There’s a lot of talk lately about investing in yourself. Unfortunately, we almost always seem to
obsess focus on the financial act of investment, not the overall concept of investing in yourself. Here’s the definition I use of invest:
devote (one’s time, effort, or energy) to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result
Whenever I’m wanting to get an overall picture of my life, I go back to the basic tool many life coaches use, the wheel of life. It comes in various versions and permutations, but here’s a basic version:
Let’s explore how to invest in yourself in each of these 8 areas.
Personal Growth / Spirituality
I consider personal growth all about foundations; standing on a strong foundation can help you show up in the other sections of the wheel. Personal growth is both internal and external: do you have the skills you need to be in the world, but also the skills you need to be in touch with yourself?
Personal growth is really at the heart of the Plum Deluxe philosophy; that’s really what we’re talking about when we encourage people to slow down. Because when you slow down — even for 3 minutes — you can find much clarity about your own life’s purpose, your personal desires, and insights on all of the other sections of the wheel.
Fun is probably the section that Plum Deluxe is most associated with. Whether it’s our weekend getaways, hobbies, or those fun tips for acting like children, we have no shortage of ideas for adding more fun to your life.
As far as “investing in fun,” here’s the question I have for you: When’s the last time you laughed uncontrollably? If it was more than a month ago, it’s time to get something fun on your calendar. It could even just be some quality time with someone who makes you laugh. Life is too short not to have more fun.
Relationship / Romance
Romance is an important component of healthy living. How does one invest in romance? Well, regardless of whether you are in a relationship or not, you need to love yourself. Practice some more self care.
As for romantic relationships themselves, I think the best investment you can make is spending quality time with your heartthrob working on improving communication. What do you need more of / less of? Where do you want your relationship to go next?
Friends, Family, Community
Life is meant to be enjoyed, and I know many of you tell me that the big thing missing in your life is connection. We all need more best friends in our lives, so when investing in your friends/family/community, take a moment to book “date nights” or quality time with the people you want to improve your relationship with. Maybe it’s inviting your neighbors over for a cup of tea. Maybe it’s a girlfriends night out. Maybe you just need to calendarize a couple of hours next weekend to talk on the phone with someone far away you miss.
Health / Well-Being
It’s hard to have fun, to go to work, or to be a good friend if you aren’t well, and, unfortunately, we often don’t think about our health (both physical and emotional) until there is an issue. So let this be your call to action to take a proactive stance on your health. Much of the information in our health section is proactive-focused: moving your body more, being more careful about what you eat/drink, finding ways to reduce stress.
Money / Financial Security
When we think about investing in ourselves money-wise, I think our focus should be about now, not just the future. Of course, the irony is that the decisions you make now do affect the future. Check out this wealth calculator — it helps paint a picture of what your future could look like. It’s also a powerful visualization of the power of compounding!
There is plenty of information out there on how to invest your money for the future: get rid of your consumer debt, put away money for the future, have 8 months of emergency savings. That’s all important, so make sure you feel confident in your knowledge there. But don’t forget that you shouldn’t be obsessing over the future and failing to enjoy the now. Don’t forget to have a bit of money set aside to savor and enjoy life — whether that’s going out to dinner once a week, or enjoying great tea, or having nice chocolate each evening. As the saying goes, live a little.
Career / Work
Since we can spend 1/3 of our life working, this is quite an impactful section of the wheel. And, sometimes, making changes here take a while to implement — or require leaps of faith.
Take moment and ask yourself: what is your career direction? Do you know your purpose and meaning to your work? What could be improved? That could be small things, like adjusting your hours to better fit your lifestyle, or it could be big things, like training for a promotion or job shift, or starting your own business on the side.
Last but not least is your physical environment; this includes your home, your fashion, your car or bike, etc. Plum Deluxe has had many things to say about this! Firstly, you spend a third of your life sleeping, so I always say you should purchase the highest quality mattress you can afford. High thread-count sheets, too.
As for your fashion, check out our “Style Splurgvestments” for clarity on investing here.
While it might feel like investing in yourself can be very expensive and a lot of work, don’t feel that way. You don’t need to do all of these things all at once — and for each of you, your priorities might be different. Focus on the areas that feel off track or need some addition; just use your intuition to follow the parts of the wheel that are calling out for some investing.