How to Significantly Improve Your Life in the Next 30 Days

Lessons from hitting rock-bottom.


Moreno Zugaro

3 years ago | 8 min read

Two years ago, I was in a dark place. Mindless and pointless distractions ate away most of my time. A toxic relationship and negative friends held me back and sucked the energy out of me. I studied something I didn’t enjoy and had no idea what to do with my life.

Today, I’m earning money with what I’m passionate about. I’m in a healthy relationship with an incredibly supportive woman who checks most of the boxes. The toxic friends who once wreaked havoc in my life do so no longer. I know who I am, I’ve got a clear trajectory for my life and I work on my goals every day. That doesn’t mean I’m dancing on clouds and poop rainbows every day, but my life definitely took a turn for the better.

This transformation didn’t just happen by itself. The rock-bottom of a failed relationship and an existential crisis was the wake-up call I needed. I consumed every piece of information about improving my life I could get my hands on, plowing through book after book like my life depended on it.

The whole journey involved lots of trial and errors. I invested weeks and months in efforts that didn’t pay off. It’s the kind of frustrating work and poking in the dark the gurus with sleek marketing campaigns never tell you about. Why would they? Nobody likes to waste time — it’s your most precious resource.

But not all of it was wasted. The process helped me identify four key areas that have the biggest impact on your quality of life. They’re the ones you have to work on if you want to take your life to the next level.

Authenticity Is the Key

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
— George Bernard Shaw

If you board a ship and embark on a journey without setting a course first, you’ll end up wherever the wind blows you. And the winds of life often don’t blow in the direction you want.

Lots of people don’t consciously choose their trajectory in life. They end up in jobs they hate and relationships without spark. They spend their time and money on pointless distractions. They sit there, slumped together and teary-eyed, wondering why their life is empty of meaning but full of activities they don’t enjoy. And the reason is that they aren’t authentic.

Psychological research shows that authentic people are more satisfied with their lives for obvious reasons.

They walk their own path, do what comes naturally to them, and follow their calling. Their clear and strong sense of self lets them be themselves, instead of bending to other people’s will. They build deeper and more meaningful connections because people value them for who they are, not for who they pretend to be.

Authenticity means to know yourself, own yourself, and be yourself — in that order.

Know yourself. Explore your values, practice mindfulness, reflect on yourself through journaling, and ask if your beliefs make sense. Knowing yourself is key to finding purpose and meaning in your life.

Own yourself. Take responsibility for your life. Whatever situation you’re in right now, you’re the one responsible for making a change. Stop blaming others for your misery because it won’t improve your situation one bit. Take charge instead.

Be yourself. Act on your values and the conscious decisions you made. Think hard, consider other’s opinions, but do what you think is right. Stop people-pleasing — you can’t attract who’s right without pissing off others. This is your life and yours alone. Go and live it.

Two weeks ago, I decided to quit my Master’s degree close to completion. I studied at one of the best business universities in Europe, and it would’ve been my ticket for a wild ride on most corporate career rollercoasters. Except, I didn’t want any of them.

Working a 9 to 5 isn’t in line with my values, my passions, and who I am. It would’ve made me miserable, so I opted out. Needless to say, most people didn’t understand my decision.

There’s no guarantee that it will work out. It’s a risk, but what matters is I got to know myself, took responsibility for my life, and acted in an authentic way. And that’s why this decision feels so damn good.

Being authentic isn’t always easy, and you’ll face a lot of resistance. But it’s the first crucial step you have to take. You have to set the trajectory for your life before you start walking. There’s no point in running faster if you’re headed in the wrong direction.

Your Life Is What You Repeatedly Do

“We first make our habits, then our habits make us.”
― John Dryden

Achieving your dreams and creating a fulfilling life is a marathon, not a sprint.

You are what you repeatedly do. One sweat-breaking workout and a salad won’t transform your body, but regular exercise and a sustainable change in diet will. A three-hour reading session will not turn you into an erudite sage, but ten pages a day add up to tons of knowledge over time.

Looking through Instagram twice a week won’t make you a social media zombie, but daily scrolling results in lots of wasted screen time. Forgetting to brush your teeth one time won’t rot them, but neglecting them on a daily basis will give you caries.

When you think of big changes, you look at them as a huge, single effort. Instead, they are the result of many tiny little steps. Consistency is key.

