The Ultimate Self-Improvement Guide for Moms
So, it’s time to level up!
There are so many amazing ways that your self-improvement journey can change your life and have a positive impact on those you care for. In this best self-improvement for moms guide, I will walk you through the basics and cover step by step how to create a self-improvement plan to guide you towards achieving your best self.
I will also share with you some self-improvement goals that any busy mom can do while raising her family. I will also share with you what to expect and how to prepare for any roadblocks ahead.
So, what exactly is the purpose of self-improvement for moms and how can one get started?
What is the Purpose of Self-Improvement?
The purpose is to take action in your life in improving yourself as you work towards the best version of yourself, living to your full potential. It can lead to becoming happier, healthier, at peace and so much more!
I’m sure you are already working on some form of self-growth in your life. Maybe you go for walks for your health, do meal planning for the week ahead, reading up on self-care strategies, or researching how to calm down your upset child. These are all steps we take to improve our lives and become better.
If you went to college, you probably met with a college counselor or thumbed through the college catalog before you began your classes. You wrote down all the classes you needed to take to receive your degree. If you were wise, you followed that plan to a ‘T’. Otherwise, you might have had to take extra classes or did not graduate on time. Depending on how clear you were of what you wanted, how precise you were with the direction you were going, the faster the outcome arrived.
We need goals, we need direction and most importantly we need to take action if we want to achieve them.
We all have things we need to improve on. Some more important than others. In this post, you will learn how to identify the areas you need to work on first to make the most impact on your life.
How Can Moms Benefit From Self-Improvement?
Self-Improvement for moms is so important. Why? Because, every deliberate action a mother takes towards improving herself will not only make a huge difference in her own life but her children’s lives as well.
Our kids pick up our habits and behaviors, both the good and the bad. I think as moms, we hold even more responsibility to living up to the standards that we set for our children.
When we address the things that need changing, we will be transforming before our children’s eyes. When we practice self-improvement our children will be able to witness values like:
Being Patient with Yourself
Doing Your Best
I’ve always taught my kids to believe in themselves and to go for their dreams. To be confident and to always try their best at whatever they do. What use are my words, if I am not an example?
I want my kids to be aware that they are in control of their own lives and to take action towards their goals. That they can overcome any problem or challenge they face with courage. I will also be able to share my own experiences as well as support them as they find their way through life.
A Mom’s Self-Improvement Journey
When you hear the term self-improvement or personal development, what comes to mind? I know for me it was images of a fit, young kidless people running with their fit bits in some fancy park or beach. I thought self-improvement was superficial, only involving becoming healthy, fit, or successful.
That was until I became desperate. I had been overwhelmed and heading for total burnout, but I was unaware of it at the time. While having a panic attack I was desperate for relief. I had never been one for breathing exercises.
The only experience I had with breathing for relief was remembering being taught to breathe when I was already fuming or sobbing uncontrollably. The other times that I can remember would be trying to breathe while having contractions.
However, in this dire moment, something told me I needed to breathe. I immediately searched on YouTube: how to breathe. That is when I came across a breathing meditation similar to this one I was able to soothe myself for the first meaningful time through a breathing meditation and find relief.
The next video automatically played and it was the infamous self-help guru, Tony Robbins. I wish I could remember which talk it was exactly, but it was just what I needed to hear at the time. My life was out of control. I was angry and resentful and living in victim mode. And I knew that if I didn’t change, not only would I continue to be miserable, but my kids would be witnessing this defeat.
I didn’t know what an important moment that was during that time, but when I found that breathing meditation and Tony Robbins, it was the time that I decided there are tools out there for me, and that I needed to take action and go out of my way to find them! And for that I needed a self-improvement plan.
It’s been a couple of years now, and to my delight, I have managed to come so far. I am happier and healthier than I have ever been. I have also become more patient, loving, and understanding. I am now teaching my kids how to have a growth mindset and not flee from challenges when things get tough.
I also started Best Self Mom to share resources on self-improvement and wellness. A place where I can support and encourage other mothers out there who want to be better, who want to change, but perhaps don’t know where to start.
