If you’ve read my blog before, you know that personal development is a topic I’m incredibly passionate about. I make time every single day to learn new self improvement tips – whether it be a blog post, book chapter, podcast episode, etc. But I also make time every day to actually use that knowledge!
There are so many small things you can do that will make a big difference in the long run. In this post, I’m sharing 35+ ways to improve yourself every day!
How to Improve Yourself Every Day
Read Every Day
I love to read, and it’s always been something I’ve spent a lot of my free time on.
For me, reading is a great way to unwind and relax. I love reading both fiction and nonfiction books, so I get a great combination of entertainment and education from books!
Not only is reading just genuinely fun, but it also expands your vocabulary and makes you a better writer, which is something that could definitely come in handy in your career!
Learn a New Language
After about seven years of studying foreign languages in high school and college, I’m embarrassed to say I can’t successfully speak any of them! However, we are working on brushing up on a language for an upcoming trip we have planned this year!
Not only is learning a new language a fun way to broaden your horizons and learn about a new culture, but it also might come in handy in a job search someday! Companies tend to pay higher for bilingual employees!
Set Big Goals
Without setting goals for your future, you’ll likely spend much of your life standing still and not accomplishing much. I find that setting goals and actually coming up with a plan to reach them is the absolute best way to achieve new things in life!
I’m sure there are plenty of us who think it would be nice to travel more someday or retire early. But how many of us actually set a goal for yourselves to get there?
Goal setting is seriously one of my favorite topics, so much so that I’ve created an entire email challenge all about reaching your biggest goals!
Move Your Body Every Day
Exercise is so incredibly important. Even if you aren’t going after any fitness goals right now, physical activity is essential for long-term health.
Plus, you’ll feel so much better about yourself every day! I know that I have so much more energy and am just generally happier when I’m making time to move my body every day. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout. Just a leisurely walk will do!
Pick Up a New Hobby
Because I have a side hustle, that’s what most of my free time is spent on. And while I try to make sure to set aside time for fun, there have definitely been times where I fail to make time for hobbies.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work I have, I find that picking up a new hobby to focus on is a great way to unwind and clear my head! It doesn’t have to be something you’re good at, and you don’t have to share it with the world. Just make it something that is genuinely fun for you!
Read Personal Development Books
I mentioned before that I love reading, and personal development books are some of my favorites! I love diving into an amazing book and feeling like I’ve finally been let it on this big secret that I know is going to change my life.
If you love personal development books or want to start reading them, check out my list of the best personal development books to read!
Listen to Personal Development Podcasts
If you love personal development but reading isn’t your book, then podcasts are a great alternative. I LOVE listening to podcasts because it’s something I can do every day while I’m working out, driving to work, cleaning, getting ready in the morning, and more!
Check out my list of the best personal development podcasts to inspire and motivate you!
Improve a Skill
When was the last time you did something to hone one of your existing skills? It’s not something we often think to do, but it has a huge impact! I’ve taken a lot of online courses to learn new skills, but I’ve also really enjoyed some of the courses I’ve taken to improve a skill I already have.
Related Article: The Best Free or Cheap Ways to Invest in Yourself
Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor in your field can really be invaluable. A mentor can be there to show you the ropes early on in your career. They can also provide encouragement and a confidence boost when you need one. Finally, a mentor can be a great resource when it comes to furthering your career, as they might be able to help you move up in your company, or connect you with people who may hire you.
Create a Morning Routine
I haven’t always been much of a morning person. In fact, for most of my life, mornings looked like me waking up late, getting ready in a rush, and arriving at work late and stressed.
Creating a morning routine has not only ensured I’m on time every day with everything I need for the day, but it has also done wonders for my happiness!
I love being able to start my morning a little more slowly and make time for a few things I actually enjoy!
Don’t forget to check out my article on how you can create a healthy morning routine too!
Stop Caring About What Other People Think
When I started blogging, I hit it from just about everyone because I was worried about what they would think. In fact, I spent an awful lot of time in previous years worrying about what people think. But honestly, other people’s opinions of me just don’t affect me at all. I just try to remind myself that what they think is about them, not me!
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present moment. It’s the ultimate state of awareness. Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts and feelings. Not judging them, just observing them. It’s something we practice in meditation, but mindfulness is something you can incorporate all day long!
Being able to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life can help reduce stress levels, help manage depression and anxiety, and allow you to focus on your current experience rather than dwelling on the past.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I’ve always had a pretty small comfort zone and have struggled with change. Over the past few years, I’ve grown a lot as a person. I’ve challenged myself to try new experiences and meet new people, putting myself in situations that previously I would have avoided like the plague.
Honestly, I’m so glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone! It’s amazing how much you can grow when you challenge yourself.
