This year has been unexpected.

That's why, as the holidays quickly approach, you might be looking forward to the new year as a welcomed opportunity to forget the struggles that 2020 has had in store.

Sure, we’ve kept rolling with every punch. But, right now, it’s the ideal time to get excited about something. And what’s more exciting (and fulfilling) than investing in yourself — being at the top of your game in every aspect of your life?

Just like financial investments benefit you over the long term, investing in your self-growth will help you in the long run. Patience and perseverance are key to seeing yourself flourish.

From making sure that you’ve got money squared away for your future to revamping your surroundings, here are 9 ways to invest in yourself so that 2021 can be amazing.

1. Tap Into Your Creativity

Even if you consider yourself more of a left-brain thinker, everyone has some element of creativity buried inside, however small.

Painting, woodworking, bullet journaling, mixing music, and making jewelry are just some of the many ideas that you can try.

If you're stuck for inspiration, simply doing some online research or visiting your local craft store will definitely open the floodgates.

2. Do Regular Social Media Cleanses 

Have you ever thought of shutting off your laptop or putting your phone down for a while? There are multiple benefits to not spending hours every day scrolling through Instagram, watching TikTok videos, posting on Facebook, or reading through Twitter. 

Instead of spending time comparing yourself to others and worrying about comments and likes, use those hours to be productive, plan out your goals, and engage in more meaningful activities like, let's say, actually calling someone up and talking to them.

Plus, not being on your phone in bed at night is actually known to relax your brain, decrease strain on your eyes, and help you sleep better.

3. Have An Honest Look At Your Finances

Money might be a little bit of a scary topic, but really, once you face your financial reality head-on - good things start to happen. 

Invest the time and energy to check in on your finances often, and make sure to look at the whole picture. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself tough questions, reach out for help from financial professionals, and make decisions that make sense for you in the long run; not only does keeping tabs on your spending and savings mean less stress, but it will lead to greater financial freedom in the long term. It's even been shown to improve relationships.

If you’re looking for a way to get started, banks like RBC actually let you get the advice and expertise you need, remotely, through their app or online banking. RBC even lets you open and set up a personal banking account in minutes with their Remote Account Open experience

Through the RBC Mobile app, this feature allows you to conveniently and securely verify your government-issued ID, select the type of account you need, and set your PIN to begin transacting immediately.

Being able to set up a new personal banking account in just minutes without even having to leave your house — one of the good things that 2020 has brought to help you head into the next year with a better handle on your financial health.

4. While You’re At It, Keep Tabs On Yourself

Sure, checking in with yourself might not seem like an investment - or even much of a very useful thing to do. But trust, getting in touch with your truest self helps. And it’s a lot harder than it sounds.

The good news is that you don’t need to Eat, Pray, Love your way through life in order to get to the root of who you are and how you’re feeling.

Creating a gratitude journal, meditating, setting (and respecting) personal boundaries, and just asking yourself how you’re feeling and why are just a few things that can go a very long way when it comes to making sure that, fundamentally, you’re feeling well - and what you can do to change things if you’re not. 

After all, 2020 has thrown us some curveballs. It’s only natural we may need to slow down and make sure we’re fine in 2021.

 

5. Take Time To "Smell The Flowers"

A small hike or long walk, especially in a neighbourhood or area that you don't usually visit, is a simple (but effective) way to revive and refresh yourself while gaining a new perspective.

Check out the architecture and scenery of your city, the parks within it, and all the beauty surrounding you that can often be taken for granted.

You'll welcome the change, as it will help you appreciate the world outside of your immediate home, bubble, and routine.

6. Transform Your Space To Suit Your Vision

How you exist and feel in your home space definitely impacts your general wellbeing. Your daily surroundings are at the core of hindering or promoting self-development. 

Especially with staying home much more often, now really is the ideal time to buy pretty indoor plants, declutter your closet, reorganize your bookshelf, paint your bathroom, or even take on those home renovations that you've been putting off — your 2021 will thank you!

Plus, when you're finally allowed to have guests over again, they'll be amazed at what you've done with your place.

7. Turn Physical Activity Into A Daily Habit 

Staying physically active doesn't just improve your overall health and make you stronger, it also helps improve mental clarity and boost positivity from the endorphins that get released.

Even if you're steering clear of small indoor spaces like gyms these days, you can still find some great (and free) online yoga and fitness classes.

Looking to get some fresh air at the same time? Take a run or bike ride outside or bring some free weights or resistance bands to the park.

8. Keep Your Mind Sharp

Your mental needs are just as important as any other. Your growth and development will be impacted by what you're taking in and how you think about things.

This means keeping your mind sharp.

Satisfy your curiosity about a new topic by reading books or watching documentaries, conquer a Rubik's cube, or take up crosswords, sudoku, or puzzles.

9. Find Beauty In Simplicity By Unwinding With Yourself

Making a point of taking consistent timeouts for yourself can work wonders for your mood, health, and stress levels — and a happier you is a better you. 

Meditate with your favourite instrumental music, curl up by the fire with your pet and a good book, put on a sheet mask and paint your nails, or take a bubble bath with some scented candles.

Whatever your R&R looks like, embrace it regularly.

All of these personal investments are important for self-development at any given time — but especially if you'd like to make sure that your 2021 beats this year.

The benefits of saving money and tracking your spending aren't just key to self-growth — they're essential to improving your long-term financial health. That means greater financial freedom, better relationships, and less stress.

RBC's Remote Account Open experience is a great first step in that direction. It's faster, safer, and more convenient to bank with a digitized account-opening process.

To open an RBC deposit account remotely, download the RBC Mobile App or contact the RBC Advice Centre at 1-800-ROYAL-61.

 
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