15 Smart Ways to Invest in Yourself 2019

It seems like everywhere you look, there’s a blog with advice on how to be a better person. Trouble is, few of them have actionable takeaways you can do today, right now. Let’s look at ways you can invest in yourself —right away — to truly improve your mental and physical well-being, make progress at work, and keep adventure alive in your life!

Invest In How You Look

  • Experts suggest that the best way to get fashion attention at work is by choosing flashy colors (not flashing skin!). In a time where even the C-suite dresses down, it’s hard to know what you should wear to draw attention in the right way. Dress in outfits that flatter your body without overemphasizing and clothes that make you feel confident.
  • You’re at work most of the day, but you still need to nourish a life outside of work. Save room in your closet (and budget) for nights out, capitalizing on cute, casual separates you can mix and match. Learn to choose the best fashion for a party or dinner date and make a great impression wherever you go.

Focus on Your Well-Being

Do you routinely forget to eat or drink water during the day? Or collapse in front of the TV after work, preferably with chips or ice cream? Maybe you secretly have a gym membership but never go. It’s easy to do, and a lot of us do it — but putting your health and happiness last can have serious consequences.

And it doesn’t have to be that way! Even the most minimal change in behavior can form the first building block to creating healthier habits and a happier life. Here are some ways to start:

  • Take in the good stuff. Fill up a water bottle and carry it with you to work and back, so you’ll be reminded to drink enough water. Spend a little time compiling a grocery list of healthy foods you actually like to eat, then head to the grocery store to dedicate some time and thought to better feeding yourself.
  • Exercise. Get back into the routine of hitting the gym before or after work. Stock up on workout clothes, if that helps motivate you. By exercising regularly, you are investing in a healthier lifestyle and, perhaps, a longer life. The benefits of exercise include improved mood, weight loss, increased energy, and better sleep patterns.
  • Focus on mental health. Ignoring our emotional and mental well-being is as common — and as dangerous — as physical self-neglect. Spending 10 minutes a day meditating can help improve your state of mind. One of the most positive ways to do this is repeating affirmations that boost your confidence and self-esteem. If this seems too “out there,” then at least take a few minutes to pay attention to your breathing each day.
  • Get outdoors. Spending time outside has been linked with a number of benefits, including reduced stress, improved vision, better breathing, reduced pain, clearer thinking, and greater general satisfaction.

Learn a Skill or Get a New Certification

Are you longing to make career advancements at work or even start a new career? Getting a certification is an almost guaranteed way to increase your salary or help launch a new career. One example of this is getting a commercial driver’s license to become eligible for heavy equipment operation at your construction job. Here are a few other examples of certifications that can increase your paycheck:

  • School psychologists study emotional, cognitive and social behavior to help students. You’ll need bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a Pupil Personnel Services credential to increase your yearly pay with a jump of 31 percent.
  • Fleet managers select and maintain vehicles to ensure that deliveries are on schedule and in budget. Of the many industry certifications available, the CAFM certification commands the highest salary. Watch your pay rise by 27 percent with this credential.
  • Laboratory supervisors aren’t always certified, but those with certifications generally see a 25 percent salary increase on average in their paychecks. As a clinical laboratory scientist, you can work in specialty areas such as immunohematology, microbiology, or other subspecialties. The average salary in this industry jumps about 25 percent with this certification.

Another great option for augmenting work skills is to take a class. Successful people get where they want to go by constantly improving their knowledge and skills. Whether you enroll for a course at a local college or university, attend a seminar or watch TED talks, stretching your mind helps you stay agile and creative when it comes to implementing new ideas.

Start a New Business

If you’d like to not only go in a new direction but make it happen under your own direction, starting a new business may be the solution for you. There are numerous businesses you can start for under $10,000 (Some for little or nothing but sweat equity.) Here are just a few:

  • Open a daycare. If you love kids and have a dedicated area of your home that you can devote to a home daycare, you can start this kind of business for a few thousand dollars. You need to obtain a business license and research the certifications necessary to legally run a home daycare, but for the right person, this can be a challenging and fun job to have.
  • Run a franchise. If you want constant feedback and assistance from professionals in your line of business, a franchise might be the way to go. You can start one for about $2,500 to $18,000, depending on startup costs. Consider vacation or cruise planning, becoming a personal trainer for the elderly, and many other great franchise opportunities.
  • Invest a tax refund. If you get a large tax refund, that’s a great way to kickstart your business. An online tax calculator app can help you estimate your refund.
  • Invent a product. If you’re great at designing new inventions, consider taking them to market. Be sure to protect your invention when it goes to market, so you reap your fair share of the profits.

Make Life an Adventure

Do you want to see the world but hate the thought of giving up your job and income to do so? Many jobs are available exclusively online and can be performed from your hotel room, Airbnb, or yurt with wi-fi.

Get paid to teach, write, sell, or run a business online. If you’re a financial whiz or top programmer, finding work online should be easy. Even for those with serviceable skills, plenty of remote work is out there. Here are a few tips and resources to help you begin the adventure of a lifetime while still getting paid.

  • Plan first. Consider what you’d like to do and see, and where you want to go. Research what kind of changes your new lifestyle might require, so you’re not caught unprepared. Then make an itinerary, and head out to find your dreams.
  • Ask those who’ve been there. You can consult online communities of established digital nomads to help you find and secure a remote job.
  • Get help. Remote Year is a program that handles the logistics for those who want to explore the world for four months to one year. They handle flights, accommodations, and excursions, so all you have to do is sublet your apartment or home, put your belongings in a secure storage facility, and go!

Whatever your dreams are in terms of improving your life, rest assured: They are within reach. Whether physical, mental, emotional, professional, or a combination of all, you can make any necessary changes you want to become happier. Don’t let another year pass without taking steps to push yourself higher in your personal and professional endeavors.

 

Author bio: Laura Gayle is a full-time blogger who has ghostwritten more than 350 articles for major software companies, tech startups, and online retailers. Founder of www.BusinessWomanGuide.org, she created her site to be a trusted resource for women  trying to start or grow businesses on their own terms. She has written about everything from crowdfunding and inventory management to product launches, cybersecurity trends, web analytics, and innovations in digital marketing.

 

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