. R. S.

  • S is for silence or meditation. Many of the most successful people in the world meditate daily.
  • A is for affirmations or mantras. Many successful people repeat positive mantras every day.
  • V is for visualization. They also do some kind of goal-directed visualization, consciously or unconsciously.
  • E is for exercise. Again, most successful people have some kind of exercise ritual built into their morning routine.
  • R is for reading and learning.
  • S is for scribing, which is journaling or writing.

How long should a daily morning routine be?

It’s entirely up to you. The longer you do it the more benefit you’ll get from it. It could be 5, 10, 15 minutes, half an hour or even an hour. Whatever it is, focus on these 6 areas and aim to put an equal amount of time into each of them. However, you might sometimes prefer to spend more time on one area rather than another.

S. A. V. E. R. S.

1. Silence or Meditation

The goal of meditation is to still your mind, be mindful and able to focus completely on the present. Here are some simple ways to do this.

Focus on your breathing

Sit comfortably and focus on breathing in and breathing out. Whenever you notice your mind wandering, bring it back to your breath.

Chant

You could chant something like “om” and focus on the sound you are making.

Repeat a certain word

My favorite word is “release”. Every 2 or 3 seconds, you could say “release”. Focus your mind entirely on that word. I learnt this one from Brendon Burchard.

Counting

You could count from 1 to 100 whilst being completely focused on that.

Listen to a guided meditation recording

It could be one you’ve recorded yourself, or one of the many wonderful guided meditation recordings that are available. There are lots of different apps you can get for your phone that have guided meditations.

Whatever you do, remember your mind needs to focus on something specific. You don’t want to sit there and daydream for 5 minutes because that’s the same as being in bed! It’s also not thinking about what you must do during the day. You want to focus your mind on something different. This will prevent your mind from doing its normal everyday thinking and be completely in the present instead.

2. Affirmations or Mantras

This one is about repeating affirmations, mantras, or incantations. These are positive phrases about you, not any specific goal. A great tip is to base your affirmations on being happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise, in that order.
In many cases, the reason for achieving goals in life is to make us happy. Focusing on happiness is often a great shortcut to feeling happy.
Affirmations for health are important because it’s very hard to achieve things (or be happy) when your physical body is in pain or discomfort.

Repeating affirmations for money and wealth will help you create the money to do the things you want to do in life.

Then finally, create some affirmations about being wise, intelligent or knowledgeable.

Affirmation Tips

I highly recommend repeating affirmations out loud whenever you can. You could also record your affirmations and play them back to yourself. There’s a great app to do this called ThinkUp. This app allows you to record affirmations in your own voice and then put your own choice of background music.

Sometimes, when you repeat affirmations, a great idea comes to your mind. When that happens, start repeating that new idea as well, and incorporate it into your affirmations.

Affirmations are great because they help you believe and feel that you’re okay about yourself, that you’re a good person, and that life is going well. Over time, you will become a better person and you will have a better life.

3. Visualization

So affirmations help you become a better person by focusing on positive mindset traits. Positive visualization is more about helping you achieve and accomplish specific goals.

Goals and Measurable Outcomes

Creative Visualization works best when you focus on 1 key goal. If you have several goals in life, then focus on a different goal each morning.

For your specific goal, make sure you have a clear, measurable outcome so you’ll know when you achieve it. Also include why you want to achieve that goal, and how you will achieve it. If you want more help with setting goals, then check out my article about goal setting.

Occasionally visualizing your goals can be enough to get the Law of Attraction into action and manifest the desired outcome quickly. But that’s fairly unusual. Usually it takes time and you have to focus on the why, the how, and the what. That allows you to develop and increase your energy and vibration level, so you’re more likely to attract what you need into your life.

Visualization Tips

When visualizing, I encourage you to speak it out loud as you’re doing it. I’ve tried in the past to close my eyes and visualize a goal for 5 to 10 minutes. I find it easy for my mind to wander onto other things. But if you speak out what you’re visualizing, your mind will really focus on that.

Another great way is to record yourself. Record the visualization and play it back. Some people use vision boards and that can be very effective. Whatever type of visualization process you do, make sure you include a specific action that you will do today. This will help you get one step closer to achieving your goal.

4. Exercise and Movement

This is about exercising or doing some kind of movement every day. What you do can vary from day to day. Here are some examples of the things you could do:

  1. 5 x 1-minute workouts – for example, starting with a plank, then press-ups, crunches, jumping jacks and squats for 1 minute each.
  2. Go for a walk.
  3. Run for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Do yoga or stretching.

This doesn’t have to be very energetic. Sometimes just some stretching can be very beneficial. If you’re pushed for time, you could combine the affirmations and the exercising together.

And although you might plan to do a longer exercise routine later in the day, if for any reason that doesn’t happen, at least you can say, “I’ve done my 5 minutes of exercise”. It helps prevent you from feeling guilty later in the day for the things that you should have done.

5. Reading, Listening, or Watching

This refers to consuming some kind of content that will inspire, motivate, uplift, or help you learn something new.

You want it to be educational and help you move forward in your life. It should move you closer to achieving your goals. It could be learning about:

  • new marketing tools
  • new sales techniques
  • new computer software
  • new therapeutic techniques that you can use on yourself or other people
  • new personal development techniques, like NLP or hypnosis.
  • something religious or spiritual.

