It is one thing to learn about the better version of you and another to sustain them. After all, sometimes even the best intentions aren’t enough to keep us from getting in our own way and going right back to where we started. Don’t let lack of maintenance undo all of your hard work.
Sustaining the better version of you takes consistency and effort. Here are five good habits to make sure to adopt and keep if you are going to stay the person you set out to become.
1. Be as Organized as Possible
No matter what kind of person you usually are, it’s time to get used to planning. Careful planning with a healthy dose of flexibility is the key to making progress toward your goals and performing at the peak of your abilities.
Being a better version of yourself doesn’t make you perfect or immune to human error. Help yourself out and stay motivated to achieve with some simple organizational techniques.
Perhaps time-management is an issue for you, in which case setting alarms could be advantageous. Maybe you are forgetful and could use a daily planner to stay on top of your goals.
When you need to stick to a budget, you don’t just spend whatever you want and hope for the best. You track your spending, check your accounts, and adjust. Apply this same thinking to self-improvement.
2. Surround Yourself With the Right People
They say who you spend the most time with impacts your life more than many other factors. Just as your environment affects your wellbeing, so too do the people you surround yourself with have an impact on you—your thoughts, habits, and ways of being.
It is wise to consider whether those you spend time with influence your life in positive ways. Look for people that are:
Your time is an investment. You can’t choose all of your friendships and you obviously shouldn’t only be friends with people you can get something from, but you can control how much control people have over you.
Spend the most time and give the most priority to people that lift you up and want to see you achieve your goals. Similarly, invite new relationships in which you can seek honest, constructive feedback and/or guidance often.
3. Stay Focused
The key to sustaining the better version of you is to keep your eyes on the prize. Keep the vision of your “best you” fresh in your mind so that you can quickly identify when you’ve slipped away from this ideal. And if you do find that setbacks have gotten the best of you, looking to your original inspiration can help immensely.
If you didn’t do this at the beginning, do it now while you can still point to distinct reasons. One way to do this is to create a list of your initial reasons for wanting to become this better version of yourself.
If you wanted to become more empathetic to develop a healthier relationship with your spouse, for example, remind yourself that the goal is a lasting, happy marriage. Whatever area of your life you have decided to improve, do your best to find a way to justify—for yourself and no one else—why you want to improve it.
We always advocate for using vision boards here, as this is a really useful method for staying on track and refreshing your memory. Use images and motivational messages to represent the better you.
4. Invest Time and Resources in Your Goals
People naturally invest time and resources into the things they value most. The more time and energy you have put into making something a reality, the more likely you are to stick to it because you will feel attached. If your goals remain only conceptual, they may as well be pipedreams.
Are you investing all the time and resources you possibly can into staying your best self? It might feel like a risk to pour cash into lessons, courses, and books, but doing so increases your chances of achieving your goals.
If you, for instance, spend money on guitar lessons for several weeks, you’re going to be compelled to keep at the instrument so as to not waste money. Similarly, if you purchase a wardrobe of high quality fitness apparel or a shelf full of inspirational books, you’re going to want to make the most of these purchases by giving them your all.
5. Be Prepared for Things to Get Rocky
Life tends to throw us the most curveballs when we feel like we’re at the top of our game. Positive or negative, situations can arise that draw your attention away from the efforts. This is normal, but you must be prepared for it.
Even if you have developed healthy routines as your better self, it’s amazing how easy it is to get sidetracked. And unfortunately, motivation is often easier to destroy than it is to build. Sustaining the better version of you requires discipline. Commit to consistency and you are less likely to lose sight of your carefully constructed goals.
Adopt a positive attitude when life makes things difficult for you and don’t beat yourself up if you can’t accomplish all of your goals within your desired timeframes. Even the most motivated individuals must often adapt to their circumstances. Develop good habits and align your actions with your goals, but expect things not to go according to plan all the time.
You are more than capable of sustaining the better version of you. And it won’t always be so uncomfortable—for many, self-improvement becomes second nature when done enough. Just remember that this is within your control and follow these five tips for living life as your best self.