How do you invest in yourself?
What do you do to remind yourself that you’re worth a regular and meaningful investment of time and energy?
On the flip-side, what do you do to remind others in your life that they’re worth your time and energy?
I bet you’re quicker to invest in others than in yourself. Call it a gamble, but if you’re reading this article, you probably know what I mean.
Investing in yourself usually takes a back seat to investing in the people you love the most.
But by holding off on investing in yourself, you’re also short-changing those closest to you.
And by making a sound investment in your personal growth and well-being, you benefit everyone around you.
So, what does it even mean to invest in yourself?
How can you invest in yourself?
Before we go into how to invest in yourself, you need to know what it means to do that.
To invest is to spend time, energy, money, or other resources in the hope of a benefit that outweighs the expense.
But what exactly are you investing in when you invest in yourself?
- Your health — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual
- Your relationships
- Your education and training
- Your personal growth
You have a better idea than I do of what areas need the most attention right now. But all of them need a regular investment of time, energy, and other resources.
So, how do you invest in yourself to get the best returns?
27 Ways to Invest in Yourself
There are plenty of known ways to invest in yourself, and the benefits vary from one to the next and from person to person.
We’ve created a list of our 27 favorite ways to invest in yourself. Take a look and make at least a mental note of the ones that stand out.
Those are the ones to focus on first.
1. Take a class and learn something new.
Or pick up some new books and audiobooks on topics of interest.
You can also check out your community education listings and sign up for a class with your local school district.
2. Find a mentor or coach.
Depending on your specific coaching or mentoring needs, you can find a reliable guide by tapping one or more of the following sources:
- Social media groups
- Internet / social media searches
- Support groups
- Mastermind groups
- Professional organizations
- College/university faculty
- Church groups
You may have a friend or family member who can fill this role or who knows someone who can.
Keep an open mind if at first you doubt someone’s ability to teach you something useful. Everyone you meet is brought to you for a reason.
3. Join a mastermind group.
Find and join a mastermind group with a goal you share.
As a member, you can be accountable to others and receive as well as give feedback, suggestions, and encouragement.
You’ll also learn from those who’ve been working toward the same goal longer than you have.
4. Invest in your relationships.
Spend some time, energy, and other resources on building and improving relationships with the people closest to you.
Go on a couples retreat or take your family on a weekend vacation to reconnect and have fun together.
Make time each week for a date night and — if you have kids — a family game/movie night.
5. Learn a new hobby.
Pick up a new hobby that interests you and practice it on a regular basis — as a creative outlet or for stress relief.
Maybe your hobby will turn into something else, but even if it doesn’t, you’ll have learned something new and potentially useful or entertaining.
6. Learn a language.
Learn a new language and listen to something in that language — music, a radio conversation, an audiobook, etc.
If you’re not sure what language to focus on first, think of a place you’d like to visit someday where the native language differs from your own.
7. Plan your day and week.
You can use your journal for this or make plans using a notepad, a calendar, or a whiteboard.
Plan to address the most important things in your life, so you won’t spend each day reacting to one “emergency” or urgent matter after another.
8. Set goals.
Set goals for each week and each month — and larger goals for each quarter, each year, and for longer periods.
You can also set smaller daily goals, which add up to your weekly and monthly goals.
Each goal should serve a purpose larger than itself.
9. Invest in your appearance.
Invest some money in making yourself look good and making the most of your assets.
Make sure you have clothes that fit well and flatter — and that are appropriate for wearing on other side of your front door.
It’s also important to make time for personal hygiene (regular bathing/showering, brushing teeth, etc.).
Caring about how you look, at least for your own sake, is akin to caring about your own health.
If you don’t like the way you look, it affects your mood and your overall health and performance.
10. Practice gratitude every day.
Take the time — at least at the beginning and end of each day — to reflect on what you’re grateful for and to feel the gratitude.
Write it down to make your brain pay closer attention. Maybe devote an entire gratitude journal to your practice.
11. Keep a journal.
Speaking of a journal, start a journaling habit, even if you only spend a few minutes a day jotting down a few things:
- Something you’re grateful for
- Something you really want or need to do that day
- Something you’re mindful of
- Something that’s bothering you
- Something that makes you proud.
12. Meditate and practice mindfulness.
Take time out each morning and before bed to meditate for your own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Practice mindfulness throughout the day to live more fully in the present moment and to notice and savor the beauty available to your senses.
