83 Ways to Become a Better Person


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. 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.
Rumi poetry love57. 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!

If you want more ways to learn how to live life on your own terms, be confident and move gently in the direction of your dreams, hop on the email list below and grab this 21-Step Confidence Building Series FREE:

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  • http://zenpresence.com Dan Garner

    Wonderful. I’m going to bookmark so that I can come back to this one.

    “Write a book. Then publish it. And please stop saying “I’m not a writer!”
    I squirmed when I read that one. Must have hit a sensitive area, I think you scared my lizard brain with that.

    Dan @ ZenPresence

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Caught the excuse on that writing a book advice before I even heard it ;)! So the next question Dan is what book will you write? I just turned in my manuscript to the publisher for my 6th book but this is the first one that is through a traditional publisher – lots of fun and work. Thanks for your insights!

      • http://www.abacus-math.com Su Amar

        89 wonderful points to follow, thank you to all.
        I will definitely do 6, 7 and 62 today with help from my Japanese students :)
        Did 38 five years ago
        #13 – I am glad I learnt to work on a Japanese abacus called Soroban. Learnt it with the help of wonderful teacher and since then created workbooks and I am also using them to teach mind math to students. Now I would love to follow #13 I have my workbooks ready to be published but self publishing is terrifying me right now.
        22, 23 – will not be able to do, because I may have crossed 40 but my mom is still my mom. But I can definitely explain my plans to my parents and get their blessing. I love my parents and truly grateful for them. Thank you God
        25, 39 I am trying but have a long way to go. Love to be stress free. Please help me Lord
        40 – I am so happy I have no need for this
        56 – Have to learn to do this along with 25 and 39

        Thank you very much for your website and all the useful articles you have in here. I have gained a lot from your site. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

  • http://alwayswellwithin.com Sandra / Always Well Within

    These are unique, Farnoosh! I like 39: “ignore criticsim”.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Sweet Sandra, I love to see your list to being a better person. I know unique will be one way to describe it :)!

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  • http://leonencourages.com Leon

    What a very fascinating and well thought-out list, Farnoosh! Too many good ones for me to state now which ones I want to do first. I will, for now, second #13, 15, 37, 38, 48, 55, 58, 60, 61, 63, 66, 67, 70, 75, 80, 81 because those are all actions I can genuinely say have enriched my life and made me a better person. You’ve given me some things to think about and pass on (especially in that 28-37 stretch).

    Speaking of which, I’ve on occasion opted to give a small tip rather than no tip hoping to drive home the point that the service was not good enough to get my usual 18-20% range. My thinking was if I give zero then they might just complain or perceive that I am the problem (because I stiffed them) and not realize it was what their service was worth. I’ve had people tell me to do a penny to make the point, but I’ve always done more like $1 for poor service. Any further thoughts on this?

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Leon, I love seeing you here every now and then. Glad that so many of these resonated with you – they are a total work in progress for me too …. and I love to hear some of yours. In fact, I want to challenge you to create such a list given just how much you know about fitness and health! :)

      As to tipping, oh boy, we talk about this one (me and Andy). You are right, leaving nothing is just not fair. I think reduced tip is what I was talking about or if the service was just awful, probably just $1 … There were a few occasions when the server just blatantly ignored us the whole dinner 😉 I left nothing then. I would say go with your gut in the end. You know best… we never know what they are going through etc sure, I get that, and there could have been a good reason for it, but another side of that is that they still have a job to do or else they can let a better person take over! :)

      • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

        You know I had to add to this after my fridge delivery this morning. This is the 2nd time LG attempted a delivery – the first time the new fridge came damaged so naturally we send it back and today the guys who delivered the fridge did damage to my walls, ceiling light and door – they are insured, they’ll take care of it, no big deal – but in a circumstance like this, the last thing they expected is a generous tip but I tipped with my whole heart. They did their absolute best. I have a staircase that a big fridge had to go up on. It wasn’t easy. I was grateful and kind and couldn’t thank them enough! So my point in tipping is this: If I am eating and the food is not good or the restaurant is understaffed, I am forgiving as long as my waiter has good intention and tries hard to please us. I even tip generously if they really try hard but still circumstances out of their control prevent them from doing a better job. BUT if the waiter is nonchalant and doesn’t seem to care, oh that really gets me. That’s when you may get ZERO tip from me. Those people who just don’t seem to care or exhibit any manners don’t need to be in the hospitality service. So hope that clarifies my position on tipping. As you can see, I am quite passionate about this. Maybe I oughta blog about it: To Tip or Not to Tip: That is the Question! :)

        • http://leonencourages.com Leon

          Perfectly well put… and I wholeheartedly agree.

