1) Begin Learning a Language. Remember that second language you’ve always sworn you would learn one day. Make that day today. Language expert (and good friend), has put together some of the very best “language hacking” tools available, allowing you to learn a new language in a fraction of the time. Hell it only takes Benny 3 months to become fully fluent, his new product ensures there is still hope for the rest of us.
2) Build an Exercise Program. One of the best ways to do this is to use the Nike + app and website in tandem with an iPod or iPhone. You go online and can build out a training program based on a variety of goals. For instance, I’m doing a 12 week program to prepare for a half-marathon. It tells me exactly how far I need to go each day, tracks my progress, allows me to make notes about the workout, and the built in app even gives me in-run updates on my progress. Running just got fun.
3) Improve Your Diet. In tandem with the exercise program, you can also create a nutrition program. We all know that exercising, eating better, and drinking more water can have a tremendous effect on our lives, but sometimes we just need a little extra push to get us there. Use a program like Fit Day to track your eating habits, or even record them in a notebook for a week or two. Chances are good that when you look back on all the crap your eating, you’ll have all the motivation you need to make a change!
4) Cruise Craigslist. Craigslist is one of the most powerful websites out there to get pretty much whatever you want. Looking for a new job? Check out Craigslist. Want some new dumbbells for that new exercise program? Craigslist. Have some old junk you need to get rid of? You guessed it, sell it on Craigslist. You can make your life a lot better, just by spending a few hours actually taking action on all the things you’ve said you were going to do.
5) Start a blog. You’ve heard it from me millions of times. Starting a blog is the single best thing you can do to improve your life. It isn’t hard, it could take as little as 5 minutes if you want it to. But the benefits are staggering. Just look at my life – wouldn’t be nearly as great as it is without the blog. Some resources from Location 180: Improve Your Life in One Easy Step, 56 Reasons to Start a Blog.
6) Email someone you respect. This one time about a year and a half ago, I emailed this guy who was doing some awesome stuff. He had the life I wanted, and I wanted to know how to do the same thing. That guy was Chris Guillebeau. Now I work with him, consider him a good friend and mentor, and if it weren’t for that email, the blog may have never been started. Better yet, email 10 people you respect.
7) Complete a Lynda Course. Lynda.com is my go to website when I need to learn any kind of new computer based skill. Whether its learning basic html, the latest photography tricks in Photoshop or page layouts in Indesign – Lynda has the absolute best tutorials available. It cost 25 bucks a month, and you can cancel at any time, but believe me, these bad boys are worth it. You can get an entire education for less than the price of one college course. There’s also a free 24 hour trial, so there is no excuse not to take a Saturday and learn something new.
8) Make Your First Dollar Online. There are few greater feelings in the world than knowing you personally brought in any amount of money via the internet. To put something out there, go to sleep, and wake up with a fatter bank account is pretty empowering, and the good news is there are a million ways to do it. Not sure how? Check out Dave Navarro’s free pdfs about launching and creating your first product, or tackle affiliate marketing with Corbett Barr’s new course for beginners.
9) Create a bucket list. What do you want to do with your life? I have 100 things I want to get done, and I’m well on my way. Take a few hours and really think about all the cool stuff you want to do over the coming years and decades. It’s an awesome feeling once you’ve completed it – and it will be even more awesome if you make the list and then immediately go cross one of the items off.
10) Make a friend. Everyone likes new friends! Luckily it’s easier than ever to get in touch with people. Use Twitter or Email to chat with a blogger with shared interests. Head to the dog park and chat up the cute girl with the poodle. Too shy for those things, get on Match.com! No matter what your personality there are ways to get to know new people. Who knows where a new found friendship might lead?
11) Overcome a Fear. Afraid of heights? Go skydiving. Afraid of snakes? Go to a pet store and put a boa around your neck. Afraid of uncertainty? Check out my new course. Whatever you’re afraid of, the chances are good that there’s a pretty simple solution – you just have to be willing to face the fear. Start with something small in order to build up the confidence to tackle bigger fears. A small step can facilitate big changes over time.
