I want to be a better man, but how?
I’ve put together this no-nonsense list with 50 actionable ways to become a better man.
Follow this guide and I promise you’ll become a more attractive, dependable and sought after man.
50 no bullsh*t ways to become a better man starting today
Before starting it’s crucial to define what we mean by “better.”
Here’s what I mean: a man who is more able to care for himself and those around him and provide opportunities, joy, safety and meaning to himself and those in his life.
1) Leave your excuses in the trash
We all have plenty of potential excuses.
From physical health shortcomings to the way we were raised or bad luck, excuses are a dime a dozen.
I won’t lie: some excuses are better than others.
You may have a really heart-wrenching and real excuse.
2) Start sticking to a schedule
Scheduling is one of those things the guidance counselor tells you to do in high school but you forget until your late 20s or 30s.
Then you realize that the counselor was right all along:
Writing down a schedule and sticking to it is of paramount importance!
Doing this will set you up for success.
Even better: make yourself accountable to a friend if you fail to meet your schedule for any reason other than emergency or sickness.
3) Find your purpose (without the New Age bs)
A man without a purpose is like a fish without fins.
He just won’t float, and he’ll be fish food soon enough.
What would you say if I asked you what your purpose is?
It’s a hard question!
And there are far too many people trying to tell you it will just “come to you” and to focus on “raising your vibrations” or finding some vague kind of inner peace.
Let me be frank:
Enough of the New Age bs.
The truth is that visualization and positive vibes won’t bring you closer to your dreams, and they can actually drag you backwards into wasting your life on a fantasy.
But it’s hard to find your calling when you’re being hit with so many different claims.
Thankfully there’s a simple and powerful way to do it that isn’t what you’d expect.
I learned about the power of finding your purpose from watching Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown’s video on the hidden trap of improving yourself.
Justin used to be addicted to the self-help industry and New Age gurus just like me. They sold him on ineffective visualization and positive thinking techniques.
Four years ago, he traveled to Brazil to meet the renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, for a different perspective.
Rudá taught him a life-changing new way to find your purpose and use it to transform your life.
After watching the video, I also discovered and understood my purpose in life and it’s no exaggeration to say it was a turning point in my life.
I can honestly say that this new way of finding success by finding your purpose actually helped me to become a much better man who knew his purpose.
4) Fund your dreams
Without money, the best plans in the world soon run dry.
That’s just a fact.
If you want to become a better man today, you need to start making a plan to earn money honestly and intelligently and then commit to it.
Without the cash your plans to help yourself and others will soon reach impassable roadblocks.
Get your money right.
5) Stop being so damn nice
Being overly nice is a trap.
We start to feel that we “deserve” something good because we’re so pleasant and agreeable.
We start depending on the approval and good feelings of others.
Don’t bother with that disempowering nonsense. You’ll end up burnt out and powerless.
Stand up for yourself. If you’re too nice all the time, quit it! Be nice in moderation.
6) Get your love life sorted out
If there’s one thing that trips most of us guys up and makes us sink into despair and the doldrums, it’s problems in relationships and finding love.
While this article explores the main steps to take to become a more stand-up dude, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…
Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, like not knowing how to fix an unsatisfying dating and love life.
They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.
How do I know?
Well, I reached out to them a few months ago when I was going through a tough patch in my own relationship.
After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
7) Start working out
Whether you’re a small guy or on the bigger side, working out will do you good.
Start with a light jog and a few sit ups and go from there.
If you decide to take out a membership at your local gym, all the power to you.
If not, I’m not judging: just try to have a daily workout routine of some kind and stay in shape.
8) Eat well
Especially these days with our fast-paced, tech-centered life, it can be hard to focus on eating well.
I encourage you to take the time and energy to cook, if possible and to buy healthy foods.
You can seek out alternative and health food stores and also ask around for recommendations.
Following a healthy diet will do you a world of good.
9) Improve your communication skills
Men are stereotypically not great communicators.
But that’s a stereotype that you can do your part to overcome by working on your communication skills.
Pay attention to how you speak and the words you use, improving your enunciation and expression.
Also make an effort to look people in the eye when speaking to them.
A man who looks up from his cellphone to talk? People will notice, believe me.
10) Make friends with discomfort
We instinctively seek out pleasure and avoid pain. It’s in our biology.
But the problem is that what makes us feel good isn’t always good for us, and what hurts isn’t always bad for us.
Exercise and diet can hurt, but they can do us a ton of good.
Spending money on whatever we want can feel good but leave us in much greater pain down the road if we don’t have money for necessities.
Your greatest growth will come in your discomfort zone, not your comfort zone.
Seek out discomfort that helps you grow.
11) Have an actionable life plan
Becoming a better man is about having a plan for your life.
It won’t necessarily work out the way you hoped, but it will serve as a roadmap.
