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Self Improvement is the search to become a better version of yourself in different aspects of life. It may involve improving your mental and physical health, along with attitudes in your personal and professional life. Examples include improving nutrition, active lifestyle, family interactions, attitudes, goals at work. Many times self improvement happens naturally due to our daily growth process. However, it is normal to find yourself seeking to change negative aspects of behavior. Overall, self-improvement means slowly switching negative thoughts and habits into positive ones. A popular goal is not letting work-life negatively impact quality of life.  

The first and most important step toward change in routine is to identify the challenge, then accept it and plan a strategy for solution.  Usually the first step is the hardest, making it difficult to follow through. Recently, many organizations are showing more interest in the mental wellness trend. It has been shown that employees provided with time to shape their personal lives and improve negative habits tend to be more productive and happy. A study by the World Health Organization estimated that for every USD $1 put into treatment for common mental disorders such as depression or anxiety yields a return of USD $4 in improved health and productivity.

Here are some tips for self improvement in the workplace:

  1. Segue from time management to “self-management”: Time is impossible to control, it is a concept that is untouchable and unchangeable. Ask what you can control? Start with yourself. Analyze a 5-7 day workweek to identify the times when you are most productive. Then plan to accomplish the most important tasks during those times by preparing and organizing.
  2. Don’t be afraid to fail: It is normal to feel like your effort for change is not enough and assume it as yet another failure. Don’t let small bumps in the self improvement journey discourage you from reaching the ultimate goal.
  3. Instead of a list to do, have a list to beIt seems nowadays society is more focused on doing, rather than on being. Many of us struggle with our to-do list because it doesn’t match our to-be list. Self-assess before you do anything.

The only thing more important than your to-do list is your to-be list. The only thing more important than your to-be list is to be.

― Alan Cohen

Take time during September to reflect on self-improvement in your personal, professional, mental and physical lives. It takes years of practice and you might be going in the right track already, nevertheless, there is always space for improvement. Gaining consciousness to turn negatives habits into positive ones  in your routine will be an internal success. Keep up the excellent progress because great things are on the way.


Sharon Schweitzer and Sophie Echeverry co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre and the Intercultural Communication Institute, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards and the 2017 New York City Big Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction.

Sophie Echeverry is the corporate marketing manager and event coordinator at Access to Culture. Born and raised in Colombia, she’s a 2018 graduate with a B.B.A. in International Business and Marketing from Hult International Business School in San Francisco, CA. Connect with her on LinkedIn.