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Last Updated on August 11, 2021

10 Best Self-Improvement Classes in 2021

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10 Best Self-Improvement Classes in 2021

Even during the midst of a pandemic, self-improvement is still a crucial aspect to our lives today. There are tonnes of articles that you could be reading from our site or from others. However, the articles aren’t able to provide the depth and the growth you need when compared to courses or programs.

So if you are looking to step up your own self-improvement and invest in yourself and the life you want to lead, here are some of the best self-improvement classes to consider.

But before getting to that, here is the criteria that we use to determine these courses. All of these qualities have been present in the best self-improvement classes we could find:

  • Little commitment – All these courses can be done in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace as well. Most of these courses recommend spending a few hours each week on their material.
  • Prestigious – These courses are done by recognizable institutes with good reputation on their education quality.
  • Leverage on skillset – Each of the courses focuses on one area of your life, however it also helps develop other areas of your life at the same time.

1. Lifehack Mastercourses & Free Classes

Lifehack isn’t just a blog but rather a hub with all kinds of resources at people’s disposal. You may already be familiar with our particular workbooks, but we also provide courses of our own.

Firstly, there’s a free course that will guide you to break your procrastination loop and start taking action to get what you want. Ending procrastination is essential to multiplying your time, energy, and the overall quality of your life. Here you can learn more about the free class:

Our second set of courses are the courses where we help you break free of your limitations to become the best version of yourself. These courses aren’t free, but each course goes into extensive detail on everything from motivation, overcoming challenges and staying focused to improving your overall learning capabilities, controlling your emotions and mindset:

2. The Science Of Well-Being

Yale University has been around for over 300 years at this point and one of the most popular classes in that time span is this one: The Science of Well-Being. After all this time, Yale is providing this course to everyone for free.

In this class, Yale Psychology Professor Laurie Santos introduced this class as “Psychology and the Good Life” in spring 2018. The class was designed to help students in navigating anxiety, depression, and stress in their lives. The class at the time was so popular that roughly a quarter of Yale undergraduates enrolled in it that spring.

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Going into more detail about this course, this 4-week course is designed to provide a step-by-step process for boosting happiness. The course heavily focuses on positive psychology – what misconceptions we have about happiness and what has been scientifically proven to make us happier.

Enrol in the course here.

3. Learning How To Learn

Another notable course to consider is the Learning How to Learn course. On the platform Coursera, it is one of the most popular and loved courses on the platform with nearly 2 million students enrolled since it’s been there. It’s taught by the distinguished professors Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski.

The premise of the course is what you’d expect, the goal of this course to teach you to learn more. It’ll ultimately lead to you training your brain to effectively process information and learn complicated subjects even. All of this is done through various tools and methods – from stories to goofy animations like surfing zombies, metabolic vampires and an “octopus of attention”.

Enrol in the course here.

4. Mindshift

Another course developed by Dr. Barabara Oakley is this course: Mindshift. If you’re planning to take the course Learning How To Learn, this one builds off of that popular course. Overall, it’s meant to help learners boost their career and life by shifting their mindset to a learning one.

Dr. Oakley firmly believes that any person can train themselves to learn at any stage in life. She believes that from personal experiences but also how this course is designed. Through this course, you learn how to be seeking out mentors to learn from, how to avoid common learning pitfalls, career ruts, and the general ruts in life.

By the end of this 4-week program, you’ll have access to new tools and strategies to face any career challenge and seek better methods to surmount new learning curves.

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Enrol in the course here.

5. De-Mystifying Mindfulness

Mindfulness is something that we’ve all been trying to obtain in recent years and people are noticing it. Whether we strive for this for therapy, lifestyle choice, or for other technology, many of us consider this a pastime we do in solitude at this point.

But despite the number of us practicing mindfulness, not many of us fully grasp it. De-Mystifying Mindfulness is a course designed to help people get up to speed with it through various methods. This course gathers information from various disciplines in science, social sciences and humanities to help unlock and understand mindfulness in its various forms.

