You can improve yourself and your life by focusing on things that are good for you, including challenging negative self-talk, practicing self-respect, managing stress, and resolving conflict in your relationships.
Whether you want to boost your mood, get better at time management, develop healthy personal habits, or focus on self-growth, self-improvement is key to enhancing your quality of life.
Even if it feels challenging at the moment, or you feel you’ve tried and couldn’t before, it is possible to feel better about yourself and fulfill your dreams and goals.
And you don’t need a complete overhaul to improve your life quality. Just a few steps can help to boost your well-being and make your days more meaningful.
10 things to do to improve your life
1. Writing your story every day
You’re the owner of your life. How do you want that to look today?
“For life improvement, I suggest considering what you’d like to accomplish today, and the vibe you want to carry,” says John Duffy, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of the book “The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens.”
Like any author, you may have a few story plots to choose from. Duffy suggests you try to identify which is the better story for you and go for it.
“The better story might be getting up earlier rather than sleeping in [or] reaching out to help someone instead of passively ignoring their need,” he adds.
2. Identifying what’s keeping you stuck
How to improve your life may be a matter of identifying those things that get in the way of said improvement. Are there certain events or people in your life that you feel have become roadblocks to your development?
Feeling stuck might look different for everyone. You may feel like it regardless of the circumstances in your life, or you might have specific relationships or tasks that take energy and focus from you.
You might want to start exploring what “feeling stuck” means to you, if anything at all. Maybe you feel empty or lonely, or perhaps you engage in procrastination.
“This approach gets you to be both reflective and active, [which are] two steps necessary for change,” says Deborah Serani, PsyD, a clinical psychologist.
Serani also recommends considering these three steps:
- Stop. “Oftentimes it’s a blind spot you can’t see, so taking time to mull things over helps you see more clearly,” says Serani. “Is it a decision you’re afraid to make? Are certain people bringing you down? Are you in a cycle of negative thinking?”
- Look around. Serani recommends you consider how this blind spot is touching your life. “Is it only at home? Or just at work [or] school?” she adds.
- Listen to yourself. What are your heart and mind telling you about what you need to do? “Learning to reflect on your inner thoughts and feelings will help you trust putting them into action,” says Serani.
Consider exploring these areas of your life:
- interpersonal conflict and friction
- career goals and job opportunities
- emotional regulation and how it impacts your mood
- physical health and lifestyle habits that impact it
3. Focusing on right now
- a mindfulness practice
- accepting the things you can’t control
- living more intentionally
- reaching peace of mind
- letting go of unhealthy attachments
- forgiving yourself
- engaging in grounding exercises
4. Getting better at time management
- blocking time on your calendar for must-dos and honoring those time blocks
- stacking habits or doing a few things at the same time. For example, reviewing your calendar while you get breakfast.
- starting with the most challenging tasks early in the morning or when you feel you have the most energy
- finding an organizational or tracking system that works for you and gives you a glance of what you’ve accomplished throughout the day
- scheduling periodic pauses during the day to reset your mind and body
- rewarding yourself when you complete a task
5. Setting realistic and attainable goals
6. Challenging negative thoughts
7. Getting your 8 to 9 hours of sleep
- solve problems
- focus on tasks
- gather information to make decisions
8. Participating in physical activity
- dancing around your house
- doing some pool laps
- going to the gym
- using the stairs instead of the elevator
- walking around your neighborhood or preferred area
- doing yoga
- following a YouTube workout video
- walking around your office or home for 5 minutes every hour
9. Practicing gratitude
- mentally or physically listing all the things that are positive and healthy in your life
- recognizing the skills and qualities you’ve developed in yourself
- verbally expressing thanks to important people in your life
- ending your day by thinking about the positive things that you experienced today
- starting your day by focusing on the opportunities ahead