Be the Best Version of You (+ free downloadable template)

We all have moments where we feel we aren’t living up to our own potential. That we aren’t fulfilling the best version of ourselves we can be.

But taking that thought into action is an entirely different game – and it’s not an easy one.

If you’re ready to work towards becoming the best version of you that you can be, without strict rules and regimens that fill you with nothing but anxiety and dread, this guide is for you!

What does it mean to be the “best version of you”?

This is the basic foundation of your entire journey, and yet so many people completely misunderstand this concept. Many people will see someone they admire online or in-person and decide that their best self is to do what their “role model” is doing.

The problem is, you have a completely different background and journey to anyone else on your planet. And so, to try and replicate someone else’s “best” is not only unfeasible but also a quick route to anxiety and depression.

Instead, finding the best version of yourself is all about seeing who you are as a person and what you can realistically achieve. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about self-improvement.

What is your motivation?

Understanding why you want to embark on this journey will help you stay on course when times get tough – which no matter how gently you take the journey, it will get tough at times. 

So, you need to ensure that your motivation for change is strong enough for you. Especially if you are someone that finds changing their habits particularly difficult.

The best thing you can do is write your motivation somewhere you will be able to see it – maybe as a poster somewhere in your room or post-it notes you stick around your mirror.

What does the best version of you look like?

The final pre-journey step is to map out what the best version of you looks like. Be as specific as possible. What is their daily routine? How do they interact with their loved ones? What are their priorities?

Make a character profile for the best version of you, so you have a clear vision in your mind. Split it into four categories:

  1. Physical attributes
  1. Hobbies and Interests
  1. Routines, Habits, and Behaviour
  1. Relationships 

And don’t forget that it needs to be things that you can achieve. If you push it too far, it: a) becomes unachievable and b) will make you quit before you make any progress.

Besides which, the best you doesn’t have to be the best person in the world (who even is??), but rather an improved version of who you are right now.

We’ve created a template for you to download and add to your journal to help you get clear on who the best version of you is.


Five steps to becoming the best version of you

1. Let go of societal pressures

How many times do you tell yourself “I should” or “I must”? These are pressurised, loaded phrases we tell ourselves because we are trying to fit into something that doesn’t quite align with who we are or what we want.

If you are trying to fulfil objectives that don’t make you feel good because you think it’s expected of you, it’s going to be hard to get it done.

Things like you “should” go to the gym, or you “must” have a side hustle.

You don’t need to go to the gym to stay fit, and you don’t have to have a side hustle to make money. Find your own path – it’s the quickest one to the best version of you. 

And often, “should” and “must” lead to anxiety, which leads to procrastination, feeling overwhelmed, and feeling guilty. 

Instead, work on implementing kind structures or routines into your day that help you get the job done. Things like fun activities to get you excited and rewards for getting started.

2. Take small steps

How big is the bridge between where you are now and the version of you that you want to be? Probably quite big, or you wouldn’t be reading this article. No matter how far the gap is, it’s achievable. But only if you take it one small step at a time. 

We’re not looking for quick fixes that don’t last, and that means you need to get used to each change you make. 

That’s why it’s best to take the smallest of steps as you progress. Does the best version of you cook all their meals at home but the current you orders takeaways every day?

Then start by making one easy meal that you enjoy every week. It could even be a homemade version of your favourite takeaway if you’re not quite ready to give it up. Once you’re used to cooking once a week, you can move up to twice a week – and so on, and so forth. 

The point is, don’t worry about being perfect or embracing your best self in one go. Take it slowly, and you’ll find you progress in a way that lasts.

Small steps

3. Expand your comfort zone

You may have heard people say that in order to grow, you need to leave your comfort zone. But for some people, that can be too daunting.

So instead, we’re recommending that you expand your comfort zone.

But what does that mean?

It means doing the things you are comfortable with while pushing yourself to incorporate some things you are less comfortable with and repeating until the new element becomes comfortable for you.

For example, let’s say the best version of you likes going to your local café to read alone. But right now, you feel awkward sitting in a café alone.

Instead of trying to go alone on your first try, go with a friend, but then sit at separate tables for five minutes. Build your way up to eventually going to the café alone.

The same methodology can be applied to almost anything you want to do to bridge the gap from who you are today to who you envision your best self to be.

Find the thread that links the two and slowly bring the uncomfortable changes into your comfort zone until they live there, too.

4. Find ways to stay accountable 

It’s easy to ditch your self-improvement journey if no one else knows about it. So if you want to make it stick, you should think about finding an accountability buddy. 

That could look like this: 

-   Texting a friend or loved one a roundup of the activities you did to contribute to your journey

-   Keeping a journal that tracks your progress, emotions, and activities

-   Starting an online blog or Twitter page that chronicles your journey in all its ups and downs

Whatever works for you, implement it. 


5. Embrace failure 

As we said earlier, failure is an inevitability on this journey.

We see failure as a bad thing that proves how rubbish we are. But actually, failure shows us where we can improve. And so, failure is actually the greatest driver of success. 

And if you don’t believe us, maybe you’ll believe the long list of entrepreneurs and famous people that failed many times over before they found their success. People like Steven Spielberg, who was rejected from the cinematic arts course at University, or Oprah, who was fired from her first TV job.

They were able to embrace failure but not let it define them, continuing their journeys until they eventually found their success. 

Failure doesn’t mean you should quit. 

When you fail, you have two options:

1 – learn the lesson from your mistake 

2 – give up

The first course of action will make you stronger and keep you on your path to your best self. The second one throws out all the great work you’ve done thus far and ensures you go no further (at least at this time).

So embracing failure is essential to your success.

Are you ready to become the best version of yourself?

It’s never too late to start making steps to improve yourself. Becoming your best self takes hard work, consistency, and a lot of mistakes along the way, but it’s worth it.

Just think of who you can be in six months’ time if you choose to start your journey today. Are you ready to become the best version of yourself? Let us know in the comments!

For more life inspiration, visit us on Instagram at @malpaper

Be the Best Version of You (+ free downloadable template)

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Mål Paper also takes inspiration from the Scandinavian minimalist and clutter-free way of living.

As a result, we create simplistic and effective productivity tools that help you to focus on your wellness, fulfilment and potential.