In order to do this you’ll need to do a few things.
And you’ll need more than just willpower, that’s for sure.
I learned about this from Life Journal, created by the highly-successful life coach and teacher Jeanette Brown.
You see, willpower only takes us so far…the key to transforming your life into something you’re passionate and enthusiastic about takes perseverance, a shift in mindset, and effective goal setting.
And while this might sound like a mighty task to undertake, thanks to Jeanette’s guidance, it’s been easier to do than I could have ever imagined.
Now, you may wonder what makes Jeanette’s course different from all the other personal development programs out there.
It all comes down to one thing:
Jeanette isn’t interested in being your life coach.
Instead, she wants YOU to take the reins in creating the life you’ve always dreamt of having.
So if you’re ready to stop dreaming and start living your best life, a life created on your terms, one which fulfills and satisfies you, don’t hesitate to check out Life Journal.
12) Learn to cook
I talked about eating healthily earlier and trying dieting if you’d like.
Learning to cook is a useful skill to combine with this.
If you have any interest in cooking, I encourage you to pursue it.
What do you have to lose? Potential romantic partners love it, and you yourself will be well served by having cooking skills in your repertoire (even if you still just end up making mac n’ cheese most of the time…)
13) Learn more practical skills
In addition to cooking, more practical skills will make you a better man.
What I mean here really depends on your life and what is practical in terms of where and how you live.
But it could be skills like:
- Changing a tire
- Basic mechanics
- Electrical circuitry
- Beginner plumbing
- Learning basic outdoors survival skills
14) Take up a musical instrument
What’s better than a man who’s strong, healthy, responsible and looks good?
A man who can also play the violin. Or the piano. Or an accordion.
You choose the instrument, just start learning.
Take inspiration by learning what the member of your favorite band plays.
15) Think more about others
It’s healthy and smart to care about yourself and put your needs first.
But one thing that most of us could do to become better men is to think more about others.
This can be in terms of small gestures or bigger things.
Just put it in your head.
16) Voluntarily take responsibility for something big
Becoming a better man has a lot to do with responsibility.
First off, it means taking responsibility for yourself.
Secondly, it means voluntarily taking responsibility for something big.
Having a family is an ideal example, as are starting a business or finding a way to support and work for people in need.
17) Help others develop their talents and gifts
Being the best man you can be means helping others reach their potential.
Help others develop their talents and gifts if you can.
Even if it’s just your little cousin or spending time with your kids when you could be working extra.
Put in the time to help people reach their potential.
18) Double down on honesty
There are so many advantages to lying in life.
The disadvantage is you end up not even being able to trust or respect yourself.
Becoming a better man is all about being honest with those around you.
It will help you in your business and personal life.
19) Never lie to yourself
The other side of the coin on honesty is self-honesty.
It’s vitally important to be honest with yourself.
That includes assessing where you’re at in life and whether you’re happy.
If you’re not: try to make a change!
20) Quit porn and sexting
Advising men to quit watching porn and sexting is controversial in this day and age.
But it’s good advice.
Even if you believe these activities are harmless, they use up time and energy which could be far better spent on more productive things.
21) Avoid excessive smoking, drinking and drugs
If you have a drink or cigarette now and then, do you.
But in general try to leave intoxicants and substances behind as much as possible.
You don’t need them to be the type of man you truly want to be inside.
22) Seek out a spiritual path
Spirituality isn’t for everyone, but perhaps there is a philosophy or way of life which really appeals to you?
A huge part of becoming a better man is finding a path that speaks to you.
Find one and see how it goes for you.
23) Minimize how often you complain
Complaining is easy, especially when we feel full of despair or anger.
But it tends to only make us feel worse and more lost when we finish.
Try to minimize how much you complain: put that energy into the gym or into hitting a punching bag.
24) Care more for your parents and kids
If you have kids, focus on raising them up right.
If you have a parent or parents, give them a call, visit them and care for them.
Being able to do so is really a privilege.
It’s what a good man does.
25) Challenge yourself daily
As I mentioned earlier, the world and our instincts tell us to seek out comfort whenever possible.
But if you strategically and consciously seek out discomfort when it helps you learn and grow you’ll become a much better man.
Train for a marathon or help clean up trash around your neighborhood when you’d rather just lounge on the sofa and watch trash.
It’ll do you and the world some good.
26) Know when to rest and relax
The man who works 24/7 and never takes a rest becomes a shadow of himself.
Know when to rest and relax and give yourself time.
You can’t be fully switched on at all times. Nobody can. Stop and smell the roses.
27) Become more ambitious
When you do switch on, crank yourself up and really get out there.
This doesn’t mean to push yourself to work longer hours, necessarily.
What I mean most of all is to think bigger.
