31 Ways to Improve Your Life
Little changes add up to BIG results when you want to improve your life. Practice these ways to better yourself and over time you will build a life you love.
I’ve spent my adult life studying human behavior, self-help, and personal growth. And guess what? Everyone has something they want to improve but that they also find it challenging to do.
However, change isn’t impossible. Here are 31 ways to help you improve your life and live in a way that is authentic and fulfilling to you.
How to Better your life
Don’t try to change others
This might be the best advice on the list but it is not the easiest. We all want to change others so that we can feel better.
Guess what. That NEVER works. Ever. No matter how much we try, we simply can’t change others.
Sometimes we can force a temporary change.
That doesn’t feel so great either.
Here’s the thing. We want people to change so WE can feel better. But you have the power to feel better without requiring someone else to change.
Here’s what works better. Concentrate on your own life and what you need to be doing. Let other people live their lives the way they want.
When you clean up your thinking, you can decide whether that thing you thought was a problem is actually a problem. Often it is not. If it is, then you can approach it differently.
The concept of being lucky is so interesting.
I consider myself to be a lucky person. Things generally workout in ways that are favorable to me.
Yet, I know that I wasn’t born “lucky.” I do things every single day to increase my luck.
- I take care of my car so that even though it’s 12-years old, it doesn’t break down. And if something does happen, I have a road service to call.
- I eat nourishing real food and exercise to take care of my physical body.
- I get life coaching to help me understand my thinking and emotions and that helps me take better actions.
- I try to have an open mind and spirit and say yes to new things and adventures.
- I pay attention. If something seems wrong, I listen to my gut.
The people in my life are in general, positive people, who also are proactive and “lucky.” The more lucky- people in your life, the luckier you will be. It’s contagious!
Forgive to improve your life
Let go of anger, hurt, and disappointment. It only hurts you. You can make your own life so much better by letting go of resentments that don’t serve you.
Get into the habit of being thankful. Says thanks to people. Say thanks in your head. Train your mind to look for things to appreciate.
Say no when you need to say no
Consider yourself more than others. Say no, to additional tasks when you are already tired or behind on your own work.
Say no to food that isn’t on your plan, even if it bothers the person who offers it to you.
Say no, to anything that isn’t in your best interest.
Sometimes this will bother other people. That is their concern not yours. You’re a grown up and you get to decide what is best for you.
Say yes when you need to say yes
Conversely, start saying YES to life and new experiences. Say yes to new thoughts and ideas. Say yes to having fun sometimes. Say yes to working hard when you need to. Say yes to getting out of your comfort zone.
Let go of toxic relationships
Not everyone should be in your life. People that purposely hurt you are not good for you. This can feel difficult if it is family.
If it’s a toxic boyfriend or acquaintance, just get out of it.
Letting go of a toxic relationship opens the way for healthier and life-affirming relationships
Don’t beat yourself up about anything!
It’s so tempting to want to punish ourselves. The thinking is something like this: If I let myself off the hook, who knows what terrible things I’ll do.
There is no one else in the world who is as hard on you as you are on yourself.
To better your life though, you have to be your own friend. You have to nurture yourself rather than beat yourself up.
Yes, we’ve all had times when we have bullied ourselves into doing things, even good things. Yet, change achieved by force is rarely lasting or satisfying.
Change that is created from changed thoughts and conscious action is a whole different story.
That kind of change is solid. It’s stable. It lasts.
Allow yourself to become bigger than your tank
I read on Facebook, that a shark in a 10-gallon tank can only grow to be eight inches long.
Free in the ocean, it can grow eight-feet long.
What size tank are you living in?
The tanks that contain us are:
- Our families
- Our friends
- Our jobs
- Our religions
- Our own thoughts
- The books we read (or don’t read)
- Our imaginations
Let your tank be bigger!
Think like a kid
My five-year old granddaughter has been teaching me wisdom for a couple of years now.
The first thing she taught me was how to lift your mood with love. I wrote about that here.
Recently she taught me something about creativity. She told me that she could see things in her mind and that she liked to build them in her video game.
