37 Personal Development Tips That Will Change Your World

Last Updated on

Here is something that you can probably relate to pretty well.

When I think back to how my life was ten years ago, I am surprised and proud that I have been able to come as far as I have.

Most of us think we know everything when we are younger, but with age and experience, we realize how much we don't know.

If you stop to think about it, you probably couldn't imagine a decade ago that you'd have the attitudes and beliefs you have today.

Maybe you are an entirely different person today.

Our personal development generally extends as far as our life experiences and willingness to be self-aware can take us.

Life can force us to grow, but we also have to be willing to learn the lessons we encounter along the way.

When you're younger, you don't realize how time, relationships, challenges, and maturity can shape you into a new person who is wiser, stronger, and more resilient.

I picked up some personal development strategies along the way because I am deeply curious and want to evolve, but I also learned a lot from personal experience, trial and error, and even failure.

I have found that personal development is such an important and valuable endeavor, so I try to work on it just a bit more each day.

The truth is, you will never stop evolving as a person.

You will continue to grow and develop throughout your life, especially if you remain open and receptive to change and new ideas.

Here are 37 personal development tips that have helped me and hopefully can help you along your journey as well.

1. Do something every day to get out of your comfort zone.

This may be going up to a stranger in the grocery store and giving them a compliment or reaching out to someone who has your dream job and asking them how they got there.

Anything that breaks you out of your shell just a little bit will help you grow, especially if you do it every day.

Once you are comfortable with being uncomfortable, you will open up a lot of doors and opportunities for yourself.

2. Try new foods.

Are you stuck in a culinary rut? Try foods from cuisines that you never normally consider and develop a more sophisticated palate.

Have you ever had Korean food? What about Moroccan food?

Experiment with some new foods and you will probably be surprised at some of the things you never thought you would like.

3. Read a book you wouldn't normally pick up.

Maybe you only like to read mysteries or romance novels because they transport you and don't tax your brain too much.

But part of evolving is remaining a lifelong learner. Rather than just choosing books that entertain you, try to find a book that informs, enlightens, or educates you.

Go to a local library and see what is being highlighted on the shelves. Pick up something that is not in the typical genre you would choose and see what you can learn from it.

4. Try a new hobby.

Picking up a new hobby is not only fun and fulfilling, but you may meet some like-minded people while you are doing it.

For example, have you ever considered ballroom dancing or hand quilting?

baby feet hand Personal Development Tips

Or what about joining a hiking club?

Think about some hobbies that you may be interested in doing and pursue them.

This will make you a more interesting person and will challenge your brain to learn something new.

40 Hobbies For Women To Strengthen Your Brain And Body

5. Smile even if you don't want to.

Smiling can trick your brain into thinking you are happy, even if you are not in the best of moods.

What's more, if you smile while looking in the mirror and see yourself looking happy, it will help you to start feeling happy.

Smile at other people, smile at yourself, and try to smile more often in general.

Show the world that you are a positive, optimistic person and brighten the day of those around you.

6. Be kind to everyone you encounter.

This may involve simply holding a door open for someone or picking up something that another person dropped.

Kindness involves the absence of apathy and the presence of empathy. Become more interested in the happiness of others, even strangers.

Related: 12 Steps To Better Yourself Every Month This Year

If you are checking out at the grocery store, ask the clerk how their day is going and offer some positive interaction. You may be the only one to do so that day.

Practice mindful kindness with your own family — the people we often take for granted but who are the most important to use.

7. Limit your exposure to negative people.

You know the people who make you feel drained of all of your energy and positivity.

Negative people are toxic and their attitudes can easily be contagious.

If you have a friend or co-worker who is constantly negative or complaining, limit the amount of time that you spend around them. You don't need their pessimism in your life.

8. Remember that it's never too late to do anything.

Maybe you have been thinking about going back to school but you feel like you are too old.

Or maybe something has been weighing on your conscious for ten years, and you owe someone an apology. It is never too late to do these things.

Each day you wait, you will tell yourself more and more that you lost your chance to do something you wanted to do.

9. Plant a garden and grow your own food.

Part of personal development is improving your physical health.

There is no food healthier to eat than locally grown, organic produce. You can't get any more local than your own backyard.

Research what is in season and what you can easily grow in your area and then plant a garden. This is a fun hobby to share with your family to strengthen your bonds.

10. Declutter your house.

Have you ever heard of the three-day rule? If you were locked in your house for three days, what items would you use?

If there are stacks of magazines, clothes you don't wear, or maybe some old DVDs that you never watch, give or throw them away.

You will feel a sense of relief when you declutter your house and keep only the things you need or really love.

11. Go on a money diet.

Take a month to only spend the money on what you absolutely need.

This means no impulse buys, no dinners out, no shopping for clothes. Just buy the food and gas you need along with your normal bills.