If you start a roofing company, why not branch out into offering gutters and drainage services as well?
28) Compare yourself to yourself of yesterday
Instead of comparing yourself to those around you, compare yourself to the you of yesterday.
Be honest if you’re going downhill. We all do at times.
Use that comparison to spur yourself forward.
Are you forming into the kind of man you want to become or into a puddle of mud?
29) Know what to put a price on and what not to
Everything in this world seems to have a price, but the best things don’t.
Things like family, love, friendship, faith and time.
Value and treasure those things, for they are gifts beyond measure.
30) Give people the benefit of the doubt
Becoming a better man includes being sharp and not easy to manipulate.
Yet at the same time you want to be the kind of person who’s easy to approach and not overly suspicious.
Give people the benefit of the doubt (at least the first time).
31) Build things that last
Weak men who are soon forgotten waste their lives in drama, arguing, jealousy and complaining.
Strong men who are loved and remembered, build things that last.
Whether that’s families, companies, literal buildings, bridges, nations, philosophies or works of art, these men put their all into their work.
And it shows.
32) Listen more than you talk
Becoming a better man often has a lot to do with listening more.
Our instinct as men is sometimes to talk and give our opinion whenever possible.
Try holding back and see what happens.
You might find it makes others respect and appreciate you a lot.
33) Develop more self-discipline
Discipline is the mark of a man.
We may have all sorts of ideas and objectives, but without discipline they tend to wither on the vine.
Hold yourself to a higher standard. You’ll thank yourself for it, and so will others you interact with.
34) Line up your thoughts with your actions
Successful men do one thing consistently.
They line up their thoughts and actions.
They think something through then they do it.
They never stay lost in thought or blundering around acting without thinking first.
Line ‘em both up.
35) Keep your expectations low
Expectations are the devil’s playthings.
Keep them low and there’s less there to mess with.
Plus, if your expectations are low the only direction to go is up!
36) Develop patience
Develop patience, just not too much of it.
At least enough of it to read through to the end of this article though, please.
Patience will take you a long way: men have patience, boys fidget and lose focus. Remember that.
37) Give genuine compliments frequently
Giving out genuine compliments without expecting anything back is a wonderful hallmark of a good man.
Do your best to do this.
Try it out a few times and see what reactions you get.
Many people feel invisible and they love to know that they’re not!
38) Travel, even if it’s close to home
Travel is priceless, and if you have the chance you should do it.
Even if it’s just outside your normal neighborhood or taking a boat to an island in your state.
You’d be surprised how traveling can expand your mind and your heart.
39) Practice what you preach
If you want to be a better man, practice what you preach.
If that’s a real challenge, start by preaching less and doing more.
Once your actions speak louder than your words, you’re well on your way.
40) Appreciate the finer things in life
Becoming a better man is also about appreciating the finer things in life.
A delicious meal. A sunrise with a hot mug of coffee.
A shirt that fits just right, and heavy, finely-crafted cutlery to eat a steak with for lunch.
41) Discover your unique ‘look’
Every man has a look.
Beginners imitate from role models, film stars or catalogs.
Experts make their own style.
42) Learn a new language
Languages are hard and very rewarding.
Seeing the world through a whole new vocabulary and phonetic range is illuminating.
Try it out.
43) Learn to physically defend yourself
Nobody can call themselves a real man if they expect someone else to step up to help them when trouble comes.
Learn how to physically defend yourself.
44) Learn about other cultures and philosophies
A true man never closes his eyes to the broader horizon.
He seeks and expands his borders, wanting to know more, find more and meet new people.
Learning about other cultures and philosophies is the ideal way to perfect this endless pursuit.
45) Be a peacemaker instead of a war-bringer
There are times that you have to fight in life.
And times when you will be disliked. That’s the price of being a real man.
But wherever possible, try to bring peace.
46) Develop your sense of humor
Who doesn’t love a good joke at the right time?
Or even the wrong time…
I sure do.
Learn a few. They’ll come in handy quicker than you think.
47) Keep your temper in check
Losing your temper is something I’ve struggled with a lot.
Finding ways to keep your temper in check will help you a lot in life.
And it will also lead to a lot less drama.
48) Don’t buy into labels too much
Labels come and go.
But the quality of the fabric and cut stays.
Don’t buy too much into labels. Work on the substance they’re tacked onto, which is you as a man.
49) Stand up for the disenfranchised and downtrodden
Good men who others look up to stand up for the downtrodden.
They don’t do it for recognition or even because they get a buzz.
They do it because they can.
50) Question everything
There’s plenty in life that’s just a fact.
But it’s less than you might think.
Learning to question most of what “everyone knows” is usually a good idea.
Leaving here a better man…
If you follow even half the steps above, you will become a better man.
This will be noticeable and impactful in your own life and the lives of all those around you.