You might think it an odd place to begin changing your life, but consider this: write your own obituary. What is it that you’d like someone to say about you after you are gone?
One of the tricks to changing your life is to widen your imagination, break your routine, and see and think about things differently. Here are 49 more small steps that you might consider in the process of reconfiguring yourself:
If you are a city dweller, drive far enough away from the city to see the stars on a clear night. There are lots more than you think.
Think of someone you dislike and make a list of all of their positive qualities.
Volunteer to do something that might be described as “community service.”
Start to write your autobiography.
Write a short story.
Eat a raisin slowly, as if you’d never tasted one before.
Go to a fancy restaurant and eat a meal alone; or go to a concert, play, or movie alone.
Make a list of all the things you are grateful for.
Apologize to someone who deserves your apology, including a “no excuses” statement of regret and some method of attempting to make-it-up to them.
Re-contact an old elementary school friend.
If your physician allows it, begin a weight-lifting program.
Wake up early to see the sun rise.
Make two lists, one of your strengths and another of your faults.
Create a “bucket list:” all the things you’d like to do before you “kick the bucket.” Make plans to do one of them within the next year.
Tell someone how much you appreciate him and why.
Write a letter. Hand write it.
Do some routine task (eating for example) with your non-dominant hand.
Build something, even if it is only a model airplane.
With adequate supervision so that you don’t get hurt, spend some time blindfolded.
Take an academic course.
Take a yoga class.
If you aren’t a dancer, learn to dance.
Remember all of the difficult life challenges that you’ve overcome and identify the qualities in you (strengths) that allowed you to overcome them.
Imagine a different and more rewarding life than the one you currently lead. What do you need to do to create it?
Create a five-minute comedy monologue and deliver it to a group of friends.
Learn to sing or play a musical instrument.
Give up something for a month (for example, TV, a favorite food, alcohol, caffeine, or listening to music).
If you have no children, consider becoming a “Big Brother” or a “Big Sister.”
Learn a foreign language.
Participate in a team sport.
Start a philanthropic project with some friends, no matter how small it might have to be.
Visit a public high school in the inner-city and think about the future of this country and what you can do to make it better.
Clean out your closet.
Imagine that you are to be stranded on a desert island and can only take five non-essential items with you. What would they be?
If your memory was going to be erased, what would be the single memory that you would ask to be spared? Why that one?
Go on a retreat.
Teach someone something. Show them “how it is done.”
Give some money (even if its only a dollar) to some needy person you know; and do it anonymously!
Buy a hard copy of one of the few remaining great newspapers in the USA (for example, the New York Times, Washington Post, or Wall Street Journal) and read every word. Then think about the fact that a Bell Labs study reportedly estimated that the average sixteenth century man had less information to process in a lifetime than can be found in a single daily edition of the New York Times.
If you wear a tie, tie the knot in a new way (most men tie a Four-in-Hand knot, but there are some others that actually look better).
Paint, draw, sketch, or sculpt something.
If you haven’t done so already, read Becker’s The Denial of Death.
Walk to some destination that you usually reach by car or pubic transportation.
Make a list of all that you have learned about life since finishing your formal education.
If you don’t have a tatoo, get a temporary tatoo (if there are no health risks to you) and observe how people look at you differently; if you have a prominent tatoo and can cover it up, walk around and notice the way that people look at you now.
Send me a suggestion on one more step to change your life.
The image of the Australian State Route Shield is sourced from Wikimedia Common.