There’s only one guaranteed investment in life, and that’s you.
That’s right, you.
You are the most important place you can put your time and money, and yet you are probably the one thing that tends to get neglected in life. When other people’s priorities come up or it’s time to sacrifice something, you might be the first to bend. But investing in yourself is not a selfish act. In fact, by helping make your life better, you will by default make the lives better of everyone else around you. And investing in yourself is the best way to ensure that you are well-taken care in the future, too.
Why is investing in yourself so important? Besides being the person you have to spend the most time with, you are also the best example of seeing an immediate return on investment. Have you ever invested in an extra hour of sleep and noticed immediately how much better you felt? Have you ever invested a little extra money each month into a savings account to find that you had a comfortable cushion when you needed it? Unlike other investments out there, investing in yourself is never a risk, because it always pays off. Even the seemingly “bad” investments (like taking that class on DIY home repairs only to make a mess of your living room mantle) are good ones because you learned something and you pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone.
So if the portfolio of “you” needs a little bit of extra love, here are some options for investing in yourself:
1. Invest in new skills. Your education doesn’t have to stop at college. Not only does learning a new skill help you keep your resume fresh, but it can help you discover new passions and interests in life. Take advantage of professional development opportunities at your current job or take a class in a creative field you’re interested in, like painting or writing. You may be surprised what you learn and where your new skill set takes you.
2. Invest in your health. Usually exercise and proper eating is the first thing to go when other priorities pop up. But that makes investing in your health all the more important. And being healthy is the best way to insure your other investments in life (like taking care of your family and being productive at work) keep up. Investing in your health can be as simple as a having a healthy breakfast each morning. It could mean taking walks after dinner or signing up for that personal trainer that you’ve always wanted. Do something daily to invest in your health and you’ll be sure to reap wonderful returns.
3. Invest in your future (like your retirement). The most literal way to invest in yourself is of course investing! Contributing regularly to your future – specifically your retirement account – is one of the smartest ways to make sure that you have a sound and secure future. And while you might have to sacrifice a little bit today to make it happen, you are still investing in yourself – just a little bit off in the future!