This will not only help you save a bit of money, but it will also show you how little you actually need to live off of to be happy.

A Money Mindfulness Intensive: 7 Days to A New Attitude

12. Write a love poem.

Get creative. Think about the person who you love and write a poem for them expressing how you feel.

Once you are done, read it to the person it was intended for to brighten their day. This is a great way to spread a bit more joy.

13. Organize a game night to have with your friends every month.

Pick a day each month to get together with your closest friends to have a game night.

Everyone can bring some snacks to share and you can all enjoy a night of laughing and playing while you catch up with each other's lives.

Game nights are a really great way to bond with the people who you love to spend time with.

friends outdoor playing cards Personal Development Tips

14. Write a letter to your parents.

Thank them for everything they have done for you to get you to where you are now.

Thank them for how they raised you and everything they have given up in order to give you the life that you have.

Parents often do not hear this enough. You may assume that your parents realize that you appreciate them, but it is always good to hear.

15. Drink your coffee outside in the morning.

Instead of listening to the news in the morning, take your coffee outside and listen to the birds. Listen to nature.

Observe everything around you and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. Try to be in the present moment and aware of the peace of drinking your morning coffee.

16. Keep a gratitude journal.

Write in your gratitude journal every day, either at the beginning or the end of the day.

Come up with at least five things that you are grateful for no matter how small they may seem.

You can think about the things you have, the interactions with other people you have made recently, or some new things that you have learned or experienced.

Gratitude helps you realize how lucky you are to have what you have, and it has been shown to improve your feelings of happiness.

17. Keep in mind that nothing is permanent.

If something is bad, it will pass. If something is good, it will also pass. Don't get too wrapped up in your current situation, no matter what it is. It will change eventually.

18. If you are unhappy with your job, do something about it.

You can't spend eight hours a day being miserable. While it may seem easier to stay complacent in the job that you have, it is not worth it if you dread waking up each day.

Do everything you can to find a job that you will like better. You will thank yourself in the end when you are doing something fulfilling and interesting.

Related: The Best Self-Improvement Plans For This Year

Reach out to your contacts to see if they know of open positions in your field, or reach out to someone who has the job that you would like and find out how they got there.

You may even need to volunteer for a while with an organization to get your foot in the door. It will all be worth it in the end.

19. Listen to other people.

You may be quick to blow off other people's opinions, especially if they are different from yours.

But remember, whatever they are saying probably has a reason behind it, and you may be able to learn something.

This is part of realizing that you do not know everything. There is a lot to gain from the perspectives of other people.

20. Stop taking yourself so seriously.

Loosen up. Laugh. It is important to let yourself go a bit. One way you can do this is to not dwell on negative things. Always look for the positive in things.

It can be difficult to laugh at yourself sometimes because you may be stressed out or overwhelmed, but you can control your reactions to things to make your life just a bit lighter.

21. Focus on your breathing.

Take ten minutes each day to focus on your breath. Stay still and appreciate the silence around you.

Feel the air filling your lungs and then escaping.

You can try some breathing techniques like deep breathing to help you relax. This type of meditation is very cathartic.

22. Start waking up earlier.

This will give you time in the morning to get a few things accomplished and not feel so rushed.

Starting your day out in a positive way will set the stage for the rest of the day.

Get some tasks out of the way that are weighing on you, or just take the time for yourself to do some meditation.

23. Push yourself.

Whenever you feel like you want to quit something, push just a little bit harder.

You can likely accomplish more than you think you can. If you think you are about to hit your limit, no matter what you are doing, do just a little bit more.

24. Clear your workspace.

Working around clutter is stressful. Throw away or put away any extra papers that are lying around or items you don't use on a regular basis.

clean work space personal development tips

Try to only have the things that you use regularly on your desk, in addition to the papers that you are currently working on. Find a place to store everything else.

25. Learn how to say “no.”

“No” is a full sentence. Once you learn how to say no to other people, you will be able to free up some of your time and energy for yourself.

If someone asks you for a favor, and you do not have the time to do it, you have every right to say no.

If someone asks you to go out with them one night, and you are just exhausted, you can say no.

Your personal health and well being are the most important things. If you say yes when you mean no, the person asking will likely see that they can take advantage of you.

26. Live below your means.

Learn to spend less money than you make.

Put aside any extra money into a savings account to save up for the bigger purchases in life that you will want to make in the future.

You will thank yourself later.

25 Random Things You Should Know About Personal Development

27. Leave work at work.

This may be hard, especially if you are really passionate about your job. However, you have to make time for your family and for yourself. If you are stressed out about something at work, do not bring that attitude home and let it affect you. You do not get paid to allow your job to take over your life.

28. Practice positive affirmations.

These short statements will help motivate you throughout the day and encourage you to be your best self.