12) Volunteer for an Afternoon. What better way to improve your life than by improving someone elses? Go volunteer at a shelter, help someone learn a skill that you possess, or mentor a child at Boys and Girls Club. Even the smallest action on your part can make a big difference. Make it a routine and you’ll routinely make lives better – including your own.
13) Be a Tourist for a Day. How many cool things are there to do in your city, that you’ve never done before? Having a better sense of what your town has to offer, and taking the time do something fun can be a great break from routine, and make you a valuable resource when you have visitors in town. Eat at a unique restaurant, go to a random memorial, and walk or take public transportation. You’ll see your city in a whole new light.
14) Create a Budget. Most people go through their entire lives without properly budgeting their income and expenses. With free programs like Mint.com, it’s incredibly easy to track expenses and prepare for the future. You’ll be shocked to realize how much you are spending on things like eating out or having a car. I’ve even developed an entire Mint guide teaching you how to utilize the site to it’s fullest.
15) Buy a Guitar. If there’s one thing in life that’s kept me sane in some of the craziest times in my life, its music. Whether you think you’re musically inclined or not, even learning some basics of a guitar or any instrument for that matter, can really impact your life in a positive way. You can find one that will work for under a hundred bucks in just about any music shop. If I can dodge tear gas and angry protesters in order to get my hands on one, you’d better believe it is valuable!
16) Get Your MBA. Ok, maybe not rhe actual degree, but the Personal MBA is one of the coolest ideas I’ve seen in a long time. If you read this selection of 100 books, you’ll have obtained the information equivalent to that of a typical MBA program. At the very least check out the list and grab a couple selections for your next plane ride.
17) Get a Library Card (of if you have one, go to the library). Now that you’re gonna get an MBA, of course you don’t want to have to pay for the text books. A few weeks ago I was walking down to Borders to buy Work the System by Sam Carpenter. On the way I passed the public library, and in all my wisdom thought maybe they’d have the book I wanted. They did. And a lot more. It’s incredible how much knowledge is available FOR FREE. This one’s a no brainer.
18) Go to a Park. This one is a little bit more of a temporary remedy, but taking the time out of your day to go for a walk in a quiet or picturesque place can immediately boost your mood. Any time I’m traveling some place for more than a few days I do my best to scope out a spot that I can retreat to if I need a quick happiness boost.
19) Call an Old Friend. Since I’ve returned from Thailand, I’ve been extremely busy and been awful about calling a lot of friends back home to catch up. Calling any one of them and reforming that relationship would be an excellent thing I could do to improve my life. Think about who you could call to do the same.
20) Find Some New Music. One of the best feelings in the world is when you find a new song that you can listen to over and over again. Recently I’ve started using Pandora again, and every time I find a song I really love, I create a new station for it. Then magically, I’ve got dozens of new songs to listen to, that (almost) always rock.
21) Buy a Lottery Ticket. Ok, stick with me on this one. You know that moment right before you start scratching off a ticket, or right before they are about to announce the lotto numbers? Your excited. For a couple of moments, you really believe you have the potential to hit the jackpot. That feeling is worth the two bucks (every once in awhile). And who knows, maybe on the right day it could drastically improve your life for more than just a few moments.
22) Practice Visualization. Want your business to start taking off? Shoot that sub-par round of golf? Sit on a Tahitian Beach? Visualize it. Seriously. Spend a few minutes when you need a break visualizing the changes and good things you hope to happen in your life. If you do this on a regular basis you’ll be amazed at the transformation that will begin to happen. Mindset is more important than just about any aspect of your life, and the more positive, the better.
23) Plan a Trip. Isn’t life better when you have something to look forward to? Pick a destination, even if it is isn’t that far away, and plan a trip there! Look into hotels, activities, and figure out how you are going to pay for it. Not only will you be more productive as you lead up to it, but it will give you something to be excited about in the process!
23) Take 24 Hours Off. I don’t know about you, but I work a lot. I also do it 7 days a week. When you’re on a schedule like that it can be all too easy to get consumed in work, which can really be detrimental to your overall well-being. So what’s the remedy? Take a day off. Call in sick, plan something fun, but don’t do any work, and don’t feel bad about it doing it. That last part is really important.
So when you need to make some positive improvements in your life, what do you do? Tell us about it in the comments!