How to Better Yourself

Four Parts:Changing Your ThoughtsTaking ActionSetting GoalsBreaking Habits

You're a wonderful person just as you are, but everyone wants to be better. This is good! Bettering yourself improves your quality of life and gives you something to work towards. However, sometimes you need some help or inspiration. Don't worry: we've got your back! Read below to find out how you can improve yourself (and your life) with some really simple steps!

Part 1
Changing Your Thoughts

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    Break out of your norm. The very first thing you should do is break out of your normal routine. Routines make us stagnant and keep up from changing as people. How you break out of your routine will depend on you, but even small changes can help you get used to doing new things so don't be afraid to start.
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    Practice positive thinking. Thinking negatively, about ourselves, our abilities, and the world around us, can cause us to shy away from experiences and opportunities. Stop harping on yourself and instead remind yourself of all the good things about you. Stop thinking the worst of others or only focusing on the bad things in your life and start focusing on the good things.
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    Control your emotions. Don't let negative emotions like sadness, anger, fear, or envy ruin your life. Some experience of these emotions is natural, but letting them guide every action that you take is unhealthy and will reduce the quality of your experience of your life. Train yourself to calm down and find the good in things.
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    Get some perspective. Sometimes we forget how good we have things. Look around you an identify people who are worse off than you. Now look at your own life and identify the good things about it. Did you find lots of examples? Look for more! Research about how other people live, either by reading or by watching tv programs or documentaries.

Part 2
Taking Action

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    Bring creativity into your life. Being more creative and the act of creating things can be a profoundly positive experience in your life. This lets you contribute to the world while also changing how you look at things. Draw pictures, make sculptures, write, dance, sing, sew your own clothes or find other creative outlets.
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    Be a good people person. Be nice. Don't lie. Consider the feelings of others. Be generous. Be forgiving. Basically, be a good human being. This one can be hard to do sometimes, but this is really one of the best things you can do it improve yourself and the world around you.
    • Maya Angelou once said: "I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver."
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    Try a new hobby. Learn a new skill or pick up a new hobby. This will give you something to get out and do, making you and your life more interesting and well-rounded. Pursue something you've always wanted to do and you'll be happier and more satisfied than you thought you could be.
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    Get active. Start by getting up off the couch! Stop the sedentary lifestyle, even if you aren't going to the gym or anything. Go on walks with someone you love. Play with your kids or your younger siblings. Experience the life beyond your living room. If you feel up to the task, exercise! All of these things are good for you and will improve you as a person as well as your quality of life.
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    Volunteer when you can. Helping other people will give you perspective, make you more respectful, increase your enjoyment of life, give you a sense of fulfillment, and (obviously) provide some good to the lives of people who really need it. You can volunteer for whatever cause speaks to you, volunteering locally, or even abroad. There are lots of options.
    • Volunteering at homeless shelters and youth centers can provide a lot of good with a huge impact on the future and society.
    • Habitat for Humanity is another good way to volunteer.
    • If you have special skills, find places or ways that you could volunteer and make use of your skills.
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    Travel to gain experience. You will change profoundly as a person when you travel and experience the different ways in which people live. If you can only travel within your country, that's okay, just make sure you're experiencing a very different kind of life than the one you're used to. Travel abroad if you can, especially in a place where you don't speak the language.
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    Educate yourself. Another great way to better yourself is to get more education. Now, this doesn't mean going back to school. There has been a veritable revolution of free learning resources on the internet. You can pick up a skill, like computer programming or another language, or you can educate yourself on broader topics, like politics or education.
    • With Coursera you can take entire college courses from top universities for free![1]
    • You can get bite size lessons to open your mind by watching TEDTalks![2]
    • WikiHow offers all sorts of learning resources. You can even spread the learning around by writing or improving an article on which you are an expert!

Part 3
Setting Goals

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    Identify qualities you admire. Find qualities that you admire in others and that you want to learn. If you can't think of any right away, think of people that you wish you were like and think about what it is about them that you like. Are they kind? Ambitious? Hard working? These are qualities you should look for.
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    Identify your flaws. Think about the things that you don't like about yourself. Don't focus on things like your weight, because your body is really just the container you're in, it's not who you are. Things like weight should be tackled after changing stuff like your attitude towards others, your work ethic, and your skills.
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    Decide what you want to change. Think about what you want to change. These have to be things that you really do want to change. It's true what they say: the first part of solving a problem is admitting that you have one. Figure out what really means the most to you and what would be motivating enough to change your lifestyle.
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    Get input. Talk to others that you trust, like lovers, friends, and family members. Tell them what you want to change about your life and why. They might have some good insight that can help you in bettering yourself, as well as a clearer view of who you are as a person.
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    Start small, work up. Start with small goals. Don't start with something like "stop smoking". Instead, try "smoke less". Breaking goals up into smaller goals will help keep you motivated and make your goals more realistic.
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    Decide on a timeline. Think about where these goals sit in your life priorities. This can really change how much effort you put into bettering yourself. If you don't set a deadline for a change, the goal will feel unreal and intangible, and you'll be less likely to complete it.
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    Follow through. Start! Don't just think about goals or what you want to do, go out and do them!

Part 4
Breaking Habits

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    Want to change. Like we said, you have to really want these changes in your life, otherwise they'll never stick. You can pretend to be better in one way or another for a little while, but it will catch up to you if you don't mean it. Make changes that you want for yourself, rather than changes that someone else is forcing on you. This is the only way to really change.
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    Have realistic expectations. Don't think that changing who you are will make your life instantly better and that everything will be perfect. That's not how life works. And changing won't be easier, either. If you go in with reasonable expectations, you'll have a much easier time sticking through the challenges.
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    Recognize your triggers. Recognize the things that make you do things you don't like or that you want to change. Do you eat when you're stressed? Lash out at loved ones when you're angry? Find your triggers so that you can find better ways to deal with them.
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    Set up barriers. Erect barriers to keep you from doing the things that you don't like. If you want to spend less time on the internet, get a plan that allows slower or less traffic, or only allow internet on your phone but not your computer. Basic barriers will keep you from automatically falling on old habits, as they'll ensure that doing the wrong thing would be a conscious effort, rather than an accident.
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    Find replacements. Find something else to do instead of the thing you're trying to stop. The activities listed in the first section can work, but you can also employ smaller tricks. If you tend to get angry a lot, try singing a song inside your head. This works even better if it's a song that makes you laugh.[3]
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    Reward yourself. Give yourself rewards to further motivate you. Keep these small, just enough to trigger positive feelings. You don't want to be dependent on the rewards, just let them make you feel good about all the work you're putting in.
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    Give it time. Be patient! Change takes time. It won't happen overnight and if you expect it to, you'll be very disappointed in yourself. Wait, just keep trying, and you'll get there eventually!


  • Get help from friends and family members by having them join you in your efforts. Working with a buddy is always more motivating.


  • Don't compromise who you are as a person to make someone else happy, because it will never make you happy. Do this for you, not them.

Article Info

Categories: Personal Development