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10 Small Ways You Can Improve Your Life

10 Small Ways You Can Improve Your LifeYou don’t need to make sweeping, dramatic changes to make your days happier and more meaningful. Improving your life can happen one small step at a time.

Here are 10 fulfilling tips you can try.

1. Begin the day with meditation or prayer.

Meditating or praying in the morning helps to set the tone for your day and connects you to your higher power, said Angela Bisignano, Ph.D, a psychotherapist, leadership consultant, and author of the book Beautifully Gifted. “Reading the Bible or another inspirational book can help to center you and keep you grounded.”

2. Accept help.

Learn to accept help, and let yourself enjoy being helped, said Ashley Eder, LPC, a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colo. For instance, let an employee at the grocery store help you carry your bags to your car. Let someone open the door for you.

“When we rely on others for help we embed ourselves in community and we acknowledge that we deserve for things to feel nice even if we are capable of doing them without help.”

3. Offer help to others.

Both Eder and Bisignano encouraged readers to look for individuals they can help every day. This could be anything from sharing kind words to providing small gestures.

“Return a stranger’s shopping cart to the corral, hold the door open for the person behind you, pick up what the person next to you dropped so she doesn’t have to,” Eder said.

This is powerful for both the person who gives and the one who receives, because it helps to foster connection and good will, she said. Plus, “many are going through challenging times these days, and a thoughtful deed could make all the difference for someone,” Bisignano said.

4. Take small steps toward meaningful goals.

“Make a list of everything you’ve ever wanted to try,” said Natasha Lindor, a coach and founder of The AND Factor, who helps professionals have a successful career while working less and living more. Pick one activity, and take a small step toward accomplishing it, she said. Then keep taking small steps until you’re done.

“There’s nothing like being in action, especially when it’s in relation toward something you really want to do, to help you feel like you’re living a more satisfying life.”

5. Include moments of meditation in your day.

“Pick a simple, frequent task to turn into a meditative touchstone, something that reminds you to slow down and turn your awareness inward whenever you have to do it,” Eder said.

Take the example of washing your hands. When you do so, scan your body. “[S]ee where you notice any tension, and then breathe into the tense spots, expanding them with each inhale and relaxing them with each exhale.”

6. Show love to your close ones.

“Because we’re so comfortable in their presence, we have a tendency to treat the ones we love most with less respect than we would a complete stranger,” Lindor said. Instead, focus on appreciating and supporting your loved ones.

Tell them how much you love them. Tell them about the positive influence they’ve had on your life, she said. Share a heartfelt compliment. Share a genuine opinion of them, “the kind of thing people [say] about others after they pass away.”

“It’ll mean even more now because you can actually give them the message today, and both benefit from the positive feelings and strengthened relationship.”

7. Identify what nourishes and what depletes you.

According to Eder, “Write down everything you do in a typical weekday — everything.” This includes everything from brushing your teeth to getting to work to helping your kids with their homework, she said.

Then next to each activity, jot down whether it’s nourishing or depleting “to your energy level and life satisfaction.” Look over your list. Consider if you can stop or adjust the depleting activities or add more nourishing ones, she said.

“For example, if doing the dishes is depleting for you but not something you can simply stop doing, perhaps listening to your favorite music while cleaning up would increase its nourishment.”

8. Keep a gratitude journal.

In it, list at least three things you’re grateful for every day, Lindor said. “Sure, some days the best thing on your list might be that you had a hot shower.” But, on other days, it might be a beautiful dinner with friends or a bonus check from work.

“Keep up the daily entries and you’ll notice more and more things to add to your list.”

9. Reconsider the people in your life.

“The people with whom we spend the most amount of time not only impact how we feel but also the types of experiences we attract into your life,” Lindor said. Who are the top five people in your life? Do they support you or drag you down?

10. Create a ta-da list.

A ta-da list is where you write down the action steps you’ve taken toward the things you want most in your life, Lindor said. If the things on your list aren’t aligned with your values and aspirations, it might be time to re-evaluate how you’re spending your days, she said.

10 Small Ways You Can Improve Your Life

Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. is an Associate Editor and regular contributor at Psych Central. Her Master's degree is in clinical psychology from Texas A&M University. In addition to writing about mental disorders, she blogs regularly about body and self-image issues on her Psych Central blog, Weightless.

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2018). 10 Small Ways You Can Improve Your Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 28 Aug 2013)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.