50 Ways to Change Your Life

One change  – whether it be a new idea, decision or habit – can be enough to completely change your life. That’s because small changes, with time, can snowball into something much, much greater.

In this article I have drawn from both my own experience and the many personal development books I have read to give you 50 of the best ways to change your life.

1. Learn a foreign language. There are many reasons to learn a foreign language, whether it be for overseas travel, work, or simply to challenge yourself. A great way to do this is with these free podcasts from Open Culture.

2. Read about a subject you wouldn’t normally. This is a great way to develop a better understanding of the world. It will also make you a more interesting person in the process.

3. Start a blog. It’s free and easy to start blogging. Tell the world what’s on your mind, develop an idea or track your progress. The possibilities are endless.

4. Turn off the TV. TV seems to have a passive, hypnotic effect on people. This is a worry when you consider that much of it consists of violent crime shows, dumbed down sitcoms and brainwashing commercials. Plus think of everything you could do with all that free time if you stopped, or at least cut down on, watching TV.

5. Wake up early. Use the extra time from waking early to read inspirational books, review your goals and envision the life you want. I have written an article on this titled The Morning – Win the Battle of the Bed.

6. Get fit. Increased strength, mental clarity and self-confidence are just some of the benefits of improving your physical fitness. You will also live longer.

7. Tell a loved one how you feel about them. Why wait until it’s too late until you tell your loved ones how you feel about them?

8. Get married. It’s certainly not a necessity to be married in this day and age, but it is still a nice sign of commitment to eachother.

9. End a bad relationship. It can be extremely hard to feel stuck in a bad relationship. If you can’t see a future together, why not cut your losses and move on? It’s a cliché, but there really are plenty of fish in the sea.

10. Start a budget. A budget is a plan that allocates future income towards expenses, savings, investments and debt repayment. They do not have to be rigid and complicated and there are numerous budgeting software options available online.

11. Become a parent. This is guaranteed way to change the way you view life. When you realise that you will have to care for, and be a model to, another human being you will truly want to be the best person you possibly can.

12. Drink less alcohol. This can improve your physical, mental and financial health. I written about my own love/ hate relationship with alcohol here.

13. Declutter your life. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by clutter, both physical and mental. Declutter your physical surroundings by going through your clothes and other possessions and see what you no longer need. Sell them on Ebay, or simply give them away. Mental clutter is things like unfinished projects, a crammed schedule or negative people who drain our energy. You can clear your mental clutter by listing everything that is troubling you and then crossing each one off as you deal with it.

14. Create a vision board. This is one of the most powerful ways to get the Law of Attraction to work for you. A vision board is basically a collage of pictures of the goals and dreams you want to attract in your life. Alex Shalman has written a good article on how to create a vision board using a practical approach.

15. Phone a friend. Sometimes the human connection can be lost in emails, instant messaging and text messaging. Why not pick up the phone and talk to your friend? Even better, use Skype.

16. Travel. Travel will expose you to new places, new cultures, new people and new ideas.

17. Stop lurking. There are many benefits to being an active contributor on the Internet. I have written about this in my article Lessons From A Reformed Lurker.

18. Take up photography. It an interest in photography will change the way you view the world. You will begin to really notice the details of your surroundings, appreciate the beauty of the world, and the quirks of everyday life. For inspiration check out TrekEarth.

19. Eat healthy food. Healthy food nourishes the body and gives us energy to get through each day. Need some ideas? Lifehack has a list of over 100 quick and easy healthy foods.

20. Never eat alone. This simple idea is a great way to network, without feeling like a desperate glad-handler.

21. Save 10- 20% of your income. The best way to do this is by paying yourself first.

22. Improve you memory. A good memory is a powerful and valuable asset. Brain games, exercise, and reading are just a few of the ways you can keep your memory strong. For further tips, read this article titled 10 Ways to Keep Your Memory Strong.

23. Study. There are endless benefits to both formal and informal study. Some of these include: enhancing your career prospects, developing skills and subject knowledge, and personal growth and satisfaction.

