How to Improve Yourself in 2 Simple Steps

Sometimes self-improvement can feel rather overwhelming.

You just wanted to be a bit more confident at social gatherings…

…but 3 years and 100 books later you find yourself deep down the self-development rabbit hole pondering questions such as:

“How do I find my life purpose?“

“How can I live an authentic life?”

And as if these questions were not already complicated enough, your social confidence isn’t your only problem anymore.

You tasted the self-help fruit and are now concerned about your health, fitness, spirituality, productivity, professional success, happiness, integrity …

….and the list goes on and on.

I’d like to ask you this:

“Wouldn’t it be nice to make self-improvement simple again?”

Simple as in an uncomplicated process you can follow to make changes in your life?

My answer to this question is “Yes”, which is why I tried to simplify self-development down to 2 steps.

I came up with those 2 steps reflecting on what has worked for me in the past (I’ve been one of those self-development junkies for the last three years), and what in my experience self-development tends to come down to.

Of course, you cannot explain the world in a short article like this.

But sometimes simplicity drives you towards action more effectively than complexity.

And that’s what I hope to do for you. So without further a due – How to improve yourself in 2 simple steps:

Step 1: Ask Yourself 2 Simple Questions

The first step is to reflect on your life.

And no you don’t have to lock yourself in a room for a year or meditate on a mountain with Tibetan monks.

Let’s take it very easy.

Just ask yourself those two simple questions:

#1 What is going well in my life?

#2 What is going not so well in my life?

And answer them.

Make sure you cover a range of areas: work, relationships, health, fitness, dating, hobbies, family, whatever.

Some people are chattier. So if that’s you ask your best friend if she can help you answer those questions over coffee.

If you are more introverted like me, just write down the answers on a paper or in a word document.

Once you’ve thought enough about those two questions (maybe an hour or so), give yourself props for the stuff that’s going well. Good for you! Nothing we have to improve here.

For the stuff that’s going not so well, pick a few items that bother you the most and write them down on a list. It might look like this:

  • I want to exercise more but I also want to see my friends
  • I fight a lot with my boyfriend recently over trivial things and don’t quite know why

Once you’ve done that you’re ready for the next step.

Step 2: Fix What Bothers You

Now it’s time to go through each item on the list and find a solution.

Depending on the issue you will find yourself in one of two scenarios:

Scenario 1: That’s easy! I know how to fix this!

After a bit of reflection you realize that your  friends are a priority for you, while exercise is a necessary evil.

The walk to the gym is your main issue, as it takes up so much time that you cannot meet up with your friends afterward.

After thinking a bit about it you come up with the following solution:

You’ll just try out following one of those 20 minute YouTube home workout videos for the next few weeks. That way you can still see your friends while exercising more and wasting less time.

Congratulations! You have officially improved yourself.

Scenario 2: Hmm this seems complicated. No idea what to do.

Recently your boyfriend and you had a lot of small fights over stuff you both agree is quite trivial. You are not sure what causes this pattern.

How do you fix something like that?

Well, you are in scenarios 2, so just realize you have no idea and do some research!

Find the top 3 books on relationship advice on Amazon. Find 1 popular YouTube channel and 1 popular blog on relationship advice…

…Then study all of them.

  • Perhaps you’ll read “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and find out your boyfriend likes to express and receive affection differently than you.
  • Or you read “That’s Not What I Meant!” by Deborah Tannen and find out that both of you are confused by each other’s communication style.
  • Or maybe you read “Radical Honesty” by Brad Blanton and figure you relationship lacks honesty on certain topics, which causes conflict in other areas.

By seeking out educational material you will improve your understanding of relationship dynamics and become a more resourceful human being.

While that won’t guarantee your relationship will be happy ever after it will give you plenty of ideas on what might cause the fighting and how to fix it.

Then all that’s left to do is apply and see what sticks.


…That’s it.

2 Simple Steps to improve yourself.

Come back to them whenever you feel overwhelmed, stuck or like you don’t know what to do.

And they will put you back on track in no time.

Felix enjoys making complex self-development concepts simple and applicable. Check out his blog for practical self-development advice.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.