21 Personal Development Tips That Will Change Your Life

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Do you:

  • Feel lost and have no idea what you want to achieve out of your life?
  • Not sure if you’re in the right direction and have no idea how to move forward in life?
  • Want to achieve greater success and be proud of yourself for your accomplishment?
  • Want to achieve your goals and live a fulfilling life?

If your answer is a yes to any of the above question, this guide is meant for you.

Nobody wants to live in mediocrity and nobody wants to be at the same place 5 years from now. We all crave for improvement and we want to move forward.

This is why personal development is important.

When you commit to developing yourself and consistent improving yourself, you will discover that your life started to change, in a positive way.

Successful people are passionate because they are living in their purpose. They are motivated because they have an exciting vision and they are looking forward to achieving their goals and their dreams every day.

You can be the same.

But first, you need to find out what is your purpose in life, what kind of future you want to create, and of course, you must then live an intentional life.

You can’t go through life aimlessly. And you can’t hit a target you can’t see.

Personal development is like a lighthouse. It will guide you to the right direction when you’re lost. This is why you must put in the effort and commit to improving yourself, every day.

And below are 21 personal development tips to help you change your life for greater success…

1. Know Yourself

This is one of the most important keys to improving yourself – know yourself.

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.

Lao Tzu

You have to know yourself and understand yourself in order to move yourself to the next level.

When you know what you love to do, you can use your passion to create an amazing piece of work. When you know your personality, you can then choose the right career and mix with the right group of people.

Here are a couple of questions you should ask to understand yourself better:

  • What kind of person am I?
  • What do I love to do?
  • What is my passion?
  • If I get to choose my dream career, what will that be?
  • What things do I hate about?
  • What are the people I love/hate to be around with?
  • What section do I visit first in the bookstore?
  • How do I spend my time when I’m free?
  • If money is unlimited, how will I live my life?

The above are just some samples of questions you should ask yourself to know yourself better.

Another exercise you can do to know yourself better is through meditation or be in solitude.

Spend time with yourself and listen to your thoughts. How do you talk to yourself? What are the thoughts you think about most of the time?

The more you understand yourself, the more in charge you will be in life.

2. Create Your Vision

Without knowing what you want in life, you will follow wherever the crowd goes. You will live life in reactive mode rather than being proactive.

Most people are living their lives without having a vision. They don’t know what they want. As a result, they “copy” and do what everyone else did.

The mantra, “go to school, get good grade, find a job, save money, and live happy”, doesn’t work anymore.

And in today’s world, there are plenty of opportunities everywhere. There are YouTubers making millions of dollars every year and there are also influencers on social media crushing it with millions of fans.

You don’t need to get a job in order to make money and survive. Instead, you need to follow your dreams and visions.

Helen Keller has a brilliant saying about vision:

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.

Helen Keller

Thus, stop living your life aimlessly. Don’t go through life without knowing your destination.

Find out what you want out of your life. Discover your vision, and live with passion.

Read: How to Find Your Purpose in Life

3. Be Decisive

Are you someone who is decisive? Successful people are very decisive in what they do. They always seem to be able to make the right decision and are confident about it.

Being decisive is a skill and guess what, you can develop it.

Now, look at yourself. Do you always wondering what to eat, which shirt to wear, or what to do? How do you come to the final decision of what to eat or what to wear?

You have to understand your decision-making process. In other words, how do you come up with a decision?

Are you someone who can decide and hold on to your decision? Or are you someone who always pushes away the responsibility and let someone else make the decision instead?

I’ve seen people who just can’t seem to make up their minds about everything. These people are either lack confident or they simply don’t want to make the decision because they don’t want to be responsible for it.

Don’t be one of them. Know what you want and decide to go for it.

If you love to eat burgers for dinner, just decide and go for it. You don’t have to ask around what you want to eat for dinner.

This is your life. You are the one who is living it and in charge. Stop asking for other people’s opinion.

Develop your decision-making skills. Start with making smaller decisions and stick to them. Such deciding what you want to eat, what are you going to do over the weekend, where do you want to go, etc.

Once you learned how to take charge of the small decisions, you will build up the confident and learn to become more decisive in life.

4. Set Goals

Do you have goals? If you don’t, you need to set one right now.

You see, you need to have a vision of your future to guide you through your life, but what really makes your vision come true is your goal.