24. Start a business. If you want to be a millionaire one day, you may want to consider how be self-employed. In The Millionaire Next Door the authors Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko write:

Who is the prototypical American millionaire?… About two-thirds of us who are working are self-employed. Interestingly, self-employed people make up less than 20 per cent of workers in America but account for two-thirds of the millionaires.

25. Write out your short, medium, and long term goals. The act of writing down your goals make them far more likely to happen.

26. Be creative. We all possess the potential for creative expression. Many of us, however, do not believe we are creative or don’t know what outlet we should use to express our creativity. You do not have to paint a picture to be creative, rather everyday tasks such as cooking a meal, making a presentation at work or dressing yourself can be done in a creative manner. This is a good article on How to Be Creative from Gaping Void.

27. Ask for a pay raise. Many people feel they are underpaid for the work they do. But have they actually asked for a raise? If this is you, make sure you ask the right way. Follow the steps in this article for success.

28. Strike up a conversation with a stranger. Waiting for the bus, standing in a queue and traveling in a lift are all great examples of when you can strike up a conversation with a stranger. Why bother? Well, it’s a simple way to connect with another human being. And sometimes a stranger can change your life in a way you could have never imagined.

29. Get a makeover. When you look great, you feel great. Simple really.

30. Take a mini-retirement. Tim Ferris advocates freeing yourself from the daily grind by taking a “mini retirements”. Basically this entails traveling to one place for one to six months before going home or moving to another locale. You can find out more about this idea in his book The 4-Hour Workweek.

31. Invest. Investing your money is the best way to ensure you meet longer-term financial objectives, such as saving for retirement or your child’s education. Its fairly easy to start investing, and you can begin with as little as $1,000. For further reading about investing, I recommend the blog Get Rich Slowly.

32. Learn to dance. It will help you meet new people, stay fit, overcome shyness and make you feel more comfortable in social situations.

33. Leave each person you come into contact with better than you found them. Even something as simple as a smile or a compliment can make someone else’s day.

34. Review your day each night before going to sleep. This is a great way to track whether or not you are living your life in accordance with your principles and goals. The habit was best advocated by the Benjamin Franklin.

35. Find your life purpose. Steve Pavlina has written an excellent article on How to Discover Your Life Purpose in About 20 Minutes.

36. Learn a musical instrument. No I can’t play an instrument, but it’s high up on my list of things to do. I am told the benefits are that it teaches discipline, relieves stress, gives a sense of achievement, is fun and makes you look cool (well, some instruments…).

37. Be green. Recycling, going carbon neutral and using public transport are just a few examples of how we can make a difference to the environment. If you haven’t already seen it, watch Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truthfor inspiration.

38. Volunteer. Apart from making a difference in someone else’s life and/ or helping the environment, volunteering will improve your life by helping you to meet new people, develop new skills, build self-confidence and feel valued.

39. Don’t just be good, be great. Many people settle for being average in life. Don’t be one of them. How? I recommend you read Steve Pavlina’s article How to Get From a 7 to a 10.

40. Write a personal mission statement. Think of a personal mission statement as a solid expression of your vision and values. In his classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey writes:

Writing or reviewing a mission statement changes you because it forces you to think through your priorities deeply, carefully, and to align your behaviour with your beliefs.

41. Develop multiple streams of passive income. Passive income is income that does not require your direct involvement. Familiar examples include income from a rental property and royalties from either an invention or creative work. This is a good article for those who wish to learn more. You may also like to consider that relying one a single source of income is risky.

42. Donate to charity. No matter how much financial trouble you are in, I can guarantee you there are people worse off than you. Donating to a good cause helps make the world a better place and will make you feel better about yourself. It’s a Win-Win outcome.

43. Do it now. What is it? This only something you will know. But here is a clue: it is what you keep putting off till tomorrow, or next week, or next year….

44. Become a good public speaker. Whether it is to make a speech at a wedding, or an important presentation in the workplace, the ability to capture the attention of your listeners is an invaluable skill. Toastmasters is a worldwide organisation dedicated to helping people develop this skill.

45. Forgive others for pain they may have caused you. No matter what someone has done to us in the past, if we cannot learn to forgive them then our anger, bitterness and despair will control our lives.

