There are many reasons why you may want to become a better version of yourself. You may want to have healthier relationships, friendships and a more harmonious family life. Employability is another factor you might be thinking about. Personal happiness and life satisfaction are also major reasons to take a proactive approach to self-improvement.

Set goals

Do you have an ideal version of yourself in mind? Or maybe you have certain skills or attitudes in mind that you’re hoping to improve.

Without clearly defined goals, you may end up sleepwalking through life, working hard but not sure what exactly you’re trying to achieve.

Try brainstorming a few simple ways you’d like to become a better version of yourself, without thinking too hard about it. Then take a step back and assess the WHY that underpins your ideas.

Once you have found your primary motivation, you have discovered something valuable about yourself. It has hopefully generated some enthusiasm and laid the foundation to start thinking about steps you can take to move forwards.

Relax the expectations

Don’t be too draconian about the goals you set for yourself. Remember that while it’s good to aim for something, goals are moveable and flexible. Perfectionism can be self-destructive, as it has fear at its root (the fear of not being absolutely perfect).

It’s much healthier to come from a place of hopefulness and self-understanding when you aim for something. Be patient with yourself and allow the process to run a natural course, rather than a rushed one.

Try something new

Lifestyle changes help you feel like you are changing direction for the better and giving yourself a chance to learn new things about yourself.

Our brains are naturally curious, so taking up a new hobby or reading into a new topic of interest can create new neural pathways and renew your zest for life.

You may even have a health goal you’d like to achieve that has been in the back of your mind for a while. For example, if your vision isn’t quite what it could be, you might benefit from trying coloured contact lenses.

Have compassion

There’s one core attitude shift that very likely needs to happen for your self-improvement goals to be met, and that’s a shift toward compassion.

Having compassion for other living beings fulfils our natural human need to be socially connected. Research shows that it is one of the most powerful ways to promote your health and well-being.

And if you’re thinking that you’re already a compassionate person, ask yourself whether you extend the same level of care to yourself that you give other people. If you have pets, ask yourself whether you give your well-being the same level of personal investment as you do theirs (for some of us, the surprising answer is no!).

If you’re beating yourself up about something but you’ve done all you can to rectify the situation, you may even like to try writing a self-compassionate letter to yourself. This strategy has been shown to help people deal with life’s stressors.

What steps, big or small, can you start taking to become your best self?