37 Things You Can Do for a More Meaningful Life

A unique list of 37 ideas for personal growth; simple (and fun!) ways to lead a a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

By Cassie Jewell, M.Ed., LPC

If we don’t strive to meet our goals and improve on a regular basis, we become stagnant. And if we aren’t growing and learning, our minds become lethargic.


According the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), there are eight dimensions of wellness:

1. Emotional—Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships

2. Environmental—Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being

3. Financial—Satisfaction with current and future financial situations

4. Intellectual—Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills

5. Occupational—Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work

6. Physical—Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep

7. Social—Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system

8. Spiritual—Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life


Find additional SAMHSA links in the Links section of this site. SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation.


In order to maintain balance and live a meaningful life, it helps to have a variety of wellness strategies in your toolbox. The following list is comprised of 37 ideas for personal/professional development, self-improvement, and creating healthy habits.

37 Things You Can Do for a More Meaningful Life

1. Read one inspirational/motivational book per month or

2. Read one wellness article per week.

3. Take advantage of free classes offered at the library or through Coursera. (Coursera provides universal access to education by partnering with top universities and organizations.)

4. Take part in a new activity or event to step outside your comfort zone. (Examples: Join a book club, take a cooking class, attend a Meetup, etc.)

5. Make time for an old friend.

6. Develop an exercise routine, write it down, and then stick with it. No excuses!

7. Walk your dog (or borrow one from a friend!)

8. Complete household tasks and chores on a daily basis. Create a chore list. Don’t procrastinate!

9. Stay informed on the latest science and health news/research with sites like Science Daily.

10. Attend a workshop to learn about a topic you’re unfamiliar with.

11. Prioritize sleep hygiene.

12. Improve your posture. (And yes, there are apps for that!)

13. Read a non-fiction book.

14. Take a daily inventory; assess your attitude, productivity, etc. before going to bed.

15. Drink more water, green tea, and black coffee. (And drink less wine, beer, sugar-sweetened beverages, and soda!)

16. Practice active listening.

17. Overcome a fear.

18. Identify your “blind spots” by soliciting feedback from a trusted friend or loved one. They can help you to recognize areas for improvement by sharing their observations. (Example: You may not realize how often you complain until someone points it out for you.) Make a commitment to change.

19. Find a mentor (or be a mentor!)

20. Complete a 30-day challenge to improve your mental and/or physical health.

21. Live a meaningful life with daily meditation and mindfulness. Spend a few quiet moments alone every morning, drinking a cup of coffee. Or journal before going to bed. Reflect on your day and think about what you’re grateful for. Practice deep breathing exercises or listen to guided imagery scripts. Create your own unique ritual.

22. Dress up, style your hair, apply makeup, get a manicure/pedicure/facial, wear sexy shoes or your favorite jacket… Alternatively, you may prefer to put on your comfiest clothes, sweatpants or a fuzzy sweater. Whatever makes you feel good!

23. Be optimistic. Catch yourself if you start complaining and reframe your thoughts. Always assume positive intent.

24. Complete a task you’ve been putting off.

25. Watch a TED Talks.

26. Cook and enjoy a healthy meal.

27. Learn to juggle.

28. Learn a foreign language (or sign language).

29. Practice random acts of kindness, give a spontaneous gift, or help a stranger.

30. Create a vision board.

31. Volunteer.

32. Be a tourist in your hometown. (Free walking tours are often available in larger cities!)

33. Donate blood or plasma.

34. Memorize the lyrics to a song (or rap) of your choice.

35. Find a Pinterest project that interests you. Pin it and then do it!

36. Pick up trash in your neighborhood.

37. Write and mail “thinking of you” cards/postcards.


Additional Ideas: Run a 5K (or 10K!) Adopt an elderly pet that needs a home.

Comment with your best ideas for living a more meaningful life.

Author: Cassie Jewell

Cassie Jewell, introvert and avid reader, is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner with a Master's Degree in Community Counseling.

10 thoughts on “37 Things You Can Do for a More Meaningful Life”

  1. It's great that you mentioned TED talks. They can be a really great way to educate yourself and kill away the boredom. There is just so much value in them. Thank you for all of the tips!

  2. What a cool post! A lot of the things in this list are things I said I was going to do more of. I haven't gotten to them yet,, but this inspired me to try harder. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  3. What an awesome list of tips! Reading one inspirational/motivational book per month would be my favourite. Be a tourist in your hometown sounds like a great idea as well! 🙂

  4. These are some fantastic ways to life a fuller and more meaningful life. I am always so refreshed and feeling loved when I meet with an old friend!

  5. These are all so true and best part is they are all so practical too. Taking part in a new activity or event to step outside my comfort zone has been my latest goal.

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