46. Be passionate. Having a passion for life will provide you with direction and focus, create energy, foster creativity, inspire action and heighten performance.

47. Remember a few good jokes. Everyone loves to laugh. Having a few good jokes up your sleeve can help break the ice when you meet new people.

48. Find a new job. Do you feel trapped in a boring, soul destroying job? It doesn’t have to be like that that.

49. Relax. Reducing stress in your life has the potential to damage our health and relationships. Some ways to relax are by going for a walk, curling up on the coach and reading a good book, having a warm bath, listening to chilled out music and getting a massage. For further tips on relaxing check out How to Relax.

50. Spend less time on the computer. Don’t let the Internet take over your life. Spending too much time online can make you less productive, damage relationships and is not good for your health. And with that, I’m done….

Peter Clemens

Peter Clemens is founder of The Change Blog and author of The Possibility of Change books series. Click here to learn more about Peter and his books.

31 Comments

  1. Great post. It just shows that there is so much for us to do! Life is really thrilling!
    Have grabbed your feed, I think your blog is great.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the kind words Grant. I have enjoyed reading your blog too.

    Reply
  3. Hi Peter,

    I seldom watch TV nowadays and I really feel it will make my life better.

    Too many people wasted their precious time in front of a LCD box. Many of the shows they are watching are junks shows in my opinion.
    They ought to do more productive stuffs like reading a book, do self-learning, learn new skills, or even a family gathering.

    Great post peter! :)

    Reply
  4. Hi Alex,
    I read the average American watches 5 hours of TV a day – that’s a scary figure! I’m guilt of spending a lot of time on the computer, but I at least consider it to be an activity that I am actively participating in. Watching TV is typically a very passive activity.
    Peter

    Reply
  5. I agree with Alex too. TV drains you and fills precious time with media pulp. I havent read it yet but I believe David Hawkins in “Eye of the I” has found a way to calibrate energy and so measure how certain things can drain us of life forces..TV being one of them. Not sure how religious the book gets but I will read it and get back to you on that. The problem with TV is that it tends to get our attention with pain, suffering and boredom..it doesn’t really take us to higher places – it “drugs” us.

    Reply
  6. Nice list. Although I really must work on that last point :)

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  7. Thanks Scott.

    I’m definately guilty of spending a lot of time on the computer, especially since I have discovered my passion for blogging. One of my main objectives at the moment is to find the right balance between this passion and other interests and responsibilities.

    Reply
  8. I don’t think you should be telling people to become parents for the things that they will receive from it, people should have kids because they can offer those kids a good life.

    Reply
  9. Hi Tobsi,
    I reread my point about becoming a parent (#11) and I don’t think that is what I was telling people. In any case, why not have kids because they will improve your life AND because you can offer them a good life?
    In my case, my son (now 5 months) gives me the motivation to be the best person possible. This will, in turn, benefit him as I will be a better role model for him as he grows up.

    Reply
  10. #1 – Using the Wikipedia in the language you’re trying to learn is fun and useful (see Spanish http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portada) or sometimes funny (see Latin http://la.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pagina_prima) as long as you know the language.
    #37 – Al Gore’s work is alarmism, and stretches (or doesn’t represent at all) the truth. Nevertheless, I agree that humanity should take care of its home.

    Reply
  11. There’s an awful lot here! Should one start at the top or at the bottom?
    As`one who speaks a couple of foreign languages, I approve of number 1. Yet, learning a language may be of only limited use if you do not get the chance to use it. So I wholeheartedly endore 16 as well.

    Reply
  12. Hi Peter,

    Do it now,Be Passionate,Don’t be just good,be Great,Find your life purpose,Write your mission statement,Write your goals,Be Creative,Be fit,Eat a healthy food- These are great tips.

    Best wishes,
    Kannan Viswagandhi
    http://www.growing-self.blogspot.com

    Reply
  13. I feel my spirits lifting. Thanks for the inspirational article. Cheers!

    Reply
  14. this was a really good list. thanks for posting

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  15. I m not usually into this kind of thing, but this seems like a pretty good list.