It is what you do that will determine your future. Having a dream is good; having a solid goal that you can act on is even more powerful.

You can always start with a smaller and short-term goal. For example, set yourself a 1 or 2 months goal. Work relentlessly, focus on the goal, and notice how your life will change in such a short period.

Often, I see people going nowhere because the goal that they set is way too far into the future. And when something you want is too far into the distant future, you will quickly lose your connection with it.

And when you’re not seeing any results, you will lose your motivation. Eventually, you will give up on your goals.

You need to set something that is close enough for you to work on and get the small victories so that you will gain momentum and keep moving forward.

This is why you need to break down your goals into actionable steps.

So set your 1 to 2 months goals. Commit to them and take massive action to achieve them.

Want to learn how to set empowering goals and achieve real success in life? Take part in my Goal Setting Formula masterclass.

5. Invest in Yourself

This is my favorite tip. It does not matter whether you are a degree holder or a college dropout. The universe is fair and it rewards people who invest in themselves and constantly improve themselves.

How many books have you read after stepped out of your school or college? And I’m referring to personal development books.

Most people never pick up a book after college. This is why they are feeling stuck and wandering through life aimlessly.

Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.

Jim Rohn

You need to constantly improve yourself. Read at least 2 books a month. Attend seminars or workshops when possible. You can even get yourself a coach or a mentor if you want to.

All great leaders are readers. They read a lot and they are always looking forward to learning something new every moment.

You can never grow if you stop learning. And if you don’t learn, you will be doing things the same way. When you always do what you do, you will always get back the same old results.

Therefore, make it a decision from now on to invest in yourself. Start by reading at least 2 books in a month.

Check these out:

6. Grow Your Confidence

The more you improve yourself, the more confidence you become. And a great method to boost your level of confidence is through your physicality.

You don’t have to buy a sports car or stay in a big villa, you can start small by dressing professionally and groom properly.

Did you ever notice that there are certain clothes that you love to wear? And when you wear them you feel like you are more good-looking and smart (for guys) or more gorgeous (for ladies)?

And the more confidence you have, the more motivated you will be. And when you have the motivation, you will accomplish more.

Your confidence level can come from 2 sources: Physically or from within

Sometimes, after you read some inspiring stories, it will motivate you and boost your confidence level. Sometimes some quotes can have the same impact on you.

It depends on your personal trigger. Some people feel driven after reading books. Some people feel fully charged after they talked to their mentors. While some people feel confident when they dress professionally.

So take some time to discover what will give you the confidence to achieve more. This is why you need to make it a habit to learn and to read more.

Read: 25 Killer Actions to Boost Your Self-Confidence

7. Spend Less Time on Things that Don’t Matter

How much time do you spend on things that don’t really matter? Such as watching television or surfing YouTube mindlessly just to have fun?

I’m not saying that you can’t watch TV or have fun with the games or the internet. I’m saying that you should seriously cut down the time you WASTE on things that don’t matter.

It is true that you can enjoy and have fun, but there is an opportunity cost.

The time you spend on YouTube or Facebook means you don’t have time for your goals and dreams. Unless your goals have something to do with social media, spending time there means you’re wasting time on your goals.

Successful people are successful because they use their time wisely and spend most of their time working on their goals.

And one more thing, if you’re a heavy gamer and you play with your phones all the time, it is time for you to seriously get rid of this bad habit.

If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.

Bruce Lee

Be conscious of where you spend your time. You can predict your success by calculating how much time you spend on activities that will get you to your goals.

If you are not putting in any effort for your goals and dreams, then don’t expect to have any results.

Read: 13 Negative Habits You Must Dump to Live a More Successful Life

8. Develop Positive Thinking Habit

This is a challenging and difficult task. You have been conditioned to think in a certain way for so many years, it will require a consistent effort to break the habit.

Negative thinking is not going to help you in improving the quality of your life. You can’t live a positive life if you keep littering negativity everywhere you go.

The first thing you need to do to get rid of negative thinking is to be conscious of your thoughts. Be aware of what you think about at any moment.

And whenever you find yourself thinking negatively, do something to get rid of the thought and bring yourself back to positive.

There’s a brilliant way to do this. Just put on a rubber band on your wrist. Whenever you see that rubber band, you are triggering yourself to think positively.