Where Do I Start Self-Improvement?
To start your self-improvement journey, you need to know where you are and where you are going. So first, it is good to begin thinking about the best version of yourself. When you start to visualize your best self and devoting some time each day aside to dream away, your amazing mind will begin to open up doors and possibilities you never thought possible. Get your mind to start doing the work for you.
Secondly, I want to share how to find the area of your life that needs your immediate attention and that you can start improving on today!
Visualize Your Best Self
Set time aside to do some intentionally thinking of where you would like to be in five years, 10 years, 20 years. Have in mind a worthy ideal version of yourself, your best self.
What have you accomplished?
What skills have you developed over the years?
How do you look?
How are you getting along with others?
When you have your best self in mind, you will start processing out your map that you need to achieve your best self. The more you focus on achieving that worthy ideal, the clearer and direct your path will become.
I wrote a post on how to create a digital ‘best self’ vision board. It includes a free Canva template you can get here. This is a great way to further implement the visualization process and you can use the board as a physical reminder to keep your eye on the prize, your best self! Get started, and don’t worry about it being perfect.
The vision you have of your best self will most likely change as you learn more and become clearer on what you want to achieve. But it is important to have something to aim at, and as you take action, it will become clearer. I think what often happens is you think too small, and pretty quickly you will realize you need to think bigger!
Identify Specific Areas In Your Life That Need Attention
Sometimes your life may feel out of balance. You may feel you are lacking. Maybe you find yourself disappointed, but you can’t quite put your finger on why. You might even be bold and take action, only to find it didn’t make a difference.
There are many ways you can assess your life to see where you need to set your attention. One way to do this is by using a tool called: the life wheel.
A life wheel helps you to get a sort of bird’s eye view of key areas of your life. It is simple, straightforward and easy to use.
This life wheel represents 10 key areas in your life. Those areas are:
Spiritual – Your relationship with God
Spouse – Your relationship with your spouse
Motherhood – The relationships with your children
Social – Your relationships with relatives, friends, and the community.
Health – Includes your physical health and well-being
Work – Your work-life including career, homeschooling, and/or homemaking
Finance – Your ability to save, invest, budget, and manage your money successfully.
Self-Improvement – Includes what actions you are taking to become your best self
Fun – Includes Recreation, Play, Creativity, and Enjoyment
Home – Your ability to keep the home environment clean and orderly.
Completing a life wheel is a fast way to gain perspective in what area you can start working on that will bring balance to your life. You can download this life wheel, to take a quick assessment before you proceed with your self-improvement plan if you want to follow along.
How to Use The Self-Improvement Plan Life Wheel
With each key area, ask yourself how satisfied are you with that key area of your life. Shade in 1-10 with 10 being feeling the best in that particular area. Use your gut when completing it. This tool helps you identify the areas that you are feeling great about as well as the areas you feel low in.
Which areas were you most satisfied with?
Which areas did you grade the lowest?
By making a positive change in those specific areas you will be able to create the most difference and get close to balance. The ideal would be to score every area of your life with a 7 or more. That would mean that you are well balanced and beyond satisfied with every area of your life!
Life will always be throwing you curve balls and with that, your life wheel will fluctuate. By taking an assessment of your life regularly, you can take action to prevent it from falling too low. You can make the adjustments accordingly and keep your life in balance. This tool is a great way to guide you in the next step towards personal growth; creating a self-improvement plan.
How Do I Write A Self-Improvement Plan?
So, you spent some time visualizing your best self, and you have completed an assessment and identified where your attention can be of most use. Next, you need to create a self-improvement plan to start taking action towards your best self!
To create a self-improvement plan you will need to:
- Identify Your Goal(s)
- Do Research
- Identify Action Steps
- Identify Your Deadline
- Set Yourself Up For Success
- Make Your ‘Why’ Crystal Clear
- Stay Motivated and Take Action
- Know What to Expect
Step 1: Identify Your Goal(s)
For your self-improvement plan, choose 1-3 goals you specifically want to achieve. It can be a new skill, a new routine, implementing a new habit, etc. It may be tempting to take on more than a couple of goals, but remember, you want to set yourself up to succeed. Focusing on one or no more than three goals will require discipline and focus.
