It is sometimes easy to get carried away with the ‘what ifs’, we get it.
What if I was this, or that, what if I was the best version of myself. It is quite natural to think that you are not the Ideal You, as personal development is an almost unending journey.
However, what if we could suggest a helpful way to both recognise the Ideal You and how to get there? Well, this is it. Keep reading to find out how to take your journey to personal development to the next level.
To make this most beneficial, we will illustrate our points using the example of ‘Angelo’, a graduate aiming for both personal and professional success, as well as focussing on holistic living as an approach to this betterment.
‘Angelo’ will hopefully be a helpful example of how to integrate these tips into a daily routine.
Visualise and Prioritise
The route to the Ideal You starts with establishing exactly what the Ideal You looks like. Is your Ideal You getting 6 monthly promotions? Is your Ideal You going to daily spin classes? The possibilities are endless.
When visualising the Ideal You, you should try to visualise and prioritise exactly what matters most to you. For example, if your Ideal You has a stronger relationship with their partner, then it is evident that this is a priority and should be treated as such.
On the opposite side, if your Ideal You only eats junk food once a week, but currently you find that most meals are actually ‘junk’ food, then this practice needs to be reprioritised into something that aligns with what actually matters to the Ideal You.
Angelo: When Angelo thinks about their Ideal You, they recognise that what is really important is that they make time for their loved ones. When visualising the Ideal You and deciding to focus on this priority, they realise they have been neglecting their loved ones a bit in comparison to their career, which consumes every waking hour. Therefore, Angelo recognises the priority most important to their Ideal You is a reasonable work/life balance.
Once you have gathered the priorities best aligned to the Ideal You, it is important to set realistic goals to track your progress. By setting goals, the mind is placed in an ‘active’ setting, meaning that it is consciously aware of the set priorities in most of the things you do. Without this goal-setting step, it would be both impossible to track the changes you are making, and the self-confidence boost the completion of the goals provide would be lost.
Angelo: As Angelo’s priority is to make more time for their family, which suggests their need for a better work/life balance, one of their goals would need to reflect this. For example, one of their realistic goals could be to make sure they always finish work no later than 7pm and always have Sundays off to see friends and family.
Another vital part of the journey towards the Ideal You, is making like- minded connections. Some people believe in the idea that ‘you are who you associate with’, and in this instance, it could not be more true. It is important that the network around you reflects both your goals and the Ideal You as a way to motivate, encourage, and inspire you. One simple way to do this is to subscribe to a motivational online journal which may send inspiring emails and/or affirmations straight to your inbox.
We recommend checking out Austin Kleon’s Newsletter for that. This newsletter sends inspiring content such as art, writing, and inspirational links every Friday morning.
Making like-minded connections does not mean to cut out those who are struggling or finding life particularly difficult, but rather to have an awareness that the environment that you situate yourself in needs to have a positive effect on the route to the Ideal You, not a negative one.
Angelo: Ever since Angelo started their new job, they have begun to feel like they are not associating with the ‘right’ people. The group of work friends Angelo normally spends lunch breaks with are normally late to work, take too long breaks and like to badmouth the boss. They feel like it is time to expand beyond this group and join those on the route to professional success.
Let Them Know
A vital step on the route to the Ideal You, is to let the people closest to you know that you are on this self-betterment journey and that you need their help! Whether it is through help and guidance with sticking to your goals, or just positive encouragement, everyone needs someone on their team. Telling the people closest to you that you are working towards the Ideal You makes the whole exercise much less daunting and is a way to connect (or reconnect) with family and friends that want the best for you.
Angelo: When Angelo told their partner that they were undertaking this journey of the Ideal You, their partner was delighted for them! Not only that, but their partner made sure that they were home by 7.30pm at the latest and that they spent every Sunday away from emails. With their help, Angelo was more inspired to stick to their goals.
The You Outside of Work
There is more to life than work. This does not mean that your career should take a backseat, or that you should not strive for that promotion or your dream job. It does mean, however, that we are not robots sent onto this earth to work, work, work and nothing else.
Think of it this way, if you can talk all day about your job (it is great that you are passionate, don’t get us wrong!) but not about the you outside of work, there needs to be some adjustment.
When someone asks ‘what do you like to do’ and you are struggling to answer, make time for that improvement! One way you could try do this is by signing up to a social media page that hosts events in your area. It’s an easy way to get a good habit started, there is no commitment needed, but if you see a post that piques your interest then it might be worth a try.
After a while, and after trying a few different things, it is possible that you might find something that really connects with you. Ultimately, it is time to embrace the infamous slogan; “Work to Live, Not Live to Work”.
Angelo: They decided, after the encouragement of their partner, to join a local knitting club which they saw advertised on a local social media page. They went 4 times on a no-commitment basis and were able to knit their partner a jumper for their birthday. Angelo appreciates that they have something outside of work to enjoy and find themselves in.
The Ideal You
As previously mentioned, the journey to the Ideal You is exactly that – a journey.
A journey of self improvement, personal and professional development, and ultimately a task in truly understanding yourself. By embarking on this task, you recognise that you are wanting the best for yourself.
Everyone’s ‘best’ is different, but it is really important to establish what you want for your life, and make choices that will actively bring this about.
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