Two Self Improvement Habits to Build in This New Year

So here we are in 2012. We have left 2011 behind and the new year has come. No matter how you did in 2011, the important thing is that you improve yourself in 2012. Aim to make this year your best year ever.
To make it happen, here are two self improvement habits that you may want build in this new year:
1. Journaling
This is one of the most important habits to build for your self improvement. There are at least three reasons why journaling is important:

  • It makes you find the lessons behind every experience
    Perhaps this is not the case in the beginning, but once you make journaling a habit, your mind will automatically explore every possible lesson in your experiences. Rather than just being a passing event, every experience becomes a learning opportunity.
  • It encourages you to think through the lessons you learn
    Journaling involves writing down the lessons you learn. To do that, you will have to get the gist of the lesson and put it in a concise form. That encourages you to think through the lesson so that you can truly get it. This will make the lesson sinks deeper into your mind and heart.
  • It helps you remember the lessons
    First, the act of writing itself helps you remember the lesson. And second, your journal becomes a place that you can refer to in case you forgot the lesson.

As you can see, journaling is good for your self improvement, not just for the end product but also for the process itself. So, if you haven’t done so, make journaling a habit of yours this year.
2. Reading books
I know I’ve written about this many times, but this is worth repeating: reading books is an important habit for your personal growth.
One day I listened to an episode of Freakonomics podcast titled Growing Up Buffett. It features an interview with Peter Buffett who is the son of Warren Buffett, the famous investor. There is one thing the young Buffett said about his father that’s interesting to me: “He read a lot and he still does.” Reading has been a habit of Warren Buffett for years. No wonder he can make so many good decisions in changing market situations.
Many other famous people also have this habit in their self improvement arsenal, so it’s wise to make it a habit of yours as well.
If you already have this habit, aim to do it better this year (for example, by adding some biographies to your reading list). I still have a lot of room for improvements in this area so this is something I’m going to work on this year.
That’s it. Just two simple habits. I don’t want to give you too many things or something too complicated to do. These two habits are certainly doable. They are simple, yet they can do a lot for your personal growth.
Happy New Year!
For updates and interesting links, please follow me on Twitter.
Photo by Vinoth Chandar


  1. Thanks for the post.
    Recently, i read the book “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely (review – The author talks how irrational we are in our decision making. I feel the journaling will help us to identify our blind spots when we do a periodic review.
    I too agree that we should read more and if we already read more:-), we should read better.
    Both the ideas help us tremendously to be a better person.
    I have already planned to read better/more. now, i feel that i should do journaling. Thank you again.

  2. Hi, thanks for this insightful post. To be honest, these two techiques are already in use here, but I can totally vouch for their usefulness.
    I’ve been journalling for some three months, and have noticed that my mind has freed up considerably in the meantime, that new avenues of thought and insight have opened up and that my writing has become more creative through the “stream of consciousness” stuff I’ve been pouring out daily.
    Secondly, reading has always been important for me although it was very difficult to get to do it at moments. I notice though, once I managed to get into a book and do some serious reading, that I am able to relax more and that my mind becomes more receptive to new input on different levels.
    Hope this helps, keep well…

  3. Two simple habits, but two habits that will make a big difference in our lives. I try to write everyday. There are many days that I do not feel like it, but it is the only way to build a habit. To me, there are few things that feel better than getting my daily thoughts out on paper. Writing everyday has helped me to find myself in this crazy evil world.
    Lately, I have been reading quite a few post about reading books. Growing up I would not touch a book, unless it was forced upon me. Now, that is a completely different story. My life has made a 360 and there are very few things are more important to me than reading and writing. I plan on reading many books this year!
    Keep up the great work!
    God bless,
    William Veasley

  4. Thanks for the reminder. I can definitely testify that these two habits made a lot of difference in my own life.

  5. I’ve only made a few goals this year, because I want to really focus my attention. One of them is to read more books. I used to read all the time, and it’s something I really enjoy. I agree, it can have a profound effect and it’s a smart way to increase knowledge.

  6. I actually have a growing list of books I’m interested in reading. It’s funny you wrote this because yesterday something just motivated me to finish a book started reading some months ago and just never finished.

  7. 2 nice habits, I like this phrase in this article..
    ?It makes you find the lessons behind every experience
    Perhaps this is not the case in the beginning, but once you make journaling a habit, your mind will automatically explore every possible lesson in your experiences. Rather than just being a passing event, every experience becomes a learning opportunity.
    Not only for journaling..for any new thing to start in our life, your above quotes are applicable…thank a lot for so inspiration words…Have a great year with good articles through out the year..wish you all good luck

  8. Reading is always a good habit. But what do you mean Mr. Buffet is reading, was that given in this podcast?

  9. Hi Donald,
    I agree that journaling can considerably help us improve our lives. I started doing it a while back, and the lessons I learned from myself have greatly helped me tweak my actions for better efficiency, and happiness.
    i would definitely recommend this advice to anyone.
    However, for me, I discovered that reading is my way of procrastinating… So i’m trying to cut down on my reading.
    Good luck, and best wishes for 2012! 🙂

  10. Reading is actually my secret obsession. I especially love to read inspiring writings that stir my very soul.
    One biography that I have never being able to conquer is Emerson’s “The mind on fire”. I have been reading it for a while now.
    I love to journal, however sometimes am hesitant. You are right,it is good for self improvement.It does reveal a lot about a person…

  11. saviourr amenku
    saviourr amenku

    gud one

  12. i’m living in Vietnam . I’m trying my best to learn English everday. It’s useful for my job in the future . I think i’ll start to adjust some habits . Journaling and reading are very neccessary for my life plan . Thank for your post !!!

  13. Hello,
    The question is, What to read? I assume that we should read in all walkway of life. Is this what you meant by reading? How to choose the subject, the field, the author…etc?

Comments are closed.