Related Article: How to Challenge Yourself Every Day to Live Your Best Life
Ask For Feedback
Asking for feedback can be a bit nervewracking because sometimes you probably are going to get negative feedback. But that negative or critical feedback is how you grow! Whether it’s your boss or a mentor or even your significant other, ask them what you could do to improve as an employee, coworker, partner, etc.
Make a To Do List
I can honestly say that if there is one thing that is going to make or break how successful of a day I have, it is my to-do list. I have way too many things running around in my mind, so if I relied simply on my memory, I would never get everything done!
I like to keep my to-do list short, with just 3-5 important tasks per day. Anything more than that and I’m likely to get overwhelmed, and probably won’t be able to finish everything on the list.
I also try to write my to-do list a week at a time, or at the very latest, the night before. That way when I sit down in the morning, I can skip the planning and just get right to work.
Related Article: The Best Planners to Use for Productivity in 2019
Join a Community
Being a part of a community can impact your life in so many ways, some that you might not even expect. You never know who you’ll meet or what opportunities might arise from it! Joining a community is a great way to make new friends, and maybe even open up future career opportunities.
No matter what your interests, there will be communities you can join. It might be a church, a band, or a local group for moms. I have loved becoming part of the online blogging community and making friends that way!
Ditch a Bad Habit
I think it’s safe to say we all have a bad habit or two we could stand to get rid of. Getting rid of a bad habit is often not an easy goal, but one that can greatly improve your life. If you have a bad habit you’re ready to get rid of, be sure to check out these 5 steps to break a bad habit.
Be Open to Change
Change is scary, but it’s also inevitable. And the more prepared you are to deal with it, the better off you’ll be in the long run. I used to be very averse to change and would worry about it a lot. But your twenties are a time full of change.
I still have a bit of anxiety when it comes to change, but I’ve learned to be excited about the change because any changes I’m going through are going to take me into the next phase of my life.
Related Article: Dealing with Change in Your Twenties
Write Down Your Thoughts
If there’s one thing that can turn around my mood when I’m really down, it’s journaling. I can’t even tell you how helpful it is for me to just get my thoughts down on paper. And most of the time, by the time I’m done writing, I’ve written myself right into a better mood.
Journaling might seem strange or difficult for people who have never done it before. What do you even write about? I like to start with just a thought download and write down all of the thoughts I’m having or things that have been weighing on me.
Watch Less TV
I watch so much less TV than I used to. It used to be that I would get home from work, and mostly just watch TV all evening. Even if it wasn’t a show I really cared about, I would just find something to put on. I’m so thankful I don’t do that anymore!
If I have a show I really want to watch, I’ll turn on the TV. But even then I try to limit the time I spend watching TV so I’m not spending an entire evening doing so, or watching TV every single night.
You’ll be amazed at what you have time for in your life when you aren’t spending it watching TV!
Make a Budget
Finances are one of the biggest stressors most of us face in our lives, so it stands to reason that by getting our money under control, we can improve our lives overall. I know that when I’m struggling with finances, it affects everything.
When I decided I didn’t want to live like that anymore, I created a budget and actually forced myself to (mostly) stick to it. It has brought so much peace of mind, and it turns out creating a monthly budget isn’t that hard!
Give Back to Your Community
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while also feeling great about yourself and doing something you actually enjoy. There are so many causes out there that anyone can find one that speaks to them! Do you love animals? Volunteer to walk the dogs at your local pet shelter! Or if you love kids, you could volunteer at a nearby children’s hospital. Whatever your interests, you’ll be able to find opportunities to give back!
I was a meditation skeptic for a long time. I heard so many other online business owners preaching it, and it just didn’t seem like something that would work for me. But when I finally gave it a shot, I was so glad I did!
Meditation has been great for my anxiety because it has taught me to quiet my mind. It has also been really helpful for my productivity because it has taught me to focus on the task at hand and notice when my mind is wandering.
Ask For Help
I don’t know why, but many of us don’t think to ask for help when we’re struggling. I definitely see this in myself. In the past when I’ve gone through a hard time emotionally, I’ve rarely turned to someone for help and opened up about what I was going through.
Whether is in your career or in your personal life, asking for help is okay! In the long run, things will be fixed a heck of a lot faster than if you try to take on everything yourself.
Drink More Water
You probably aren’t drinking enough water. Seriously, most of us are walking around in a constant state of dehydration. I used to drink almost no water. And when I finally started drinking more, I noticed a huge change in how I physically felt. Now I can feel when I haven’t had enough water – I feel sluggish, my head doesn’t feel great, and everything just feels a little off. It’s crazy to think I spent years walking around like that all the time!
