I’m Chris Loper, creator of Becoming Better.

Let me tell you a little about myself.

I’m the goofy-looking red-head officiating that wedding. I’m a native of western Washington, a lover of live music, an avid skier, and a board game aficionado.

I’m a behavioral change coach. I’m also an academic coach and blog writer for Northwest Educational Services

I’m also the creator of Ngaej.com. Pronounced “engage,” Ngaej is Jenga … rearranged and reimagined.

Why I Do This

I write and coach because I want to help people. Most people could live healthier, happier, more meaningful lives if they knew and practiced the self-improvement techniques that actually work.

My mission is to teach strategies and mindsets that ease the process of becoming better. There is no final destination on the path of self-improvement. We’re all works in progress, myself included.

This is also my way of making a contribution. The world has many problems that call out for solutions. But I’m not an environmental engineer, political activist, medical provider, or research scientist. My role is to help you give us your best. The world needs you to unleash your incredible human potentialand I want to help you do that.

My Self-Improvement Journey

Several years ago, I suffered a string of injuries that left me unable to continue my skier-bartender lifestyle. I could no longer work on my feet and I could no longer enjoy my favorite activities – skiing, hiking, and climbing. The lifestyle change and career transition that followed revealed that I had a lot of issues. On the career front, I had no back-up plan, terrible work ethic, limited willpower, and difficulty focusing. And when all the fun things in my life got taken away, anxiety and depression suddenly took center stage.

I wasn’t doing my physical therapy homework, so I wasn’t healing. I wasn’t taking good care of myself psychologically, so my mental health just got worse and worse. And instead of facing my challenges head-on, I was “dealing with them” by drinking and getting high, which only proved to myself that I really wasn’t capable of dealing with them. My self-esteem was rock-bottom, and I was defensively arrogant and judgmental.

But, I didn’t give up.

Ever a fan of science, I dove into the positive psychology literature, which promised to be a science-based antidote to the advice of overly optimistic self-help gurus. I read dozens of books, took courses, and recorded copious notes. But it didn’t help. Learning wasn’t enough. I had to actually do the work. So I began to study behavioral change strategies and put them into practice.

Then everything began to shift. I got very consistent about doing my physical therapy homework, and my body started to heal. I devoted myself to improved sleep and nutrition, and my mental health improved. I made a 100% commitment to being clean and sober for the rest of my life, and my depression evaporated. I made self-care a daily priority, starting each morning with exercise, wisdom, and meditation.

I developed healthy self-esteem, cultivated mindfulnessand became the joyful, energetic person I am today. I can once again ski, hike, and climb, but my happiness isn’t dependent on those activities anymore. And I’m still becoming better, one day – one choice – at a time.