By MomWise Sarah Okorafor
Investing in yourself is one of the best investments you can ever make. It could be learning a new skill, or developing yourself personally, professionally and even spiritually. In fact, it is an investment that never crashes; It makes your value go upwards. It not only yields future returns but also has a current pay off as well. Investing in yourself is a perfect example of self-love.
Do you ever wish you could do more? Earn more? Achieve more? If you answered “Yes” to these questions, then yes, you can! Some might say “My children won’t let me,” or “I don’t have time to study”. Another common response could be “I AM TOO OLD”.
As a young woman, I had a strong role model who taught me the importance of investing in one’s self. That person was my step-mother. One of the pieces of advice she gave to my sisters and I was “Do not be a liability. As a woman, you need to invest in yourself”. It made sense to me right away from the tender age of 9. With that advice, I learned how to braid hair and cook. I also loved to read and write, and I picked up many more skills along the way.
Why is it so important to invest in yourself as a woman and as a mother? It is important because it sends a positive message to your children and the world that you value yourself so much that you are willing to grow intentionally.
What ways can you invest in yourself?
1. SET GOALS
In one of my mastermind classes this year, I learned something profound which changed my approach to goal setting. In the past, I would set yearly goals, which in most cases, I would forget all about them by May of that year. So, this year, I broke them down into quarterly goals, and then weekly goals. That helped me achieve my goals for the year intentionally and quicker. I would advise you to use this simple rule in setting your goals. It is an acronym called “S.M.A.R.T”
S stands for Specific
M stands for Measurable
A stands for Attainable
R stands for Relevant
T stands for Time Bound
2. DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS
Improving your skill does not always mean that you have to invest in higher education. There are classes out there that could help you in enhancing your skills. Expanding your level of knowledge and skill isn’t limited to the business arena alone and it does not necessarily need to be formal. There are many affordable and accessible skill investment avenues that you can utilize. We live in a world loaded with valuable with information such as, online classes, YouTube videos (thank God for those), and self-help books. Therefore, you can improve your skills by utilizing available training programs at your job. You can also enroll in workshops, attend conferences and participate in webinars. Last year, I made a conscious decision to develop myself, by enrolling in the Daniel Leadership Institute’s Young Professionals Mentoring Program at Jesus House Dc. This changed my life. I was able to learn about myself as an individual and as a leader.
3. EXPLORE YOUR CREATIVE SIDE
We all have gifts that God has bestowed upon us. It could be singing (in the shower), drawing, painting, writing, cooking and the lists goes on. There is a fountain of creativity within most of us that has never been tapped or has not been used to its highest potential. Creativity in any form helps us grow personally and professionally. I applaud women who run successful businesses using their talents. I know of Moms who are Authors, Singers, Event Planners, YouTube Vloggers, and Bloggers. We live in a world where your creative side pays you more money than your academic side. Other skills that you can add to your creativity pool include; learning a new language (I have a friend who is learning Korean), learning about gardening, taking a sewing class, learning how to apply your “on fleek” makeup (I am at a 40% level on that one).
4. NURTURE YOUR MIND AND BODY
Of all the investments you could ever give to yourself this year, do something for YOU! Take time off for yourself. No Children, no Husband (they will be fine, the world won’t fall apart for 24 hours), no distractions, just you, the spa, a book, and good sleep (ahhhhh). Just as your family and friends need you, you also need to be healthy for them and for yourself. Expand your mind by reading books to enhance your life and that of your family. Engage in meaningful conversations. Keep your mind active by playing games to challenge your mind. Care for your body. Eat healthy, exercise or simply take a walk in the open air. When last did you walk outside for 30 minutes (yes even in this brutal cold)? Make time to take care of yourself and communicate with your maker. Love your body no matter the shape. In this year of “Soaring like an Eagle”, what is that skill that you wish you had? What are you passionate about? If you are already working on your passion, what can you do to make it better? I leave you with this… When you invest in yourself, it will yield rewards that will last for a lifetime!
What are easy ways that you have found to invest in yourself?