When I was in my mid-twenties, I went through something of a mid-life crisis. I found myself questioning all of the decisions I had made up until that point, including my career and relationship decisions. I ended up choosing to end my marriage at 26, and frankly was a little lost.
It was during this time that I threw myself into self improvement. I read just about every personal development book I could get my hands on and loved learning new personal development tips.
Personal development is something I’m still super passionate about, and something I talk a lot about here on my blog. And in this post, I’m sharing with you 30 of my favorite self improvement tips!
80+ Self Improvement Tips That Will Change Your Life
1. Set goals for yourself. Setting goals is the best way to keep moving forward in life and ensure you’re able to achieve your dreams. If you’re ready to start tackling your goals, be sure to check out my blog post about how to set goals and plan your best year ever.
2. Write down your goals. While you’re setting goals for yourself, be sure to write them down. There is so much research to show that people are more likely to meet their goals then they’ve written them down somewhere they can see them!
3. Start now. So many people have personal development goals, but they think they have to reach other milestones before they can really start. This is just a form of procrastination. You can start TODAY!
4. Break down your goal into actionable steps. If you look at your goal as one huge task, it’s going to seem way too overwhelming. Instead, break it down into each individual task you need to complete to reach your goal so you can put those tasks on your calendar.
5. Create a monthly budget. When it comes to managing your money, creating a monthly budget is the best place to start. No, it’s not going to be fun. But it will be down the road when you have more money to spare every month! And once you’ve created your budget, be sure to check in with it daily, or at least weekly. These budget apps can help you stay on top of your budget.
6. Map out a five year plan. Planning anything five years in advance might sound ridiculous. But mapping out your plan for the next five years is actually really useful in helping you to set goals for your life right now!
7. Evaluate what isn’t working. If you aren’t reaching your goals, there’s a reason. Be sure to constantly evaluate your progress so you can figure out what isn’t working, and change course before it’s too late.
8. Learn to enjoy the moment. I’m someone who spends a lot of time planning and overthinking. Since meeting my fiance, he has really helped me to see how important it is to enjoy the current moment, and has helped teach me how to do that. Now, I really try to live in the moment when we spend time together rather than planning for and stressing about the future.
9. Start a personal development blog. Starting a blog and sharing my personal development journey has helped me to grow so much as a person. I’ve also been able to help other people on their own personal development journeys, which has been super rewarding! Here’s how you can start your own personal development blog!
10. Start a meal plan. Meal planning has so many benefits! First of all, you’ll find yourself far less stressed when you get home from work every night and don’t have to stress about what to have for dinner. It will also help you save money and eat a lot healthier!
11. Identify your blind spots. When it comes to personal development, blind spots are things about ourselves that we can’t see, but that are weaknesses or need improvement. Once you can identify those, you can really learn to overcome them!
12. Make more money. A great way to ensure your financial health is to increase the amount of money you make. Here’s a great article filled with 35+ creative ways to make extra money.
13. Create healthy habits. Your habits make up basically your entire life. Meaning if your life is filled with small unhealthy habits, you’re living an unhealthy life. Instead, make sure to create healthy habits in your life. Here’s how to create healthy habits.
14. Eliminate a bad habit. In addition to starting good habits, try to eliminate a bad habit. Surely we all have a habit that isn’t healthy, whether it’s smoking, overeating, talking down to ourselves, or anything else that isn’t serving us.
15. Cut down on screen time. This is good for your physical health because it gives your eyes and head a break from the light of the screen. But it’s also good for your mental health! When I’m feeling down about myself, I know spending some time away from social media will help.
16. Create routines in your life. Routines are basically just a collection of habits you do in the same order every day. By creating routines in your life, you have to make far fewer decisions in your day and you’ll be a lot happier and more productive.
17. Read personal development books. I’ve become slightly obsessed with personal development books! No matter what you’re struggling with in life, you’ll be able to find a book that can help you.
18. Read personal finance books. When I first became determined to learn more about managing my money, personal finance books became my favorite learning tool! There are so many experts out there with the knowledge to share.
