Mind Over Matter: A Guide to Self-Improvement

Isabella Lagarto, Design Editor

Concepts of self-love, care and improvement have emerged as people practice various methods to nurture their well-being, including physical, mental and spiritual health. Self-improvement aims to develop one’s capabilities, thinking and quality of life — focusing on personal developments resulting from one’s efforts. Embarking on a journey of self-improvement serves as a crucial step in a person’s life. Yet, the most significant part is the journey rather than the outcome, as one gains experiences and learns new lessons.

A vital step is self-awareness. By being truthful with oneself, one will be able to recognize their current position in life and set a goal for the future. If one is dishonest with themselves, one will be blinded to see which aspects of their identity and lifestyle need improvement. Knowing where one stands will provide an array of opportunities for positive transformations and change one’s life. 

Amongst these countless chances for turnarounds in one’s life, here are a few areas in which one may begin:

Time Management

Whether one is a student or in the workforce, people may find it difficult to balance their personal lives and responsibilities. Managing time unwisely may result in declining performance in school or any career, or the opposite may occur: dedicating too much time to one’s obligations while disregarding their personal needs. For anybody struggling with this issue, the first step should be identifying what consumes a majority of one’s time and prioritizing by the level of importance. Breaking down one’s schedule and assessing one’s productivity is crucial when managing time. If one is unsure about ways to evaluate time, make a list of daily activities alongside a to-do list, recording assignments from high to low priority. A common misconception is that productivity equates to the number of things one must complete in a day, yet the true definition is how efficiently and consistently the tasks are completed.


Self-care intertwines with time management, as one must dedicate time to themselves. One can practice self-care in various ways such as exercising, meditating, journaling, and treating oneself to a nice meal or spending time with family and friends. The way one takes care of themselves is unique, as each individual has something personal that they enjoy. The beauty of this is being able to indulge in what one loves for the sake of cultivating excellent health and joy. Through self-care, one may also discover aspects of themselves that were previously unknown, encouraging self-improvement and understanding.  

Open-Mindedness and Accountability 

Aside from self-acknowledgment, open-mindedness and accountability are the biggest principles when improving oneself. Open-mindedness comes into play when determining where one is in life, one’s flaws and one’s strengths. However, narrow-mindedness will prevent one from noticing their wrongdoings, thus prohibiting any growth. A broad mindset will allow one to recognize errors and take accountability for their actions. Taking responsibility is important for oneself and relationships with those around them, as it constructs their maturity and ability to handle conflict healthily. Take some time to self-reflect, analyze one’s mistakes and focus on correcting them. Building this skill over time will create many benefits throughout a person’s life.

Breaking Bad Habits

To improve oneself, one must first focus on the negative qualities that one may possess. Humans are imperfect, so one should not apply intense pressure on themselves; do not forget to give oneself grace. What differentiates people and determines who is open-minded or not is who is willing to acknowledge and correct their errors. There is a myriad of bad habits one may have as it varies from person to person, which is why self-reflection provides a pivotal step in self-sufficiency, regardless of what one may be seeking to develop. Pinpoint one’s bad habits and work toward ending them, one day at a time. Set small goals for oneself and make sure to celebrate every minor accomplishment. It may feel difficult at first, but the result will be promising and rewarding. 

Though self-improvement can be accomplished in countless ways, the categories listed above are excellent places to begin. Keeping track of one’s journey could also encourage one in times of doubt. Self-improvement also means having an appreciation for oneself and all experiences whether positive or negative. Take pride in one’s course of growth, as reaching out to improve oneself is already an accomplishment within itself.