Podcasts or Audio Books

Besides reading, you could listen to podcasts, or audio books. Audible.com is a great source of audio books nowadays. If you’re listening, try to focus on what you’re listening to. I listen to a lot of things on the go and I find that I don’t retain the information as deeply as when I set aside a few minutes to listen to something and do nothing else.

YouTube Videos or Courses

You could watch relevant YouTube videos, or an online course that you have invested in. Again, watching 10 minutes of the video content works much better if you focus completely on it rather than watching it while you’re doing other things.

Whatever you do, whether it’s reading, listening, or watching, make sure it’s aligned with your goals. Look for content that will make you more productive or give you greater positivity during the day.

6. Scribing—Writing and Journaling

There are many activities you could do here. The easiest way to start is doing a gratitude journal.

Gratitude Journal

Take 5 minutes to write all the things you’re grateful for in your life right now. List it all down and be as creative as you can. You can be grateful for and write about:

  • waking up and being here for another day
  • your health – what’s good about your health
  • the people in your life – your partner, family, kids
  • your job or career – what you like about it
  • what you have achieved in the past and how good that makes you feel now

Express Thoughts and Feelings on Paper

Other things you could do is express your thoughts, feelings, and ideas on paper. Getting something out of your head and putting it onto paper makes it seem more real. Once you get limiting or negative thoughts and feelings out of your head, it’s a lot easier to challenge them, question them and come up with new ideas. It’s also a very good way of releasing emotions. Get it out on paper, out of your system. When it’s on paper, it seems less overwhelming.

Statement of Intent

Another great thing you could do is write your statements of intent. Here are some examples.

  • How would you like your day to be?
  • What are your intentions for today?
  • What are the positive things you want to happen today?

Rather than focusing on what you think will happen today, focus on what you ideally want to happen.

Inspirational Quotes

You could write down your favorite inspirational quotes. Even a whole passage from a book you’ve enjoyed or found inspirational. Writing it out several times will impress it on your unconscious mind and memory more deeply.

There are a lot of different activities you could do, and the key is to vary it. Maybe one day you do a gratitude journal, another day you write your goals down, or express your thoughts and feelings.

Write or Type?

The final question is, do you write it or do you type it? There are lots of different opinions on this. If you write something by hand, it goes more deeply into your unconscious mind. But if you have terrible handwriting like I do, typing might be better. Typing into something like Evernote enables you to refer to it easily on multiple devices throughout the day. Decide what’s best for you.

Practical Tips

Here are some practical tips to help you develop a great daily morning routine:

1. Decide how long it will be

You could have a 6-minute morning routine and spend 1 minute on each of the 6 areas. Or a 30-minute routine, 5 minutes on each of the 6 areas. Or spend 10 minutes on each area and make it 1 hour.

This could vary from day to day. Maybe you could do a longer routine at the weekends.

2. Get yourself out of bed instantly!

The best way to do this is to put your alarm clock away from your bed so that when your alarm clock goes off, you have to get out of bed to turn it off. That’s a great tip. When I started doing morning routines, that was the one thing that made a huge difference for me.

3. Brush your teeth

As soon as you’ve got out of bed and turned off that alarm clock, brush your teeth!

There’s something about brushing your teeth that helps you wake up. It makes you feel fresh.

4. Get into comfortable exercise clothing

Put these clothes out before you go to bed, so you can get into them as soon as you get up. Use these exercise clothes for your daily morning routine only. When you put these clothes on, your body knows that it’s time for your morning ritual.

5. Go outside

If you’re not comfortable repeating affirmations out loud or chanting when you’re meditating because there are other people in the house, consider doing it outside. You could go for a half-hour walk in the morning and incorporate these things in the local park.

6. Try it for 30 days

Do a daily morning routine for 30 consecutive days. That’s long enough for you to see the benefits of doing it. It’s also long enough to experience occasional days when you’ll feel resistance, like you don’t want to do it. As it becomes more of a habit, you’ll find it easier to do your morning routine on those days when you don’t want to do it. After 30 days, you can decide whether it’s something you want to keep doing.

Resources

If you want to get much deeper into morning routines and morning rituals, I recommend checking out these 2 resources. The first is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. This is the book that goes through the S.A.V.E.R. S. process that I talked about in this article. I actually learned this from Andrew Parr in a recent webinar that he did for his online hypnotherapy diploma program.

The other is the program Morning Ritual Mastery by Stefan James at Project Life Mastery. This course helped me initially develop my morning routines. Stephan’s approach is somewhat different. He focuses on doing something for your body, something for your mind and something for your spirit. I highly recommend this program.

And as always, if you want to live a great life and achieve your goals, put all you have learned into action. Find out what daily morning routine works best for you and stick to it!

If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post. Also, feel free to share this article with other people or on social media.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people do? The ones that are truly happy, fulfilled and prosperous? Well, I reveal this in my 10 Strategies for Your Success eBook. It’s a great read and as a treat for reading this article, it’s yours for free!

Just click the button below and I’ll send this eBook to you right away.

Thank you for reading this article.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Paul