This is a truly unique course as it’s rooted in experiential learning mixed with evidence base of what mindfulness can do to people. And a conceptual base of what mindfulness might actually be.

Enrol in the course here.

6. Achieving Personal And Professional Success Specialization

The best way to explain what Achieving Personal And Professional Success Specialization is. is that it’s four of the most popular courses taught by Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania wrapped into one Specialization. Through these four courses, you’ll be able to maximize your potential and be more successful in both personal and professional life. You’ll learn various techniques and exercises that this school teaches.

Going into more detail the four courses consist of these four:

  • Success – learn about defining goals, understand how goals connect to long-term images of yourself.
  • Communication skills – tools to improve communication with others. You’ll also learn to take other people’s perspectives, where trust comes from, and build relationships.
  • Leading the Life you want – skills that allow you to lead in the four domains of life: work, home, community, and private.
  • Influence – how to develop it and become more effective in achieving organizational goals.

Enrol in the course here.

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7. Think Again

Reasoning is another important aspect of life. Think Again is all about teaching you how to reason and argue well with people without raising your voice and getting flustered. It’s four short courses that explore the logic behind arguments, how we construct arguments and deconstruct them, how to identify and evaluate arguments, and what makes a good argument.

Specifically, you’ll learn about the vital rules to be following in thinking about any topic at all and common and tempting mistakes that people fall into all the time when providing reasoning.

Enrol in the course here.

8. Neuroplasticity

Amongst the scientific and psychology circles, this has become quite the buzzword: Neuroplasticity. The concept promises to rewire our brain and improve everything from health and mental wellbeing to our quality of life. Gregory Caremans teaches the concept of Neuroplasticity and how you can take action and use this to your advantage in the course Neuroplasticity. Through it, you can develop mental flexibility, change habits, stop procrastination and even alter memories.

Gregory is a psychologist with a Master’s in communication and is specialized in Neurocognitive and Behavioral Approach. And even though he comes from a complex field, his course is instructed in such a way that you can easily use this information and apply it in your daily life.

Enrol in the course here.

9. Become A SuperLearner® 2

Similar to Learning How To Learn, this Udemy course Become A SuperLearner® 2 is all about learning faster and unlocking the vast potential of your mind. This course is different though in that it focuses more on improving your ability to learn new skills, provide advanced memory techniques, long-term retention and application of information.

Another way to think about this course is that it looks into cognitive and neurological factors that make learning easier and more successful with longer retention of information.

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Enrol in the course here.

10. Get Beyond Work-Life Balance

The final course on the list is Get Beyond Work-Life Balance. As this course suggests, this is all about getting skills that help you to achieve balance and have effectiveness in both aspects of your life. This applies to both people in leadership roles and for individuals.

The course focuses a lot on the importance of inclusive leadership in creating flexible and productive work environments. Beyond this, the course provides a lot of research and real-work examples from various situations to deliver information and strategies you can apply in your life.

Enrol in the course here.

Final Thoughts

There are all kinds of courses that you can use to further enhance your life – be it personal or professional. And the beauty of personal development courses is the fact they are designed to be applied in your life more readily. You can begin to see the impact and change when applying this information from courses to real life.

As such, we encourage you to try out these courses. They could very well change your life.

Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on August 11, 2021

42 Practical Ways to Start Working on Self-Improvement

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42 Practical Ways to Start Working on Self-Improvement

Are you someone who likes to grow? Do you constantly seek self-improvement through any means necessary?

There is always something about ourselves we can improve on. The human potential is limitless, so it’s impossible to reach a point of no growth.

Whenever we think we are good, we can be even better.

As a passionate advocate of growth, I’m continuously looking for ways to self-improve. I’ve compiled 42 of my best tips, which might be helpful in your personal growth journey. Some of them are simple steps which you can engage in immediately. Some are bigger steps which takes conscious effort to act on.