She told me that not everyone could do that. She said a friend of hers had to look up how to build things online before she could build them.
I was blown away that at such a young age, she had already figured out the power of her own mind!
How to better yourself
Do your dishes before you go to bed
Those dishes have to get washed at some point, right? Do them right after dinner. Get them all done. All washed and the sink wiped down.
This is a great life improvement that simply takes something that you are already doing, but gives it a time and place.
It makes a difference.
When you go to bed, you know it’s done. It’s pure pleasure to start the day with a clean sink and counter. It’s the little things!
Make your bed in the morning
Another small task is to tidy up your bed every day. I know, you are just going to mess it up again at night.
Make your bed. It’s a habit that is super easy and it sets up your day for order.
Change your to-do list to a got-it-done list
Start getting things done. Instead of simply making a never-ending to-do list, create a plan to get things done.
Whether you want to get one thing or three done each day, put the thing you want to do on your schedule.
Then show up and do it.
This will 100% improve your life fast.
Add exercise to your day
Exercise each and every day is important. Here’s the thing. People will say 30 minutes, three times a week is enough.
Find, easy-on-your-body exercise that you can do often.
You can walk every day. You can mix in yoga a few times a week. You can do toning and stretching at home. There are so many ways to exercise that feel great and improve your life.
Don’t eat between meals
Quit snacking. Your body doesn’t need most of the stuff that is sold as snacks. Your body doesn’t even need the healthier versions of snacks.
Learn to eat real food at mealtimes and enough of it that you don’t get hungry in-between. Snacking keeps your insulin up and your body storing fat.
Not snacking actually makes it easier to focus because you won’t be fogging up your brain with snack food all day. We all know what that cookie or candy bar does to you.
Even so-called healthy snacks can be detrimental. As your body gets a rest from eating and digesting, fat can burn and you will feel more energetic between meals.
Instead of focusing on needed to eat, you can focus on what you want to accomplish.
Learn to listen
Here is the best advice I can give about listening. It’s hard though.
- Pretend you don’t know anything about what they are saying. Really listen as if it is all new to you.
- Don’t think about what you want to say. You’ll know when it’s time.
- Don’t judge what the other person is saying.
How many times do you sit in a conversation, just waiting to pounce and say your side. Just try this sometime?
Don’t try and come up with any response. Just let the person express entire thoughts at a time.
It’s an amazing way to have conversations.
Learn something new
What are you learning right now? A new language? A new computer program? A new type of fitness training? How to knit? How to draw or paint?
Learning is good for you and your brain. You are never too old to learn something new. Don’t believe anyone that says otherwise.
The cool thing about learning something new is that not only is it fun but it usually comes in handy later.
You’ll be so surprised when this thing that you learned, just because you wanted to, becomes useful to your life.
Add a mindful practice
Connecting your body and mind with a mindful practice is good for your health and for your emotions.
Your practice can be as simple as sitting still and concentrating on your breath for 10 minutes a day.
Or you can do yoga.
Or walk outside daily.
Most of us keep our bodies and minds in separate corners. Yet, focusing on your breath and your body gives your active mind a rest. You can just be.
You don’t have to move there forever, but it is so helpful to spend some time there.
How to improve yourself
Live for a 100-year life not a 50-year life
Most people are not living for their 100-year old self. They are living for their 50-year old self.
For some reason, we do not take care of our bodies and minds for the long-haul.
I’m in it to live an amazing life until I am at least 100!
While, there are no guarantees that I’ll make it, I really feel like I have a great chance because of how I nurture my body and my mind.
So, what if I don’t make it to 100? I am going to rock every single day that I have left.
That’s what I’m living for. But at the same time, I’m making choices that my 80 or 90 or 100-year old self will thank me for later.
You’re welcome 100-year old Sara!
Decide this will be your best year ever
Decide that this is going to be your best year ever. Everything that has gone on before, every hardship, tough time, or hard work has been a preparation for your best year ever.
I do this every single birthday and at some point, during the year, I will think to myself, wow, this IS the best year ever.