Also know why it is important for you. Explore the reasons behind your why so that you become crystal clear. Having a strong enough reason to want to achieve this will help you stick to it when the going gets tough. We will go deeper into this, later in the post.
Choose what works best for you. Need ideas to get started? Here is a list of self-improvement goals that moms can do while raising a family:
- Read More books
- Learn To Handle Stress Better
- Efficient Morning Routine
- Raise Your EQ
- Teach Myself And My Kids How To Have A Growth Mindset
- Learn How To Be More Productive
- Get Into The Habit Of Reading To The Children Daily
- Become a More Assertive
- Become an Active Listener
- Interpersonal skills
- Overcome a Bad Habit
- Get Organized
- Create Better Routines
- Eat Healthier
- Be More Positive
- Set Limits on Social Media
- Eat Smaller Portions
- Prepare Healthier Meals
- Read a Positive Parenting Book
- Better Time Management
- Set Boundaries
- Practice Gratitude
- Read More Books
- Take an Online Course
- Get Ready For The Day
- Practice Mindfulness
- Learn New Strategies To Be on Time
- Practice Self-Care
Step 2: Do Research
Sometimes we have a goal in mind yet we don’t have a clue on how to go about it. If that’s the case, we might need to do a little research before creating our self-improvement plan. We can:
- Read a book
- Watch a ‘How to’ YouTube video
- Take a Course
- Google It
- Ask Someone You Know Who Has Achieved This
Once, you have an idea of what steps you will need to take to reach your goal, you can list out the steps that you need to take to get there.
Step 3: Identify Action Steps
What are the steps you need to take to reach this goal?
Can it be broken down even further?
This step is especially helpful if our goal seems too big and overwhelming, or too far off in the distant future. It also helps us to understand what to expect in the process and create a reasonable deadline.
According to Healthline, “It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.” So, keep that in mind if it is a habit you are trying to implement.
Step 4: Identify Your Deadline
Setting a time when you plan to reach the goals you create for your self-improvement plan creates a sense of urgency and can help with your success in reaching it. If you underestimated your goal, it’s okay! Re-adjust the deadline to what you think is achievable and keep up the good work!
Be sure to track your progress and congratulate yourself on the way as you achieve the smaller wins that will get you there.
Step 5: Set Yourself Up For Success
You have your self-improvement goal in mind, and you know the steps you need to take to implement it. You even have set up when you want this done by. But, will you remember to take action? Our brain will work hard to stick to its usual routine. So, what are you going to do to make sure you follow through with your self-improvement plan?
Can you set an alarm as a reminder?
Example: Have Alexa play some relaxing music at 2 p.m. – the time you have reserved for your self-care.
Can you adjust your environment for your success?
Example: Placing a book you want to read next to where you typically sit to scroll mindlessly on your phone in the late afternoons.
I will cover more on how to overcome the pitfalls that you might face when working on self-improvement in the section that covers ‘What to Expect.’
Step 6: Make Your ‘WHY’ Crystal Clear
Let’s say you want to become fit and healthy. Why is it important to you?
Knowing your ‘why’ when taking action in anything is probably the most important yet often missed step. There is always a positive reason behind why we wouldn’t take action. You might have found plenty of times in your life where you took steps towards a positive change in your life and failed. Perhaps your reason ‘why’ was not strong enough.
If we look deeper, we might find that our ‘why not’ that is stronger to us than our ‘why’. Make a list of as many strong and compelling reasons ‘why’ you want to change.
I want to become fit and healthy because….
- I want to have more energy and be happier
- I want to sleep better
- I want to look and feel amazing!
- I want my kids to care for their bodies and health as they grow older
- I want to spend a full life with my children, grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren. (Enough said!)
And we can even take it a step further, by writing out what will happen if we don’t change?
