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What is Self-Improvement?

External improvement...

... that doesn't arise from self-improvement is from circumstances or factors outside your control. Winning the lottery may be great, but if you’re broke right now, that’s not a strategy to bank on. Instead you need to start by changing your own behaviors, skills and habits.

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What is Self-Improvement?

What is Self-Improvement?

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2018/12/25/what-is-self-improvement/

scotthyoung.com

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Key Ideas

External Improvement vs. Self-Improvement

  • External improvement: Money, fitness, credentials, status, friends, etc. 
  • Self-improvement: Habits, thought patterns, confidence, beliefs, learned skills and behaviors.
You can improve your external situation without improving yourself, but that tends to result from luck and circumstances you can’t control.  

Life Strategy

Your total life strategy is a collection of every habit, behavior and thought pattern, conscious and unconscious, that you use to solve the problems you have in life, meet your needs and stay alive. 

Lasting Self-Improvement

Self-improvement is identifying current strategies, how they meet your current needs and solve your current problems, and figuring out how to adjust them into a better configuration. It must start by recognizing who you are now, then making small and stable changes to reach the stage where the problem has been solved.

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Self-control
Self-control

It’s your ability to resolve conflicts between your short-term desires and your long-term goals.

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Why self-control matters

People who have high self-control aren’t missing out on enjoyment. Not being able to resist temptation and enjoying life are not the same things.

They tend to eat in a healthily way, exercise more, sleep better, drink less alcohol, smoke fewer cigarettes, achieve higher grades at university, have more peaceful relationships, and are more financially secure.

Biological limits to self-control

Research showed that self-control is ultimately limited by our biology. We can’t exercise effortful self-control indefinitely – the brain has to do regular maintenance to remain functional.

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Habits

Habits form a core idea in behavior change. It requires that you change your behavior by regularly doing something.

To get fit, you need to have a habit of eating well and exercising. T...

Goal-Setting

Goal-setting is required to decide what you want and planning how to get there. Just having an idea of what you want to achieve is usually not enough. Setting a goal needs to be paired with plans, systems, or habits to make it achievable.

Goal-setting should be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.) However, some people argue for being completely process-oriented and ignoring outcomes.

Systems

Systems organize your behavior and decisions with formal rules. They are often built off of concepts of scientific management and organizational theory, but it is applied to your personal life. 

A productivity system is one type of system that is aimed at helping you get work done by organizing the things that need doing and telling you when to do them.

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