And whenever a negative thought emerges in your head, pull the rubber band and snap your hand! It hurts, I know, but it is a great way to train yourself to NOT think negatively again.

Do this consistently for a couple of weeks. You will notice that as you go through each day, you will be less likely to snap the rubber band.

Read: 7 Ways How to Stop Negative Thoughts from Entering Your Mind

9. Cultivate Your Strength and Passion

Most people get it wrong by thinking that if they want to deliver great results, they need to work on improving their weaknesses.

Working on your weakness is not going to help you to become extraordinary, it will only make you someone… Ordinary.

When you focus your effort and zoom into just doing one thing or improve in one skill, you will become an expert in that area.

Look at Michael Jordan, he became one of the best basketball players not because he diversify his ability into all kind of sports, but he focus only in improving his basketball skill. This is what makes him the best.

You should do the same. Focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses.

Besides, working with your strength will also give you energy and motivation. Think about it, do you feel tired doing things that you don’t like or hate?

Or do you think you can do a better job at something that you are good with? The answer is obvious. You can only do a great job if it is something you are good at.

So, find out your area of expertise and grow your strength. The only way to do great work is to do what you love. And that’s your strength.

Read: How To Focus On Your Strengths Instead Of Your Weaknesses

10. Challenge Yourself to Do Something New

How often do you challenge yourself? Are you living in boredom? Perhaps you need to challenge yourself and do something new.

If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting.

Hence, for things to change, you need to change what you do. You have to do something else, something different. You have to challenge yourself to do something new and fresh.

Can you imagine eating the same food every day for a week? Don’t you feel bored with it? Thank God that we have a variety of foods to choose from.

Thus, inject newness into your life.

Once in a while, visit places that you have never been to before. Set it as a goal to travel to other countries at least once a year. Try out a new place to eat from time to time.

Do something that you never tried before. If you never been to the museum before, you might want to check it out. Try to look at things from a totally different angle.

When your life is filled with newness, you will feel the freshness and life will be exciting for you.

And this is surely one of the easiest and best ways to improve the quality of your life.

Read: 22 Ways to Challenge Yourself Every Day to Live Your Best Life

11. Create an Exercise Routine

When were the last time you exercise and workout? If you can’t remember that, you need to make the decision to set it as your commitment to exercise now.

It is impossible to consistently take massive action if your health is in trouble. You don’t want to be the richest man lying on the bed.

It is hard to commit to living a healthy lifestyle when you’re healthy. This is why most people focus on pursuing financial success and they neglect their health.

Trust me, you don’t want to regret when you’re sick. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly.

Plus, studies have discovered that exercise is not only good for your health but also your productivity. It boosts your creativity and willpower too.

Therefore, make it your routine to exercise at least 15 minutes a day.

Starting from today onward, block your timetable for exercise. Make it your habit.

If you don’t have time, check out this guide for a 10 minutes workout session.

12. Grow Your Relationships with People You Care

The best experience is to be able to share your success with others. Can you imagine reaching all your goals but having no one to talk about your experience and no one to share your amazing results with?

So, grow and build your connection with people you care and love from now on.

Spend some quality time with people you love and whom you care about. Have date nights with your lover. Spend quality with your family members as well.

And let’s not forget about your friends too. Try to meet up once a month with your friends to maintain the relationship.

And remember, you also want to build professional relationships with people who can lift you higher.

As what Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

Thus, be wise. Choose to spend time with the right people. Get rid of negative people and try to spend less time with people who always complain and make excuses.

Read: 8 Tips for Developing Positive Relationships

13. Master the Art to Happiness

Do you know that happiness is a choice? You can be happy whenever you choose to. How do you do it?

Just think, smile, and laugh. Even if you have to fake it, fake as real as possible and it will become real to you.

Try to do this: Look at the ceiling above you and make a big silly grin. Now, try to think about all the sad moments in your life and see if you can create a sad emotion. Can you?

You cannot feel the sadness while your body and face are in a happy posture. This is why you can’t feel sad when you smile or laugh.

Of course, when you smile, you have to seriously smile and don’t just pretend it. When you do it seriously, your mood will change accordingly.

One of the keys that will affect your emotion is your motion. And apart from that, the way you appreciate things will affect your level of happiness as well.

