Inspired by the fresh start of the new year, many people have asked me to give them some direction on where to focus their self-development. It’s great that you want to start taking steps toward reaching your dreams, but at times, this can be overwhelming. Here are a few places you can start:

Awareness

If you want to focus on one specific area for self-development, let it be awareness. This is the foundation block upon which to build your improved life. Nothing will change around you if you can’t gain control of what’s inside your head — everything else revolves around that concept. If you’re unaware of your thoughts, and your thoughts are overwhelmingly self-defeating, you’ll project that self-defeat out into the world. When your life is going in the wrong direction, you’ll get upset with yourself, and repeat the same cycle again. Start by simply paying attention to your inner chatter. What kind of words are you using when you are thinking to yourself? Be an active listener to your inner monologue. Creating a higher level of awareness is a fundamental thing you can work on in order to improve yourself.

Procrastination

Procrastination happens to the best of us — in fact, it happens to all of us. One of the biggest enemies of procrastination is a daily routine. Structuring and prioritizing your day really helps you complete the tasks you have in front of you. Another way to beat procrastination is to have a partner — whether it be a life coach, spouse, or friend — who can keep you accountable on your to-do list for the week. This will give you the support and encouragement you need to complete whatever is on your plate. Remember, in order for you to develop yourself, you have to allow yourself to get the things done that you need to do to reach your goals.

Visualizations

Once you come into a sense of awareness, take it a step further with visualizations: See yourself already doing the things you want to do. Visualizations are a powerful force — they help condition your brain to start manifesting the picture you are painting in your mind.

Affirmations

If you want to improve yourself, you don’t want to have negative thoughts. After you become aware, you can start to filter the negative thoughts out of your consciousness and start bringing in positive affirmations. Start with phrases like, “I am,” and “I can.” Affirmations and visualizations go hand in hand by supplying your mind with both the “video” and “audio” of your intentions.

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