How I’ve Improved Myself (So Far)

How does a self-improvement blogger fare when she takes her own advice?       

Credit: Flickr / cogdog

Lots of self-improvement titles end up at the thrift shop. How do you put them to use?

When I started writing about self-improvement, I figured I’d use myself as a guinea pig

I had plenty of areas of my life that needed perfecting – who doesn’t? A year later, these are the new habits I actually adopted… plus the ones I haven’t licked yet.

Habits I’ve Adopted for a Better Life

I started doing the dishes every night, as per the advice in part three of my Apartment Therapy series. I’m still shocked by how much of a difference it makes. 

I now try to take the time to load up the slow cooker before I leave the house, so I can return to the happy smell of something delicious burbling away (sometimes with impromptu guests or cranky, feed-‘em-fast kids in tow). 

Things I Don’t Do (and Should)

I’m ashamed to admit that despite all my advice about clearing your paperwork just a bit at a time, mine continues to defeat me. I’m staring at the usual muddle on my desk right now, with the usual sense of impotent dismay. If only I’d just take the time to do it.

I am, however, learning to…  Treat e-mail like paper, and handle it only once, as per my finish-what-you-start advice. Current count: 360 e-mails in my personal account, 98 in my work one. I try to get rid of 10 a day, over and above answering anything new; but as you can see, the pile shrinks exceedingly slowly. 

And the Payoffs Are…

My reward: a media fast. Sundays without the computer give me time to listen to music on the radio and generally contemplate life. 

I also followed every tip in my post on high-stress coping strategies during a recent move, and as a result survived the process relatively intact – even having people over for dinner as I suggested! 

Now it’s your turn. What tips, in a year of self-improvement, have you adopted?