It is one thing to understand the need to become the better version of you, and another to discover this better version. That’s why we recently wrote on those topics, but we also recognize the need for sustaining this best version of yourself once the discovery phase is done with.
We’re assuming you know how it goes: even the best of intentions can be waylaid over time by life’s unpredictable circumstances. Once even a few weeks have passed by without action, it is surprisingly easy to forget about the good habits in which you were recently investing precious time and energy. It would be a shame to let things slide for any reason, as that can eventually set you back to square one.
Sustaining the better version of you takes consistency and effort, so we are offering some further insights into how you can sustain this shiny new you indefinitely:
If sustaining the better version of you means developing skills, talents, or new habits you need to plan ahead. Some kind of goal-related planner is a good idea, as this helps you to stay on track with your plans – although rigidity can lead to disappointment. It helps to be flexible within reason, making adjustments to your development plans when necessary but without losing sight of your aims.
Likewise, setting alarms in your device to go off on specific days and times can keep you focused on what you wanted to achieve. Even the old-school approach of post-it notes on your desk, fridge or front door can do the trick, so long as you remember to read them!
Creating a budget and sticking to it can help to keep your goals on track if they require some ongoing investment. Why not set up a savings account and regularly put some funds in by standing order so that you don’t have to think about it? That way you’ll have enough resources available at each stage of your journey.
They say - and they’re right about this - that who you spend the most time with will have the strongest influence on your life. Just as your environment is one of the biggest impacts on your wellbeing, the people you surround yourself with will influence you with their thoughts, habits and ways of being. It is wise to consider whether those you spend time with are having a positive impact on your life. Are they encouraging? Are they inspiring? Are they the kind of people who have a ‘can do’ attitude, or do they prefer to procrastinate and view things from a ‘glass half empty’ perspective?
Your time in itself is an investment. Obviously you don’t choose all of your friendships based on what you can get from people, and sometimes you are the positive influence that others need. They key is in how much time you spend; decide to spend the most time with uplifting people who have a positive attitude, and whose example you’d be happy to follow. Similarly, invite relationships in which you can seek honest, constructive feedback and/or guidance. These will help you immeasurably along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask for this, as we all need reflection at times.
Alongside this, always be open to finding your own way by seeking knowledge through the appropriate channels (e.g. books, talks, workshops or whatever brings you into alignment with your goals) and following the teachings of leaders or inspirational people who have successfully achieved the kind of things you’re aiming for.
The key to sustaining the better version of you is to keep your eyes on the prize; i.e. keep your vision fresh in your mind. Once you have decided on the activities that will lead to the fruition of your goals, it can help to keep checking in with your original inspiration. One way to do this is to create a list of your initial reasons for wanting to become this better version of yourself.
Let’s imagine your goal was to find ways to stay healthy through every season. You could write down how you were feeling when you decided to improve this area of your life, and what your step-by-step plans were. You might have intended to introduce more organic vegetables, cook one or two recipes a week from a certain cookbook, or sample a new fruit every couple of weeks. Keeping notes on these details will not only refresh your memory but your inspiration too.
Creating a vision board is a really useful method of refreshing your memory and inspiration too. When you collect images that pique your imagination and lead you to visualize your future life, looking at these can be incredibly motivating when you lose pace or feel apathetic. You might also put images of people you admire on this board to remind you that others have done what you set out to do.
They say that people don’t value things they didn’t have to invest much in, and that seems to be true. The same goes for time. The more time and energy you have put into making something a reality, the more you are likely to stick at it. If your goals remain only conceptual, without inspired action they may as well be pipedreams.
Maybe your goal was to develop a musical talent. You’re probably not going to become a guitar maestro overnight, but practice makes perfect. On a bad day you might feel frustrated that your progress hasn’t matched up to the envisaged timeframe, but the fact that you have already put in several months of effort (and maybe tuition fees) could be the one thing that spurs you on.
Similarly, if you’ve spent money on an online DIY course, a ton of immune-boosting superfood powders or some high quality fitness apparel, you’re more likely to want to make use of those things. Lastly, it can help to buy a couple of inspiring books by authors who have expertise in self-development or your particular area of interest.
Sometimes even when you’re on a roll and feeling like you’re on top of your game, life can throw you curveballs. Whether positive or negative, situations can arise that draw your attention away from the efforts you were previously making. This is normal, and happens to the best of us, but this is exactly when we need to put in more effort to stay on track. Cultivating a positive mental attitude can help, for one thing.
Even if becoming your better self simply meant sticking to a regular gym routine, it’s amazing how easy it is to get sidetracked. A new job with longer hours might be enough to take away your motivation, for example. Sustaining the better version of you doesn’t mean you have to be a saint, so to speak, but you must be disciplined. Commit to consistency and you are less likely to lose sight of your carefully constructed goals.
Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t stick to the time-frames you set. Occasionally you’ll need to realign your goals with your current circumstances; plan your habits or actions yet again if necessary, as this keeps your intentions fresh in your mind and gives you a clear sense of direction.
To conclude, sustaining the better version of you may seem like an impossible goal at times, but it really isn’t - this is just an illusion thrown up from the subconscious because of ingrained thinking patterns. In fact, it could actually become second nature to strive toward improvement in all areas of life. So it’s clear that sustaining the better version of you is a worthy goal… but the best news is that however long it takes to become this, it’s all within your control. One way or another, positive results require wise choices, strong intention, focus, effort, persistence, discipline and internal vision. Everything else you use to reach a goal is a tool – so choose and use your tools wisely!