This year, is the most deliberate I’ve ever been about it. It IS my best year ever and it is the year that I began to truly use my mind to make it happen.
Make decisions today based on who you want to be in 5 years
I am fit and healthy today because of decisions I made 5 years ago. I decided to take my health seriously and for five years, I’ve been consistent.
Now I’m thinking ahead to the next five years. This time I am focusing on my business and what I want to accomplish professionally. I make decisions to focus and create so that I can for sure live the life I want in five years.
This is how you create the life you want.
You don’t just live in this present moment, you live in your desired future moment.
Develop a form of self-expression
I have an afghan that my grandmother made for me.
My other grandmother painted.
My mom and dad had a farm that created 20 years of amazing memories for their grandchildren and people in the community.
I write and make crafts.
How do you express yourself creatively?
Using your creativity allows you to bring something forth that didn’t exist before.
But being creative seems hard to some people.
That’s because they don’t understand how it works. It’s that whole “it didn’t exist before thing.”
What I do know is that the more you get in there and muck about, the easier it gets.
If you want to write, you have to write every day, no matter how bad your writing is, until it starts being less bad.
If you want to paint or draw, you have to be willing to be a beginner and practice.
If you have something in your head you can imagine, you have to be willing to start laying down the pieces in real life.
Be mindful of what media you consume
In my twenties, I decided that I never wanted to watch another horror movie. I didn’t want those kinds of images in my head.
I also decided to not play violent video games and I never allowed my children to play them either.
I limit the amount of news I watch since much of it is on constant repeat and sensationalized.
I refuse to watch television that is overly violent no matter how many people say certain shows are amazing.
On that same note, I refuse to watch any movies or television that involve organized crime, prison, or the drug trade.
In social media, I only follow positive people. Period.
I think what I allow into my brain and imagination is just as important as what I feed my body.
Allow yourself to be brave honest and beautiful
When I was at one of my lowest points, I went for long walks every single day. No matter the weather or the heat, I made time to get an hour walk in, out in nature.
At the same time, I listened to music, including one song called Brave, Honest and Beautiful by Fifth Harmony.
I probably listened to that song over a hundred times!
Eventually, these three qualities came to be what My Think Big Life is all about.
BRAVE—You already are but I’ll help you where you aren’t
HONEST—Living your truth and being authentic in your words and actions.
BEAUTIFUL—This starts inside of yourself. Everyone can be beautiful – allow it to shine.
Things to upgrade your life
Include quality in your life
Everything you buy doesn’t have to be first class but try and buy some things that are first class.
I gravitate towards the sales rack all the time. It’s really difficult for me to even consider paying full price for something I want.
So, in the past, I tried to buy better quality things by buying them on sale.
Since this is about improving your life, I want you to consider buying what you want, when you want it, even if it’s full price.
Too many times, I ended up with things I didn’t really love or need because I’ve shopped the sales rack or sales table.
Now when I need something, I buy exactly what I like at the price it is.
The funny thing is, now that I’ve committed to only buying what I really want, at the price it is, I find I don’t really need so much.
Break the sales habit, and you get much more deliberate about what you do buy. It costs less in the long run and you gradually surround yourself with only quality.
Buy new underwear
When I started this list, this was the very first item I put on the list. For most of us, we’re the only ones that actually see our underwear and from what people tell me, they often let their underwear get old and ratty.
Pretty underwear is important. I think when we wear nice underwear, just because it makes us feel good, we are giving ourselves an important message. I like you. I think you should feel pretty all the time.
Pretty underwear doesn’t mean lacy things from specialty shops. It does have to fit well and be look like new. No stretched-out waistbands or shoulder straps!
Clean out your closet
I’m going to keep on preaching on the importance of a clean closet. All of them.
But the most important is the one you use every single day to get dressed from. Going into that closet and finding it clean and organized is a beautiful feeling.
It’s an instant and free upgrade to your life!
Because it’s clean, the only clothes in it are clothes that are: flattering, well-maintained, fit great, and comfortable.
Get rid of anything else.
Clean the inside of your car
Pick up the water bottles, trash, and coffee cups. When you exit the car at the end of the day, take everything that doesn’t belong in your car, out of your car. Every day.