19. Start a 30-day challenge. Start a goal and work on it every day for the next 30 days. There are plenty of 30-day challenge guides online for everything from fitness, healthy eating, reading, wriitng, and more.
20. Find an accountability partner or mastermind. If you’re reaching for a goal, why not find someone (or someones) who are going after the same goal, and work together to keep each other accountable? You can exchange tips and motivation to ensure you all reach the finish line.
21. Commit to an exercise routine. Physical activity is so important, and one of the best ways to care for your body.
22. Ask for feedback. No one likes getting critical feedback, but it’s also how we grow! Ask your significant other, friends, boss, coworkers, etc. for feedback and you might actually learn a lot about yourself. And then you can use that feedback to grow as a person!
23. Create a capsule wardrobe. I spent years with a closet filled with way too many clothes that I rarely wore, with a few staple pieces that I wore all the time. When I finally read about the idea of a capsule wardrobe, or minimalist wardrobe, I was hooked!
24. Avoid impulse spending. I used to be so bad about impulse spending! I would run into Target for one thing and end up spending way too much money. And let me tell you, it was not great for my credit card balance! Be kind to your finances by avoiding impulse spending.
25. Listen to self improvement podcasts. I’ve become a bit of a podcast junkie. I put together a list of my favorite personal development podcasts to motivate and inspire you!
26. Pay attention to the thoughts you are having. It’s important to stay in tune with what’s going on in your mind. If you’re constantly talking down to yourself or others or having negative thoughts, it’s important to notice that so you can change course!
27. Expand your network. I’m not a huge fan of networking, but I know how important it is for my career! Even if you’re an introvert and the idea of going to a networking event sounds terrible to you, find a different way to network with those in your industry. For bloggers, there are so many amazing online networking opportunities available!
28. Eat well. As with exercise, caring for your body by eating well is incredibly important. Most of us are eating far too many sugary and highly processed foods. Trying to eat clean most of the time will do wonders for your body.
29. Plan your career. Far too many people start a job or career and then just get stuck on a conveyer belt without really stopping along the way to revisit whether this is really what you want for your career. Make every decision intentionally so you can be in control of your own career.
30. Let go of the past. There are plenty of things in my past that brought me unhappiness, and I’m glad to be past them. Except when I find myself dwelling on them, they bring me unhappiness all over again! You can’t change the past, but you can stop it from negatively impact your life today.
31. Be okay with imperfect. If I never published a piece of writing until it was perfect, I would literally never publish anything! When we make room for perfectionism, we’re really just giving ourselves an excuse not to try at all. Be okay with imperfect work and you’ll reach your goals a lot faster. You can always go back and revise later!
32. Get outdoors. I don’t know about you, but I always feel amazing after spending the day outside. I’m happier and more relaxed, and often it pushes me to get a good workout in if I’m going hiking or swimming.
33. Check in with your partner. It’s important to communicate with your partner regularly to maintain a healthy relationship. Whether you’re scheduling family meetings or date nights, make sure to have time on the calendar just for the two of you.
34. Practice delayed gratification. Many of the things you’ll have to do now to reach your goals aren’t going to feel great, but they’ll be much better for you in the long run.
35. Focus on one thing at a time. Your brain is not capable of multitasking. If you try to multitasking, you’re really just jumping from task to task without giving anything your full attention. Everything will take longer, and the finished product won’t be as good!
36. Allow time for creativity. If you already have a creative hobby, ensure you’re making time for it in your busy schedule. If you don’t have a creative hobby, try to find one! It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but you’ll really see the mental benefits from it.
37. Drink lots of water. Did you know most people walk around in a constant state of dehydration? Yep, and it can be the cause of a lot of the discomfort and fatigue you feel throughout the day! Drinking lots of water will make a huge difference in the way you feel.
38. Create a morning routine. Starting your morning off on the right foot is so important and can help lead to a productive day.
39. Create an evening routine. My evening routine ensures that I get to sleep at a decent hour and that I’m ready for the next day. This is when I do things like prepare my lunch for the next day, pick out my clothes, wash my face, etc.
40. Spend time alone. I love being with my significant other, or with family and friends. But I also really crave being alone sometimes and feel really refreshed afterward. A little solitude can really help clear your mind.