1. Read Every Day

Books are concentrated sources of wisdom. The more books you read, the more wisdom you expose yourself to.

When you’re reading a book every day, you will feed your brain with more and more knowledge.

Here’re 5 great books to read for self-improvement:

2. Learn a New Language

As a Singaporean Chinese, my main languages are English, Mandarin, and Hokkien (a Chinese dialect). Out of interest, I took up language courses in the past few years, such as Japanese and Bahasa Indonesian.

I realized learning a language is a whole new skill altogether, and the process of opening yourself up to a new language and culture is a mind-opening experience.

3. Pick up a New Hobby

Beyond just your usual favorite hobbies, is there something new you can pick up? Is there a new sport you can learn?

Your new hobby can also be a recreational hobby. For example, you can try pottery, Italian cooking, dancing, wine appreciation, web design, etc.

Learning something new requires you to stretch yourself in different aspects, whether physically, mentally or emotionally.

Here’re 20 hobbies to get you some new ideas: 20 Productive Hobbies That Will Make You Smarter and Happier

4. Take up a New Course

Courses are a great way to gain new knowledge and skills for self-improvement. It doesn’t have to be a long-term course; seminars, workshops, and online courses serve their purpose, too.

5. Create an Inspirational Room

Your environment sets the mood and tone for you. If you are living in an inspirational environment, you are going to be inspired every day.

If there’s a room in your house that looks messy or dull, take it to the next level by putting on a new coat of paint, buying a few nice paintings for the walls, or investing in some comfortable furniture to make it a space that will always feel welcoming and inspiring.

6. Overcome Your Fears

Whether it’s the fear of uncertainty, fear of public speaking, or fear of risk, all your fears keep you in the same position and prevent you from improving your life.

Recognize that your fears reflect areas where you can grow as they act as a compass pointing at areas that need attention. 

7. Level up Your Skills

If you have played video games before, you’ll know the concept of leveling up—gaining experience so you can be better and stronger.

As a blogger, I’m constantly leveling up my writing skills. As a speaker, I’m constantly leveling up my public engagement abilities. What skills can you level up?

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8. Wake up Early

Waking up early has been acknowledged by many to improve your productivity and your quality of life.[1]

When you wake up early, you’ll have time to dedicate to self-improvement before everyone else is up. You’ll add extra time to your day, soak up the morning tranquility, and absorb the early-morning sunlight that will help your brain switch into its active mode.

Not sure how to wake up early and feel energetic? These ideas will help: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

9. Have a Weekly Exercise Routine

A better you starts with being in better shape through physical activity. I personally make it a point to jog at least 3 times a week, at least 30 minutes each time.

Try to mix it up by doing different exercises each day to prevent boredom and muscle strain.

10. Start Your Life Handbook

A life handbook is a book that contains the essentials on how you can live your life to the fullest, such as your purpose, your values, and your goals. You can think of it as a manual for how to live your best life through consistent self-improvement.

I started my life handbook in 2007, and it’s been a crucial enabler in my progress.

11. Write a Letter to Your Future Self

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What kind of person will you be after you learn how to improve yourself?

Write a letter to your future self and seal it. Make a date in your calendar to open it 1-5 years from now. Then, start working to become the person you want to open that letter.

12. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

Real growth comes with hard work and sweat. Being too comfortable doesn’t help us grow; it makes us stagnate.

Identify where your comfort zone lines are and how you can begin to step out of them little by little. Go hiking on a trail you’ve never been to, make a dish you’ve never tried, or say yes next time a friend asks you to go out when you’d normally say no.

13. Put Someone up to a Challenge

Competition is one of the best ways to grow and aid in self-improvement. Set a challenge (weight loss, exercise, financial challenge, etc.) and compete with an interested friend to see who achieves the target first.

Through the process, both of you will gain more than if you were to set off on the target alone.