I know waiting sucks. I know you want everything now. The instant gratification monkey in your brain is running amok. But if you want to improve your life, you have to think long-term.

Build better habits and let go of bad ones. It isn’t hard, you just struggle with it because you have no idea how to build a habit that sticks. Check out James Clear’s New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits. It will change your life.

10 pages a day = 3,650 pages/year = 15 books/year. That is the power of habit. | image by Negative Space on pexels
10 pages a day = 3,650 pages/year = 15 books/year. That is the power of habit. | image by Negative Space on pexels

Friends Will Make You, Friends Will Break You

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
— Jim Rohn

Whether you believe in the number five or not, you can’t deny the fact. Your social environment has a huge impact on your mental and physical health. Think of the people who inspire you, lift you up, give good advice, or show you new opportunities. How do you feel about them and what impact do they have on you?

Now, think about the people who are negative, suck your energy, advertise unhealthy behaviors, or don’t believe in you. How do you feel about them and what impact do they have on you?

If you want more of the former, you have to say no to the latter. You only have 24 hours a day, and time spent with the ones holding you back can’t be spent with the ones moving you forward.

Two years ago, I made a momentous decision. I broke up with my girlfriend and cut contact with my best friend of twelve years because both weren’t conducive to my life. Getting away from the two people closest to me left a huge hole. It was a dark time, and I often felt alone and longed for social contact.

But the void gave me space I could fill with better people, and to this day, I’m grateful I took the step.

You don’t have to cut everyone whose net impact is negative at once, but your life will take a huge upturn if you draw clear boundaries. Sit down and make a list of behaviors you won’t tolerate and people’s net impact on your life. Then, enforce your boundaries and focus on positive connections.

Learn to build better relationships with the people who matter, and don’t be afraid to withdraw from toxic friends. It will be scary and hard at first, but it’s worth it.

Today Is a Gift

Once I finish school, I’ll be happy. Once I get a good job, I’ll be happy. Once I get this promotion, I’ll be happy. Once I get a date, I’ll be happy. Once this is over, I’ll be happy.

Does that sound familiar? It does to me. I spent a large part of my life always working towards something. When I finally made it, I didn’t take the time to appreciate and savor my accomplishment. I was busy working towards the next one.

It’s easy to fall into this trap. You’re constantly looking forward to your life to finally begin until you realize you’ve been living all along, and your life is now near its end. Happiness is what happens in the moment, so seize it.

Let go of comparing your current self to your future self, and let go of comparing yourself to others. Only then can you embrace the present moment.

You’re often tempted to compare your own life against someone else’s, whether it’s on social media, television, or when you walk down the street. His car, her looks, your neighbor’s seemingly perfect marriage and children.

There is no point in measuring your own life against someone else’s.

First, you never see the full picture. Think of the most successful person you know. I guarantee you they struggle with a myriad of issues. Famous people have to fight off Paparazzi.

Rich people are worried about their money. Beautiful people will inevitably face their perishability. People only show what they want you to see. If the grass is greener on the other side, it’s because it’s fertilized with bullshit or you forgot to water your own lawn.

Second, the comparison will do nothing to get you closer to your goals. Look at others as inspiration, guidance, or mentors, but stop the measuring contest. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Envy will only cloud your mind and distract you from your own path.

Let go of living in the future or the past, and don’t wish for the lives of others. Instead, make the absolute most you can out of every single moment you’re given on this earth.

There is a beautiful scene in the kids’ movie Kung Fu Panda. The protagonist Po, an obese panda, envies other animal Kung Fu fighters for their strength, speed, and claws.

He ponders whether he should bury his dream of becoming a Kung Fu warrior and instead go back to making noodles at his dad’s shop. Master Oogway, a wise and ancient turtle, tells him the following:

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery — but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

Wrapping it up

Here’s the blueprint for significantly improving your life:

Become more authentic.
Build better habits and let go of bad ones.
Restructure your social circle.
Learn to enjoy the present moment.

This is what I wish I’d known when I hit rock bottom two years ago. I had to work hard for these insights. But you have them now, so go out there and create a better life for yourself.


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Moreno Zugaro

Thought-provoking personal growth & slightly inappropriate humor | 600K views | Join 1000+ men on the path of authentic self-improvement:







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