While your lifestyle is not typically considered an asset, I would suggest it might be among the most important financial assets you own. Simply said, your lifestyle is a reflection of the investment you’ve made in yourself – and that “personal” investment could change your life in a variety of ways. Let it be said, An investment in yourself is likely the very best investment you can ever make.
So how do you invest in YOU? Here are nine ways to improve your lifestyle and nurture a good balance of time vs. money in your “personal investment”:
- Read, read, read! If you ask successful business owners and entrepreneurs to identify ways of attaining success, at the top of their lists would be to read more books, articles, and blogs. Reading teaches you new things and offers new insights into career slumps you may be experiencing. As we know, reading can take you to new places, can help you learn new things, and provide interesting, out-of-the-box ideas. Take time to read and enjoy the fun, jumpstart to your creative side!
- Take control of your money. Start by getting your savings and spending under control. Getting rid of your debt is the first step — You will feel the pressure immediately lifted from you. You will sleep better and feel less stressed, which means you will relax more and find your inner peace. Also, start a savings account. Having money available to cover emergencies, a change in jobs, or plan your dream trip will make you feel more secure. Budgeting and self-control are two important factors that will lead to financial victory for you and your family.
- Save for your future! This is a part of controlling your money (#2 above) but is important enough to be highlighted on its own. Does thinking about your future cause you to become stressed or discouraged? By adding a small amount to your company retirement plan or your personal savings that you created, you are now in control of what your future may be. The point is you are DOING something to secure your financial future. Consistency in your savings regimen will remove the guilt of not saving for that rainy day. It’s amazing what a few dollars set aside monthly can become.
- Explore ways to perfect your career, your business, or your personal life. While I have already mentioned the importance reading, we also can’t forget the importance of utilizing the internet for research and leveraging our virtual networks. If there are frustrations in your career or your business, you can most certainly bet that others have felt the same way or have experienced what you are going through. If you are stressed in your professional life, search for solutions using common keywords or join an online discussion group. If you are bored in your personal life, use the web or social media to discover a new interest or skill.
- Give it a rest! Make time for you DAILY. Whether it is going for a walk, watching your favorite show on TV, listening to your favorite music, or reading that new book, having your “me” time will prevent that burned out feeling. And whatever you do, don’t feel guilty about earmarking time for yourself. Soon you will begin to feel reinvigorated and ready to take on that project you have been putting off.
- Consult a business coach. If you are a business owner, consider using a “business coach” for times when you feel inefficient or lost. A fresh pair of eyes and ears can offer you a new view of what is working and what’s not working. A business coach could be a respected colleague in your field, a fellow member of a board or association, or a trusted mentor or friend.
- Purchase insurance to provide peace of mind. Protecting you and your family from life’s unexpected disasters is critical, and insurance is a great way to prepare for the worst. Depending on your unique situation, there are many types of insurance that may be helpful, including life, auto, homeowners, flood, health, and disability. It may surprise you how much worry will be alleviated just knowing you are covered if bad things happen.
- Consider securing multiple sources of income. Learn a new skill, serve as a consultant, or turn your hobby into a side business. Convert your time and talent into another source of treasure.
- Don’t be afraid to say ‘No.’ Saying YES or NO allows you to, once again, be in control of your limits and boundaries. Telling someone NO doesn’t make you a bad person. It allows you to prioritize your time and ensures a healthier work/life balance.
Remember, investing in yourself is the greatest investment you can make. But be patient! The best investments often take time to realize their full potential. In the end you will realize the return on investing in you!