If you want any meaningful changes to happen and more importantly to stick, it has to be meaningful to you. If it’s not that important to you, go back to picking out a more worthy habit that will make the biggest impact in your life. You don’t want to be a couple of weeks into your plan and decide that some other plan is better, and ultimately fail at following through. Spend that time now, so you stick with it to the end. Save any other ideas that come your way, for the future.
Step 7: Stay Motivated and More Importantly Take Action
When I am lacking motivation, I just turn to some of the best motivational speakers of all time. Personal development gurus like Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Earl Nightingale, and Zig Ziglar are some of my favorites. They know self-improvement inside and out and so whenever I need that boost, I search them up on YouTube and take it all in.
I especially love videos to start my day with ‘oomph’. If you keep it up, you can start saying your powerful affirmations to become self-motivated while you work towards your goals. But most importantly, take action! By taking action you will see the fruits of your labor and that serves as powerful motivation!
Step 8: Know What to Expect When You Start Your Self-Improvement Journey
I wish I knew what I am about to share with you before I started working on my self-improvement plan. When you start planning what we want to improve on, it can seem that everything will work against you to prevent you from accomplishing it. I want to share some of the things to look out for so that if and when they come along, you will be aware of it and therefore can shut it down and proceed with your self-improvement plan.
Overcome Negative Self-Talk
When you start to make changes, you may hear your inner negative self-talk getting louder and telling you to quit, or trying to convince you on how you can’t do it, etc.
When we try to change, our brain alerts us. It likes consistency and will work against the change. It is your job to convince it that this is what you want. That’s why you developed that strong ‘why’.
Don’t be alarmed by it. Your brain is trying to keep you safe. Pull out the list you wrote when developing your strong ‘why’ to remind you of your dedication and compelling reasons why the goal is important to you.
Replace Your Fixed Mindset and Throw Out Limiting Beliefs
There is such amazing potential in all of us, but we often hide behind a seemingly endless number of excuses from living it out. We refuse to take the action we need to accomplish our self-improvement plan.
‘I could never achieve that, so why even try?’
There can be several internal obstacles in your way to living out your full potential. Part of the self-improvement journey is to uncover what is preventing you from moving forward to what you want out of life. It can get hard as you take on new challenges, but it also gets easier over time and it is rewarding. I feel that the most important self-improvement of all, is the changes that happen within.
As a millennial mom, I didn’t learn about growth mindset in school. It just happened to be something I stumbled upon as I learned more about personal development. And boy is it important! Many of us have what is called, a fixed mindset. We carry around limiting beliefs like:
‘I am too old to change.’
‘If it doesn’t come easy, I’ll never be good at it.’
‘I am not good at ____________.’
‘It will take too long.’
‘It’s just part of who I am.’
‘I’ve always been this way.’
‘It’s in my genes.’
These limiting beliefs hold us back from our full potential. They may feel true to us because they have been with us for so long. But its never too late to change.
Recent science has proven that our brains are much more malleable than we thought. “While people used to believe that the brain became fixed after a certain age, newer research has revealed that the brain never stops changing in response to learning.”
Can you see how carrying these limiting beliefs can hinder our growth? These are just excuses. They hold us back from taking the necessary action to improve our lives. They are essentially saying ‘I can’t.’ And when we believe ‘I can’t’ well guess what, you’re not even going to try.
Here are thought replacement statements to challenge some of those limiting beliefs:
It will take too long. Or I’m too old to change.
Where will you be five years from now if you don’t change?
Where will you be five years if you do?
If it doesn’t come easy, I’ll never be good at it. Or I’m not good at ____________.
Have you seen a time in your life where you worked at something and progressed, got better at it over time?
It’s just part of who I am. I’ve always been this way. It’s in my genes.
What if that’s not true?
Sometimes it may be that deep down they don’t want to change, and they are attached to that behavior because there is something positive that they get from it. There is always some sort of payout so be sure to look deep behind some of the behaviors you want to quit yet keep holding on to.
Becoming more aware of yourself and your behaviors is a big step in self-growth. When you have an understanding of yourself you can find the source of your behaviors and decide to change. That’s can be one of the toughest parts, but once you have that the rest comes easy.
