Small steps. Giant leaps.
Are you able to say that today you are a better person than yesterday every day of your life?
That’s all. Nothing grandiose. Nothing lofty or ambitious. Nothing to get all anxious about or make big plans for. Just a little better person than you were yesterday?
And it doesn’t matter where you start or how far you may be from where you want to end up. It doesn’t matter today if you are nothing like the person you want to eventually become. You can do something every single day to be a better person than yesterday and the sum of these small steps add up to unbelievably giant leaps, baby!
Here’s the simple magic formula:
1. Be a little better person today than yesterday.
2. Do this every day.
3. Check in with yourself at the end of the year.
You might find out that you have actually done something quite grandiose and lofty in hindsight. Small tiny things add up, just like the grocery bill adds up to a giant sum and baffles us every time, so will these small steps push you gently in the direction of your intended destination. And going gently in that right direction is far more appealing than going in a mad rush in a hundred wrong directions only to turn around and make up for lost time. So go gently.
Since we are all on the same journey, I put together 83 specific, smart and savvy ways we can become a better person one day at a time. I’ve done all of these but I keep refining me through massive repetition. Here goes:
Remember: pick just ONE every day and do it. Not 3. Not 10. Just One. But do it every day. Every single day. No holidays on this one, darlin’! Ready? Let’s go!
83 Ways to Become a Better Person
1. Be kind to a stranger and don’t just do it because it’s on this list.
2. Eat raw foods. Raw vegetables. Raw fruits. Raw nuts. Raw chocolate.
3. Make eye contact. With a smile.
4. Read a book. This one may reappear. I can’t help it if it’s so freaking important and so unbelievably ignored by masses.
5. Look up something on Wikipedia and learn about it.
6. Learn 3 words in a foreign language that you like.
7. Learn to count to 10 a foreign language you find impossible to learn.
8. Say no to the ones who abuse your time and mean it.
9. Do something that scares you but don’t be a fool when choosing what it is either.
10. Cook something delicious for someone you love. Don’t let them get used to the idea!
11. Visit the animal shelter and give the pups a cuddle even if you can’t bring them home.
12. Offer to help when it’s least expected.
13. Write a book. Then publish it. Get help with self-publish if you don’t know how. And please stop saying “I’m not a writer!”
14. Don’t say “I can’t” for 24 hours. 48 if you can help it.
15. Do yoga but don’t settle for a type of yoga you can’t stand. Yoga is like clothing. Find a yoga that fits who you are and you won’t want to take it off!
16. Read another book.
17. Help get a resistant member of your family or friends online. They are missing out.
18. Travel. It’s more accessible than ever before.
19. Don’t believe the hype. Set your own standards.
20. Say “I don’t know but I will find out!” instead of pretending to know.
21. Let go of friendships that have run their course.
22. Put firm boundaries in place with your mom. This doesn’t apply to those under 18!
23. Disappoint your parents if it means you will do something you love. Same condition as #22.
24. Ask for help, without shame, without apology, without fuss but also without entitlement.
25. Give that inner critique the cold shoulder and get back in charge of your self-esteem.
26. Don’t do it just because others are doing it. Such a lame excuse.
27. Break up with whoever mistreats you. And that really means whoever! No human being should stand for that.
28. Expect nothing for one day. Just do your best.
29. Say thank you for a hundred things daily. Thank you for the air, the water, the love of my husband, the music, the internet, the sky, the sun …
30. Tip a street musician. Actually, tip every single one you ever see for the rest of your life, even if the music is mediocre.
31. Don’t tip in restaurants if the service is bad or else what’s the point of tipping for good service?
32. Be punctual. Or better yet, be 10 minutes early.
33. Pick up the bill and surprise someone.
34. Stretch your body: legs, hips, arms, shoulders, fingers and toes. Stretch and breathe.
35. Drink loose-leaf tea. Do this twice and you won’t go back to tea bags and yes this makes you a better person!
36. Help someone with a task that comes easy to you.
37. Read another dozen books by about now.
38. Start a business. This one may take longer than a day but it doesn’t take as long as it used to. Best time to start a business is today.