14. Identify Your Blind Spots

Scientifically, blind spots refer to areas our eyes are not capable of seeing. In personal development terms, blind spots are things about ourselves we are unaware of. Discovering our blind spots helps us discover our areas of improvement.

One exercise I use to discover my blind spots is to identify all the things/events/people that trigger me in a day—trigger meaning making me feel annoyed, frustrated, or angry. These represent my blind spots.

Once I know these triggers, I can identify ways to improve them or overcome them.

15. Ask for Feedback

As much as we try to improve, we will always have blind spots. Asking for feedback gives you an additional perspective as you learn how to improve yourself.

Some people to approach are friends, family, colleagues, a boss, or even acquaintances, since they will have no preset bias and can give their feedback objectively.

Learn more about how to ask for feedback and become a fast learner here!

16. Stay Focused With To-Do Lists

Starting your day with a list of tasks you want to complete will help you stay focused. In comparison, the days when you don’t do this can end up being chaotic or unproductive. You may forget certain tasks or end up running out of time since you haven’t created a plan to tackle each item.

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17. Set Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (BHAGs)

I’m a big fan of setting BHAGs. BHAGs stretch you beyond your normal capacity since they are big and audacious—you wouldn’t think of attempting them normally.

What are BHAGs you can embark on that will make you feel good about yourself once you complete them? Set them, and start working on them.

18. Acknowledge Your Flaws

Everyone has flaws, but what’s most important is to understand them, acknowledge them, and address them through self-improvement practices.

What do you think are your flaws? What are the flaws you can work on now? How do you want to address them?

Remember to do this with a sense of self-love. Do not look at your flaws through a self-critical or mean-spirited light. This is about finding areas you feel you can improve upon, not finding things that are wrong with you.

19. Get Into Action

The best way to learn and improve is to take action. What is something you have been meaning to do? How can you take action on it immediately?

20. Learn From People Who Inspire You

Think about people you admire, people who inspire you. These people reflect certain qualities you want to have for yourself as you learn how to improve yourself.

What are the qualities in them you want to have for yourself? How can you acquire these qualities?

21. Quit a Bad Habit

Are there any bad habits you can work on eliminating? This can include oversleeping, smoking, drinking, or procrastinating.

Here’s some great advice from Lifehack’s CEO on hacking your habit loop to break bad habits and build good ones: How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop

22. Cultivate a New Habit

Some good habits to cultivate include reading books, waking up early, exercising, reading a new personal development article a day, and meditating.

Are there any other new habits you can cultivate for more self-improvement?

23. Avoid Negative People

As Jim Rohn says,

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.

Wherever we go, there are bound to be negative people. Don’t spend too much of your time around them if you feel they drag you down.

24. Learn to Deal With Difficult People

There are times when there are difficult people you can’t avoid, such as at your workplace, or when the person is part of your inner circle of contacts.

Learn how to deal with them as you’re learning how to improve yourself. These people management skills will go a long way in working with people in the future.

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25. Learn From Your Friends

Everyone has amazing qualities in them. It’s up to us how we want to tap into them.

With all the friends who surround you, they are going to have things you can learn from.

Try thinking of a good friend right now. Think about just one quality they have that you want to adopt. How can you learn from them and adopt this skill for yourself?

26. Start a Journal

Journaling is a great way to gain more self-awareness. As you write, clarify your thought process and read what you wrote from an outsider’s perspective. This will help you gain more personal insight.

27. Start a Blog About Personal Development

To help others grow, you need to first be walking the talk of self-improvement. There are expectations of you, both from yourself and from others, which you have to uphold.

28. Get a Mentor or Coach

There’s no faster way to improve than to have someone help you achieve your goals.

Many of my clients approach me to coach them in their goals, and they achieve significantly more results than if they had worked alone.

