Whether it’s about creating a successful business venture, pitching your idea to investors or simply keeping up with your promises – this time is for becoming a better version of yourself. As you may already know, everything counts: staying healthy, the hours you’re in office, committing to things you’ve started, breaks, leaves, timelines, management of projects, payments and finances… We make thousands of choices every day, but do we question them before diving into new projects or starting relationships? Instead, we fail to acknowledge that our moves are rather random even if they determine something as important as who we are today.

As an entrepreneur and a person who has lost its balance quite a few times, I no longer believe in faith or self – help books, but what I do believe in, is habits. Habits that are easy to pick up and help to shape things the way we want. Here’s my list for top 5 habits to pick up NOW:

Being Present, Thinking Forward

Almost every self-help article starts with a question like this: “How can I be productive or how can I become successful?” But the truth is that if you are spending your time on questions and comparisons, you are getting nowhere. Being present, instead of looking back at the things you could have different, would bring us to the habit of evaluating available options at the given moment. Can I prioritize my tasks? Is it a good idea to clear my wardrobe and get rid of things I don’t need? What can I do to improve my health? As an acclaimed journalist Jay Dixit puts in his article: “Life unfolds in the present. But so often, we let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and unseized, and squandering the precious seconds of our lives as we worry about the future and ruminate about what’s past.” Hence, focus on what can be today and that would result in a better and more prosperous future.

Forgetting Self-Help Books And Articles

 It’s exactly the same thing as if you were reading success stories about billionaires who jumped onto early crypto-currency train, but neither you own crypto-currencies, nor you plan on starting a business venture. Nothing does change when we talk about improvement: reading thousands of self-help books won’t work unless you want to things differently. But once you have the right mindset, you can then seek for inspiration in relationships (‘How To Be Married’ by Jo Piazza’ is one of my favorites), business (‘Virtual Freedom’ by Chris Ducker that gives you amazing takeaways if you are managing a startup or working as a freelancer), spirituality (‘Book of Secrets’ by Osho will give you magical tools on how to perceive things that are happening to you). In the end, there are multiple ways to access relevant information, but what’s important is you being ready to take action. 

Building Meaningful Business

As one of the world’s greatest minds, Steve Jobs, said: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Therefore, if you want to be the best version of yourself, you have to do things that you’re passionate about. The constant growth of startups and companies basing their businesses ideas on sustainability or efficiency could be attributed to people searching for meaningfulness in what they do. Even in Nordics, there are hundreds of startups dedicated to wastewater (C-Green is converting wet sludge into biofuel), energy (Eliq provides software to monitor electricity usage in order to alter customers’ energy usage as well as minimize costs) or industrial processes (Smart Plans extracts and analyzes IoT data to improve industrial control systems to reduce energy consumption and reduce machine downtime). It’s just a few examples of companies doing the good for our communities. One of the examples that signify the shift towards people changing their careers to better reflect their desires and passions is Arianna Huffington who stepped away from her news website Huffington Post to found Thrive Global, a platform to promote well-being and healthy living.

Leaving Companions Behind

Most commonly we can’t move forward as we are constantly comparing ourselves with somebody else. How can you be a better version of yourself when you are trying to be somebody else, but you? Since many studies link heavy social media (in particular, Instagram) usage to developing symptoms of depression, limit the hours that you’re on social media. Instead, you can improve many aspects of your life with a smartphone and that doesn’t include any of the social networks you know. For example, Blinkist gives you key ideas from best non-fiction books so that you can excel your career, Habit List helps to set daily goals and track small, but important things as drinking enough water or Worry Watch that makes sure you worry less by helping you to track your anxiety patterns. The bottom line is: stop looking at others and spend that time working on yourself.

Understanding That Improvement Is No Algorithm

It’s obviously very difficult to measure your progress: Am I doing enough? What if I failed today – will it happen tomorrow? Is it this ever going to be enough as I constantly want something more? You may as well measure your improvement by comparing yourself at a given moment to the person you were yesterday, but that’s not my point. You need to stop measuring your self-worth in KPIs: no amount of money, hours spent in a gym or likes below a social media post should define what kind of person you are. As you may understand, it’s not really about habits, but more of an attitude and outlook that shape the person you are today. Becoming a better version of yourself requires actions, but, more importantly, understanding which direction to look at.

About the author

Kamile Kaselyte is a fashion entrepreneur with an extensive experience in startups, marketing and digital media. Kamile is a co-founder of KIKOINNE, fashion styling startup and also runs a digital media agency. At Arctic Startup, she covers topics, such as fashion, technology and well – being.

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