Do you want to improve your life and live better right now? Of course, who doesn’t want to, right? You may think that improving the overall quality of your life in every area may seem like a huge challenge, but it isn’t. You don’t have to commit to a drastic and big change, you just need to commit to small improvement, like 1% in every area of your life.
For over a hundred years, the British cycling team has never won the Tour de France. And since 1908, they had won just a single gold medal at the Olympics.
In fact, the British riders had such an underwhelming performance that one of the top bike manufacturers in Europe refused to sell bikes to the team because they were afraid it would hurt their business image.
That was before Dave Brailsford came in as the new cycling team’s director. When Brailsford joined the team, he began by making small adjustments to the team such as:
- Redesigned the bike seats for more comfort.
- Rubbed alcohol on the tires for a better grip.
- Used biofeedback sensors to monitor each athlete’s performance
- Tested different types of massage gel for faster muscle recovery.
- And even determined the type of pillow and mattress for better a night’s sleep.
Brailsford did what he called “the aggregation of marginal gains,” or a concept that can be known as “The 1 Percent Rule”.
Just 5 years after that, Brailsford led the British cycling team to dominate the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and won 60% of the gold medals available. Not only that, but the Brits also won the Tour de France in the same year.
And from 2007 to 2017, British cyclist won 178 world championships and 66 Olympics and Paralympic gold medals, plus, they also won 5 Tour de France victories.
You can read about this amazing story and how Dave Brailsford’s strategy positively impacted the British cycling team from the book, Atomic Habits.
If you haven’t read the book yet, please do so right now. Order it from Amazon and read it immediately. It is one of the best books I have ever read about how your habits can change your life, for the better.
Now that you understand change doesn’t need to happen in a big way. Change and improvement can come in a small but consistent manner.
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
Remember, success doesn’t come overnight. It is what you do day in and day out that counts. In other words, success lies in your daily agenda. And so with improvement.
Hence, if you want to improve your life, live better, and make all your dreams possible, follow these 13 great ways below.
1. Learn from feedback
You can’t really make an improvement if you don’t know what or where to improve, right? You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken.
So, one of the best and most effective ways to improve yourself is to ask for feedback.
Sometimes, we know clearly where we need to improve – broken relationships, failures, or broke.
Sometimes, we can tell from the signals – your spouse complains about it, your relationship with your colleagues worsen, or you feel lack of energy because your health deteriorated.
Sometimes, we just don’t know. And that’s why we need to ask for help.
And this is why we need feedback.
Wendy Stehling is the best-selling author of Thin Thighs in 30 Days. Do you know how Wendy came up with the book? With feedback.
Wendy worked in an advertising agency but she hated her job. And so she decided to start her own agency but she had no money. She then discovered that she required about $100,000 to begin. So she asked around, “What’s the quickest way to raise $100,000?”
“Sell a book,” was the feedback she received. She then decided if she could sell 100,000 copies in 90 days and made $1 from each copy, she would have her $100,000. So, she asked around again, “What are the best-selling books in America?”
“Weight loss books,” came the answer. But she has no idea how to brand herself as an expert. “Ask other women,” was the feedback she got. So, Wendy went on and asked, “If you could lose weight in only one part of your body, which part would you choose?”
“My thighs,” and she continued to ask, “When would you want to lose it?” And the answer, “Around April or May, the best time for a swimsuit,” came from the feedback.
Wendy wrote the book and released it on April 15. And by June, she had her $100,000.
I learned the story of Wendy Stehling from Jack Canfield, the author who shared inspirational stories and who wrote The Success Principles.
That’s how you can improve from feedback. You don’t have to know everything or improve everything all at a time, you just need to aim for small improvements, do it consistently.
And over time, you will live the successful life you have always imagined.
2. Try something new
If you truly want to improve your life, you must be willing to try something new.
When you’re not getting the results you desire, you must change your approach of doing things. It is common sense.
But when you’re getting the results you want, should you try a new attempt? Yes, you should. Your way of doing things may not be the best and most efficient way.
And there is always room for improvement.
In fact, if you study all the successful entrepreneurs, you will notice they all are willing to change. They evolve.
I like the story of how Mike Markkula, one of the early investors of Apple, told Steve Jobs about metamorphosis. The idea was covered in one of the articles from ReadWrite.com.
Jobs wanted to build a company that would endure, so he asked Markkula for advice. Markkula then explained that lasting companies know how to reinvent themselves, like how Hewlett-Packard had done. HP started as an instrument company, then became a calculator company, and then a computer company.
Markkula continued to tell Jobs that he had to reinvent Apple to do some other thing, like other consumer products or devices. Like a butterfly and have a metamorphosis.
Can you see it now? The importance of trying something new. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or which area you want to improve, you must constantly try out new things.