When you are truly grateful for all the things that you have with you, you will feel a deep sense of satisfaction and happiness. When you don’t appreciate what you have, no matter how rich you are, you will never feel enough.

Read: How to Be Happy: 25 Habits to Add to Your Routine

14. Manage Your Finances

If you want to live a better life, you must learn to improve your finances. In fact, your finance will give a great impact on your life.

Money is not the most important thing in life, but it is important enough to help you reach most of your goals that require money, such as traveling and living under a proper shelter.

You must learn to manage your finances. It does not matter how much income you make each month, the most important part is that you know how to manage it.

Managing your money does not require a college degree, everyone can do it.

It could be as simple as setting aside a portion of your monthly income to your investment account and saving account.

The challenging part is whether you can do this consistently and without breaking the rule. Most people set aside 10% of their income for investment, but after a few months down the road, they will break the rule and use the money for other purposes.

Create your own money management system today. Start small and it will grow big. If you think that you need to have big money only to manage it, you will never be rich.

The amount doesn’t matter, but the habit does.

Develop the habit to manage your money and only then it can grow bigger. Do it even if you have only $1 to manage.

Read this book: Secrets of The Millionaire Mind. Highly recommended.

15. Do Something Good Everyday

Yes, one way to lift your life higher is by helping those in need and doing something good every day.

It doesn’t need to be a be act like saving someone’s life. You can do something good like holding the lift for someone, helping someone to open the door, or as simple as greeting your neighbors.

Or even better, start from yourself. Each morning when you wake up, look into the mirror and smile. Tell yourself that it is a great day and something amazing is waiting for you.

When you expect something good, you will usually receive it.

Follow the teaching of the golden rule of life, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

If you want other people to smile and greet you, you have be the first person to do that. A simple smile and a simple ‘good morning’ can change someone’s mood. And of course, it will change your mood as well.

So do something good every day, regardless of how big or small it is. And it all starts with you.

Check out this article on Forbes: The Fastest Way To Achieve Success Is To First Help Others Succeed

16. Commit, Focus, and Act on Your Goals

If you’re serious about achieving something, just decide and commit to it 100%. Say no to other options. Make it as a done deal. It is either you do it or you don’t.

So, stay focus on your goals and take massive action every single day until you get the result you want.

Successful people are able to accomplish so much more in their lives because they leave themselves with no other options.

They put in 100% commitment and they will never take ‘no’ as an answer. They leave themselves with no other options but to succeed.

Giving up is not an option. Not have enough time is not an option. Failure is not an option.

Hence, stop making excuses. Don’t say that you don’t know how to do it or you don’t have the time. It is about being committed to things that you want.

When there is a will, there is a way. You have to have the will.

Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.

Vince Lombardi

Never let yourself come up with lousy excuses that will prevent you from getting what you want out of your life.

Read: 10 Powerful Steps How to Fully Commit to Goals That Terrify You

17. Take a Break and Reflect

Sometimes, you may want to stop, take a break, and reflect on your life. Stop and ask yourself questions like…

  • Have you accomplished what you want?
  • How are your performances?
  • Are you going in the right direction?
  • Are you living the life you want?
  • Do you feel happy and satisfy?

You don’t want to push yourself and force yourself to keep moving without knowing if you’re going at the right direction.

There is no point to run in the wrong direction. It will only get you to the wrong place, just faster.

Hence, sometimes you have to stop to reflect and review your life. However, don’t overdo it. When you spend too much time thinking, it means that you are not in action.

And without action, you will never get any result.

Strike a balance. Take action and stop when needed.

Make sure your ladder is leaning against the right wall before you muster all your strength and climb as fast as possible.

Read: How to Know If You Have Set the Right Goals?

18. Develop the Attitude of Gratitude

The secret to wealth is to be grateful for what you have in life right now.

If you’re not grateful, even if you have $100,000 in the bank, you won’t feel enough. However, if you’re grateful for everything you had, you will be happy and thankful even when you have $1,000 in the bank.

I’m not saying that you should not grow and achieve much more. All I’m saying is that regardless of how much you have today, you must learn to appreciate them.

It is the moment when you are grateful that you will feel a deep sense of peace and happiness within.

And when you’re grateful, you will be able to accomplish much more. Why? It is because there’s no stress and there’s no pressure. You’re free to tap into your inner potential and follow your heart to do what you want.

