Want to change your relationships for the better? It’s easier than you think. All you have to do is ask everyone in your life one question: “How am I doing?”

Jack Canfield is the co-creator of the self-help book series, Chicken Soup for the Soul. And he says that asking family, friends, co-workers – even yourself – can help you set new goals, improve your habits, and make improvements in your life. Here’s how to get an answer that’ll be helpful:

  • Ask clearly. For example, if you want to know how your diet is going, ask your spouse: “I’d really like your thoughts about my diet. I’m trying to eat better and drop a few pounds, but since you see me more than anybody else, how do you think I’m doing?”
  • Ask with confidence. You won’t get a truthful answer if you’re hesitant, uncertain, shy or intimidated. So, be confident, be prepared for criticism, and don’t get defensive if you hear something you don’t like. In fact, Canfield says to embrace the discomfort. Because it’ll inspire you to examine your lifestyle, and take steps to move in a healthier direction.

  • If it’s your business you’re asking about, get feedback even from people you don’t know. For example, ask your customers questions like: “What do you think we can do to improve our service?” And “Is there anything you like – or don’t like - about our products?”
  • Ask everyone you know at least once a year “How am I doing?” Canfield says you never know what you’ll discover about yourself – but he guarantees it’ll change your life for the better.

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