I know you’re not Steve Jobs and you’re not managing Apple, neither do I. However, the idea of venturing out of your comfort zone and do something new is vital to our success.
You don’t have to do crazy things, you can always start small. Here are some good examples from LifeHack.org:
- Visit a suburb in your city that you’ve never been to before.
- Learn ten phrases in a new language – what about Japanese, Italian or Portuguese?
- Listen to a genre of music you haven’t tried before – perhaps Jazz, Punk or Blues?
- Start a daily journal to write your thoughts in.
- Try a new cuisine – what about French, Lebanese or Korean?
- Plant some flowers in your garden.
- Check out what community events are running in your area and attend one.
3. Give up your excuses
Are you serious about improving your life? If you do, you must let go of your excuses.
The excuses you commonly use make you a victim and take away your power to change. Think about it, if you make the excuse that you’re just plain lazy, or you don’t have the talent, what more can you do to improve the situation? Nothing much.
So don’t make the lousy excuses that will take away your power to change and control. Your excuses put you in a hopeless situation where you can’t change.
Here are some of the most commonly used excuses I shared in my previous post, check it out:
- You don’t have time or too busy,
- You don’t have the capital, money, or resources,
- You don’t have the qualification or necessary skills,
- You think it is too difficult,
- You believe this is not the right time or condition,
- You think you will fail because others have failed,
- And more.
I like how Tony Robbins put it, “There are only two options: Make progress or make excuses.”
It is either you make excuses and tell yourself or others why you can’t, or you get busy making progress.
And if you seriously looking forward to making a positive change and to improve your life, you give up on making excuses.
Before you make an excuse, understand this: for every reason you think you can’t, there are hundreds of others who have faced similar circumstances and succeeded.
Read this article and get rid of your lousy habits of making excuses.
4. Live an active lifestyle
I’m not saying that you should go to the gym often, but I’m suggesting you live an active lifestyle.
You can’t improve your life if you don’t have the energy or healthy body to enjoy it, right?
We all know that exercise is important to our health, yet, most people ignore it until it is too late. And I don’t want that to happen to you.
In my opinion, success isn’t complete without a healthy body. There is no point to be financially successful if you don’t have the health to enjoy it with your loved ones.
So take good care of your health. Exercise, live an active lifestyle, and also don’t forget to eat healthily too.
And I know you’re busy and you don’t have time, but what if you can exercise in just 10 minutes? Remember, don’t make the excuse to say that you don’t have even 10 minutes a day for health!
Glenn Gaesser, an exercise physiologist once asked men and women to complete 15 10-minute exercise routines a week. And after about 3 weeks, those participants’ aerobic fitness was equal to that of people 10 to 15 years younger.
So you want to stay healthy, keep your fitness, and exercise for just 10 minutes? Read this article below:
5. Review your goals
Another important way to improve your life is to constantly review your goals. The reason is simple – you want to make sure you are traveling on the right track.
When it comes to goal setting, a lot of people make a big mistake by thinking that all they need to do is to write down their goals, for once.
Let me ask you this, how often do you spend time reviewing your goals and visualizing the success you desire?
Now, be honest. Most people don’t review their goals, let alone writing them every day or even making conscious effort to visualize the results they want.
Repetition is the mother of all skills.
If you want to make your goals or dreams a reality, you don’t just write about them for once and then forget them.
Make your goals and dreams alive by thinking about them constantly, dream about them, eat with them, sleep with them, breathe them every single moment, and do whatever you can to move yourself to them each day.
That’s how extraordinary people made it. Although not all of them write their goals each day, they have a strong obsession for their goals.
They think about what they want almost every single minute and they find ways to get there.
I have written an ultimate guide on goal setting and how you can achieve your targets. You read it below:
6. Take consistent action
Don’t just say that you want to improve your life, you must incorporate it with solid actions.
Like I said, you don’t have to work 24 hours to achieve your goals or to make the improvement, you just need to start small. Take one small step at a time, but consistently.
The key is to make the habit sustainable. You don’t want to make a change that you cannot sustain.
For example, going to the gym for 2 hours every day for a week. Just imagine the time and energy you’re going to spend maintaining the habit. It will not last.
This is why it is important to start small. Like the story of the British cycling team I shared above, you just need to improve 1% at a time. You don’t have to commit to drastic change, just 1% percent improvement at a time.
Do you know how Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen made their book, Chicken Soup for the Soul a best-seller?
Well, the answer is pretty simple, they commit to taking just one small steps a day. Each day, they would give away 5 copies of the book to someone influential; they would do 5 interviews on radio or TV; they would sell at least 5 copies of the book after their seminars; they would call 5 network marketing companies and sell them the book; etc.
Whatever they do, they’d make sure they take 5 little action steps to move their book sales.
Eventually, the book went on to sell millions of copies. Bear in mind, this does not happen instantly. The book did not sell a million copies overnight. It is the persistence effort of the Rule of Five.
