First of all, let’s briefly explore what is meant by the ‘Best Version of Myself’. ‘Myself’ is the operative word in this title. It doesn’t mean becoming a super-human that works 30 hours a day, 8 days a week. It doesn’t mean spending every waking moment doing amazing things that change the world.
What it is does mean, is recognising that there are behaviours and attitudes that are optimum for me… Recognising that I have vices to satisfy, I need to sleep, I need to eat; I am, frustratingly, human. That said, I can be disciplined with my vices, get quality sleep, and eat well…
This is an ongoing process for me, slowly introducing or removing habits as life progresses. I quit smoking at 21, at 24 I stopped having milk and sugar in coffee, at 26 I learned how to cook dishes from scratch with spices, at 27 I started practising mindfulness to help with sleep (to varying degrees of success).
What I’ve learned, is that the best approach to become a better person is to take it one step at a time, push out of the comfort zone until that becomes comfortable, then push again, repeating until satisfied or dead. Preferably the latter (because I want to continually improve, not die).
I’ve also learnt that you need to work out what goals are worth it. Am I ever going to eat well enough and do enough sit ups to have washboard abs? No. Can I do my best and if I get the right lighting at the right angle, I can convince myself I have a bit of tone? Feasibly.
This is a good time in my life for a few reasons to reflect and look at what I can do now to become better. What habits should I introduce? And what habits do I need to remove?
Well, I quit a horrible habit. Pokemon GO. I admit I was addicted to that damn game. And I was pretty darn good at it, too. However, it wasn’t good for me, what a damn waste of mental energy on something that is essentially worthless to anyone outside of the community. Sure, it got me out and about, but I do that anyway. Sure, I met new people, but, as with any addiction, they were just enablers.
I am in no way criticising people who play Pokemon GO. I needed to quit to become the best version of me. The best version of me doesn’t play a game literally every time he is walking somewhere. Realistically, the best version of me will still play some video games, it’s been such a big part of my life that I can’t see a time where it won’t be my go-to escapism. Let’s face it, it’s better for your brain than Love Island (I assume, I’ve never watched it).
What have I introduced? I have (re)introduced books and exercise. Once staples of my existence, they have fallen to the wayside, which I am embarrassed to say. I am particularly embarrassed that I have let reading slip. I am currently reading a book on Social Construction.
For exercise, I have taken to the MARSOC Short Card, which is tough but satisfying. I have yet to reach full sets as I am weak, but I’ll get there. I have opted not to join the gym during this transitionary period before moving to another place for work (I hope).
I am now comfortable with not using Pokemon GO; it hasn’t been on my phone for a number of weeks now. I still get the urge to play it, but the barrier of having to download the app acts as a good de-motivator. Reading everyday is still outside of the comfort zone. That’s not to say it’s uncomfortable, it’s just not part of my routine yet. When it has become part of the routine, I will add something else to the routine.
The same is true with exercise, I am doing exercise most days. To use a terrible cliche, sometimes life gets in the way. And it does. But that’s a pretty poor excuse, so there’s room to be more disciplined there.
Once I’ve made exercise and reading a habit, I will tackle learning a second language, something that I have also let drift away from me. Then the next thing.
The key takeaway here (I think) is: to become the best version of yourself, increase the activities you think will make you great, decrease the ones that won’t; don’t rush the process, you’ll get there over time.
For now, This is All.