8 Essential Tips for Building Good Character Every Day

Good character refers to the moral qualities and ethical traits that define a person. It encompasses values like integrity, honesty, courage, compassion, and self-discipline. Developing good character is important because it allows us to become better people and have a positive impact on the world around us. People with strong character tend to be more fulfilled, lead more ethical lives, and earn the trust and respect of others.

While some aspects of character may be innate, it’s something that can be consciously built over time through our choices and habits. Character development is a lifelong journey that requires constant nurturing. In this article, we’ll explore 10 tips for building your character every day through small but meaningful actions. Focusing on things like humility, responsibility, perseverance, empathy, and integrity can help strengthen your character muscle over time. Putting conscious effort into becoming our best selves is hard work, but it’s how we shape ourselves into the kind of person we aspire to be.

What Are Some Ways for Building Good Character

humble sign for building good character

Be Humble

Humility is the quality of being humble and having a modest view of one’s own importance. Practicing humility can help build good character in several ways:

  • It keeps us grounded. When we are humble, we recognize that no one is perfect and we all have more to learn. This prevents arrogance and reminds us to keep an open mind.
  • It makes us more approachable and likeable. Humble people don’t put on airs or talk down to others. This makes it easier for people to relate to us.
  • It fosters gratitude. Being humble helps us appreciate what we have rather than always wanting more. We become grateful for the gifts and opportunities we’ve been given.
  • It improves learning. Humble people are eager to keep growing. They don’t think they know it all, so they listen and absorb new ideas. This continuous learning leads to growth.
  • It builds connections. Humility brings people together. When we approach others with openness and respect, it creates an environment for healthy relationships.

There are many ways to practice humility every day:

  • Admit when you’re wrong or don’t know something. Don’t pretend to be an expert if you aren’t.
  • Give credit to others. Share successes and accomplishments as a team.
  • Listen more than you speak. Focus on understanding rather than being understood.
  • Avoid bragging or showing off. Talk about others’ achievements rather than your own.
  • Apologize sincerely when you make a mistake. Take responsibility rather than making excuses.
  • Treat all people with equal respect, regardless of status or background.
  • Keep an attitude of gratitude. Remember all you have to be thankful for.
  • Find ways to serve others with no expectation of reward.
  • Reflect on your abilities and blessings with a humble perspective.

Practicing humility daily requires conscious effort. But it is one of the most important ways to build strong, ethical character. A little humility goes a long way.

Take Responsibility

Taking responsibility for your actions and their consequences is a key component of good character. When you make a mistake, admit it openly and sincerely. Don’t make excuses or shift blame onto others. Apologize for any harm you have caused, and take steps to make amends.

By owning your mistakes, you demonstrate humility, courage and integrity. This builds trust and respect. People will see you as honest and accountable. Taking responsibility also prevents small mistakes from snowballing into bigger problems down the road. Learn from each misstep, and think about how you can avoid similar mistakes in the future through better preparation, focus or self-control.

When things go wrong and it’s unclear who’s at fault, avoid finger pointing. Step up and volunteer to be part of the solution. Offer to take on extra work to get things back on track. Make a commitment to improve processes and communication going forward. Even if a situation is not your doing, you can still demonstrate leadership and character by taking ownership of the resolution.

Overall, recognize that you have a choice in how you respond to setbacks and errors. Choosing responsibility over blame is empowering, and it builds self-respect. It also sets a positive example for those around you. By making responsibility a daily habit, you strengthen your reputation as someone of integrity and good character.

Persevere Through Challenges

backpacker, backpack, mountain

Challenges build mental fortitude and strong character. When things get tough, it can be tempting to give up or take shortcuts. However, persevering through difficulties makes us better people.

Don’t quit when the going gets tough. See each challenge through to the end. Whether it’s finishing a marathon when your legs feel like lead or staying at work late to complete a project, fully committing develops grit. It teaches us that we are capable of more than we think.

Pushing through hardships also builds confidence. As we overcome more and more challenges, we gain the self-assurance that we can handle whatever comes our way. Obstacles no longer seem so daunting.

Setbacks and difficulties are inevitable in life. However, your character isn’t defined by the challenges you face but by how you respond. Persevering through the tough times takes courage and shapes who you are. Don’t run from problems – use them to build mental fortitude and become the best version of yourself.

Practice Gratitude

Being thankful and appreciative of what you have is key to building good character. When you focus on gratitude, it shifts your mindset from lack to abundance. Make it a daily habit to reflect on things you’re grateful for – your health, loved ones, freedoms, nature, and opportunities. Keep a gratitude journal to write down what you’re thankful for each day.

