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30+ Powerful Ways To Invest In Yourself Right Now

"Put your time, effort, and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset." —Tom Hopkins

Inspiration

There's an old quote by author and sales strategist Tom Hopkins that says, "You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort, and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset." Simply put, invest in yourself. So many of us are busy constantly investing and pouring into our spouses, our kids, and our jobs that we forget all about ourselves. You probably read that and thought to yourself that you are obligated to invest in the kids, the job, and the spouse. You're right. But that should be at the expense of yourself and certainly not before you invest in yourself. Investing in yourself will help you best serve others.

Sure, it may take some practice and change of mindset, but the good news is that you can start small and start right now. Here are more than 30 ways you can begin investing in yourself today:

1. Exercise Regularly

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Exercising regularly is a sure way to create not only a healthy body but also a healthy mind. Beginning an exercise routine can seem daunting at first but try not to get intimidated. There are so many different ways to exercise. You can walk, jog, lift weights, do yoga, Pilates, or even jump rope. Start slow and gradually build up. Be creative and have fun!

2. Therapy

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While exercising can certainly help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp, there will inevitably be times in all of our lives that we need to talk to a professional. Therapy is one of those things that I think everyone should try at least once in their lives. The benefits are numerous.

3. Create a Side Hustle

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The great Warren Buffet (whose net worth is more than $86 billion) once said that you should never depend on a single income. In other words, multiple streams of income are the move! I know people who have a second (and sometimes third) stream of income doing everything from tutoring, to writing, to event planning, to interior decorating. If you're not sure where to start, take some time to think about what you're passionate about and start there.

4. Find a Mentor

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So, you've identified your passion. Now what? If you're at a loss as to what the next step should be, it might be beneficial to find a mentor who is an expert in that area. You'd be surprised who would be willing to share their knowledge and experiences. For some, you might have to pay for their services because mentoring could very well be their side hustle.

5. Learn a New Language

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As the world becomes more and more diverse, learning a new language has never been more necessary. The great news is that you can learn a new language right from the comfort of your home and what better time than now to start since we're all spending more time than usual in the house. Resources like Rosetta Stone and Babbel offer online language courses as low as $6 a month.

6. Travel

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When most people hear the word travel, they immediately think it requires traveling out of the country. However, with COVID-19 still running rampant and so many people out of work as a result, that may not be feasible for everyone right now. Lucky for you, travel does not have to be expensive. You can start small by taking a road trip or even exploring your own city. Travel is more about new experiences than the destination. If you want to travel out of the country, start a travel fund so you can save up and show off that second language you learned!

7. Pay Off Debt

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This is one of the most freeing experiences ever. Being in a ton of debt can cause stress, depression, and anxiety. A popular way to pay off debt is with the debt snowball method which means you pay off your debts in order from smallest to largest. You pay more than the minimum amount due on the smallest debt and pay the minimum amount due on all other debt. Once you have paid off the smallest debt, you move on to the next smallest. Author Dave Ramsey explains more about how the debt snowball works here. Minimizing debt and being debt-free reduces stress, improves your credit score, and gives you financial security.

8. Create a Budget

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The word budget probably makes you want to roll your eyes, or it may even trigger a bit of anxiety. It shouldn't. Think of a budget as simply a plan for what you're going to do with your money. That's it. Creating a budget can help you save money, meet your financial goals, and stop wasting money. Once you stop spending $150 a month on coffee, you'll thank yourself.

9. Start a Savings Account

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Already have one? Perfect! Now start putting money in that thing! Seriously, pick an amount and commit to adding that to your savings each time you get paid. You can start small if you have to and gradually increase. Trust me, it will add up.

10. Buy a Plant

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Plants are not only aesthetically pleasing and sure to make any space look better but they are good for you too. Plants can remove air pollutants as well as help give your immune system a little boost. With flu season right around the corner and COVID-19 still looming, we could all use an immune system boost. If you're worried about not having a green thumb, check out our article to learn more about houseplants that are easy to care for and don't require a green thumb here.

11. Practice Meditation

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With everything going on in the world today, it's easy for any one of us to become stressed. This is where meditation comes in. It just requires a little practice and can be done virtually anywhere. According to Headspace, meditation is not about turning off your thoughts or feelings but learning to observe them. Consistency, not perfection, is key when learning to meditate. The more you practice, the better you will become at it.

12. Schedule a Doctor's Appointment

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At least once a year, you should be going to your doctor and getting a check-up. This will help your doctor determine the general status of your health. A yearly physical is also a good time to ask questions or discuss any changes that you may have noticed in your body.

13. Perform a Breast Self-Exam

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It's quick and painless, so no excuses ladies! Early detection is key. It's so important that you do a self-exam on your breast regularly so that you will get to know what is normal for you. That way you are immediately alerted when something is abnormal.

14. Practice Gratitude

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The benefits of practicing gratitude are endless. I'll keep it short and sweet though, it just feels good. Let me give you an example. A few weeks ago, I had to get some car repairs. When the service technician called me with the total, he told me it was $3,800 to fix my car. I immediately got upset. Of course, that was not a good feeling. But then I took a moment and thought about how a few years ago I would not have had the money to fix my car. Then I thought about how I currently had the money sitting in my savings account to get my car fixed, and I immediately switched to a spirit of gratitude. I instantly felt better and grateful.

15. Learn a New Recipe

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Adding just one new recipe to your arsenal every few months will improve your cooking skills, offer you more variety, and even save you money. Cooking also allows you to create healthy meals at home and you can feel satisfied that you know exactly what you are putting into your body. So whether you invest in a cookbook or scour the web, make an effort to learn a new recipe at least every couple of months.

