50 Ways to Change Your Life
Photo by Cedric P. Francois
This article is based on the idea that 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. See my article Everything I Know About Blogging for more information on how and why to start a blog.
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. Getting Finances Done has written a good guide to Creating a Zero-Based Budget.
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.
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.
20. Never eat alone. This simple idea is a great way to network, without feeling like a desperate glad-handler. Read my article here about how I have incorporated this habit into my life.
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. Also check out Brian Kim’s How to Find What You Love to Do.
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 Truth for 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. This article by Brian Kim is a great guide to getting out of the job you hate.
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….