How to Be a Better Person
401 Simple Ways to Make a Difference in Yourself—and the World
by Veteran Author & Personal Development Coach Kate Hanley
Ready to be the change you wish to see?
- Learn how to let go of negative thoughts and be more loving—toward yourself and everyone around you
- Deepen your relationships, and develop new ones, so you feel more supported and connected
- Get a grip on your stuff so you have more literal and figurative space to breathe
- Up your game at work while taking less of a toll, so you make more money, have more fun, & make more of an impact
- Implement small, doable changes that dramatically improve your health
- Do your part to make the world a better place, without over-committing or wearing yourself out!
Imagine if we all got a little bit better at making the difference we were put here to make. What a wonderful world this would be!
Buy the book and get two bonuses!
The Where Do I Start? Self-Assessment
Figure out what part of your life needs the most attention so you can dive in to that exact section of the book.
The Be a Better Person Pledge
Print out this pretty PDF and sign your name—because the more committed you are, the more successful you’ll be.
What people are saying
—Katy Bowman, author of Move Your DNA and Movement Matters
“It’s never too late to self-improve and How To Be a Better Person makes it a joy to do so. Hanley’s tips will get you moving your legs, mind, and point of view to a new place. This book is accessible and thought-provoking--just reading it made me happy!”
—Paula Rizzo, author of Listful Thinking
“Kate Hanley has done something incredible--she's made self-improvement doable, trackable, and lovable. I've always believed in the power of lists to change lives--this list of 401 ways to be a better person takes that belief to a new level.”
—Lisa Sasevich, the Queen of Sales Conversion
“If you're wondering how you can be a better person and make the world a better place, take this book home with you, keep it by your bedside table, and dip into it whenever you need inspiration. By sharing these practical strategies and mindset shifts, Kate Hanley offers just the loving kick in the pants we all sometimes need to make the difference we know deep down we were put here to make.”
—Brooke Thomas, host of the Liberated Body and Bliss and Grit podcasts
“Simple without dumbing-down and uplifting without bright-siding, Kate Hanley has written a beautiful book for any of us who could use some guidance in the direction of having a life that feels more useful and nourishing and less fraught.”
—Amy Gallo, author of HBR Guide to Managing Conflict
“I couldn't help smiling while reading Kate Hanley's book, imagining what the world would be like if we all followed this advice. We'd have less strife and anxiety, more connected relationships, and more purposeful lives. Simply put: we'd all be better people.”
—Amy Jen Su, co-author of Own the Room: Discover Your Signature Voice to Master Your Leadership Presence
“What an incredible amount of life wisdom contained in this well laid out and easy to read book! In How to Be a Better Person, each of Kate Hanley’s tips gives us opportunity for pause, inquiry, and action in an otherwise busy world. You will come out of this book feeling your personal best ready to make a difference!”
—Nikki Groom, creator and host of the Movement Makers podcast
“What I love most about this comprehensive tome is that it is just as much about how to appreciate who you are and what you have in the here and now as it is about recognizing your limitless potential and taking action towards it.”
A few of the 401 entries:
Build your callouses
A pedicurist may disagree, but callouses are actually something to be proud of. They show that you’ve adapted to some less-than-ideal conditions. When you’re facing a challenging time, imagine that you are building resilience and be open to the growth the difficulties are here to instill. It doesn’t mean you have to suffer your way through; it just means you have to stop resisting and start trusting that you will be able to acclimate.
Admit your missteps
Sure, it feels bad to let down someone you love, but avoiding the subject doesn’t make it better. When you’ve done or said something you wish you hadn’t, the best way to rectify it is to own up to it. “I messed up, and I’m sorry” can go a long way toward repairing the situation. It can also spare you from mentally raking yourself over the coals. Once you’ve owned your mistake, offer a plan or collaborate together on a way to make things right.
Spending too much time in one position is stressful to the body—which was designed for movement—and can lead to all sorts of physical woes, including aches and even disease. You don’t have to become a gym rat. You just have to get moving—walk more places, hit the playground with your kids instead of sitting on the bench, go dancing for date night. You’ll lubricate your joints, strengthen your muscles, breathe better, improve digestion, and get better sleep. This holds true at work as well, even if you have a “desk job.” Whenever you need to think more clearly, take a ten-minute walk away from your desk. There’s no shame in giving yourself what you need to be healthy—physically and mentally. (Particularly when it only takes a few minutes!)
Set goals you actually want to accomplish
Goal-setting may seem like a responsible, proactive thing to do, and it absolutely can be, but if they’re not the right goals it can be a form of self-sabotage. Making goals that sound good on paper but don’t actually motivate you is setting yourself up for a strange kind of failure. And then, once your inner critic chimes in with “told you so,” you become that much more likely to avoid setting the kinds of goals that will make a difference for you. Next time, ask what accomplishments would completely delight you. The only “good” goals are the ones that inspire you to action.
The average person spends fifteen minutes a day looking for a lost item—that’s a lot of unnecessary stress on a daily basis, and over the course of a year, that’s more than ninety-one hours spent on panicked searching. Reclaim those hours by putting your keys, wallet, purse, and phone in the same spot every night. You’ll also dramatically improve your baseline stress level, and especially on your way out the door in the morning.
About the Author
Kate Hanley is an author and personal development coach who helps stressed-out people who are tired of feeling too busy to make the difference they know they were put here to make. She’s been featured in Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Fortune, and is also the author of Stress Less, A Year of Daily Calm, and The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide. Kate lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with her husband, two kids, and a rescue dog named Cookie.