This is when success will come to you. So, develop an attitude of gratitude. Try to be thankful for everything that you have.

Read: 10 Ways to Become More Grateful

19. Believe in Yourself and Your Dreams

Let’s put it simple, if you don’t believe in yourself or you don’t think can achieve your goals and live your dreams, who else would?

You see, it is only when you believe in something; you will actually go and do it.

  • If you don’t believe that God exists, will do you bother praying?
  • If you don’t believe in your car braking system, you will never dare to drive.
  • When you don’t believe you can achieve your goal, you will never take action.

The same goes for everything you want in life.

First, you must believe that you can do it, that you have the ability and the capability to achieve it. Next, you must believe that what you want is possible.

You can’t achieve outstanding results if you’re half-hearted. Wright brothers believed they can build a vehicle that could fly. And they did. They invented airplanes.

Do you believe in yourself and your dreams? Check out this great guide below:

How to Believe in Yourself to Achieve Your Goals and Dreams

20. Give Something Back

Whatever you have learned, you must share and teach others. Whatever you have earned, you have to help and donate back to the society.

You come to this world with nothing and you can’t bring anything with you when you leave, except your legacy.

Therefore, give something back to the society. Leave a good legacy and leave a good deed. Help whenever possible and share whenever you can.

Albert Einstein, one of the greatest physicists of our time, said that the purpose we live in this world is because of other people. We live to serve others. We live for other people.

Hence, spend some time thinking about what legacy you want to leave to your children, your spouse, the society, and the world.

Tony Robbins, the household name in the personal development industry, wrote that giving back to society will enhance our lives. This is what he said in the article:

What’s the first thing you want to do when you receive incredible news? You reach out to someone who’s important to you to share. What do you do when something terrible happens? Hopefully, you reach out to a loved one for support. We rely on the people around us for emotional support, be it for good or bad times. As much as this need for connection is ingrained in us, it also goes the other way. This is the essence of giving back to the community – supporting others in the ups and downs of life just as they support you.

Tony Robbins

And Tony is right. As human beings, we have the innate to contribute.

21. Improve in These 6 Areas of Your Life

Personal development is about improving the quality of your life. And you can always start from these 6 areas:

  1. Career and Finance
  2. Love and Relationship
  3. Health and Fitness
  4. Personal Development
  5. Fun and Experience
  6. Legacy and Contribution

Set goals in these 6 areas of your life. Improve the quality in each area from time to time. Depending on your age, you may spend more time and work harder in your career and finance if you’re young.

However, your focus might change once you step into another age level. Older people tend to focus more on their health and their spirituality, while younger people tend to focus on career and finance.

Read my guide below to understand why these 6 areas of life are important:

Set Your Goals in These 6 Important Areas of Your Life


Personal development is like a skill. You can master it if you are willing to work on it every day, consistently.

I have shared 21 tips above to help you master your life. Adopt what works and change what doesn’t work.

There’s no rule saying that you must follow through any of the tips above. You have to create your own habit and your own system to improve. Not everything that works for me will work for you.

More importantly, you must put in the effort and work on your life if you want your life to work.

Do you like the personal development tips I shared above? Let me know in the comment section below.

This article may contain affiliate links. Meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. As always, I only recommend products and services I trust.

Hi there, this is Shawn. I inspire people to achieve their goals and dreams and to reach for higher success in life. If you want to learn more about me, kindly go to the About page. By the way, have you downloaded your FREE copy of The 90-90-1 Rule? Don't forget to do so. Cheers. :)


  1. Bruce Bauer Reply

    very similar to Napoleon Hill’s philosophy or even Matt Morrison way of thinking

    • shawnlim Reply

      Hi Bruce, yea, I did read and follow through some of these success guru’s way of teaching.. 🙂

  2. williams aladi charity Reply

    great words advice. i started working on myself since last year april 2015 and i noticed a shift in my life. the problem i have now is how to divide my time to some of this thing because i am student and also work. please i need some guideline. thank you the information. very valuable.

    • shawnlim Reply

      Hi Williams, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      Well, everyone has 24 hours a day, we can’t manage our time, but we can manage ourselves. 🙂
      Start from doing the most important thing that will give you the most result. Good luck.

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