BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — September is National Self-Improvement Month. One of the best investments we can make is investing in improving ourselves.

Public speaker Emem Washington said self-improvement is about taking action with the intention of growing and making yourself better than you were before. Washington said people tend to struggle with health, finances, and mindset the most.

“Once we set our minds in the right way, then everything else falls into place. If you have the right mindset, ‘This is not going to be easy but this is doable.’ Having a growth mindset over a fixed mind,” said Washington.

Washington said there are three practical and achievable tips to help make the most of the rest of 2023.

  1. Embrace self-leadership
  2. Set SMART goals
  3. Lean into resilience

She suggested these areas to choose to improve in:

  • Financial
  • Career
  • Business
  • Family
  • Savings
  • Health and wellness
  • Spiritual
  • Relationships – who deeper/new
  • Philanthropic
  • Behavioral
  • Mindset
  • Education
  • Recreation and lifestyle

When it comes to education, Washington said to stay curious. She suggests have a mindset of continuous learning. Read books, podcasts or take courses that can expand your knowledge and horizons.

Tips to help make the most of the rest of the year

1. Embrace self-leadership

This is about taking ownership of your life, your choices, and your actions, Washington said. It means being the CEO of your life. Just as a leader sets a vision for an organization, self-leadership is about setting a vision for yourself. Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve? What does success look like for me?” Your responses to these questions become your guiding star.

Self-leadership is also about taking responsibility and not blaming other people or circumstances, but rather taking control of your reactions and decisions. Self-leadership empowers you to look for (and find) solutions in the presence of challenges.

How to cultivate self-leadership:

A. Start with self-awareness of yourself and your situation. Understand your strengths and areas for growth. Continuously seek opportunities for learning and improvement. Surround yourself with mentors and peers who inspire and challenge you.

Take time to reflect on your strengths, your passions, and your values. What truly matters to you? Knowing this will serve as a guide for your choices and decisions, Washington said. What’s the status quo, and where do you want to go?

B. Practice self-discipline. Set boundaries, prioritize your time, and stay committed to your goals. Consistency in your efforts is a hallmark of effective self-leadership.

2. Set SMART goals

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Break down your larger objectives into smaller, manageable chunks. Washington said this makes your goals feel less overwhelming and gives you a sense of accomplishment with each step you complete.

3. Lean into resilience

Understand the role of resilience in staying motivated on the path to personal growth, especially when facing setbacks or obstacles

See setbacks as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks, Washington said. They give an opportunity to learn and grow. Stay flexible and be open to adapt as needed. Recognize the other forms that resilience can come in.

Some examples of things people can do to get back on track and finish the year strong are quit a bad habit, take on a new hobby, register for a class, seminar, workshop, “Me-time mornings” and exercise.