Self-optimize to live your life intentionally, creating your own concept of a quality life. Determining what makes a quality life and creating a path to get there is a process that in many ways is similar to what web developers call search engine optimization, or SEO. Think like a successful business person and self-optimize to enhance your own personal SEO.
In the business world, SEO is what allows websites to be discovered and helps businesses flourish. To be successful, most businesses need an online presence that includes a website optimized to find and be found by customers. As people who want to enhance our wellbeing, we’re not trying to attract customers. Our goal is different, but we can use some of the primary principles of SEO to self-optimize for mental health and wellbeing.
Self-Optimize for Personal Development
- Know what you want, clearly and intentionally.
The first step in SEO for business happens even before the web developer touches the computer. A successful business person defines what he wants to accomplish, what “success” means to him. This business person can’t stop there. She has to have a method of creating success. It’s not enough for a business to create a goal and then sit and wait for it to materialize. Thus, the people behind the business create websites with great SEO so people can find them.
As you begin to optimize yourself for mental health and wellbeing, become intentional about your goals. What, exactly, do you want for yourself and your life? How do you want to think? Feel? What do you want to do? How do you define a life worth living?
Once you know what you want, you are in a good position to self-optimize to achieve it.
- What connections would you like to develop and enhance?
An important component for SEO is link building. When a website has other relevant websites linking to it, and when it links to other relevant websites, it becomes more visible. It’s ranking increases so that when someone searches for a topic that matches the business, the website is one of the first to appear in the long list of sites that pop up in a search engine.
If connections are important for websites, imagine how vital they are for human beings. We need relationships with each other to optimize our wellbeing. To be sure, this looks different for every one of us. Some of us are extroverted and are energized by gathering with other people, while others of us are introverted and are energized through solo time. Some people come from big families or live in large areas. Others are from smaller families or towns. Some people deal with things like agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, or other mental illnesses that keep them secluded.
Personal SEO in the form of “link building” is about quality more than it is about quantity. Think of ways you can reach out to form one or more relationships with others. Consider volunteering in the foster care system, a nursing home, a humane society—something important and meaningful to you. Think of ways to strengthen connections you already have. Nurturing relationships is a great way to self-optimize for your mental health and wellbeing.
- Know your keywords.
Keywords are important to SEO. These are simple words or phrases that are integral to whatever it is the website is about. They’re the words that people use when searching for a topic or product, and they drive the focus of the website.
Having personal keywords can be highly motivating, and they can keep us focused on what we want, thus shaping our actions. Think of your goals, then break them down into keywords. Often, taping the words where you can see them often or creating images to represent your personal keywords and having these images close by will keep you motivated. When you have easy reminders of how you want to self-optimize, you’ll be equipped to make these keywords real.
- Be patient, consistent, and gentle with yourself, as SEO takes time to build.
Even the most skilled web developers can’t rocket a website to top ranking overnight. What a web developer does is put the elements of SEO in place for the business to build on. Business people have to do a lot of work to keep their website optimized. Businesses take steady and repeated action to maintain their SEO and grow it further.
That’s how it is with our mental health and wellbeing. We do things such as define goals, putting links in place for connection-building, and narrow our focus with keywords, motivational phrases to keep us on track. Once these are in place, we build on them, patiently and consistently, over time. Self-optimization and nurturing ourselves is a process. With patience and self-understanding, it’s an enjoyable one.