  • http://www.treasurehousewithinyou.blogspot.com Geophrey Tenganamba

    What a wonderful list! You made my day…Thank you

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Great to hear it, Geophrey!

  • http://vidyasury.com Vidya Sury

    84. Hug someone you love. Or someone.
    85. Say I love you to your family

    Couldn’t help that, Farnoosh! I’ve been thinking of you the past two days, because we celebrated a festival called “Sankranti” – a harvest festival where we say thanks to the Sun God for all the bounty from the earth. So, one of the important things we buy is fresh turmeric plants to tie around the neck of the container in which we cook “pongal” a dish made of lentils and rice. I am looking at the fresh turmeric I can now pluck off and am contemplating on a juice recipe for it. :-) Oh, the fragrance of fresh turmeric is so heady!

    Hugs. You know I am nuts about list posts – especially lists like this. You just made my day brilliant. “Was I a better person today than yesterday” is one of my all-time favorite questions. Thank you, Farnoosh.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Vidya, you gave me two more! And I love them!!!

      And I so so wish I could have been at your festival. I love India and all its festivals. A huge celebration of life all year round or so it seems. :)! And email me if you want a good juice recipe for turmeric I have been making a few good ones with it. Are you juicing, Vidya?

      Thanks for stopping over – same sentiment here, Vidya. And YES you are a better person today! Now we just have the rest of the year to work on ;)!

  • http://www.dollysdaughter.wordpress.com Colleen Kelly


    This is the most wonderful list!!. I have to print this one out. I don’t know why I have never been here?!. I’m shaking my head LOL I love to tweet with you!.
    Thanks for thinking of all of these. Each one is a reminder of something we ALL need to do. Love it!!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi lovely Colleen, so glad you enjoyed this list. Print it or come back here as often as you wish. And thank you for your lovely note -it brightened my day like a rainbow :)!

  • http://onmymind.areavoices.com Qin Tang

    Nice list. I would like to add a couple:
    86.Write down three things you are thankful for every day.
    87. Write a thank-you note every day.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Beautiful additions, Qin! I love the emphasis on gratitude!!! Thank you.

  • http://www.razorsocial.com Ian Cleary

    Hey Farnoosh,
    Your wonderful smile and warm personality worked for me in NMX!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      I am glad I used my smile well at NMX then. It was simply lovely to meet you in person, Ian :)!

  • Barrie

    I’m not a… good writer. Fact.

    Otherwise I will get the other 82 tasks completed in the next couple of months and declare myself a better person than I was yesterday :)

    Keep up the good work Farnoosh x

  • Barrie

    “entitlement” was spelt incorrectly in #24 too :)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Barrie, how sweet of you to correct me – THANK YOU and taken care of…. and love your comment – 82 tasks!! Oh boy! :) Wish you the best and thanks so much for dropping by.

  • Hooman

    Hi Farnoosh

    I’m from Iran and recently found your interesting website.
    Great list you collected… I liked your Rumi offer much. I read poetry such as Saadi, Hafiz, Rumi and other Persian poets.

    My suggestions:
    – Forgive one’s fault and pray for them.
    – Go hiking in the nature and praise it.
    – kiss your mother’s hand.

    Many Thanks :)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hooman, great advice, and yes we have some more amazing poets too. I love them all. I love the additional suggestions you put here, than you!

  • Michelle

    lovely..thank you

  • Balaji

    Hi Farnoosh,
    This is my first visit to your website. absolutely amazing and inspiring work that can help us all get better at living our lives. I have my one add to the great list:

    #88 Take a short walk in the morning sun (even if for a few minutes). There is something so elemental and fundamental about the warming rays of the morning sun that uplifts you, motivates you and unleashes positive energy.
    Of course this gets even better if you can do it with a loved one.


    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      I absolutely LOVE that #88, Bala and I have experienced that every time I took a walk in the morning sun …. the day is filled with possibilities… thank you for adding a piece of simple advice that goes a long way in making us be better. And come back to visit anytime, Bala!

