What does it mean to be your best self?
How do you know you’re living your best life now?
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Best dressed? Best smile? Best attitude?
What is the meaning of “best self”?
The beauty of how to be your best self is just that.
It’s your best self. It’s what you decide.
But, we could all use a little guidance, couldn’t we?
How to Live Your Best Life Now
So you wanna upgrade your life, yeah? That’s super exciting. Wanna know something else that’s exciting about it?
You have the power and control to decide what that looks like for you.
But what would a guide like this be without a little road-map to help you get the best out of the meaning of “new year, new me”?
We’ve decided to break down this whole living your best self thing into five main areas of your life:
- Your Soul
- Your Family
- Your Relationships
- Your Appearance
- Your Career
Breaking down such a large concept into smaller, bite-sized pieces will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. And don’t worry, we’ve gathered lots of tools (including a printable workbook!) to help guide you through the process.
So let’s get to it! Here are 22 ways to be your best self in 2020!
How to Be Your Best Self: Soul Searching
We have to start with the heart of it all, you.
Your habits, thoughts, beliefs, and all the things that go on in that pretty mind of yours. Learn how to conquer this, and the rest will fall into place. Here are five ways to master your mind and take control of your life.
#1. Give Yourself A Damn Break
Here’s a question, if someone were treating your best friend the way you treat yourself, would that make you happy?
Read that again.
You’ve heard all the quotes:
- “We are our own worst critic.”
- “You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
So, my tip here is to treat yourself the way you would treat a friend. What advice would you give her? What things would you say to her? How would you build her up so she stops beating herself down?
Speaking of beating ourselves down – that brings me to my next tip.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: Inspiring Self-Love Quotes
#2. Tell Your Mean Girl to Kick Rocks
When you ask yourself, “How do I bring out my best self?” – what thoughts start flowing? Do you get excited and hopeful for the future?
Or does your Mean Girl show up?
You know that “little” voice in your head that tells you that you can’t do this, you’re stupid, lazy, ugly, not good enough?
This tip is pure gold, baby, so listen up.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Stop Negative Self-Talk for Good
Pretend those voices are an unwelcome guest in your brain and give her a name.
I just call mine my Mean Girl – but I’m sure she’ll earn a name I wouldn’t be able to write here eventually. I talk about her more and other bad habits we have in this post.
Everyone has a Mean Girl, but not everyone knows how to fight back. The key to this is recognizing that while you can’t control the thoughts that come into your mind, you can control which ones you give power to.
So when those nasty thoughts start cascading into your mind, pretend it’s someone else talking to you, and tell that hussy to kick rocks.
#3. Set 13-Week Goals
This may surprise you, but I’m not going to tell you to set New Year’s resolutions.
Because it’s pretty well known that the majority of New Year’s resolutions fail within a month or two. This happens because generally speaking, New Year’s resolutions are too vague, and the time period is too long, which activates our procrastinating self.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Keep New Year's Resolutions
You feel like you have the whole year to get your ish together, so you put it off. Then you realize you’ve put it off for too long and do away with it altogether. Better luck next year, right?
Nope. Not this year.
This year, take your big goals and break them up into 13-week goals. It’s enough time to really accomplish something, but it’s a short enough period to create some urgency and a deadline that isn’t too far off.
We’ve included an awesome goal setting worksheet for this in the Best Year Ever Workbook!
#4. Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude is becoming more and more encouraged in the self-development world.
Because it works. And I’m not talking about the good ole Thanksgiving tradition of “tell us one thing you’re thankful for.”
This is different, it’s a process that helps you focus more on the positivity in your life. It can help shift your emotions because it shifts what you’re focusing on.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Manifest Gratitude from the Universe
Try writing three specific things you’re grateful for at least daily but morning and evening would be best.
Practicing gratitude in the morning will help set you up for a positive day. Practicing gratitude in the evening is a great way to reflect; and if you’ve had a bad day, this is how you shift your perspective of it to set yourself up for a better day tomorrow.
#5. Two Words: Own Up
I was recently told something that made the whole world come together for me.
“Maturity level is determined by how well a person accepts responsibility for their actions.”
Whoa. Mind blown.
It’s so true though when you think about it.
