15 Ways to Improve Your Life Starting Today

No matter what point of the year we're in, we still have the opportunity to reflect on our personal lives and discover new ways to improve ourselves, both physically and mentally. Each year we select a few resolutions that we work to stick to as the year progresses, but often times there is still more that we would like to do but simply run out of time to or end up tending to other obligations.

Fortunately, however, there a few things you can do to still accomplish your goal of self-improvement, even if you can’t always stick to your New Years’ Resolutions. Here are 15 ways to help you become the ‘you’ you wish to be this year, and for the rest of your life.

1. Stop watching television

Not all television is bad, but the programs and shows offered by mainstream networks like Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC, TBS, and other such channels does absolutely nothing to help you improve yourself. If you must watch TV, go for stations like PBS, Nature, Science or History Channel, or National Geographic, and you should still take some of those shows with a grain of salt.

2. Spend less time on social media

The more time you spend on social media, the more time you spend caring about what others do or think, and less time focused on yourself and your actual life.

3. Read everyday

Reading does wonders for your mind and personal wellbeing. You can learn new things, escape from your troubles, and discover new possibilities you might never have thought of otherwise. Like television, however, try and stay away from too much opinionated rambling.

4. Wake up earlier

Studies have shown that waking up early gives you more energy and makes your day more productive. The saying goes, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

5. Make an exercise routine

Chances are one of your resolutions was to exercise more, or get in shape. Help yourself accomplish this by making a regular routine, either in the morning or afternoon when you get off of work.

6. Keep a journal

Journaling not only helps you reflect on your life, but also helps improve your penmanship and develop tactile and optic muscle memory, allowing you to more easily think as you go along writing.

7. Take a class

Is there a subject you would like to improve in or an art form you would like to explore? Maybe you want to learn more about history, or discuss philosophy or current events. Look into some local community courses that you can enroll in for evening or weekend sessions, and start improving your knowledge base today.

8. Face your fears

A great way to do some self-improvement is by facing your fears head-on. For example, if you are afraid of roller coasters, go ride a roller coaster; or if you are afraid of speaking in public, force yourself to attend public forums and speak up so you can be heard. Overcoming your fears is one of the best tools out there for personal growth.

9. Learn a new language

Learning a new language opens you up to new people and new experiences. Try investing in a learn-it-yourself system, or enroll in a foreign language class at the local college or university. You can then expose yourself to the new language by speaking it in public, or immersing yourself in the local culture.

10. Find a new hobby

Taking up a new hobby is a great way to do a bit of self-improvement. Try taking up cooking, or canoeing, or even art projects like pottery or painting. There is no limit of new things you can discover by opening yourself up to new activities.

11. Use to-do lists to stay focused

Don’t let those five-minute breaks on the couch after work turn into hours of mindless television and pizza delivery. Make yourself a daily to-do list and put reminders in your phone to force yourself to get up and do something. 

12. Acknowledge your mistakes and flaws

We should all make more of an effort to acknowledge our own faults and flaws so that we can begin working towards correcting them. Make a note of your flaws and the situations or scenarios in which they tend to flare up, and consciously try to improve on them one instance at a time.

13. Replace a bad habit with a good habit

More often than not it is much easier to stick to your bad habits instead of dropping them, or picking up a good habit, but it is possible. Think about your current habits and lifestyle and think of new habits you can take up to help distract you from your old habits. For example, replace sugary desserts with more fruit-based desserts.

14. Go outside your comfort zone

The only way we ever really grow is by exposing ourselves to situations we are not comfortable in. This can be done either in personal life or in the course of our careers. Make a point to try new foods and meet new people, or make yourself more open for people to approach you. Before you know it you will have a plethora of new friends and experiences that can last you a lifetime.

15. Make amends

Life is too short to go through it holding grudges. This year, trying lending a hand to those that don’t like, or even hate you, and see what happens. Often times people tend to resent, or hate you because they feel threatened by some aspect of your personality, or because you disagree with them, or because they are too proud to ask for help when (and if) they need it. Be the bigger person; offer a helping hand or make a friendly gesture, and you might just make a few new friends in the process.