41. Plan your days and weeks ahead of time. I am always so much more productive when I have planned my days and weeks ahead of time. Otherwise, I’m always a little overwhelmed and not entirely sure what I’m supposed to be working on!
42. Care for your relationships. The relationships you have are some of the biggest determining factors in living a happy life – so make sure you take care of them! Whether it’s your spouse, your parents, or your friends, make time to nurture those relationships.
43. Keep your home and workspace organized. When my environment is chaotic, I tend to get a little stressed. And clutter actually decreases your productivity! Keeping an organized home and workspace allows me to focus on other things instead, rather than being overwhelmed by my surroundings.
44. Never stop learning. I was one of those kids who loved learning in school and when I graduated college, I was bummed about all of the classes I didn’t get a chance to take. Luckily, I’ve never stopped learning! Whether you’re into books, podcasts, online course, or whatever else, there are seriously endless opportunities to keep learning!
45. Be adaptable. What got you to where you are now in life isn’t necessarily what is going to get you to where you want to go. Figure out who you need to become in order to reach your goals, and then become that person! And remain adaptable along the way.
46. Learn to forgive. If you’re still hanging onto anger and resentment from the past, learn to forgive and let it go. You aren’t hurting the person you’re angry at, only yourself!
47. Stop comparing yourself with others. There is never any good to come from comparing yourself to someone else. You are on different journeys. Rather than comparing yourself with others, compare yourself with your past self to see how much you have grown.
48. Find a mentor. One of the biggest turning points for me in reaching my goals has been finding mentors and teachers to learn from who have already accomplished what I want to accomplish. Start networking and find a mentor in your field!
49. Build an emergency fund. You never know what is coming in life, so you should always be prepared. Building an emergency fund allows you to start preparing for the unexpected. That way if something goes wrong, you’re covered!
50. Learn a new language. Not only is learning a new language a really great growing and mind-opening experience, but it also might really come in hand for job opportunities or future travels!
51. Treat yourself. You work hard and deserve to treat yourself. Way too many people feel guilty about treating themselves, so they just don’t. There’s nothing to feel guilty about!
52. Say no. I tend to have a hard time saying no to others. But that unfortunately means that I’m not getting as many things done on my own to-do list. I’ve really had to learn to say no to others sometimes, no matter how uncomfortable it might make me!
53. Analyze your emotions. If you’re experiencing negative emotions, analyze them and try to figure out why. What thoughts are you having that are causing those negative feelings? Likewise, when you’re experiencing positive emotions, figure out what thoughts are creating them so you can recreate those positive emotions in the future.
54. Watch less television. I have to say, I’ve never been grateful that I spent an entire day or weekend mindlessly watching television. In fact, there are times in my life where I wish I would have spent a lot less time watching TV and a lot more time working toward my goals!
55. Do your most important task first every day. There are always going to be those days where you don’t finish everything on your to-do list. I like to finish my most important task first thing in the morning. That way no matter what else happens, I still had a productive day!
56. Set personal boundaries. No one else in life is going to be looking out for your mental health and best interests as well as you can. Setting boundaries in your life is a great way to put yourself first and make sure no one else can negatively impact your health and happiness.
57. Admit your mistakes. We all mistakes. It’s human nature. And making a few mistakes along the way isn’t going to hold you back. But what will hold you back is not being able to admit and learn from your mistakes.
58. Level up your skills. Learning new skills is great, but are you still brushing up on the skills you already have? Continuing to level up your skill is a great way to grow professionally and personally.
59. Start a skincare routine. I was in my twenties before I really started taking care of my skin. Before that, I would regularly go to sleep with makeup on, go days without moisturizing, etc. It’s amazing how much better my skin looks now that I consistently take care of it. And don’t forget the SPF every day!
60. Travel somewhere new. There is so much to be gained by traveling! I really feel myself growing as a person every time I travel to a new place.
61. Practice positive affirmations. The mindset you approach life with is going to have a big impact on the results you see. When I’m doubting whether I’ll be able to reach my goals, I use positive affirmations to turn my mindset around.
