When I was a student, I saw investing in myself as an excuse to spend money on stuff I didn’t need or that was actually bad for me. Clothes, shoes, junkfood, alcohol, to name a few. But investing in yourself means so much more, and actually something completely different.
The term investing already implies you’re putting in time and/or money in the hope to get a good return on your investment. And this is also what investing in yourself is about. When you do, you will hopefully notice that these investments pay themselves back and significantly determine (improve!) the quality of your life. You’ll feel happier, more successful, more productive and more balanced.
Investing in yourself is also about instigating change. You can’t expect to change your life and move towards a different future without actually putting in time and money. Change will not ‘just’ happen. Whatever it is that you want to improve, getting better at something requires dedication.
Investing in yourself is probably the best money you’ll ever spend, with the highest return on investment ratio. And if you don’t invest in yourself, who will?
There are many ways in which you can invest in yourself, but here is my top five list of personal investments that will pay off.
Health for me is number one. I strongly believe that this is the foundation you need to truly make sustainable improvements in your life in other areas.
Health for me consists of good sleep, healthy eating and exercise. I subscribed to a gym membership because I can only motivate myself to workout outside when it’s nice weather (and where I live we don’t get that that often) so now I don’t have an excuse anymore why I can’t go. I bought a good mattress and after three years I still think it’s worth every penny. Read my post about improving the quality of your sleep here if you haven’t read it already! Furthermore, I started to eat less meat since last year and if I buy meat, I only buy organic. It’s a bit more expensive, but at least the animals have had a good life and the taste is also a lot better.
Recently, I’ve also started to cut down on alcohol. I wasn’t drinking heavily anyway, but I noticed that my body isn’t able to handle it as well as a couple of years ago. Now I quite often volunteer to drive, which is an easy way to not drink and to get home quicker after the dinner or party.
Traveling is such an amazing way to try new things and to expand your horizon. Whether you go to the other side of the world or just take a roadtrip on the weekend, it will bring you new experiences and great memories. This is worth so much! Do you still remember the shoes or bag you bought five years ago? Probably not. But I bet you still hold fond memories of a trip you took that year.
Travel also gives you something to talk about with people. I think I’ve bonded with quite a few people over sharing travel experiences!
3. Learning & Development
Continuously learning challenges you and keeps you out of your comfort zone. I’m a super curious person and love learning new things. I enjoy investing in myself in this way so much. Whether it is buying books, enrolling in a course, or listening to podcasts or audiobooks.
Everyone has hobbies, something you love doing in your free time. And they are important! For many, including myself, hobbies help me to relax and take my mind of work. Blogging is definitely hobby for me – no matter how tired I am after work, when I come home I still want to work on my blog, do research, etcetera. And after reading The Happiness Project I decided to start piano lessons again. I used to play when I was younger but quit when I left home for university. I’ve been loving it so much and look forward to going to the class every time.
5. Whatever makes you feel good
Investing in yourself doesn’t always have to be something that sounds good at the network drinks at work. I also LOVE spending time and/or money on anything that makes me feel good. This can be going to the hairdresser, getting a massage or buying fresh flowers, but also sleeping in on Sunday morning and watching Netflix without feeling guilty about it!
Do you invest in yourself? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!