  • http://copymoz.com Cari – A Writers Website

    Hello Farnoosh,
    I subscribed to your confidence building series several months ago so, of course, I feel like I know you, although we’ve never met and I’ve never left a comment here before. Why? Hmmm…My number 84 would be “comment on a blog you love and join the conversation”. Everyone should read this list – I’m going to link to it in my next post. ‘Specially liked numbers 34, 41, 46, 53, 68, 69…sheesh! Heck, they’re all so good!
    Thanks for a great post,

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Cari, so happy that the confidence series is helping you and I love that it brings you closer to me! Welcome here …. I love both my vocal and silent readers…
      Thank you so much for adding your new way to become a better person and I AGREE! Find a way to share and tell the creator of content that you love just how much it means to you!! Thanks Cari!

  • http://copymoz.com Cari – A Writers Website

    Whoops – that should read; “my number 89…”

  • http://LearnThis.ca Mike King

    Great list Farnoosh… So close to making a 100 list, I was hopeful…. Not sure how drinking tea and being vegan make you a better person, can’t agree there, but some great ideas in this list otherwise. Top picks:
    59. Fight complacency
    75. Believe in someone

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Mike, hmmm. Where did you see “vegan” on the list? I’d never advocate ‘vegan’ to anyone – I only did it for a while and it’s a personal choice…. but raw vegetables and fruits make you so much healthier no matter what diet you follow and I do believe it makes you better :)
      Tea? It makes you happy and you are better for it.
      Love your top picks, and how have you been? Good to see you here ….

      • http://LearnThis.ca Mike King

        Whoa. you are right sorry, you only said raw foods. I’m good with that, don’t cook out all the good stuff right!! haha. Been bombarded by too many vegan pushers lately which made me react. Anyway, thanks for clarifying, love the list and ya, things have been great, thanks!

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Oh no worry – Hey I just finished a big block of cheese :)! Don’t ever let anyone preach anything to you – religion, veganism, or even world peace! It’s all personal preference and there is so much hypocrisy in all of it even in veganism – for example, buying leather shoes and bags but not eating cheese … the leather came from the poor animals so if you are saving animals, shouldn’t you be consistent? Anyway, I did my vegan period because I wanted to see whether my body loved it and it did but then I missed meat and now I am wondering what next phase to follow ….. It’s my decision and nobody else and same for you, Mike. We are good and glad you are doing well!

  • May

    I love #19!!! Fantastic list Farnoosh! :)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      May, so glad you think so :)!

  • http://www.message7.org John Klassek

    Just one more: Dedicate one day a week just for rest. Then work and play hard every other day.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Super addition, one that I don’t always do but then again, I might do a chunk of play days …. Thank you John!!!!


    I want to be a better person!!. A better mommy and daughter!!!! :-)


    Love this list!! It put me in a better mood and gives me hope!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi there, so glad this list helped you, Brittni! Come back again and stay inspired. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Kara

    I’m about to turn 23 and I’m really looking for ways to improve my life, I’m working on being a better, and happier person in life. This list was inspiring to me, there are so many great things about it. I am quite happy to say though that I have done/do a lot of things on this list. Thanks for such a great list!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Kara, it’s wonderful that you are thinking of yourself and your life in these terms at such a young wonderful age. I am so happy this helped you. Make sure to share with your friends and come back anytime.

  • Rik

    Hi. Thanks for this list, I really appreciate you taking the time to write and post it.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Rik, glad you chose to stop by! Come again.

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  • http://www.twonontechies.com Jesicka Labud

    #4- I love how you said “this one may reappear”! How true and how cute!!!! I read a book today. It’s called “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser- (the real, paperback edition book)- and it’s one of the best books on writing non-fiction I’ve ever read hands down. He’s a writer but also a beloved professor at Yale… and his work has been compared to “The Elements of Style!” Anyhow, enjoyed this post immensely. Thanks Farnoosh!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Jesicka, I’ve read (and reviewed) that book – check it out: On Writing Well but I still prefer Stephen King’s On Writing. I think King even references On Writing Well if I recall right. Glad to have you here sharing your insights, Jesicka!

  • Miriam

    You have no idea how much this adds to every person who comes across it. beautiful. thank you.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Miriam, so good to hear you say that :)

  • Scott Hedrick

    Oh, that hair! Yes, I know you love the pixie cut, and you would look fabulous with either Kojak or Crystal Gayle hair, but the hair in these pictures is lovely.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      You and my mother-in-law and my own Mom!! Oh dear. I might just have to grow it out if it means I am going to lose my dear friends and family … my MIL said that was my most glamorous part. LOL! Thanks Scott!!!

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