And that’s why I’ve saved the best for last in the soul searching section of how to be your best self.
Remember how we talked about how being your best self is in your control?
So let me ask you this – when you blame anything/anyone other than yourself, who are you giving the power to?
That’s right, I’m calling you out, boo.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Be A Unicorn
Owning up to your actions keeps the power within yourself. You have control.
So next time you feel yourself blaming external circumstances or another person and you’re feeling helpless, take that power back!
What could you have done differently? How can you prevent this from happening in the future?
And, just so we’re clear, the same goes for positive things in your life. If you do something good, freakin’ own it! Be proud of yourself, and reflect on what you did right so that you can continue making good choices.
Either way, keep your focus on what you can control and stop giving power away that’s so rightfully yours.
How to Be Your Best Self: Your Fam-Bam
Now, a majority of my readers are parents – but if you’re not, you don’t have to skip this section! There are many ways that you can apply these tips into your life, so have an open mind and let’s see how we can improve our lives at home.
These tips are also great for you if you’re in a relationship too.
#6. You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup
First and foremost, if you want to take better care of the people around you, you must take care of yourself first.
You may have heard this analogy before, but I’m gon’ say it again because it’s important. When it comes to mom-ing, being a partner, or being a friend – you can’t pour from an empty cup, if you truly want to give to others, you have to overflow your cup onto them.
Think about Oprah, would she be giving away cars to her audience if she didn’t have her own beautiful car? Oprah is the queen of letting her cup overflow to the people around her.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: The Benefits for Practicing Self-Care
Trying to pour from an empty cup leads to bitterness, resentment, and it’s really just a band-aid to bring instant gratification but it’s not lasting, and it’s just covering up what really needs to be done.
So, instead of bragging about how you always put others before yourself, start bragging about how you take such damn good care of yourself that you have more to give for everyone else.
It’s all you, boo.
#7. One-on-One Time
If you really want to be your best self at home, you gotta make an effort to connect individually with each person.
It doesn’t have to be some big elaborate event, but maybe just take a walk. Or play a game together. Or go out for ice-cream after dinner. There are so many things you could do!
This is a great goal for the new year because it not only will show the other person that you care about them, but it forces you to take a break from whatever is stressing you out and just live in the moment with someone you love.
Double-win, if you ask me.
#8. Set Goals Together
Setting goals doesn’t have to just be a personal thing. And it doesn’t matter who you live with, setting goals together as people that live in the same household can be really fun and get the vibe back on track!
It’s also a great way to check-in with everyone about how the living situation is going. Some great questions to ask and answer with each other could be:
- What do you love about living here?
- What bothers you about living here? Can we fix it?
- What are some issues we had last year/month/week?
- How can we fix them?
👉🏽 RELATED POST: Don't Let Your Goals Ruin Your Relationship
You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down? Coming together as a unit to hear each other out, figure out what’s working and what’s not working, and creating a plan to optimize your experiences together can help make home your happy place.
#9. Have a Weekly Meeting
My family and I have been doing this for about a month now on Sunday evenings and it’s been really helpful.
Now, I do have two teenage girls, a 5-year-old boy, and a husband that doesn’t remember the plan I told him an hour ago (he runs his own business too, so I do cut him some slack, haha).
Because of all of our crazy schedules, this meeting has become vital to minimizing stress in our week.
We go over what’s for dinner that week, if I’ll need the girls to make any of the meals (teach your kids to cook, it’s SO useful!), what events are going on, who is picking up and dropping off little man, etc.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 5 Time Saving Tips For Working Moms
Plus it’s a great time to open up a discussion for any concerns, praises, questions or comments about what’s been going on or what will go on, instead of trying to have these conversations while you’re flying by the seat of your pants.
Maybe this could be a 13-week goal, eh?
BONUS TIP: There’s an awesome app called Cozi that has been SO helpful for us! It has a family calendar, shopping lists, and to-do lists. Plus it’s very user-friendly. I tell the girls to put all of their activities, practices, and games into the app which saves me a lot of time, too!
How to Be Your Best Self: Your Tribe
They say you are the people you surround yourself with, so it’s important to surround yourself with people that build you up and make you want to be better.
It’s great to reflect on who is part of your tribe and whether or not they are a positive aspect of your life.
Let’s talk about some tips you can use to create an atmosphere that fosters being your best self.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 8 Ways an Entourage Can Help You
#10. Be Mindful of Your Circle
I’ve always told my girls that having four quarters is better than a hundred pennies when it comes to friends.
As we get older, we tend to desire deeper and more meaningful connections and less surface/fake/disloyal relationships.
In your journey to being your best self, it’s a good idea to take a look at the people in your circle and ask yourself these questions:
- Do they bring positivity to my life?
- Do they support my growth or do they want me to stay where they are?
- Do they involve themselves in my life because they truly care about me? (Or are they using you for an ulterior motive?)
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Make New Friends
Sometimes we don’t realize how much our circle affects our moods, feelings, routines, and habits. So it’s super important to take a regular look at the people around you, and weed out any relationships that don’t make you feel like you’re someone important to them.
#11. Keep In Touch
This is one of the hardest parts of nurturing relationships, especially for busy moms and career women. Creating a connection often doesn’t take much work, but maintaining it can be a whole ‘notha ball game.
I personally struggle with this part. I knew I would need a way to remind myself to nurture the relationships in my life, so we included an awesome planning sheet in your Best Self Workbook to help remind you and keep you accountable for maintaining these friendships.
It’s amazing what sending a simple, “I’m thinking about you and hope you have a wonderful day!” text can do for a relationship. It’s just remembering to do it that’s the problem!
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Find an Accountabiltiy Partner
#12. Less Judging, More Empathy
Have you ever taken a step back and realized that when you judge others, ridicule them or their choices, and/or make assumptions about people, you’re hurting yourself as well?
These types of thoughts often either bring negative emotions or are fueled by something in your life that might need to be addressed.
The bottom line, we are way less judgy towards ourselves because we understand our own intentions.
Practice trying to see the best in people, and always consider that there may be an aspect of a situation that you’re not seeing. If you can get really good at this, you set yourself free from unhelpful thoughts and emotions.
#13. Learn to Say No
Your time is precious, boo.
I have a special rule that I refer back to when I am deciding whether or not to commit.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 7 Ways to Avoid Burnout in Life
I ask myself if it is GNVT:
- Will this make me or others I care about feel good?
- Is it necessary? (school meeting, etc.)
- Does the activity align with your values?
- Do you have time? Is it important enough to make time?
If you can’t yes to any of these questions, then definitely politely decline. We have to stand up for our sanity more and more these days because there’s just so much going on.
To prevent burnout, overwhelm, and overall bad moods – ya gotta learn to say no!
How to Be Your Best Self: Glow Up, Baby
Let me ask you this – do you feel like your best self when you don’t feel put together? I know I don’t.
Here’s the thing: being “put together” means something different to every person, but ya gotta find your definition of it and strive to reach it more often than not.
Here are a few ways you can do that!
#14. Take Care of Your Skin
This one is pretty self-explanatory.
If you want to maintain a youthful, more vibrant look, take care of your skin!
If you aren’t even sure where to start, check out this guide on how to build a skincare routine.
#15. Get Moving
You already know that in order to be your best self, there has to be some physical activity of some sort in your day.
You don’t have to run on the dreaded treadmill for an hour or do squats until your legs are jelly.
Just find something you enjoy that makes you move around, and do it more often!
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Crush Your New Year's Fitness Goal
#16. Limit Eating Out/Learn to Cook
Without giving you a full-on nutrition lesson, this is a huge change you can make in your life that will substantially change the way you feel and look.
By limiting how often you eat out, you’re not only giving yourself the chance to eat healthier, you’re also saving money (unless you eat from the dollar menu every day).
And by learning to cook, (and I don’t mean boxed dinners but I also don’t mean a 5-star meal) you are eliminating many unhealthy additives restaurants use that you don’t even realize you’re eating.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Eat Healthy When You're Too Busy
This is another one that would make a great 13-week goal. How many times will you allow yourself to eat out per month? How many meals do you strive to cook per week?
A healthier you is one less drive-thru away!
#17. Get Yo’ Beauty Sleep
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night is so important for your health and your sanity.
