2024 is the year you want things to be different. You want to achieve your goals and live your dream life, and that all starts with being a better version of yourself. But the question is how?
How do you become a better version of yourself? It’s not enough to want to improve; you must take action.
What does it mean to be the best version of yourself?
The phrase, “the best version of myself” gets used a lot but, what does it mean? Everyone has different goals and aspirations. Likewise, everyone has different resources, talents, and skills. Being the best version of yourself depends on who you are and how you want your life to be. To find out who you could be as your best self, think about the things you truly want in life. Are these things that you truly want for yourself or could your aspirations be inspired by things other people might have you want?
With a clear understanding of your wants versus those of others, you can begin to see how your life can look given the time and effort it takes to achieve any goal. What does your day-to-day look like? What about your diet? Your relationships? How do you spend your time?
That is the person you need to be, and that essentially is the better version of yourself. Here are the steps to follow to be a healthier, more confident version of yourself. Here are 14 steps to consider while becoming your best self.
The first step in improving yourself is to understand who you are. Our identities are often formed by the choices we make. And the choices we make, according to an article in Psychology Today, are often influenced by our family, friends, and memories. These outside influences can often help us form a strong sense of self, or it can dilute our perception of who we think we are.
Take some time for self-discovery by spending time alone, taking a solo trip, journaling your thoughts, and spending time in nature. Knowing yourself sets the foundation to build a better version of yourself.
Identify your values
Your values are the beliefs and principles you find most important in life. Some examples include integrity, honesty, respect, achievement, creativity, etc. Once you identify your values, take a moment to evaluate if you’re honoring your values regularly. For instance, if you value honesty, have you been honest with yourself and others?
If you’ve realized that you haven’t been living by your values, now is the time to realign with what matters to you most. Additionally, it’s okay to re-evaluate your values. Perhaps at one point in your career, you focused on achievements, and now you want to concentrate more on creativity.
Reflect on times when you’ve been happy
Often, we experience better versions of ourselves when we are happy, carefree, peaceful, and doing the things we love.
Take time to notice when you are happy. What are the moments in your life when you feel free and limitless as if time were standing still? Part of being the best version of yourself is making sure you do the things that light your soul on fire.
Improve upon your strengths
What would you say if someone asked you what you are good at? If the answer comes easily to you, now is the time to consider building upon those strengths.
For instance, if your strength is you are an elegant and persuasive speaker, then you might want to look into public speaking.
If you’re not quite sure what you’re good at, now is the time for self-discovery. Ask your friends, family members, and co-workers about your strengths. You can also take online tests and read books such as Now, Discover Your Strengths to learn more about what you do best.
Come to terms with weaknesses
There’s been some debate in the personal development world about whether you should focus on improving your weaknesses. We often focus more on the skills we lack than those we excel in.
Regarding our weaknesses, the crucial question is, do your shortcomings stand in the way of getting what you want? If not, accept them as a part of who you are.
Accept that you can’t be good at everything and focus on what you are good at.
Receive outside support: friends, therapy & mentors
Another critical factor in becoming the best version of yourself is relying on the support of others. When it comes to friends, make sure you have people who support you, who you feel comfortable and safe around, and who respect your boundaries.
Additionally, being your best self might mean getting professional help to overcome your traumas and insecurities.
Consider getting a mentor or someone to help guide you in making better career choices.
Stop the comparison
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” When you compare yourself to someone else, you discredit everything that makes you special and unique.
Although comparison isn’t helpful, we often do it while scrolling on social media. Thus, if you want to be better, remember to take breaks from social media now and then. When you separate yourself from the false reality of social media, it’s easier to see yourself.
Additionally, you can take this same practice with people. Sometimes, you need to take a break from certain people, and that’s okay.
Celebrate your wins
Most of society reserves celebrations for birthdays, anniversaries, and significant accomplishments. However, celebrating should be a common practice, especially if you are trying to improve yourself.
Create a list of ways to celebrate, such as taking yourself out for a drink, having a bubble bath, eating a slice of cake, or simply patting yourself on the back.
When something good happens in your life, big or small, take out your list and choose a way to celebrate. Celebrating helps us to focus on the good things in our lives instead of the bad. And what we focus on grows.
Prioritize your health
If you are wondering how to become healthier, the answer starts with prioritizing your health. Many of us neglect our health in the smallest ways until we have a bigger problem.
One of the most significant factors in declining health is not getting enough rest. Start building a nighttime routine and getting 7-8 hours of sleep. Once you master that, start incorporating a healthy diet, exercising more, and getting plenty of sunshine.
Continuously practice self-compassion
Self-improvement isn’t an easy path. We often make mistakes when we try to improve and fall back into bad habits and old patterns.
Because the road to being a better you isn’t always a smooth path, showing yourself some compassion is essential. Pay attention to how you speak to yourself. Encourage yourself daily and always make time for self-care.
Create better habits, routines, and rituals
Habits, routines, and rituals are elements that shape our daily life. Habits are things we do automatically with little or no conscious thought. For instance, if you want to be healthier, create a habit of drinking more water.
Routines are behaviors that we intentionally repeat. For example, you may habitually go to bed at midnight every night. However, having a routine before your sleep, such as shutting off your phone 30 minutes before bed, washing your face, and reading, are all behaviors that can help you improve your sleep. Routines often reinforce healthy habits.
Rituals are very similar to routines; however, they tend to have a deeper intention behind them. Take the routine of washing your face before bed. You can turn this into a ritual by making the experience enjoyable and self-soothing. You could light a candle, dim the lights, or say positive affirmations to yourself while doing your skincare routine.
Generosity is one of the highest virtues. If you want to be the best version of yourself in 2024, consider giving back to others. You can volunteer or help a friend in need. Consider something you can do to help others in need.
Gratitude is an essential aspect of life. It is a practice that can be done in many different ways, such as creating a gratitude journal, verbally showing your appreciation to people in your life, and participating in an act of kindness.
Step outside of your comfort zone
Lastly, consider how you can do something outside of your comfort zone. You can start by taking small steps, such as eating alone or attending a new event to meet new people. If you want to push yourself, consider taking a solo trip or trying a new hobby.
Whatever you decide, remember that growth is just outside our comfort zone.
Where to Start
With all the information on how to be a better version of yourself, you may wonder where to start. The best way to start is to create a plan for yourself.
From the list above, choose one thing you want to improve upon. Set goals and create a timeline. Once you’ve achieved your first goal, move on to the next and repeat the process.
By the end of the year, you’ll be a version of yourself that you can be proud of.