Get More Sleep
This is one of those things where we all know we should get more sleep, but something always comes up that prevents us from getting to bed early. Whether it’s an evening out with friends or just a few too many episodes of your current favorite show, there’s always something keeping us up late. But then the next morning comes around, and we definitely wish we had gone to bed earlier!
If you struggle with this, try setting a bedtime alarm. Set it for early enough that you’ll have time to do everything you need to do before bed and still get to sleep on time.
Spend Less Time on Your Phone
I think I can safely say just about all of us are guilty of spending a bit too much time on our phones. So often it’s not even intentional – we just subconsciously pick up our phones and start scrolling our social media app of choice.
I try to make an intentional effort, especially when I’m with other people, of not looking at my phone as often. If I’m spending time with someone, that’s because they are important enough to me to deserve my full attention, without me stealing glances at my phone or scrolling Facebook.
And when I’m alone, there are definitely more productive things I could be doing with my time!
It’s pretty easy to focus on the negative or frustrating things that are going on in our lives. I’m definitely guilty of this as well. But focusing on those negative things only gives us an even more negative attitude.
Try to make some time each day to focus only on the things in your life you are grateful for. I like to do this by just making a gratitude list in my journal and writing 3-5 specific things I am grateful for that day.
If you are a people-pleaser, I’m sure you can relate to the anxiety felt at the thought of saying no to someone when they ask for a favor. But sometimes, saying no is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Everyone has a lot on their plate, and you’ll burn yourself out if you’re constantly making time for other people’s priorities. Don’t worry about the fear of disappointing people – those who really care about you will understand!
Listen to Music
Music has always been a great source of stress relief for me. If I’m feeling stressed or sad or even if I just need to focus, turning on some music is always sure to do the trick. And there have been plenty of studies to show that listening to music actually does improve mental health and happiness.
Face Your Fears
I think most of us tend to avoid the things that scare or intimidate us. For example, I’ve dealt with a lot of social anxiety in the past, and so I would simply avoid social situations where I wasn’t going with someone. However, forcing myself to get uncomfortable once in a while and putting myself in those social situations has been a growing experience for me!
Improve Your Relationships
I think there are few investments in life as the time and energy you invest in your relationships. Relationships are one of our greatest sources of happiness, and they’re worth putting effort into!
Doing something to improve a relationship could be something like going on a date night, planning a girls night out with your best friend, or a weekend visit to your mom.
There are certainly times in life where things are hectic and there doesn’t seem to be enough time to focus on your relationships, but you’ll definitely be glad you did.
Create an Evening Routine
Mornings are always a bit hectic for me when I haven’t done my evening routine. Evenings are when I get the coffee maker ready, pack my lunch, and pick out my clothes for the following day. Having to do all of that first thing in the morning means I’m already off to a rough start for the day!
Having an evening routine is also a good way to wind down slowly in the morning, as opposed to binge-watching Netflix until midnight and then deciding you should probably go to bed.
Take More Pictures
I don’t remember to take pictures very often – which is particularly problematic for a blogger! But when I do take pictures, I’m always glad I do. I love having pictures around of my fiance and I, our dog, family and friends, or even just a beautiful sunset I had the opportunity to watch.
I don’t condone interrupting moments for a photo opp, but it’s definitely worth having a picture to remember it by.
Declutter Your Home
Not only does clutter take up physical space in your home, but it can also be stressful and bad for productivity. I notice that when clutter is starting to build up in my home, I start to feel really overwhelmed. And when my desk is cluttered, my productivity takes a hit.
Set aside a bit of time each week to declutter, and you’ll have a clearer mind for the rest of the week!
Related Article: How Clutter is Actually Killing Your Productivity
Talk to a Therapist
I know there are plenty of people who are a bit wary of seeing a therapist. Maybe it’s because you’re afraid of being stigmatized, or that you aren’t sure it will help you, or maybe you’re just worried about the cost.
Any time you’re going through something difficult in your life, or even when you’re not, talking to a therapist can be an amazing way of sorting out your feelings and learning to manage whatever is going on in your life.
Honor Commitments to Yourself
Have you ever noticed how we honor commitments we make to other people, but so rarely honor the commitments we keep to ourselves? Honoring commitments to yourself should be your first priority over those you make to others.
So next time you tell yourself you are going to work out or get up early to journal, actually follow through on it!
There are SO many small things you could incorporate into every day to improve yourself.
By selecting just a few from this list, I think you’ll notice a huge difference in your quality of life.
Hi, I’m Erin! I’m an online educator and content creator who helps women reach their goals by teaching them to manage their time and their money. I want to help you design a life you love, so I’m sharing everything I know about goal setting, productivity, planning, and personal finance. You can read my full story here!