Once a week or so, give the inside a wipe down.
No matter how old of a model you are driving, if you take care of the inside, you will feel better.
Fix broken things
Broken things keep us feeling poor and disorderly. A solid way of upgrading your life is to just fix the actual broken things in your life. Go around and make a list of anything that needs fixed.
- Clothes that can be mended.
- Holes in the wall.
- Leaky faucets.
- Things that need fresh batteries.
If you can’t fix it yourself, schedule someone to do it for you. If it can’t be fixed, then throw it away.
Eat real food
Buying and eating real food is one of the most loving things you can do to improve your life. Buy organic. Buy fresh and delicious.
Don’t feed yourself cheap filler foods such as crackers or rice cakes.
Eat protein, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats.
Eating real food is the best upgrade that you can give your body!
Let music improve your life
We now have the ability to listen to just about anything we want to and can create really cool playlists with that music.
I use Apple Music but there are other options out there.
I create playlists to improve my life. I have one called Beauty that I listened to almost every day for several months. (You can see it in this post How to Be Absolutely Beautiful)
I have used playlists to heal heartache and to give me courage when I am scared.
I have a soothing one for when I fly on a plane.
I have one called LOVE. One called My New Life.
Music is so powerful and it’s so convenient these days.
Little Ways to Improve Your Life
An improved life benefits not only you, but all of the people around you. When you feel abundant, healthy, and loving, you not only feel great, you have more to share.
Even if you are only sharing your positive vibes, you are making a difference in the lives around you and in the world.
I built this list over the past five years or so. There isn’t one single thing on this list that I don’t think is an important part of my life.
Pick some easy ones to get started. Find a bra and panties that fit. Clean up your kitchen every evening. Make your bed.
Listen to uplifting music.
Get some traction going. Remember the part about living for your 100-year old self? Well, you don’t have to improve every single thing all at once.
Make your own list of how to improve yourself or ways you have already bettered yourself.
It’s inspiring when we inspire ourselves with what we’ve done!
Keep showing up my friends,
Ready to find out more?
Schedule a free consultation today.
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Coach with Sara
Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.
I really took my time in reading your post Sara, to see how I could apply these great ideas to my own life. You seem like a really disciplined person. I’m disciplined when it comes to taking care of my health, through healthy eating habits and exercise. Your suggestions will help me in healing emotionally from a place of low self-esteem. I’ll be sharing to my FB page as well.
Thank you Christina! I’m looking forward to exploring your travel blog–
Thanks for these useful reminders Sara! Such a lot of information that we should all take on board, regardless of our age. I’ve shared onto my group board on Pinterest. #mlstl
I absolutely loved this well thought out post! Such great reminders. I’m going to save this and read this from time to time. I have shared on my Facebook page!
Thanks so much! I appreciate the share. Your site is amazing–
I laughed out loud when I got to “buy new underwear”! Yes, mine are getting dingy.. why haven’t I noticed? Sigh. But there I go… beating up on myself again. Of all your tips, that’s the one I need to practice the most – stop beating up on myself! Visiting from #MLSTL. And BTW – I love your font text on the headers of sections!
Underwear is a much under-appreciated part of a great life! Thanks for visiting and the comment. I shared your comment about the font with my site developer–it was their idea.
Hi Sara, I love your ‘swing for the fence’ approach to life. People call me ‘lucky’ a lot, but I know the real truth and much of it has to do with abiding by the things on your list. Visiting from #mlstl
Hi Suzanne. Happy to connect through #MLSTL. Thanks for stopping by!
There was a lot of information and advice in this post Sara. A lot of it I’ve been learning over the last few years – especially in regard to losing toxic people, trusting myself more, and expanding my horizons while practicing self care.
It’s lovely that you’ve linked up with us at MLSTL and I hope you enjoy meeting others in our community – commenting and sharing on each others posts is the key to our party and I hope you enjoy “sharing the love” and become a regular.
Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂
Thanks Leanne. I’m thrilled to connect. I’ve been enjoying your posts of Facebook recently.