Bettering myself one step at a time
October 23, 2010 1:20 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite self-improvement resources? I'm looking for a variety of resources (blogs, podcasts, books, etc) in a variety of fields (fashion, finance, social interactions, etc).

I've long followed sites like Lifehacker, was always enamored with the idea of quantifying aspects of my life, and recently came upon The Happiness Project & the corresponding blog. I recently went through a relatively big life-change, and figured that now is as good as a time as ever to improve the quality of my life & my future prospects. Any recommendations? What resources have helped you dramatically improve the quality of your life?
posted by Darke to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 81 users marked this as a favorite
Tim Pychyl's iProcrastinate podcast has helped me get started on controlling my horrible procrastination habit (although metafilter seems to have brought out the worst of it again!), but also, has helped me figure out why I procrastinate, and how to get back on track when I "fall off the wagon" again, which, of course, keeps happening. He also provides links to his research group's website and his blog, which are useful resources, but haven't been as important for me, personally.
posted by bardophile at 1:26 PM on October 23, 2010 [4 favorites]

"What are your favorite self-improvement resources?"

Interesting question. My answer will be less "self-improvement" but more "how to be more efficient" and "improve the quality of life"

1. Sell your TV. It is a waste of time and money. It sucks your brain out.
2. Don't read so much the news. I have put together my own news feeds for things that interests me (computer, business etc.), partly based on blogs. I use yahoo Pipes for this and have the RSS feeds as bookmarks
3. I need a system to take care of ideas, notes, to do things, lists etc. I do this by always carrying around a moleskin notebook and on my computer I use More Wiki in a Jar. I tried to use freemind but believe that wiki in a jar is much better suited in the long run.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 1:31 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Succeed Socially is a great site for advice on practical social matters.
posted by griphus at 1:33 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

For men's clothing/style (although I wouldn't call it fashion), Put This On, The Pursuit Aesthetic, Sartorially Inclined, and A Continuous Lean.
posted by brozek at 3:18 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like the blogs lifehacker and The Simple Dollar. For a new look at money and frugality, you can't beat the book Your Money or Your Life. Happy improving!
posted by shortyJBot at 3:34 PM on October 23, 2010

I've been hooked on Ribbonfarm, ever since someone on Metafiter linked to his great essay on The Gervais Principle, or The Office According to "The Office".
posted by Bron at 3:42 PM on October 23, 2010

Toastmasters International is the place to go to acquire a skill they don't teach in school - Public Speaking. I had a huge problem getting up and making speeches in university and when i first started working full-time i would literally dread making presentations. After TI training, my career took off, plus I now actually enjoy speaking in front of an audience (who knew?!).

The other thing which has helped me a lot is getting a business education. I was a computer science major and somewhere along the line picked up a real anti-corporate attitude (maybe it was my Marxist eco 101 prof). Anyhow it took me some to figure out that a conceptual knowledge of how business works (e.g. finance, accounting and marketing) allows you to understand the way the world works. You don't have to be in business to benefit from the concepts. Apply finance principles to your investments, apply marketing to your career and job search and so on. You don't have to be a raging capitalist either. The same principles work for non-profit, spread the goodness enterprises.
posted by storybored at 8:48 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

I agree with yoyo_nyc. I'm self employed and am constantly thinking about how to improve my quality of l, and I sort of see it as a structural problem. Kind of like how architects shape people's behavior with the spaces they design, you can do this to yourself on a smaller level

I don't know what will work for you, but for me I have realized I am most productive when I get bored. Boredom is what pushes me to say "Ok I'm going to get this shit done". So now I try to cultivate boredom in my life, which sounds counter-intuitive, but it works. Getting rid of TV was an obvious way to do this, because TV is just mental filler for when you get bored.

I sold my car to force myself to bike everywhere. This contributes to my quality of life so much I can't even begin to describe it here, despite that - yes - it sometimes sucks to have to get up at 5AM and ride a bike through the cold and rain to start a work day.

I kind of see it as a problem of laziness. Given an easier option, I will certainly take it even if it's against what I really want for myself long term. If you remove that easier option, you just have to do it.
posted by bradbane at 6:42 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

The How of Happiness is pretty good - based on research into what makes people measurably happier, rather than what they say will do that, or wish would do that.

The Now Habit is about working around and lessening procrastination.

Enough: breaking free from the world of more is an interesting look at information overload, affluenza, overeating, overworking and similar modern problems.
posted by harriet vane at 4:21 AM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

For self-improvement in general, I especially recommend this book by Fiona Harrold.

Another good read is Wishcraft by Barbara Sher.

Steve Pavlina's older posts were good, but he's become too weird for my taste.

AskMeFi archives. :)

Specific - fitness: Couch to 5K - I preferred this C5K program.

Specific - for women: The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything, Taking Charge of Your Fertility
posted by gakiko at 5:07 AM on October 25, 2010

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