11 Ways You Can Become A Better You In Under One Minute

Photo: Balaguta Evgeniya / Shutterstock
woman with chin in hands smiling

You're busy AF — as any 17-year-old may text her best friend. And your AF may be colossally different from Steve Harvey's, so let's agree that we're all probably too busy to really take on the "be better" mantra all of us seem to be intently flailing at these days. 

Getting yoked or learning conversational Cantonese is going to take some time. Like, dedicate your life instead of ever playing Candy Crush again kind of time.

Ain't nobody got time for that, right? But you can do a handful of things to learn how to be a better person that creates a slightly better you without sacrificing any time on Instagram or yelling at your kids. 

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Here are 11 things that you can do every day to make a marginally better you. 

1. Drink lemon water.

You know you're supposed to drink some amount of water per day that's not mixed with coffee or alcohol. I know, fish have sex in water, and fish sex is disgusting. However, you need it. Try adding in lemon. Allegedly, it has a mountain of health benefits (including fresh breath) and doesn't taste like a scoop of fermented kale.

2. Do squats.

Taking time out to properly exercise is likely the decision that will best benefit your life. The evidence won't stop mounting that regular sweat is one of the best things you can do for your mind-body-spirit-butt continuum. But making it to the gym is a pain.

So you should try doing as many body-weight squats as you can in 60 seconds. And don't worry about exceptional form. It's not as good as a complete workout but it's your biggest muscle group and you'll be surprised at how strong you get. If it gets to be easy, add holding onto something.

3. Improve your memory.

A really important guy once said, "Memory is like... something." Your memory is incredibly important and modern technology has absolutely gone out of its way to undermine it. You can get some of it back.

Spend a minute a day memorizing a piece of text, a poem, a monologue, or even a product description on Amazon. Make the thing around a minute long when spoken aloud. It'll take you a few weeks to get it, then do it for a few weeks and move on to another one. 

4. Text someone you like.

It's a mountain of heaping and rancid crap that you don't have time to text someone you care about. Maybe you don't have time to have a very serious heart-to-heart every day but sending someone you haven't seen in a while a thoughtful, "thinking of ya" text or email or Facebook message is incredibly easy and doesn't have to become a gigantic back-and-forth if you draw some boundaries. 

5. Get your Vitamin D.

If you're inside a lot like me, there are some important nutrients you're just not getting and you need to supplement. Get a blood test periodically and see what you need to set your body right. Note: a spoonful of turmeric ain't bad either

6. Hug somebody.

Hugging someone you love (or even just like as a friend) does wonders for some parts of your endocrine system.

A long hug (seriously, have you have hugged someone standing up for a minute?) will kick some feel-good neuro-chemical gobbledygook (oxytocin, one imagines) into gear and you're closer to the person you hugged and happier for it. (I'd like to outline the physiological benefits of smiling but I've been told not to mention smiling to women.)

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7. Meditate.

It's probably really hard to get a great meditation in one minute. But you don't have a $3,500 personalized mantra nor a saltwater isolation tank, so let's just make do. One of the world's largest proponents of all that mindfulness business, Deepak Chopra, claims you can beneficially meditate for a minute. And who am I to say he's wrong?

8. Make a to-do list.

Even on days that you feel like you were treading water, you probably did a lot even if none of it was the front page of the Wall Street Journal material. You are going to feel much, much better about yourself if you have an accounting of all of the stuff you do. Maybe list "binge-watched Total Divas" as one thing rather than give each episode its own entry. 

9. Express gratitude.

This is likely the finest thing you can do for yourself. Take 59.5 seconds and think about what you're grateful for. It's incredibly easy to get caught in the what-don't-I-have trap (f*ck you, friends stunting on Instagram), but gratefulness is a pretty direct path to happiness if you're into that kind of thing.

10. Check your bank balance.

Probably not especially smart to put this one right after gratitude, but it's a good idea to know how much money you have and what you've recently spent it on. This could help you spend less frivolously OR catch a serious billing error OR "remind" you where you left your card last night. These are mostly good things.  

11. Boost your sense of smell.

It's 2017 and for the most part, we think of our olfactory sense as exclusively a warning system for something being on fire or ready to give us food poisoning. Scent is much more than that and cultivating your sense of smell can increase memory and allow you to appreciate the here and now.

Spend 60 seconds a day sniffing something and try to identify the notes. It's probably best if you try this one in private. Also, "smelling" a few lines of primo Bolivian shale when you get home doesn't count. 

Maybe not all 11 of these tips are right for you, but instilling a decent daily discipline in your life will change you for the better. And at one minute a pop, you can't afford not to try. 

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Tom Miller is the voice of Tomfoolery,'s daily guy's take on all matters of the heart. Follow him on Twitter