Every day, I hear people talk about wanting to change. I hear people talk about what they’d like to be different, better, or easier. And I’m guessing you can relate. I’m guessing there’s something you want to change, improve, or work on. Maybe you’d like to shift your career path or move up at your job. Perhaps you’d like to move to a new city or be more adventurous in your travels. Or maybe you’d like to run farther, sleep better at night, or read more books.
We aren’t born just knowing how to do things. We aren’t born having all the answers or skills. And while social media and the Internet might make it look like it comes easy, it doesn’t. These things take time and effort to learn. These changes require work and energy to achieve. And while I don’t want to be harsh, I want to be honest.
Unless you carve out the time, unless you put in the work, things won’t change. That change you’re dreaming about, that thing you want to be different? It won’t happen on its own.
If you want things to be different, you’re going to have to make it a priority. You’re going to have to carve out time to learn about it. You’re having to have to make space in your life for it. And you’re going to have to spend effort and energy to make it happen. If you want something to be different, if you want to make a change, please hear me loud and clear. You must invest in yourself.
“Invest in yourself” isn’t just some fluffy self-care mantra. It isn’t the same as, “Treat yourself.” “Invest in yourself” is a call to ACTION. It’s a call to get honest and serious about where you direct and spend your resources. Too often, you tell yourself that you’ll do your normal stuff and then use whatever resources you have left on what you want to change. But when you do ever have resources left over? When do you ever have tons of extra time, money, or energy just laying around? (The answer, of course, is never.)
If you want to make a change, you’re going to have to make an investment. You’re going to have to change where you spend your time, money, and energy. You’re going to need to invest in yourself, giving yourself the resources you truly need to grow and change.
If you want to shift the focus of your career, then you’re going to need to invest in yourself. You may need to do some additional training or education. You may need to take some vacation days to job hunt. Or you might need to trade favors with a friend to have them look over your resume and cover letter. If you want to eat healthier or have more energy, you’re going to need to invest in yourself. That might mean spending two hours on Sunday meal prepping. It might mean purchasing a program to help you reach your goals. Or it might mean meeting with a dietician to learn a tailored approach for fueling your body.
When you love others, you spend an enormous amount of energy investing into them. You make time for them, you spend money on them, and you prioritize them. You invest your precious resources into them because you love them. Because you care about them. And because you want them to succeed. So why don’t you do that with yourself? Why don’t you make your own dreams a priority by investing into yourself?
I know it’s not easy. I know there are a lot of competing demands. But if you want to change, and if you want that thing you’ve been dreaming about, you’ve got to invest in yourself. If you don’t devote the resources, it won’t ever change. So get serious about where you devote your resources. Invest in yourself and what you want.
Ready to invest in yourself? Here’s a quick exercise to get you started.
Think about a change you want to make. Name it and write it down. Got it? Now ask yourself, “What resources am I devoting to this goal? How am I investing to make this happen?” If you’re coming up empty, it’s time to rethink how you’re approaching this change. So right now, identify three potential ways that you could invest either time, energy, effort, and/or money into yourself and into this dream. Write them down, and make one of the happen!