    Reply
  16. Good thing you didn’t put number 50 first. I may have never finished the list. LOL Seriously, a great list to spur interest in just being happy. Now isn’t that all that matters?

    Great post!

    Reply
  17. Well…i just turned 50 a few months ago…and all these tips are very applicable.I think the most important ones are being creative,doing what you always wanted to do in your life,enjoying each day…the beauty and splendour of this beautiful world,learning something new and getting fit again.Walking is one of the best things to do in the world and its free….and it opens the mind to creative thinking.Make new friends,get away from the people that bore or irritate you…….travel…even if its just down the road.
    Life is for living…………..and living is free(well i dont know about that!).

    Reply
  18. great list

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  19. I love the one about donating to charity, it cannot be underestimated. When you give, you have more.

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  20. whoa hold up there! Get married or have kids as a way to change your life – no way. You should never do either of these things because you feel as though you’re in some kind of rut or need a change. You should already be fulfilled and happy with your situation and ready to pass your love onto someone else. Never do these things as a means for change.

    Reply
  21. im 15 and undergoing gcses and feels like everyday is repeating itself. this post has made me rethink of how i spend my day and make more outta life.
    cheers (:

    Reply
  22. I would like to comment on a few of these things, and ask a few questions if I may. As it was once said: “He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.”

    Considering the nature of this website, what would count as lurking as opposed to reading for knowledge (#23) or to improve memory (#22)? Or maybe even someone would read this blog to find their life purpose (#35). Would it be considered lurking if someone reads this with purpose, and has nothing to really say? I’m sorry, I’m not trying to attack you, if it seems that way. I’m a generally curious person. I suppose I’m currently guilty of #23 and #28.

    I would personally love to improve my memory, though I read tons of information online and my short term memory might be at it’s worst. I also love brain teasers and games that require you to think, and play them a lot. I was going to read the article ’10 Ways to Keep Your Memory Strong’, but it appears there’s no link.

    Oh, and as I stated in the last paragraph, I spent a lot of time on the internet. #50 would probably be my worst habit. However, I actually don’t partake in #4, I watch less than a half hour of TV per month. Only what I see as I pass by in another person’s home. I’ve opted against receiving television in my home. I live in a valley so I have to pay in order to receive it. This not only cures #4 but also helps to save money, #21. Now, with that being said, oddly, I was working out as I read this page.

    I suppose #50 doesn’t seem quite as bad when you’re:
    4 Not watching TV
    6 Getting fit
    12 Drinking less alcohol
    21 Saving money
    22 Studying
    23 Improving memory
    28 Striking up a conversation with a stranger
    46 Being passionate
    and
    49 Relaxing

    The interesting part about this is, by writing this out instead of thinking it, I’m also:
    17 Not lurking
    26 Being creative
    and
    38 Volunteering (by potentially creating additional and useful information for others to read)

    One could also argue that I’m (#35) finding my life’s purpose. Because I actually really enjoy doing what I’m doing now. I love making people think and being curious, and let’s face it, not enough people think these days. And who knows, maybe I brightened your day while I was at it. (#33)

    Reply
  23. first thank you for all this advices that you combine together i think if some one take just four of this steps and use it in his life he will find the change by time i spent before a lot of time watching tv but this year i watch the tv just in free times and in sunday i found that i spent my life in nothing even the tv is the thing that help me to learn the english language and made me love it rather than any languaage even our mother language because i live in morroco an arabic country in africa so thank you again for this help

    Reply
  24. Awesome, really good advice :)

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  25. BlahBlah Blah BlahBlahBlah… Blah. That being said, blaaaaaaaaaaah.
    Funny how all of us Ex TV junkies can be so smug when we spend the same amount of time or more on our computers. Go outside and don’t glance a your phone every 5 minutes… blah blah. :)

    Reply
  26. Really helpful ..

    Reply
  27. It’s 2014 and I am starting my year with this awesome find on the internet. Hurray for random Google searches. Timeless, relevant and inspiring. Thanks for posting this up! Love your blog! :)

    Reply

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