Expressing gratitude to others also builds character. Be generous with your thanks and appreciation. Thank people who do kind things for you, whether big or small. Send thank you notes, give compliments, and recognize people’s efforts. Doing this spreads more positivity, improves relationships, and encourages others’ good character too.

Show Empathy

Empathy is a key component of good character. It involves trying to understand another person’s perspective and feelings. When you make an effort to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you are more likely to treat them with compassion.

Showing empathy allows you to connect with others at a deeper level. It builds understanding between people and can help resolve conflicts. Approach every interaction with the intent to understand where the other person is coming from.

Listen carefully when someone is speaking to you. Pay attention to their body language and tone of voice, not just their words. Reflect back on what you hear them saying to show you understand. Withhold judgment and criticism.

Validate the other person’s emotions. Let them know it’s okay to feel the way they do. Offer support and encouragement. Avoid trying to “fix” their problems or tell them how they should feel. The goal is simply to acknowledge their perspective with kindness.

Making someone feel heard and understood goes a long way. It allows you to see things from a different angle. Practicing empathy leads to more compassionate words and actions. You may be surprised at how quickly tensions can diffuse when you lead with an open and caring heart.

Do the Right Thing

couple, climbing, help

Doing the right thing comes down to two key elements – integrity and kindness. When you commit to living with integrity, it means upholding strong moral principles and being honest in everything you do. Even when no one is watching, stick to your values. Don’t cut corners or compromise your ethics just because it seems easier or more convenient. Living with integrity builds trust and good character.

Practicing small acts of kindness also builds character every day. Hold the door open for someone, let a car merge in front of you in traffic, and pick up litter you see on the ground. These little things make a difference and spread more goodness in the world. When you make a habit of doing the right thing, not because you have to but because you want to, it becomes part of who you are. Your character shines through in those moments.

Lead by Example

To build good character, it’s important to lead by example and be a positive influence on others. When you demonstrate good character through your words and actions, it motivates and inspires others to follow suit.

  • Be a role model. If you want your kids, employees, or community to uphold strong values, you need to model those values in your own behavior. Walk the talk. Don’t just tell people to be honest – show them honesty in the way you conduct yourself.
  • Influence peers positively. Surround yourself with other people who share your values and priorities. Support each other in making good choices. If a friend is struggling, encourage them and provide a listening ear, not judgment.
  • Promote good character publicly. Look for opportunities to promote values like integrity, hard work, and compassion. Highlight examples of good character you notice and praise people who are making a positive difference.
  • Make character development a priority. Dedicate time for activities and conversations that build character – read inspiring biographies, volunteer together, or discuss ethical dilemmas. Going out of your way to focus on character sends the message that it’s something worth caring about.

When you lead by example with your own actions and make character development an intentional priority, it motivates others and creates a powerful ripple effect. We all have opportunities to be positive influencers and role models.

Keep Improving

Character building is a lifelong process. We must continue to reflect, learn, and grow every day. Here are some ways to keep improving your character:

  • Make time for self-reflection each day. Look back on your actions and interactions. Think about what went well and what you could improve.
  • Set specific goals for self-improvement. Maybe you want to be more patient, show more gratitude, or speak up for what’s right. Write down 1-2 character goals each week.
  • Read books and listen to podcasts on personal development. There’s always more we can learn about empathy, integrity, leadership, and other character traits.
  • Surround yourself with people who challenge you to be your best self. Choose friends and mentors who bring out your highest character.
  • Keep a journal to track your progress. Write about character-testing situations and how you responded. Note your successes and areas for growth.
  • Make amendments when you make mistakes. Apologize sincerely. Try to make things right. Use errors as opportunities for improvement.
  • Find role models to inspire you. Look to historical figures, community leaders, and ethical businesses. Emulate their conduct.
  • Commit to lifelong learning. The work of character-building is never complete. Dedicate yourself to constantly getting wiser and better.


Building character is an ongoing process that requires daily effort and mindfulness. By consistently practicing humility, responsibility, perseverance, gratitude, empathy, integrity, leadership, and self-improvement, you can gradually strengthen your character over time. The rewards are well worth the effort – living with good character leads to meaningful relationships, deep fulfillment, and lasting positive impact.

To recap, here are some key ways to build character every day:

  • Be humble and avoid arrogance or entitlement
  • Take responsibility for your actions and mistakes
  • Push through challenges and setbacks rather than giving up
  • Appreciate what you have and express gratitude
  • Show compassion, kindness, and concern for others
  • Do the right thing even when no one is watching
  • Set a positive example for others through your conduct
  • Keep striving to improve yourself and your abilities

Developing good character is a lifelong endeavor that shapes who we become. By making it a daily practice, you can steadily build your character into one that you admire and are proud of. The consistent effort compounds over time into a strong moral foundation and a life of meaning.