Simple Tips for Self Improvement

17th Sep 2019

The month we’re focusing on gratitude and self improvement here at Levana Bratique. Self improvement is such a broad term that can encompass so many different areas. I don't know about you, but I’m almost never singularly focused on improving just one area of my life at a time (because being real, they can all use improvement), so I’ve listed some tips for a few categories.


Drink enough water. This is a fairly easy one to implement. A general rule of thumb is to divide your bodyweight in half, and aim for that many ounces in water a day (or at least 64oz). With about 60% of our bodies made up of water, the benefits of being well hydrated include: more nourished skin, better digestion, fewer headaches, better memory and concentration, quicker elimination of toxins, and increased metabolism. Yes, you’ll take more bathroom breaks, but the benefits far outweigh that inconvenience.

Focus on building strength or endurance rather than ‘being skinny’ or hitting a certain number on the scale. If I sign up for a gym membership, I’m destined for failure. I just can’t stay motivated by doing my cardio on an elliptical or a treadmill. I love being in nature, so hiking or kayaking are better choices for me. I’m also a Groupon lover (because who doesn’t love a deal), and I found one recently for aerial silks and aerial yoga classes. I love that this combines learning something new while also getting an awesome full body workout. I have friends that swear by group classes like Zumba, but I’m super uncoordinated, and always end up feeling more self-conscious than anything when I’m out of sync the entire class. The point is, find what works for you. Maybe your goal could be 10,000 steps a day, or being able to squat 80 pounds, or running a 5k, or not going more than 2 days without working out in some way. Venture Outdoors also has great outdoor activities around the Pittsburgh area year round, which can be a fun way to try something new, while meeting like-minded people. I went snowshoeing for the first time a few years ago through them, and had an awesome time.

Create a meal plan. I generally do my cooking for the week on Sundays. I’ll make three main dishes and several sides, and then we eat that throughout the week for our dinners and in packed lunches. When I know I already have food waiting for me at home, I’m much less likely to resist the end of the day temptation to just hit the drive through or order takeout for dinner. I haven’t ventured into Instant Pot territory yet, but have heard rave reviews from those that have. If finding the time to grocery shop can be a problem, you can order your groceries and have them delivered through Instacart, or order online and pickup at the curb from most grocery stores like Giant Eagle and Walmart.

Get enough sleep. For you that may mean 6 hours, or it may mean 9 hours. Again, everyone’s body is different. Creating a relaxing nighttime routine, that includes powering off TVs and electronics at least an hour beforehand, will help both your body and mind to relax. Warm showers or baths at night also help your body to relax and wind down.


Pay yourself first. Studies have shown that when people get a raise or a bump in income, their spending increases at the same rate. If you auto-deposit a set dollar amount or percentage into your savings or retirement account with every pay, you don’t miss it. I’ve learned the hard way that if I wait until ‘what’s left over’ to put into my savings, there never seems to be any left over.

Save a 3-6 month emergency fund. This is a great place to funnel that extra money that your paying yourself first. Unexpected things like personal or family illness or an unexpected job loss can happen to anyone. Having the cushion of an emergency fund can give a bit of peace of mind during circumstances like this.

Check your credit reports. There have been several high profile data breaches in the last few years that have exposed the personal information of millions of people. If you were affected by any of them, part of the settlements include free credit monitoring. My credit card also offers this service for free. Make it a point to check your credit at least once a year, to both make sure your identity hasn’t been stolen, and to keep track of your credit score.

General Life:

Pursue personal development. I recently came across the Life Coach School podcast and am loving it. Start at episode 1 (Why you aren’t taking action) and go from there.

Laugh. It’s remarkable how many times a day my kids laugh, compared to most adults I know (raising my hand here). Why do we lose that as we get older? Let’s find more ways. Find friends that you can be lighthearted and silly with. Watch a comedy. Read a funny book (David Sedaris is one of my favorite authors for this). Go to a comedy club. Has anyone tried laughter yoga?

Appreciate where you are right now. Yes, goal setting is important. But taking a moment to look back from where you came can help you appreciate where you are right now. Have grace for yourself- we are all works in progress. This goes back to practicing gratitude.

If you are a list maker or just love the convenience, there are a number of apps for your phone that can help you set and achieve your goals as well.

What are some of the things you are working on right now? I’m focusing on practicing gratitude, being intentional with balance in my life by prioritizing self care, breaking down my long term goals into short term action steps, and I just started taking an aerial silks class.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash