49 Simple Ways to Make Your Life Better Right Now!

Posted by Todd Smith

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If you want to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life, you must be intentional about doing the little things to make your life better. Seems obvious, right?  But how intentional are you about doing that to improve the quality of your life?

Improving your life is about doing the little things along your journey that bring joy, happiness, and fulfillment into your life.  Little Things Matter is all about helping you become the person you need to be to achieve your goals and live the life you desire.

In a special contest, members of the Little Things Matter Facebook community were asked to share their #1 little thing that could improve someone’s life today.  Over 300 people responded with outstanding ideas, practical suggestions, and life affirmations.

While it was difficult to choose among them, the Little Things Matter team selected the entries that best represent the inspiring themes that characterized the majority of responses.

I invite you to join me in putting a different one of these suggestions into action every day.

1. Radiate Joy

Smile at everyone—yourself in the mirror, your boss, your family, strangers, co-workers, the clerk at the store.  Smile just because. Smiling creates friendship, acceptance, understanding, and it’s more fun! (Kalama Hochreiter)

2. Take a Risk

Do something outside your comfort zone. Whether it’s talking to someone outside your social circle at a party when you’re shy, offering to help someone with a project that will require learning new skills at work, or trying a new ethnic restaurant instead of the usual Pie ‘n Burger, you’ll expand your horizons and, with them, your ideas about who you are and what you can do.  (Liz Pruyn)

3. Look for Ways to Be Kind to People

Do a random act of kindness at least daily. Open a door, send an “I love you” to a loved one you haven’t seen in a while, help an elderly person to their seat, etc. If you pay attention to their responses, it will brighten your day! (Michael Lindsay)

4. Learn Something New Today

Stay open to learning. Be accepting of growth and change. There is something to learn every day. From an experience, a person you know, a book, a course, a film, your child, your parents…stay open. Life is about growth and learning. Growth and change bring us life. The more we learn, the more alive we are. And remember, your mind is like a parachute, it functions better when open. (Elizabeth McCollum)

5. Respect Those Who Make Your Life Easier

Be kind and polite, especially to service workers. They are just making their money like everyone else. (Judy Dawn Bentley Schroeder)

6. Listen to Understand

In order to make life better today, keep your opinions to yourself.  Don’t necessarily agree or disagree with another, but listen intently. Allowing others to confide in you or even vent can pave the way for future friendships. At the very least, you will gain the trust of another and even an ally when it is most needed. (John R. Fritts)

7. Reach out to Loved Ones

Stay connected with your family (all generations) and your friends. These are the ties that matter most and will follow you through life. Don’t let things get in the way of your relationships with people! (Lori Peakall-Cote)

8. Consider Points of View Other Than Your Own

If you judge people, you’ll have no time to love them; so try not to judge or make assumptions until you know the whole story. Be thankful for everyone you know. People are our greatest assets, so be kind and generous to one another. What comes around goes around. We tend to get back what we put forth, so if we plant seeds of faith in one another, we will receive an abundance of faithful friends. (Roberto Hemerez)

9. Learn to Trust

Be vulnerable with those you’ve found to be trustworthy and closest to you in life. It will develop much deeper relationships and can lead to very meaningful conversations.  (Valerie McClintock Gipe)

10. Show Your Appreciation

Let no one be invisible; some people spend their lives searching to be heard, appreciated, and valued. Sometimes it just takes 5 seconds to make someone’s day brighter. Whether it is asking how a person’s family is or complimenting someone on their new haircut. Try not to let anyone go without stopping and showing interest in them.  (Hannah Smith)

11. Embrace Spontaneity

Do something spontaneous, whether going to a restaurant you’ve never been to before, waking up earlier in the morning to spend a few minutes with someone before they go to work, or saying hello to someone new. These little things, however trivial, may have surprising results—results that unequivocally change your life for the better. (Kyle Bilbray)

12. Look for the Best in People

Commit every day to give out a genuine compliment to a minimum of ten people. Whether it is their smile, clothes, makeup, or a recent accomplishment, recognize it. You are positively impacting their lives and yours as well.  (Dana Olmsted Theisen)

13. Practice, Practice, Practice

Start one small discipline and build on it daily. Even if you don’t do it all the way, each time you practice a discipline, it builds on the last, even if it’s just character.  (Michael Mowad)

14. Become Selfless

Take “I” and “me” out of your vocabulary, and watch how life will reward you. Watch how your anxieties wither away while your determination hits overdrive. If your character is defined by what you do for yourself, it’s worthless. Let the life you breathe into others define your character, and watch your life soar. (Matt Priddle)

15. Break the Elevator Code of Silence

Smile, say hello, and engage with everyone you meet. Your positive and genuine connection with others will teach greatness by example, and your efforts will not only lift another person, but you will also win all sorts of new friends. (Alicia Warner Blickfeldt)

16. Set Your Standards High

Draw a line…then live above it. The negatives you encounter fall below the line—doubt, fear, resignation, and defeat.  Joy, gratefulness, faith, belief, and trust rise above it. Strive to live above it. (Carole Chalmers)

17. See It, Be It

Use the power of vision to orchestrate your future. Too often, we live our lives day to day without thinking about the future. Taking the time out each day to actually visualize yourself obtaining your goals will make it easier to obtain them. You are more likely to take the steps to get there if you can actually see the mental template in your mind. This one little thing, picturing the life you want, can actually be the biggest key to achieving your dreams.  (Patti Phelan Clapp)

18. Energize Your Day

Take the road less traveled…or the stairs. By walking up stairs, you not only contribute to an eco-friendly means of getting to an upper-level floor; you increase the muscle-building hormone in your body and you get your heart rate up, which increases the blood pumping which, in effect, makes you more alert.  So skip the coffee and energy drinks; take the stairs. (Chris McCants)

19. Adopt a Positive Perspective

View everyone and everything as being supportive of you. This simple shift of viewpoint can create miracles. When I first started this practice, my mind was sure these people were criticizing and not supporting me. When I thanked them for being so supportive, walls broke down and all my major relationships shifted.  (Barbara Kantor)

20. Be Better Than Okay

When someone asks how you’re doing, say “Great!” (along with a smile and eye contact) instead of “Okay” or “Pretty good” or other things. Pretty soon, it will become a habit and change your attitude and help others too!  (Michelle Amy Joyce Hodge)

21. Do Ordinary Tasks With Zest

Do not overlook the everyday tasks; do them with vigor. I have found it easier to master the small details than proceed to ignore them, all too often to my detriment. Stay focused on the “little things” and the big things will be manageable.  (David Porter)

22. Give Yourself a Pep Talk

Each morning when you look in the mirror, repeat: I choose to be the person I want to be and to make a difference in my life and the lives of others.  (George Sharp)

23. Live a Fruitful Life

See every challenge as an opportunity for growth. Things in life can make us bitter or better…choose to let your life be lived out by lessons that lead to the strengthening of your character. So much of the battle is in our minds that we need to take captive every wrong thought, bad attitude, and defeated outlook and replace it with what will bring life to us…and by “life,” I mean joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.  (Jessica Smith)

24. Let Nature Lift Your Spirits

Take 15 minutes during your work day and go outside and really look around. Sit somewhere and just observe nature. Look closely at a plant, a bug, or even a cloud. Just breathe and focus. At the end of your break, you will feel calmer, refreshed, and have that much more appreciation for nature.  (Susan Feder)

25. Become Accepting of Others

Avoid being hurt/disappointed. Accept people for who they are, where they are in life, and not where you want them to be or what you want them to be doing. (Laurel Cherwin)

26. Choose to Make a Difference

My mom always said to leave a place better than you found it. I try to be sure I don’t leave behind messes for someone else to pick up.  Along with that, I try to pick up where I am so the next person sees a better place, even if I didn’t do it—like litter at a park that someone else left.  (Monica McGregor Huyser)

27. Become a People Person

Learn from people, talk to people, help people. This will give you purpose and confidence and will help you develop new skills and achieve any goal you can think of while you fill your life with great experiences and results bigger than doing it alone. (Lenny Ramirez)

28. Tidy up Your Tasks

Get your life in order! “Undone” things keep our lives cluttered and prevent us from being or becoming the person we want to be. Choose one task and finish it. Throw out the old magazines, glue the handle on the mug, touch up the paint in the hall, etc. Your self-esteem will soar!  (Leslie Rowe Novak)

29. Begin Each Day Anew

You can improve your present life by letting go of your past. The more time you spend thinking about the should’ves, could’ves, would’ves of your past, the less time you have to live in the present. There is nothing you can do to undo or change the past, but you can surely make your future a better one, a great one, and you can start now.  (Imelda R Tan)

30. Gratitude Rocks!

Carry a “gratitude rock.” Leave it in a special place. When you get dressed in the morning, give thanks for something you’re grateful for. Then keep it in your pocket all day. When you get undressed, give thanks again when you put it away. This way, you start and end every day with gratitude.  (Duncan Robertson)

31. Be a Better Listener

You can improve someone’s life right now by “simply listening” when you are with someone! Be more focused on what they have to say, how they are feeling, and what they are really trying to tell you. Block out any thoughts that you want to say, simply listen. You honor another person when you focus solely on them, their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs without any judgment or interruption! And through this simple act, you not only empower them and make them feel special, but you come away feeling exactly the same. (Chris Schwan)

32. Show Your Love in Unexpected Ways

Do something small for your spouse every week. It can be as simple as writing a little love note or buying a small box of chocolates. Be unselfish. My wife is making me soup right now because I haven’t been feeling good. It’s the little things that make great marriages, too. (Gerrid Smith)

33. Face Challenges With Courage

Life is full of challenges, but how you face these challenges defines your journey. The most arduous and dangerous part of the journey for a caterpillar is its emergence from the chrysalis to become a butterfly. Choose to be happy! Choose to be optimistic! These choices will allow you to emerge as the amazing butterfly that you were destined to be! (Angelina Ghrist)

34. Forgive a Wrong

Make life better today for yourself and others by passing on an opportunity to get “payback” when an individual has harmed you in the past. Forgiving another for a past wrong can form the basis for a strong and lasting business or personal relationship. Being the bigger person is evidence of strong leadership. (John R. Fritts)

35. Be a Role Model

Be a role model for your children. Not only will they model themselves after everything you do, but also what you don’t do. (Dana Olmsted Theisen)

36. Add a Little More Love

Think of the world as a big glass of water with some salt in it. You have a choice. You can try to pick out all the salt or you can keep pouring in more water so eventually, it gets less bitter. As you continue your journey in life, I hope you don’t just try to remove everything that you find distasteful in the world, but rather just pour in more love. It’s the only thing that the more you give away, the more you have. (Gordon Smith)

37. You’re in Control

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. (Michelle Miller)

38. Take 100% Responsibility for Your Communication

When you get a response you did not anticipate, don’t blame the other person. Change your words and state your intention until you get the outcome/response you want! You will gain a stronger friendship. So many unnecessary disagreements or misunderstandings can be avoided with this easily-adopted belief. (John Milanoski)

39. Celebrate!

Show the mind, body, and soul that all the enduring hard work and persevering are worth it and have a payoff! When people don’t celebrate their accomplishments, they end up with a bitter glass of victory.  (Chris McCants)

40. Go on a “Low Information Diet”

If, by listening to the daily news, reading the newspaper, or listening to talk radio, you get the feeling that the sky is falling, quit! As long as you take in this negative information, that’s what you will dwell on, and that’s what you will create in your life. Remember, only take in information that is helping you reach your goals! (Michael Lindsay)

41. Vive La Différence!

Be true to yourself. Instead of diluting your individuality and personal power by trying to be someone you’re not, identify and then share that unique combination of qualities, experience, skills, and natural abilities that you alone can contribute to the world. When you no longer waste fruitless time comparing yourself to others, you will gain the energy and enthusiasm to find your niche, promote your brand, and experience a level of success you never thought possible. (Liz Pruyn)

42. Overcome Defeat

When you decide defeat is temporary, it is. When you decide it will ruin you, it does.  (Stephanie Kathan)

43. Focus on What You Want

Think about what you want, not what you don’t want. Guard your thoughts carefully; they create your experiences. (Jessica Maria Carpenter)

44. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Fear is the most debilitating thing in the universe. It prevents us from living the life we want.  I encourage everyone to think about this: What would you do if you knew you would not fail? Just imagine what you could do. (Ritchie Lucas)

45. Give Others the Benefit of the Doubt

With everything and everyone, assume good intent. Be kinder than necessary; you never know someone’s personal struggles. (Julie Spealler Weldon)

46. Act With Purpose

Know why you do what you do. It will enable you to lead with passion. It will lift you when you fall. It will inspire others to join you. (Don Yoakum)

47. Just Do It!

There’s one way to improve your life now…live it! Don’t be afraid of taking a flight, boarding a ship, or riding a train. Live your life as if your life has meaning.  (Barbara Vidal)

48. It Really Is All in the Name

Speak someone’s name to them often and in an affirming tone. It seems the smallest thing that makes the largest difference in children, youth, and adults. This little practice of valuing a person by calling their name followed by encouragement will build trust and cause people to flourish! (Nancy Clegg)

49. Make Others Feel Welcome

Wherever you may be—at the grocery store, at church, or at a baseball game— make sure the people around you feel welcome and included. No one likes to feel left out at any age…right? (Vicki Pellicciotta Anzalone)

Please contribute to this post below by sharing your best tip on how people can improve their lives today!

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About the Author:

Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.

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