Hence, you too, should do the same.
Just make sure you take small, incremental steps to make your life better each day. Over time, you will have a great life that many can only envy.
“If you would go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp ax, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down.”
7. Recharge your energy
In other words, take a rest. You don’t want to suffer burnout and you don’t want your health to deteriorate that you can’t recover it anymore.
It is true that we all have to work hard for our goals and dreams, but don’t ever neglect the importance of recharging our energies.
You need energy to work on your goals and priorities – physically, mentally, and spiritually. When your energy is low, you tend to procrastinate more. You can easily lose focus and be distracted by other stuff.
Imagine working 7 days straight in a week, from 8 AM in the morning until late into the night at 9 PM. How does that make you feel? Tired and exhausted.
You need to recharge your energy. Whether it is to get a quick nap, a walk in the garden, a short getaway, or a run in the park, you need to replenish your energy.
Think of a glass full of water as your energy level. The water is your energy. If you keep consuming and drinking the water without replenishing it, eventually, the glass will be empty.
You will use up your energy if you keep taking from it without refilling it. So what happens when you run out of water? You fall sick. You suffer a burnout.
It can be as serious as a physical breakdown. Like a car running out of fuel, it can’t move.
Thus, never let your energy runs out. Do your best to replenish and recharge your batteries. Here are 27 great ideas from MindBodyGreen.com on how you can recharge your batteries and replenish your energies.
8. Read books
Do I need to explain this more? Reading books is one of the simplest and easiest ways to improve yourself.
You gain better knowledge and you learn something new when you read. For instance, you can learn how to be more productive by reading books. You can also learn the proper way to healthy diet through reading.
Sadly, most people don’t read. Even if they buy books, they don’t read past the first chapter.
I’m happy and also proud to say that I read a lot of books. One of the reasons is that the more I read, the more I can share the ideas with you here.
As a blogger, I need to constantly feed myself with knowledge, information, and ideas to improve my blog and use as content for sharing.
Regardless, even if you’re not a blogger, you should also make reading your habit too. No matter what work you do or what industry you’re in, reading is essential to improving your life.
I found that reading expands my perspective. You will never know something is better until you discover it. And I discover better success from reading books.
I love the example given by Tony Robbins in his book, Awaken The Giant Within:
“I’ll never forget the first time I met architect and hotel magnate Chris Hemmeter. Becky and I had the privilege of being among the first people to be invited to visit Chris’s new home, along with his family, in Hawaii—a $70 million residence that is beyond verbal description. The front door alone cost $1 million to create.
While your rules may say, “That’s an incredible waste of money,” it was also an unbelievably expanding experience of what is possible in terms of business or economic growth.
Suddenly, my $4 million Castle was put in perspective. It barely covered the cost of his front door and marble stairway! Certainly, there was room in my life for thinking bigger, pushing limits, imagining the unimaginable.”
This is why you need to read.
But what books to read to improve yourself? Here is the list I recommend, check it out.
9. Experience love with your loved ones
Love and joy are two of our most powerful emotions. If you can have a lot of love and joy in life, your life will improve.
In the end, all the things that you do will eventually come back to love and joy. Why do you travel? Well, you want to have more joy in life. Why do you want to drive your dream car? Because you want to prove yourself and to others or to your parents that you can do it? That’s love, my friend.
So, everything that we do will circle around love and joy.
Without love and joy, you will suffer emotionally. Take happiness out of a person’s life and you will see that everything he does becomes meaningless.
And if you take love out of a person, there will be no more passion in his life. A life without passion makes you go through each day like a zombie. You do things without much feeling.
Ultimately, you want to do more of what gives you love and joy. You want to network with people who make you feel loved and happy.
10. Get rid of what’s stopping you
You can’t improve if you don’t get rid of what is stopping you. A lot of people say that they don’t have time, yet, they don’t want to learn about time management and productivity hacks and get more done.
Some people want to start a blog, but they say they can’t write. English is not my primary language, and I still find it a little difficult to write with perfect English.
I still remember vividly when I first started this blog, there were a few people commented and said that my content was good, but I need to improve my English.
Yet, I did not use language as my excuse. I continue to write and publish. And look at where this blog has taken me.
The same can be happening to you. Maybe you think you’re not good with technical skills and you let it stops you from building your website.
You have to understand that nobody is born a champion. A champion is made, not born.
Thus, you need to learn to get rid of the roadblocks that stop you from achieving the life you want.
Michael Jordan was not selected by his high school basketball team because his coach thought he didn’t have what it takes. But Jordan worked relentlessly to improve his shooting skills. He did not let the roadblock stops him.
So what is stopping you from reaching your goals? What one thing that once you overcome, it can skyrocket your result?
Identify it, and get rid of it.
