13 Simple Steps To Becoming A Better Man
Every guy wants to be better, but very few actually achieve it.
Becoming a better man isn’t about quick fixes or changes, but rather consistently taking simple steps over a long period of time that result in big changes.
Some of these are basic fixes, others are more advanced. All of them, however, require you to take simple actions.
This post is about those simple actions. The first section outlines the basic steps you should be taking right now. If you haven’t got these locked down, sort them out today. The second section outlines the advanced steps you can begin working on to develop long-term, lasting change in your life.
Or, in another way of putting it: the basic steps are about taking care of yourself. The advanced steps are about taking care of your future.
Challenge your opinions. Grow your identity. Become more interesting. Become more engaging.
All of these come as a result of reading diverse books.
This one couldn’t be simpler. Yet so many of us fail to do this. We get stuck staring at our phones or wasting hours on Netflix. When instead we could be doing something far more rewarding.
Start reading a book today. Whether it’s classic fiction, philosophy, science, or politics – there are countless books you can read that will deepen your understanding of the world and yourself.
If you find reading books intimidating – try reading just 10 pages per day. That’s incredibly achievable. And in one year you’ll have read 3650 pages. That’s like reading War and Peace twice. (Which isn’t actually a bad idea).
When you’re reading that much you’ll find you have a hell of a lot to talk about.
Want to understand yourself better? Getter a stronger handle on your emotions? Feel happier? Calmer? Better at making decisions?
Start meditating and you’ll start building a foundation in all of the above. Don’t be turned off by thinking of it as some mystic ritual, check out apps like Headspace or Calm for an easy intro.
Start doing this daily.
Eating bad food affects your life in countless ways. Not only does it make you gain weight and puts you at risk of health issues, but it’s also linked with depression.
Start reducing the amount of processed, sugary foods in your diet, and move towards a diet of meat and vegetables. Cut out the soft drinks and replace them with water.
Start slow, and you’ll quickly start looking and feeling better.
Exercising takes everything you’re doing with your diet and amplifies it. The two go hand in hand.
If you want to feel better, have greater health, and feel much calmer and more well rounded – start exercising today.
It doesn’t matter what you do – boxing, rowing, weightlifting, rock climbing, or dancing. Pick something that uses your body, and start doing it weekly.
Dressing well and grooming well are incredibly easy fixes that have an undeniable effect on your self-esteem. If you’re always looking like a slob, this starts to eat away at your opinion yourself.
If you start wearing clothes that fit, in colors that suit you, and you start grooming your facial hair daily and get a decent haircut – this all will make you feel better and more confident in yourself.
Instead of seeing a slob, you’ll see a guy who respects and takes care of himself. Because that’s exactly what you’re doing.
And as another benefit, you’ll be that much more attractive.
The last basic to fix is hygiene.
This one is obvious, but there are too many guys that get it wrong.
Brush your teeth twice a day. Floss once per day. Shower once per day.
Non-negotiable. You’ll look, feel, and smell better.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to the more advanced stuff. All of these are simple fixes, but they will require more effort.
If you haven’t had money worries already, let me give you a spoiler for life:
You don’t ever want money worries.
This means you don’t want to have any debt, and you want to have good, solid spending habits that have you spending less money than you earn.
Set realistic savings goals every month and stick to them. 20% of your monthly income is pretty ideal.
A simple way to get some time to reflect on your life to date is to travel on your own. Not only are you spending a lot of time with just yourself and your reflections, but you’re also exposed to a different culture.
In short, this forces you to leave your comfort zone and try new things. It forces you to reconsider who you think you are.
If you’ve never done this before I strongly recommend it. Go somewhere that doesn’t speak the same language as you for added benefit.
Every single guy I know who enjoys his life and lives it to a higher standard does this one simple thing:
He spends time every day working on something just for him.
Some do this learning coding, others do this learning DJing, another does this with writing.
Whatever it is, he does this just for himself. Not for money. Not for validation fo any kind. Just for his own interests, and for the investment in himself.
Whatever your interest is – maybe it’s writing, filmmaking, or designing board games (I know a guy who does this) – start spending time every day to work on it.
So far, everything you’ve done has been just for yourself. But studies show that helping other people is great for your psychological well-being, and life satisfaction.
So I guess this one helps both you and everyone else.
In fact, the quality of interpersonal connections was listed as the highest mark of life satisfaction there was. And this was in the Grant Study – the longest running study on human lives.
Volunteering is a great way to expand your life, and add value to those with less. Many of us shrug this off, or think of it as something not worth doing, but try adding it into your monthly schedule and see the effect it has.
Your social life is enormously important to your wellbeing. Humans are social creatures, and loneliness can be fatal.
This can often be fixed just by having better habits at organizing your social life. Arrange to meet friends weekly, attend more social hobbies or events, and spend more time with other people on a weekly basis.
You don’t have to suddenly become a socialite, but paying better attention to how often you are socializing and putting more effort into it will slowly increase your happiness and slowly increase your social skills – a natural by-product of spending more time with people.
It also will eventually and organically have you interacting with more women. Which, if you ask them out has an obvious, and easy benefit to your dating life.
I’ve left two of the most important til last. They’re also the easiest, but the ones that people most often overlook.
Practicing gratitude is something that’s easy to dismiss as hokey, but in reality, it’s been shown to improve relationships, physical health, mental health, enhance empathy, reduce aggression, enhance sleep, and improve mental strength.
Yeah. Not so hokey now.
But beyond that – it makes sense. If you want to become a better man, you’re going to want to enjoy your life more. Leaving your mind to its default setting of only looking for where everything sucks isn’t going to help to you achieve that.
Starting to consciously practice thinking about what you’re grateful for internally, within your life, and from others is an easy habit that slowly begins to alter the way you perceive your life – for the better.
And all it starts with is a simple question:
“What am I grateful for?”
Acceptance is the last one on the list. And in my opinion, the most important.
Look, life is going to give you a raw deal. No matter what positives you have going for you, you’re going to, every now and again, drown in a sea of negatives.
It happens. In fact, it’s guaranteed to happen.
Some people get depression, some guys get hung up on being short, some people’s relationships end badly, some people get injured and can’t exercise in the same way they’d like to. It can be anything.
But it’s often the internal problems that we get hung up on the most:
We’re shy. We’re awkward. We aren’t cool enough. We feel insecure about our looks. All of these things eat away at us internally and make the experiences of our lives, and our choices, much worse.
But here’s the thing:
On some level, we are always choosing the way in which we interact with the negativity of life. Some of us pretend it isn’t there, others run from it, others try to drown it out.
But we can also choose to accept it, and start acting despite it.
Yes, we’re shy. But that’s okay. Yes, we’re insecure about our looks. But that’s okay. (After all who isn’t?)
Acceptance is about consciously choosing the way we interact with all the crappy details of life so that instead of beating us down, we learn to let them pass us by.
And it is in doing so, that we become a better man for it.
About John Matich John is a writer from the UK who splits his time between travelling the world and trying to find unconventional solutions to dating and personal development. You can find more from him at www.lifeuncivilized.com.