How to Become a Better Version of Yourself in 2016

It’s that time of year, and you’ve probably heard at least a few of your friends mention a New Year’s Resolution, and you’re probably dreaming up a few of your own. You might hear things like “this year, I’ll get my dream job,” or “this year, I’ll have better relationships,” or “this year, I’ll be skinny,” but these don’t sound like simple or feasible changes. Your friends sound like they want to become different people altogether.

Why a “Better” You Is Better Than a “New” You

You’re already an interesting, charming person capable of success. Why bother trying to become someone you’re not? Striving to become a different person is going to leave you frustrated and interfere with your efforts to improve – so instead, resolve to stay the same person you’ve always been, but with a few minor modifications. This will help you set more reasonable goals, avoid overextending yourself, and give you more self-esteem throughout the entire process.

Break Out of Your Routines

One of the best ways to find a better version of yourself is to break out of your normal routines. Routines can get you down when they repeat endlessly or with no real purpose. Sometimes, all it takes is a small change—such as a bit of exercise in the morning, or a new commute to work—to add greater productivity and more positive feelings into your life.

Develop New Habits

It’s better to develop a small habit that sticks than go all-out for a relatively short period of time. For example, instead of adopting a crazy low-calorie diet for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the year, you can resolve to eat at least one healthy food item every day for the foreseeable future. Don’t try to become someone you aren’t—focus on changes you can manage.

Have Patience With Yourself

It takes time to develop new habits, new routines, and new outlooks on life. You can’t change overnight, nor should you expect to. Throughout your entire process of self-improvement, it’s vital that you remain patient. Adopting an all-or-nothing mentality, or forcing yourself to change through willpower alone is only going to make you frustrated and miserable. Instead, accept that big changes only come as a result of little changes, and that great things take time to develop. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes, and don’t expect to see results immediately.

Avoid Negative Talk

Negative self-talk has devastating effects on your life outlook and general feelings, and it can be hard to avoid. You have to concentrate on these negative thoughts, and work hard to remove them. Instead of saying things to yourself like “I’ll never be able to do this,” or “this isn’t as good as I thought it would be,” say things like “I can do this,” or “this isn’t perfect, but it’s fine the way it is.” Positivity is hard to adopt, but will have a major impact on your resulting thoughts and feelings.

Remove Negativity From Your Life

Negativity exists in more than just your thoughts and internal dialogue. Look for other sources of negativity in your life—it could be a job that always puts you down or stresses you out, a significant other that stifles your progress, or a friend who just isn’t helpful. Resolve to remove those sources of negativity from your life.

Think of How You Want to Be Remembered

The Feel Good Lifestyle describes an exercise for guiding yourself into the person you want to be. Imagine you’re at your own funeral, listening to your friends and family members talk about the life you led. How would you want them to remember you? Would you want them to talk about what you’ve done the past year? About what you wanted to do but never had the chance? Strive to become the person you always wanted to be—the version of yourself you want to be remembered as.

This year, instead of resolving to be someone else in 2016, resolve to be a better version of the “you” that already exists. With a bit of resolve, you can change your habits, add new routines, and make minor modifications that gradually improve your lifestyle. Ditch the all-or-nothing mentality, and instead focus on manageable, meaningful changes.

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Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.