What’s your best asset?

When asked this question, your thoughts might jump to your home or to a stock that’s performing particularly well right now. You might even say that the business you are building is your best asset.

While these assets can certainly be valuable, the best asset you own is yourself. When you take the time to invest in yourself, you are building an asset that can benefit you throughout your lifetime. As long as you continue investing in yourself, you will have better opportunities to make money and enjoy life more.

Investing in yourself doesn’t have to be hard. Here are 5 ways you can invest in yourself:

1. Learn Something New

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Learning is one of the best and easiest ways to invest in yourself. You can see the dividends fairly quickly.

If you own a business, learning the basics of accounting and paying attention to taxes can help you boost your ability to earn money. Even if you work a more traditional job, lifelong learning can benefit you. Learning a new skill can lead to a promotion or even to a higher-paying job.

On top of the financial and business benefits, learning new things also has an impact on your feelings of happiness and well-being, and can even help you maintain your brain power as you age.

2. Stretch Yourself

Your comfort zone is where you stagnate. If you want to move to the next level, whether it’s with your business, your job or your relationships, you need to stretch yourself. Move out of your comfort zone. Take a few calculated risks. Stretch yourself. Growth happens when you’re slightly uncomfortable. When you’re willing to try new things and reach for something that’s just beyond your fingertips, you’ll move forward in unexpected ways that will benefit you.

3. Relax

Don’t forget to relax. Your downtime is an investment in yourself. This is the time that you recharge your batteries. Study after study shows that you can improve your creative processes and your productivity when you learn to take a break. Spend time each day — even if it’s only 20 or 30 minutes — relaxing. Even if all you do is take a true lunch break (no working through lunch!), you might be surprised at how much more productive and creative you are.

Not only can relaxation help you invest in your business and career, but it can also help your health. Relaxation reduces the stress and anxiety that can impact physical and mental health.

4. Take Care of Your Health

One of the biggest investments you can make in yourself is your health. Start by making sure you are properly insured so that you don’t wind up in financial trouble because of an illness or injury. Once that base is covered, make sure you are doing the following things for your health:

  • Eat nutritiously: Poor eating habits can slow you down and sap your mental abilities. Eating the right foods can boost your body’s abilities and even help your thinking processes. Do yourself a favor and eat right.
  • Exercise: Physical activity boosts your mood, helps relieve stress and improves your immune system. It’s a good way to keep your body limber as you age and a good way to ensure that you enjoy yourself now.
  • Sleep: Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. It provides you a way to keep your body running properly. On top of that, you’ll make better decisions when you’re rested and fresh.

Good health habits now will pay off later, as you will be able to enjoy a higher quality of life for a longer period of time.

5. Learn to Say No

I still struggle with this investment in myself. However, it’s important to learn to say no. Figure out what is most important to you. With so many things and people clambering for your time, it’s vital that you decide what’s essential and focus on those things. You don’t have to volunteer for every activity. You don’t have to say yes to every freelance job that comes your way.

Don’t forget to say no to yourself sometimes. It might be easier to sit in front of the TV for three hours a day, but you should tell yourself no and make some other investment in yourself.

Once you learn to invest in yourself, you’ll reap the rewards, and feel the effects of long-term success.

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I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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