16. Get More Sleep

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Not getting enough sleep not only makes you cranky the next morning but it can also be detrimental to your concentration and even your health. Likewise, getting more sleep makes you feel sharper and boosts your immune system. Try going to bed just an hour earlier and feel the difference.

17. Stop Procrastinating

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Procrastination is something that we're all guilty of doing a time or two (or five) in our lives. It can seem easier to put off the things we need to do until later, but it's actually easier to just dig in and get them done. You'll feel less stressed and more accomplished after you do. Lifehack shares 11 steps you can take to stop procrastinating:

  • Break your work into little steps.
  • Change your environment.
  • Create a detailed timeline with specific deadlines.
  • Eliminate your procrastination pit stops.
  • Hang out with people who inspire you to take action.
  • Get a buddy.
  • Tell others about your goals.
  • Seek out someone who has already achieved the outcome.
  • Re-clarify your goals.
  • Stop overcomplicating things.
  • Get a grip and just do it.

18. Get a Massage

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Massages used to be considered a luxury, but over the years they have become a treatment modality for stress and pain reduction. You can get a massage anywhere from the airport to the spa at many different price points. Don't wait until a special occasion. Get one now!

19. Create a Skincare Routine

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Like most things in life, it is easier to prevent damage to your skin than to try to fix the damage that has already occurred. This is why it is so important to create a skincare routine and stick with it. Simple things like washing your face at night, wearing sunscreen, and keeping your face moisturized are key to great skin. If you need help developing a skincare routine talk to a dermatologist or esthetician.

20. Get Life Insurance

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I know that we don't like to think about our mortality but it is so important. Even a small policy can help protect your family and bring your loved ones peace of mind. If the thought of it all has you confused, Fidelity has a great summary here that will help clarify things for you.

21. Create a Morning Routine

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A strong morning routine sets the tone for your day and can help you have a more productive day. A strong routine is going to look different for each of us. It's about what works for you and that's the beauty of it. It's your routine. The routine that helps you be your best self. If you know that scrolling through social media as soon as you open your eyes in the morning makes you feel bad, then cut it out. Instead, try replacing social media scrolling with something that makes you feel good like journaling, setting intentions, or working out.

22. Take a Class

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There are classes available for anything you can think of whether it's boxing, makeup, painting, or writing. You name it, there is probably a class for it. Taking a class is a fun way to discover new passions and enrich existing ones.

23. Declutter

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I don't know about you, but having a lot of clutter in my house causes me to feel overwhelmed, which is why every few months I make sure to declutter. I don't have a set schedule. I just do it as I feel the need arises. I go through my closets, my drawers, or my kitchen and either get rid of things or organize them. Afterward, I feel like I've decluttered my mind a bit and can breathe better.

24. Invest Your Money

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Investing your money is very much an investment in yourself. Financial expert, Chanel Scott's advice to younger generations is to start investing early. If you don't consider yourself to be a part of the younger generation, don't worry. It's never too late to start investing. Do your research, find the way that works best for you, and get started.

25. Write In a Journal

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People journal for different reasons, but I think that everyone who does it would agree that it does wonders for their mental health. Journaling is a healthy way to get all the thoughts out of your head and onto paper, subsequently helping with self-expression, anxiety, and even promoting self-reflection.

26. Network

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I guarantee that some of the world's most successful people got that way in part by networking. Networking is a powerful tool with endless benefits. It opens the doors for new opportunities and can put your name in rooms you haven't even stepped foot in yet. Thanks to COVID-19, you may not be able to do a lot of in-person networking but thankfully virtual events and social media sites like LinkedIn provide opportunities for you to connect with like-minded people.

27. Forgive

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Let me preface this one by saying that forgiveness does not mean that you forget nor does it mean that you keep toxic people around you. Forgiveness simply means that you release the energy of anger and resentment and instead usher in the energy of forgiveness, acceptance, and letting go. Forgiveness is for you, not other people, so whether they are deserving of forgiveness doesn't matter. Do it for yourself.

28. Drink More Water

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How much water you should drink a day is debatable and largely depends on who you ask, but one thing that is not up for debate is that water is undoubtedly good for you. Water promotes skin health, regulates body temperature, and flushes waste from the body just to name a few of the benefits. Start small by drinking at least a glass a day and gradually increase your intake. Trust me, your body will thank you.

29. Read a Book

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Reading a book can be a beautiful escape or a way to expand your knowledge. It doesn't matter if it is fiction, non-fiction, or self-help, reading builds vocabulary, helps to prevent cognitive decline, and improves focus and concentration. Buying or checking out books, not your thing? No worries, download an audiobook and sit back, relax, and escape.

30. Set a Goal

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And then crush it! It can be big or small—it doesn't matter. What's important is that you work toward meeting that goal. Setting and meeting goals give you such a feeling of accomplishment. Once you meet a goal, set another one. It will quickly become a lifestyle.

31. Take a "Me" Day

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With all of the things that you have to do on a daily basis, it can seem like there aren't enough hours in a day making a "me day" seem pretty impossible to achieve but that is exactly why it is so important to take one. If you absolutely, positively can't take a whole day, try to at least take a few hours. Go to the places that you love and do the things that you love to do—or do nothing at all.

32. Love Yourself

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Most people will verbally tell you that, of course, they love themselves, but do our actions reflect that self-proclaimed self-love? Do we pour into ourselves? Do we honor ourselves? Do we show up as our best selves? Truly loving yourself is one of the best ways to invest in yourself. The best part is that it is priceless.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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