62. Start a meditation practice. For years I rolled my eyes at the idea of meditating because it just seemed way too woo-woo. But once I tried it, I realized the benefits are real.
63. Don’t rely on credit cards. Way too many people fall into the trap of credit card debt. I know, because I’ve been there! Stop using your credit cards until you can figure out how to do so without going into debt.
64. Give back to your community. By volunteering and giving back, you can help ensure everyone in your community, including you and your family, have the best home possible. This might mean volunteering at your local food pantry or helping on an environment project.
65. Surround yourself with positive people. Have you ever had a friend who was really negative, and you always found yourself feeling really negative after spending time with them? I feel like we’ve all had at least one person in our lives like that. We’ve all heard the saying, “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. Well do you really want to be more like that negative person, or would you rather learn from the positive people in your life? I know which I would prefer!
66. Practice self-care. Many people think that self-care is selfish, or not a productive use of time. Really, self-care is just helping you care for yourself, and it really is important. Self-care looks different for everyone, so figure out what it looks like for you and put it on your calendar!
67. Start a gratitude journal. I tend to be a bit of a glass half empty person. Starting a gratitude practice in my journal has really forced me to focus on the positive things in my life, at least for a little bit each day!
68. Work through issues with a therapist. The idea of going to therapy makes some people cringe, and I totally used to be one of those people. But talking your thoughts and feelings out with a professional can do wonders!
69. Develop an abundance mindset. If you assume that nothing is going to go right and you aren’t going to be successful, you’ll be right. Believing you can accomplish something is the first step to actually making it happen!
70. Journal regularly. I tend to struggle with anxiety. Lately, I’ve found a great way to deal with it is to just do a brain dump of all the thoughts I’m having and talk myself through them. I always end up feeling better!
71. Stop negative thoughts. If you’re having negative thoughts that are causing negative feelings, stop them in their tracks. For me, this goes hand in hand with journaling, as I journal what negative thoughts I’m having, and then the positive thoughts I want to think instead.
72. Challenge yourself. You can grow so much as a person by challenging yourself and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Here are 22 ways to can challenge yourself to live your best life.
73. Schedule time for fun. It’s easy to get caught up in work and all of the other responsibilities in life. But I definitely start to feel the negative effects of not enough free time. Try scheduling in some time for fun!
74. Become familiar with your credit report. I paid almost no attention to my credit report until I was in my mid-twenties, and boy do I wish I had started checking sooner! Your credit report will be a huge determining factor down the road when it comes to do things like buy a car or a house.
75. Keep a to-do list. I don’t know about you, but I can’t possibly remember tasks if I haven’t written them down. Keeping a to-do list helps to reduce a lot of mental clutter and allows you to focus on the task at hand.
76. Embrace change. You are going to go through major changes in your life, whether you like it or not. If you don’t embrace change, you’ll find yourself dreading it and suffering through change rather than enjoying it.
77. Get lots of sleep. Your body needs sleep. When I haven’t gotten enough sleep, I can feel it. And it starts to affect other parts of my life negatively. I am for at least seven hours per night.
78. Create a vision board. If you’re reaching for some BIG goals, it might be easy to lose motivation. Creating a vision board ensures your big goals are always in front of you, so you continue to remember what you’re working for.
79. Save for retirement. Many people think about what they can do to improve their current selves, but improving life for your future self is just as important. Be sure to start saving for retirement ASAP. You future self will thank you!
80. Embrace failure. Usually, we shy away from failure, and often don’t bother going after our goals because of our fear of failure. Instead, we should be embracing the fact that failure helps us to grow. When you fail, you learn important lessons that will help you the second time around.
81. Commit to yourself. Whatever form of personal development you decide is for you, really commit to it. Personal growth is a lifelong effort. Once you start to honor your commitments to yourself and showing yourself that you’ll follow through for yourself, it will be a lot easier to start seeing positive changes in your life.
There are a lot of tips for self improvement in this post so that anyone will be able to find some self improvement ideas that appeal to them.
As someone who has been passionate about personal development for years now, some of these changes have honestly changed my life, and I know they can do the same for you too.
Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know YOUR favorite self help tips!
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!