You're a wonderful person just the way you are, but everyone wants to be better. That's great! Improving yourself improves your quality of life and inspires you to grow. However, sometimes you need some help or inspiration. Don't worry: we're here to help! Read below to find out how you can improve yourself (and your life) with a few very simple steps!
Method 1 of 4: Changing Your Thoughts
Step 1. Get out of your rut
The first thing you should do is get out of your normal routine. Routines make us stagnant and keep us from changing as people. How you get out of your rut is up to you, but even small changes can help you get used to doing new things, so don't be afraid to get started.
Step 2. Practice positive thinking
Thinking negatively about ourselves, our abilities, and the world around us can cause us to run away from experiences and opportunities. Stop putting yourself down and instead start remembering all the good things about yourself. Stop thinking the worst about others or focusing only on the bad things in your life and start focusing on the good things.
Step 3. Control your emotions
Don't let negative emotions like sadness, anger, fear or envy destroy your life. Some experiences that arise from these emotions are natural, but letting them guide every action you take is unhealthy and will reduce the quality of your life experience. Train yourself to calm down and find the bright side of things.
Step 4. Get some perspective
Sometimes we forget how many good things we have. Look around you and identify people who are worse off than you are. Now look at your own life and identify the good things in it. Did you find many examples? Look for more! Research how other people live, whether reading or watching TV shows or documentaries.
Method 2 of 4: Taking the Initiative
Step 1. Bring creativity into your life
Be more creative and creating things can be a profoundly positive experience in your life. This allows you to contribute to the world while changing the way you look at things. Draw, sculpt, write, dance, sing, sew your own clothes or find other creative outlets.
No matter what stimulates your creativity: if you want to work it well, you need to practice
Step 2. Be a good person
Be nice. Do not lie. Consider the feelings of others. Be generous. Know how to forgive. Basically, be a good human being. This can be hard to do at times, but this is really one of the best things you can do to improve yourself and the world around you.
Maya Angelou once said, "I have found that, among other benefits, bestowal frees the donor's soul."
Step 3. Try a new hobby
Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby. It will become a motivation, making you and your life more interesting and balanced. Pursue something you've always wanted to do and you'll be happier and more satisfied than you ever thought you could be.
Step 4. Be active
Start by getting up from the couch! Stop this sedentary lifestyle, even if you're not going to the gym or doing anything. Go hiking with someone you love. Play with your kids or your younger siblings. Experience life beyond your living room. If you feel capable, exercise! All of these things are good for you and will improve your prospects and your quality of life.
Step 5. Volunteer when you can
Helping others will give you perspective, make you a more respectful person, increase your enjoyment of life, give you a sense of accomplishment, and (obviously) bring some good into the lives of those who really need it. You can volunteer for any cause you identify with, volunteer for a cause or even work abroad. There are lots and lots of options.
- Volunteering at shelters and youth centers can do a lot of good, as well as having a huge impact on the future and on society.
- Habitat for Humanity is another good way to volunteer.
- If you have special abilities, find places or ways they would be useful.
Step 6. Travel to gain experience
You will change profoundly as a person when you travel and have different experiences. If you can only travel within your country, no problem: the ideal is to have different experiences from what you are used to. Travel abroad if you can, especially to a place where people speak another language.
Step 7. Educate yourself
Another great way to improve yourself is to get more studies. But wait - it doesn't mean going back to school. There has been a real revolution in free learning resources with the internet. You can choose a skill, such as computer programming or another language, or learn more about broader topics, such as politics or education.
- With Coursera, you can take entire university courses from top universities for free!
- You can get little life lessons to open your mind by watching TED Slides!
- WikiHow offers all kinds of learning resources. Spread knowledge by improving articles you are an expert on.
Method 3 of 4: Setting Goals
Step 1. Identify the qualities you admire
Find the qualities you admire in others and want to learn. If you can't think of any right away, think of the people you're inspired by and think of their characteristics that appeal to you. Are they good? Ambitious? Workers? These are the qualities you should look for.
Step 2. Identify your flaws
Think about the things you don't like about yourself. Don't focus on things like your weight, because your body is really just the container, not the essence. You can work on your weight after you (re)define how you act with others, your work ethic and your skills.
Step 3. Decide what you want to change
Think about the characteristics of your personality that you would really like to change. It's true what they say: The first part of solving a problem is admitting that you have one. Find out what really matters to you and what would motivate you enough to change your lifestyle.
Step 4. Get opinions
Talk to people you trust, such as your boyfriend, friends, and family members. Tell them what you want to change in your life and why. They can highlight important points for you to become better, as well as provide an outside perspective on how people perceive you.
Step 5. Start small and work hard to grow
Start with small goals. Don't start with something like "quit smoking". Try "smoking less" instead. Breaking big goals into smaller goals will help keep you motivated and make your goals more realistic.
Step 6. Decide on a schedule
Think about where these goals fit into your life's priorities. This can really change the amount of effort you put into improving yourself. If you don't set a deadline for change, the goal will seem unrealistic and intangible, diminishing your propensity to complete it.
Step 7. Go ahead
Start! It's not enough just to think about goals or what you want to do; roll up your sleeves and act!
Method 4 of 4: Breaking Habits
Step 1. Want to change
As we said, you have to really want these changes in your life; otherwise they will never last long. You can pretend to be better in one way or another for a while, but the pretense never works and problems come back stronger once they're hidden. Make the changes you want in yourself rather than pretending to change just to please others. This is the only way to really change.
Step 2. Have realistic expectations
Don't think that changing who you are will improve your life overnight and that everything will be perfect. That's not how life works. And the change won't be easy either. If you start with reasonable expectations, it will be much easier for you to face the challenges that will arise.
Step 3. Recognize your triggers
Recognize what prompts you to do things you don't like. Do you eat when stressed? Do you take out your nervousness on loved ones when you are angry? Find your triggers so you can improve how you handle them.
Step 4. Determine barriers
Put up barriers to stop you from doing the things you don't like. If you want to spend less time on the internet, sign up for a plan that allows for slower or lower traffic, or just allow internet on your computer but not on your cell phone. Basic barriers will automatically prevent you from falling into old habits, as they will ensure that doing the wrong thing is a conscious effort rather than an accident.
Step 5. Find replacements
Find something else to do so that you don't dwell on your addictions and bad habits. The activities listed in the first section can help, but you can also employ simpler tricks. If you tend to get irritated frequently, try singing a song inside your head. Funny songs are particularly useful in this situation.
Step 6. Reward yourself
Give yourself rewards to motivate yourself even more. Keep these rewards small, just enough to trigger positive feelings. You don't want to be dependent on rewards; just let them make you feel good about all the work you're doing.
Step 7. Give it time
Be patient! Change takes time. Change doesn't happen overnight: if it isn't realistic, it will end up being disappointed. Wait, just keep trying, and you'll make it one day!