Lack of sleep affects your whole body from your brain to your appearance, so make it a priority!
Check out our post about how to improve your bedroom for better sleep.
Set the mood, boo.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: The Best Nighttime Routine for Adults
#18. Small Things With Big Impact
You can look and feel like your best self, by making small changes. You don’t need a full makeover, either!
Do your face:
You don’t have to glam up every day, but at least maintain your eyebrows, put a little tinted moisturizer on, and some lip color. You’ll be amazed by how much these small things can increase your confidence!
Maintain your nails:
Go get them done for some “you time” or just keep them filed with a clear coat. You use your hands every day, make ‘em pretty!
👉🏽 RELATED POST: Small Changes that Make a Big Difference
Trim your hair every 2 months:
You knew the hairstylist was going to say something about this right? Not only is this a great self-care method, but it’s important for the health of your hair. See, split ends are like a run in your tights: if you don’t cut it off it will just keep breaking up the hair strand. I have so many people tell me their hair doesn’t grow, but it does, it’s just breaking off!
Another easy way to glow up a little! Put some earrings on, a necklace, a scarf, some cute little hair clips or a polka-dot scrunchie. Just make it look like you put some thought into how you look when you’re out and about. Ya never know when an opportunity can come up!
How to Be Your Best Self: You Boss Babe, You
Whether you work for yourself or someone else, we all have a natural desire to have a purpose in life. Take some time to explore what that is for you (if you don’t already know), and try to implement these tips to be your best self in the career world.
#19. Have a Vision
If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you get there?
Take some time every day (I do this as part of my gratitude routine) to visualize how you want your life to look.
I’m a believer in the Law of Attraction but so many people confuse “just picture what you want every day and it will happen” and “by visualizing how you want your life to look, you are way more likely to take the action to get there, and things will fall into place.”
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Make a Vision Board that Works
So get specific, close your eyes and feel what it feels like to be in your vision for your life.
It’s a very powerful activity if you do it regularly, I promise.
We’ve included this is your Best Self Workbook as well!
#20. Keep Learning
Seeking out new information is the easiest way to get over burnout. Find something that inspires you and learn more about it.
Udemy is an awesome vault of educational videos and courses at very low prices, and they have damn near every subject you could think of!
We have way too much information at our fingertips to not take advantage of it!
#21. Constant Forward Motion
Progress is progress, boo. Whether it’s a giant leap forward or an itty bitty tiny baby step, it’s still forward.
Focus your efforts on moving towards your goals in any way possible, and you will eventually get there.
And more than anything, don’t be hard on yourself if you didn’t accomplish what you planned. If you planned a giant leap but only got your baby step, find joy in that fact that you moved forward nonetheless.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: Inspirational Keep Moving Forward Quotes
#22. Be Open to a New Path
In relation to constant forward motion, it’s also important to note that your path will change along the way, and ya gotta work on being okay with that!
Sometimes you start with a goal and you get halfway through it and realize it’s not actually something you want, but maybe it led you to find something you do want?
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Accept When Your Goal Changes
Maybe it didn’t, but that’s okay too. It is still progress to eliminate a goal that you aren’t truly passionate about. It just means you’re freeing yourself and your time to work on something that does inspire you!
Where to Go From Here
With the start of a new year, the atmosphere is full of “new beginning” vibes.
It can be extremely inspiring, but maybe it paralyzes you because you find yourself asking, “How do I become myself when I don’t know what I want or who I am?”
I hope that this guide helped you clear some of that up.
You can also check out our guide about creating a personal mission statement – which is something you can always refer back to when you feel lost.
Even if you don’t know exactly what that looks like yet.
Get Your Best Year Ever Printable Planner
We’ve created this awesome Best Year Ever Planner for you to print out and use to guide you through this journey of creating your best life.
So, grab your favorite pen, put on your fuzzy socks, and get to dreamin’ boo.
Which tip are you the most excited to work on? What will change your life the most? Tell me below in the comments!
How will you become your best self?
More About Guest Contributor
Tiffinie is a wife, mama of three, hairstylist, and blogger addicted to becoming a better version of herself every day and helping other women do the same. Connect with her at Hey Pretty Girl.