13. Start a new (sustainable) exercise habit.
Build a new exercise habit, starting with something you can easily do every day. Once it becomes a habit, you can build on it.
Related: How To Keep Going When Life Is Hard
It also helps to attach your new habit to something you already do every day.
For example, if you reheat your coffee in the microwave, do some squats during the countdown. Or do some push-ups before collapsing in bed for the night. The knees-down version totally counts.
14. Get yourself checked out.
Invest in a complete physical examination to check on your overall health and learn what areas need improvement.
Check on your levels of vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin B12, and other essential nutrients and consider supplements that can help you meet your nutritional needs.
15. Invest in healthier food and drink.
Eat and drink less of the foods that slow you down and clutter up your insides — and more of what your body actually needs.
The more you satisfy your body’s nutritional hunger, the less you’ll crave foods that only satisfy emotional hunger.
16. Learn to cook.
Not only will you save the money you would otherwise have spent on eating out, take-out, or delivery, you’ll also have a new skill.
Knowing how to cook will come in handy when those pricier options aren’t available or when you’d like to prepare and enjoy a home-cooked meal.
17. Seize the morning!
Get to sleep and wake up earlier to enjoy more of your morning and set the right tone for the rest of the day.
Plan what you’ll do in the morning to make the most of it, and don’t forget to give your body the nourishment it needs in order to function.
18. Stop procrastinating.
Create a habit of fulfilling your intention. Instead of putting things off that “you know you should do,” make a habit of giving yourself three to-dos and getting them done as soon as possible each day.
That way, you have daily proof that, when you decide to get something done, you get it done.
19. Develop a life-changing new routine.
A sequence of powerful habits makes for a life-changing routine. And your morning routine sets the tone for the entire day.
Don’t underestimate the power of your nighttime rituals, either. Your preparation for a good night’s sleep will also affect your ability to seize the morning.
Is there someplace in or outside your native country that you’d like to explore?
What would it take to spend a weekend there?
And what specifically would you do to make your time there as memorable as possible?
The more you travel and experience what you can’t experience closer to home, the more your inner world will expand, too.
21. Invest your money.
Invest your money in an organization or group whose work you believe in.
That way, even if your investment doesn’t make you materially rich, you know your money went to making the world better in some way.
22. Give more.
If you’re not already tithing — donating part of your income to a charity you trust — consider doing so, now.
Make a list of charities or initiatives you want to support, and send one of them your tithe whenever you receive a paycheck.
Tithing is a powerful way of showing gratitude and acknowledging your connectedness to others.
23. Spend money on experiences rather than (more) stuff.
Instead of spending money on stuff that will clutter up your home and make your next move a nightmare, spend money on experiences you and your loved ones will enjoy.
Go on a road trip, spend a day at the beach or at an amusement park, or get your family involved in opportunities to serve their community or respond to humanitarian crises.
24. Do something that scares you.
Challenge yourself and do something you find difficult.
Face an old fear and overcome it, so it won’t stand in your way and limit your progress.
Do something every day that scares you a little — even if that’s just making a phone call or reaching out to apologize to someone you offended.
25. Visualize the outcome you want.
Use your imagination to visualize what you really want and allow yourself to feel the way you would if this visualization were your present reality.
Meditate on this intention and feeling to increase your coherence and bring that reality closer.
26. Forgive and Forget.
Forgive all those who have hurt you in the past.
Forgive each one from your heart, even if all you can say, for a start, is “I don’t hate this person for what he/she did or said. I sincerely hope we both learn from our mistakes and become everything we were created to be.”
27. Love yourself unconditionally.
Like anyone else, you thrive on unconditional love. And if you’re not receiving this love from anyone else, that’s all the more reason to show yourself the love you need and want.
Remind yourself that you are enough, even if you’re still a work in progress. And celebrate every win.
How will you invest in yourself?
Now that you know how to invest in yourself, what will you do today that you haven’t done before — or haven’t done in a while?
When was the last time you made a serious investment in your own well-being and personal development?
What have you found it easiest to focus on in the past? And what areas have you neglected?
No shaming, here. We all tend to prioritize some things and neglect others. It’s not a multitasking thing so much as a human tendency to stick with what we know and what’s most comfortable. And we’re all guilty of that. It takes an effort to step outside your comfort zone.
Even risking humiliation, rejection, or failure counts as an investment in yourself. After all, most high-return investments involve some risk.
So, may your courage and passion for growth influence your investment decisions and everything else you do today.