If you’re looking for a mentor, don’t miss these tips: What to Look for in a Good Mentor

29. Reduce the Time You Spend on Messaging Apps

Having messaging apps open as a default results in a lot of wasted time. This time can be much better spent on other self-improvement activities.

The days when I don’t get on chat, I get a lot more done. I usually disable the auto start-up option in the chat programs and launch them when I do want to chat and really have the time for it.

30. Learn Chess

Chess is a terrific game to learn strategy and hone your brainpower. Not only do you have fun, but you also get to exercise your analytical skills.

31. Stop Watching TV

Many programs and advertisements on TV are meant to distract you instead of empowering or educating you. This time is better spent elsewhere, such as with close friends, doing a hobby you enjoy, or exercising.

32. Start a 30-Day Challenge

Set a goal and give yourself 30 days to achieve this. Your goal can be to stick with a new habit or develop a new hobby.

30 days is just enough time to strategize, plan, get into action, review, and nail the goal.

33. Meditate

Meditation helps to calm you and be more conscious while improving your overall mental health. Meditation can also help you sleep better, be more productive, and be kinder to those around you.

Have a go with this 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime.

34. Learn Public Speaking

Interestingly, public speaking is the #1 fear in the world, with #2 being death.

Public speaking can help you learn how to communicate better, present yourself, and engage people. These skills are helpful both personally and professionally, as you’ll do better in meetings and presentations.

35. Network With Experts

These people have achieved their results because they have the right attitude, skill set, and know-how. How better to learn than from the people who have been there and done that as you learn how to improve yourself?

Gain new insights from them on how you can improve and achieve the same results for yourself.

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36. Let Go of the Past

Is there any grievance or unhappiness from the past which you have been holding onto? If so, it’s time to let it go as part of your self-improvement.

Holding on to it prevents you from moving on and becoming a better person. Break away from the past, forgive yourself, and move on.

37. Start a Business Venture

Is there anything you have an interest in? Why not turn it into a venture and make money while learning at the same time?

Starting a new venture requires you to be learn business management skills, develop business acumen, and have a competitive edge.

The process of starting and developing my personal development business has equipped me with many skills, such as self-discipline, leadership, organization, and management.

38. Show Kindness to Those Around You

You can never be too kind to someone. Being kind helps us to cultivate other qualities such as compassion, patience, and love.

As you get back to your day after reading this article later on, start exuding more kindness to the people around you, and see how they react.

Also, notice how you feel as you behave kindly to others. Chances are you will feel more optimistic and grateful.

39. Reach out to People Who Dislike You

If you ever stand for something, you are going to get haters.

It’s easy to dislike the people who dislike us; it’s much more challenging to love them back. Being able to forgive, let go, and show love to these people requires magnanimity and an open heart.

Seek a resolution and get closure on past grievances. Even if they refuses to reciprocate, love them all the same. It’s much more liberating than to hate them back.

40. Take a Break

Have you been working too hard? Self-improvement is also about recognizing our need to take a break to walk the longer mile ahead. You can’t be driving a car if it has no fuel.

Scheduling downtime for yourself is important. Take some time off for yourself every week. Relax, rejuvenate, and charge yourself up for what’s up ahead.

41. Read 1 Personal Development Article a Day

Some of my readers make it a point to read at least one personal development article every day, which I think is a great habit.

There are many terrific personal development blogs out there, some of which you can check here.

42. Commit to Your Personal Growth

I can be writing list articles with 10 ways, 25 ways, 42 ways, or even 1,000 ways to improve yourself, but if you have no intention to commit to your personal growth, it doesn’t matter what I write.

You are responsible for your personal growth as you learn how to improve yourself. Make the decision to commit to your personal growth and embrace a lifelong journey of growth and change. Kick off your growth by picking a few of the steps above and working on them.

The results may not be immediate, but I promise that as long as you keep to it, you’ll start seeing positive changes in yourself and your life.

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Featured photo credit: Gift Habeshaw via unsplash.com

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