I have crossed many limiting beliefs on my journey and I am uncovering more as I go along. It’s empowering when you can find what it is that is holding you back and shine a light on it and realize that it is not worth holding on to any longer.
Any type of change takes hard work. And as you know your job as a mom is full-time and full of surprises that keep you on your toes. Be kind to yourself and remember to talk to yourself as a friend would. Accept yourself as you are and reaffirm that you will get better with time and effort.
Here is a tip: If you are having a bad day and don’t have the energy to do your habit, just do what you can. Even if that means that your reading habit is going to your book and only reading a sentence, or only doing one jumping jack. That way you still keep up the routine.
When it gets tough, we slack or life gets in the way we can forget or just quit. If we keep trying strategies without following though, we might even make up our minds that the strategy just doesn’t work. But we never stuck with it long enough to see the results.
When you make a self-improvement plan follow through long enough to see the change. Obstacles will come up, challenges will arise, and you can defeat them all with willpower and perseverance. Reassure yourself that progress takes time and keep up the good work.
Don’t Do Anything Drastic – Start Small
If you fall in love with self-improvement like I did, it may be a challenge for you to want to do everything at once, when you realize how rewarding it is to make a difference in your life. My advice: don’t.
It’s easy to get carried away when you are feeling energetic and pumped up for your new and empowering life, but that energy won’t last forever. Especially if we exerting more energy than we intake #momlife.
Take it easy and start small. Remind yourself that you are improving every day. As you keep it up you will begin to see the fruits of your labor and be able to see your skills progress. You will even identify more skills you want to achieve.
However, if you crash from burnout you will have to start over and begin again and your brain will only use that as more evidence against you. Don’t make it harder on yourself. Self-improvement for moms can be delicate and simple enough to create massive change over time without the crash.
There is a lot of self-improvement advice out there and some of them can be, well crazy. For example, Tony Robbins typically sleeps 3-5 hours and night! Momma, don’t mess with sleep. You don’t want mommy brain all over again if you can prevent it. Sleep is precious. If you want to get ahead on the day, start small, like waking up 30 minutes earlier.
You might even cross some crazy morning routines that take hours to implement. Obviously, some of these people don’t have kids! Routines are huge in the self-improvement realm because they can be so effective in working on many things at one time as well as set your day up for success.
Be reasonable with the strategies you choose for your self-improvement plan. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
You Don’t Have To Do It Alone
Don’t think all this ‘self’ talk means you have to do it alone. Working on a self-improvement plan is easier when there is someone to support you through what you are trying to achieve. Maybe you know someone who shares the same goal? It can be a supportive spouse, a friend, or maybe someone wanting to work on the same thing. Maybe you can join a supportive Facebook group or a challenge group for accountability?
My favorite support is having a life coach. A life coach helps keep you accountable as you work through any struggles that can come up along the way of your goals.
Wrapping Up: Creating Your Self-Improvement Plan (While Raising a Family)
Imagine what it would be like to be the best version of you! And imagine your children being beside you throughout your process picking up the same great habits and values you pick up along your journey! All of us take intentional steps to progress in our lives, but by identifying your best self, you will have a worthy target to aim at when creating your self-improvement plan. This can prevent us from wandering carelessly through life without direction or purpose.
Using a life wheel or some other tool can be a handy way to assess where you are now and what areas to focus on improving. Then, you can find a worthy goal in that area to improve on.
There will be plenty of obstacles that get in your way like negative self-talk, overcoming limiting beliefs, practice self-compassion, following through, and avoiding doing anything too crazy (like losing sleep).
And once you achieve your goal, you will feel so great about your accomplishment you will feel motivated to find what you want to improve on next. You also get the snowball rolling and it becomes easier to accomplish your goals as you gain new skills and experience. You will fall in love with personal growth as you become a happier, healthier, and more confident version of yourself!
Remember: You don’t have to do your journey towards your best self alone!
Practice it, Model it, Achieve it!