You don’t have time? Learn about time management and productivity tips.
You don’t have the capital? Learn how to do crowdfunding or get a loan from banks or someone else.
You don’t have the technical skills? Read a book or watch a YouTube video.
There are solutions to every problem you face in life. You just need to be willing to learn and to get rid of them. And never let them stop you.
11. Improve your finances
A successful life will not be completed without money. When it comes to money, a lot of people shun away and choose not to talk about it. And this is exactly why we want to talk about it.
Running away and hiding from a problem will never get it solve. If you want to be financially successful, face your money problem and solve it.
Money is important, people who tell you otherwise simply don’t have much. Imagine someone saying success isn’t important, that’s because they don’t have it.
The point is that many things you do in life are related to money. Do you want to travel more? You need money. Do you want to build a blog like this? You need some money to start it too.
Hence, money is an important part to living a successful life. You can’t improve your life if you don’t have money for more choices and freedom. Every area of your life is interconnected with money.
When you have a lot of money, you can free up more time to spend with your family. When you have money, you can buy a more comfortable house for your parents. Money is important because it is a tool that gives you more value.
So we can’t skip this topic and talk about improving our lives.
Therefore, learn as much as you can about money and managing your finances. The best way to do so, again, is through reading.
Read this book, it can change and improve your relationship with money – Secrets of The Millionaire Mind.
I believe that if you want to be more financially successful, you need to change your mindset about money. And the author, Harv Eker, explained the 17 money blueprints you need to program into your mind.
It is a book that I will return to over and over again. And I hope it can improve your finances too.
12. Travel more
This is how YTravelBlog.com puts it:
“I can’t think of anything that will improve your life more than travel.
It allows you the space and freedom to change and easily redefine the kind of person you want to be.
It will also open your mind, build your confidence, break down your barriers, think outside of the box, learn to depend on your own smarts, and be willing to reach out of your comfort zone to try new things and make new friends.”
In one of my previous article, I talk about why traveling is important to personal development. Here are some of the reasons:
Traveling gives you confidence. This is especially true when you travel to a country that you have never been to before. You get to experience new things and do something new every day. It boosts your confidence.
Traveling expands your comfort zone. When you travel, you will go out of your daily routine and do something different. You get to learn to make different decisions and try out new things.
Traveling shows you possibilities. As you travel, you get to see different cultures and people. You become more open-minded and able to see the diversities of life. It gives you a better chance to reflect on your own life.
Besides, travel can also recharge your mental and soul.
So, want to improve your life? Travel more. At least once a year, go overseas and visit a country you have never been to before.
13. Live in the now
You can’t improve and live a better life if you are constantly distracted, experience high-stress level, and lack of focus.
So be mindful. In other words, pay attention to the here and now. Choose to live in the now.
When you’re sipping the coffee, truly enjoy it. Bring your sense to the coffee, smell it, feel the coffee on your lips as you drink it. Bringing your full attention to what you do here and now is called mindfulness.
And according to this article from Inc.com, mindfulness can help lower stress levels, increase focus, protect against depression, improve sleep, and help you maintain a healthy weight. And it’s even been offered as a means to increase profits for businesses.
In fact, many extraordinary people dedicated a huge part of their success to meditation and being mindfulness:
- Jeff Weiner – The CEO of LinkedIn blocks his time each day to practice meditation. When asked why, he simply says, “Just to think.”
- Arianna Huffington – The founder of Huffington Post who has been meditating since a teenager. She is a vocal and advocate to meditation.
- Oprah Winfrey – The billionaire media mogul believes in meditation as a form of “connecting with God” and says it plays an important role in her billion dollars success journey.
- Ray Dalio – The founder of the world’s largest hedge fund has been meditating for more than 40 years.
And the list goes on and on. Others like Richard Branson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Marc Benioff, and more, also strongly cite that mindfulness meditation helps to improve their lives.
When we talk about meditation, many will have the image of them sitting with their leg crossed on a pillow in a silent room.
It doesn’t need to always be this case. And meditation doesn’t need to be 30 minutes or 20 minutes. It should take as long as you have. Even if you meditate for just 3 minutes, it is better than not doing it.
Some meditation teachers even say that it is so accessible that you can do it by giving yourself a few seconds to consciously breathe before you proceed with your work. Or simply pause to fully focus on that steaming cup of coffee you’re enjoying.
If you want to learn about mindfulness meditation, I recommend you learn directly from the experts – from Jason Stephenson, the creator of Meditation Mastery Secrets.
After going through the 13 tips above, I believe you now understand better about how you can improve your life and start to live better.
Remember, change will not happen instantaneously and so with improvement. If you exercise or meditate today or even review your goals today, it will never make you successful tomorrow. It only improves the result a little.
And that is exactly what you should leverage on – something small and sustainable.
So use these 13 ways to make your life better.