Some examples of positive affirmations are:

  • Every day in every way, I am getting better and better.
  • I have everything I need to be successful.
  • I feel joy and contentment in this moment right now.

29. Learn something new every day.

It could be a new fact, a sentence in a new language, or just some information on a subject that you'd like to know more about.

Read an article from a journal or go to a website that you wouldn't normally visit and just poke around to see what you can learn.

30. Cook a full meal from scratch.

Start with the appetizer and end with the dessert, and prepare the meal mindfully. Make everything yourself from scratch exactly how you want it.

Try to savor every step, knowing that you are creating something that is nourishing. Invite friends over to enjoy the meal with you.

In a culture of grab-and-go meals, cooking a meal from scratch is a gesture of love and appreciation.

31. Slow down.

Stop rushing through life and try to savor it more.

Like many of us, you probably rush one task or activity just so you can get to the next one. But you move at such a fast pace, you don't have time to experience or appreciate what you are doing.

Just slow down, take your time, and breathe for a minute.

32. Don't compare yourself to other people.

Comparing yourself to others is an exercise in futility. It fosters negative emotions like envy, shame, and low self-esteem.

Stop focusing attention on what other people have. Rather, think about your own goals and how you want to achieve them.

Focus on gratitude for everything good in your life — your family, friends, health, career, and your home. Acknowledge your own positive qualities, skills, and talents.

33. Call a friend.

Stop texting for just a minute. Pick up the phone and call a friend to catch up with them.

Have a long talk where you laugh and share things that you can't easily share in a text.

old woman talking on her cellphone personal development tips

True conversation is a lost art, but you can revive it as part of your personal development plan.

34. Purge unhealthy foods.

If you eat better, you will feel better — and you'll be motivated to take care of your health in other ways, like exercising.

Purge your refrigerator and pantry of processed junk foods that are not doing anything to benefit your health.

Focus more on real foods that will fuel your body like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Positive Affirmations: 101 Life-Changing Thoughts To Practice Daily

35. Embrace failure.

Failing at something definitely stings, and we will do just about anything to avoid it.

But part of personal growth is understanding the importance of failure in the process of learning and refining our endeavors.

When failure happens, don't resist it. Use it as a stepping stone to success. Discover what you did wrong and how you can improve going forward.

36. Be the first to forgive.

Even if you feel like the other person was in the wrong, take the high road and forgive first.

Don't allow conflicts and misunderstandings to fester and deepen the rift. Be the healer and initiate making amends if possible.

Even if you can't make amends, you can still forgive someone, freeing you from the burden of resentment and anger.

37. Be curious about other people's experiences.

People love to talk about themselves. Let them!

Listen to the things that other people have gone through and accomplished, and ask questions to show your interest and curiosity.

Showing interest in others is an attractive quality that will draw people to you. Nothing is more flattering than someone offering a sincere enthusiasm and appreciation for what you have to say.

38. Read motivational books.

This is one of the best ways to get inspired. So of the most profound “aha” moments can come from insights shared by thought leaders and experts on self-improvement topics.

Challenge yourself to read a wide variety of inspiring, educational, and motivating books that will enhance your awareness and perhaps stretch your assumptions.

Related: 110 Of The Best Self-Improvement Books You’ll Ever Read

39. Be a role model.

Be someone who others can look up to and emulate. Be the person you would like to have had as a role model as a young adult or even in your career.

Define your values and what integrity means to you, and try to be a living example of your definition.

37 Personal Development Tips That Will Change Your World Click To Tweet

What specific decisions and actions reflect your values and integrity?

What decisions and actions are at odds with your values and integrity, and how can you avoid these?

Personal development is a lifelong process. No matter how much you know or how great your skills are, you will always have room for improvement in various areas of your life.

Focusing on your personal development is a great way to assess your current skills and create goals for who you want to be and how you want to live in the future.

As George Bernard Shaw reminds us, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
  • Corrado C.

    The point on getting out of your confront zone tends to appeal more to me since it the main challenge that i have. However,with this insight I have learn how to better adopt this attribute

  • Helen

    Thank you for such an interesting article, you have made thing so clear and simple, which almost looks effortless, but the challenge lurks behind getting ourselves geared up for change.

  • Liza Mall

    I enjoy reading your post. I liked few suggestions which I will try to implement in my life. I always wanted to remove unnecessary items from my flat but I’ve been never engaged enough to do it at one time. Also, I need to practice “no” rule more frequently. And tips about work also very close to me.

  • Savannah Baker

    I love these tips, all of them, so much – especially the ones regarding getting out and doing something you normally wouldn’t. Getting into a rut is one of the worst things you can do, in terms of development. Will definitely be implementing some of these into my life.

  • Leave a Reply: