Each year, particularly around New Year’s Day, people tend to set a handful of goals with the hope of improving themselves. As the days, weeks, and eventually months wear on, many of these goals dissipate and the notion of self-improvement withers to a mere distant hope that seems practically unattainable, especially with the pressures of school or work. However, this doesn’t mean self-improvement should be pushed aside entirely. It falls under self-care and self-love—two things that should never be neglected.

Self-improvement is a life long process, and there’s always room for growth.

It can be improvement in a handful of areas in one’s life, such as education, knowledge, character, mind, physical health, or mental health. Self-improvement doesn’t happen all at once, but in tiny increments, day after day. It takes patience and a willingness to learn, grow, and change in a variety of ways. Here are a few ways you can easily get started on your own self-improvement journey:

Identify your strengths and weaknesses.

This can be one of the hardest things to think about—especially when you’re put on the spot. A good way to do this is to think about how your friends might describe you: do they see you as someone who is responsible, or as someone who is a leader? Where can you improve? Identifying your strengths and weaknesses can help with goal setting and, ultimately, self-improvement.

Focus on, and make time for, what makes you feel alive.

Find and follow your passions. Narrowing your focus to the things that make you feel most at home, or most alive, can help improve your sense of being, wellness, and even your mood. It gives you something to look forward to and can be a great conversation starter, too.

Engage in self care.

Pay attention to getting enough sleep and nourishing your body with healthy and wholesome ingredients. Drink a bottle or two of water a day and try to get some physical activity into your day, too. Find a few things that help you relax, such as lighting candles for aromatherapy, or taking a walk with a friend in the park.

Learn how to be productive and efficient.

Time management is a huge part of self-improvement, and it helps to know what can be a distraction for you. Once you’ve identified the obstacles that tend to get in the way of your productivity, you can work on diminishing those and maintaining a more efficient work ethic.

Take responsibility.

For your actions, your words, and more. Self-improvement starts with “I,” so check in with yourself, acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, and take responsibility for everything you do.

Be honest with yourself.

If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Trust your heart and make decisions that help you grow and develop into the person you want to become. Let go of toxic people in your life and make room for positivity and love.

Empower yourself and others.

Lift people up and help them find their own path toward self-improvement. Make bold decisions, embrace new experiences, and focus on constantly empowering yourself and others through setting new goals, expressing your love for others, and learning to empathize and listen to those around you.

Love yourself the way you love others.

Be proud of yourself when you accomplish a goal or task, let yourself grow and change with time, and try to erase negative self-talk. Focus on talking to yourself in the same way you would to a close friend or family member. Be gentle and kind, motivate yourself to be the best you can be, and allow yourself room to make mistakes.