39. Ignore a criticism. Just let it go once and see how it feels.
40. Ditch alcohol. It’s not as cool as you think, it ruins brain cells you’ll miss later and you’ll wish you were sober so you could remember more.
41. Watch your health like a hawk. Don’t rely on doctors or nutritionists. You Know Best.
42. Walk away if it compromises your values or it will eat away at you sooner or later.
43. Start that project, that dream, that task that ages ago you put away, saving it for “someday”. Just Start It!
44. Take the second step after starting that project in #43.
45. Create a bucket list if only to get a sense of immediacy and urgency about life.
46. Remind yourself that life is finite and your days are numbered and now is the time to do what you want.
47. Ask your boss for a raise. Ask again if you don’t get an answer or get a new boss.
48. If bosses don’t work out for you, no problem. You weren’t meant to have one. Become your own damn boss!
49. Don’t just get married to get married. Marry for love. Marry for love so intense you can’t stand not being married to it.
50. Don’t have children unless you want them. And don’t feel bad if you don’t. Don’t force your spouse to want them either, just find one who does.
51. Get a dog only if you are not going to leave it in a crate all day long. Please.
52. Find people who get you. Really, really get you! Find the group, the community that gets you, whoever you may be. Find it.
53. Stop mistreating your body. You are not invincible and it will catch up with you and you will regret it.
54. Don’t put up with the crappy corporate job culture if you are itching to get out. It’s mostly lies, half-truths, and total nonsense.
55. Take a hard-core class that pushes your body. Indoor cycling. Krava maga. Kickboxing. Power yoga.
56. Stay away from people who are jealous of you and don’t be jealous of others. They are not who you are meant to be.
57. Read Rumi’s poetry. Do this more than once.
58. Motivate yourself every single day to keep going and don’t even talk to me about poor odds or bad luck. Just keep going.
59. Fight complacency like you would an animal that is out to suck the very life out of you.
60. Push past your comfort zone, be it in body, mind or spirit. Get uncomfortable. Good stuff will happen next.
61. Remind yourself that pain is temporary. Repeat the mantra when you are doing #60.
62. Learn how to greet someone in Japanese, in manner and in language.
63. Go out of your way for your customers and your clients. Do it because you care not because they pay you.
64. Create your own product. It can be anything but create something that is your very own and then sell it.
65. Learn how to sell. And sell only what you would buy yourself.
66. Write everyday. It’s the essence of all wealth, the necessity of all success, and it will make you happy and rich.
67. Think about what you eat and choose with intention and with smarts.
68. Travel to a far, exotic, foreign country at least once.
69. Stop using your kids or your marriage or life’s problems as an excuse that “keeps you from being happy”. That’s garbage. You are the only person that decides your happiness. As Tolstoy said so brilliantly, “If you want be happy, then be.”
70. Associate with people that are smarter, more successful, happier and kind enough to let you in their circle.
71. Get out of the naysayer, negative, jaded social circles first. It’s time to let go!
72. Visit the Pacific ocean. I don’t know how it does it but it makes you a better person.
73. If you don’t mean something, don’t say it. If you can’t help it, then don’t put yourself in situations that make you say it.
74. Stop lying to yourself. You know deep down when you do it. You can fool anyone but yourself. Choose honesty.
75. Believe in someone who doesn’t have confidence in herself or himself. Sometimes, it changes their life to have someone believe in them.
76. Listen to uplifting, positive information that pushes you to take action with your life. Podcasts abound. Turn off the news.
77. Sell your TV or trade it in for books.
78. Spend a few minutes studying gorillas. They are so like us, it’s like looking into a mirror and seeing a reflection of yourself. Learn from gorillas.
79. Go whale watching and get lost in the world of these gentle giants.
80. Climb one mountain, even if you are not fit and it’s not “your thing”. Something about climbing and looking down at how far you have come. Seriously.
81. Help someone who is in trouble. Just genuinely help.
82. Start a blog but only write about stuff you care about. Only!
83. Believe that there is enough – way more than enough – success to go around for all of us. This of course does not apply if you are in the corporate world. It’s quite limited. Only a few succeed. In that situation, check #38 and get out.
There you have it. 83 ways to become a better person but there are more ways. What would you say is the 84th and beyond? Tell me in the comments!
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