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How to Become Your Favorite Version of Yourself in the New Year

Because the “best you” is overrated and unattainable

Mickenzie here from the Onsite team.

Recently, I found a piece of wisdom that completely changed how I want to approach this new year in an unlikely place: a fitness app. 

I was in the midst of a workout that I started more out of shame and guilt than desire. Over the last few years, I’ve realized that one of the best things I can do for my mental, physical, and emotional health is to move my body. When I do it, I never regret it. But like so many things I know will help me, I struggle to prioritize it. And if I do end up getting around to doing it, I often do it in the wrong spirit.   

I pressed play on my app and began despite myself. I was tired, cranky, and frankly beating myself up for the long lapse between this and my last workout.

Then, I heard a phrase that shifted everything for me. When the workout got tough, and we were doing more reps than I thought my arms might be able to handle, the instructor said, “Aim toward being your favorite version of yourself.”   

Your favorite version of yourself.  

That phrase hit me square between the eyes. 

Best You vs. Favorite You  

In a season with a lot of demand for my time, attention, and energy, it can be incredibly difficult to make space to do things to care for myself. But simultaneously, I feel a lot of pressure and guilt for not finding that time.  

It only takes a few swipes through my social media feed to feel overwhelmed and stressed out—like I need to be doing more. There are plenty of places around me to find standards for which I don’t measure up. I can quickly find myself in a shame spiral, berating myself for not actively working to become the “best version of myself.”   

“Become the best version of yourself.”   

Have you heard that phrase? Perhaps it was from a well-meaning person or an inspirational figure telling you to focus on that ideal version of yourself—somewhere out there. You can see them, right?   

  • They get up early.  
  • They always have the right answer to the question.  
  • They’re not striving but instead thriving.   
  • They’re untouchable, unshakable, and—let’s be honest—unattainable.   

When we chase the best version of ourselves, we lose before we’ve even begun.   

External voices determine our definition of best. We measure ourselves by someone else’s standard of success. When we do this, we find ourselves chasing goals that never fulfill us. Running in contests where we crossed the finish line only to find we were in the wrong race. It’s a losing game to achieve something that we think will lead to happiness and purpose but ultimately leads to dissatisfaction, burnout, and fatigue.   

But when we pursue our favorite version of ourselves, we can connect to our most authentic desires.   

We can find the purpose, passion, and contentment we’ve always wanted. We get to celebrate ourselves in process. We pursue a life that embraces rest, sustainability, and true joy.

We get to measure success by our personal values.   

Instead of external voices, we tune into the quiet knowing within ourselves.   

Rethinking Resolutions  

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve chased that “best” version of myself for most of my life. I’ve set unrealistic goals based on things I thought I should do. I’ve pursued habits that would shape me into that ideal version of myself. But for me, these types of resolutions are disconnected from my truest desires and intentions. I have a feeling I’m not alone in this strategy. That may be why 43% of us quit our New Year’s Resolution by the end of January. 

This year, let’s rethink resolutions.  

What if instead of aiming for the best version of ourselves, based on the ideals of some nebulous external voice, we connected with ourselves and set goals aligned with becoming our favorite version of ourselves?  

I have a feeling it would be less about setting goals that keep us hustling for our worth and more about creating sustainable, enjoyable, and present rhythms for our lives. 

Questions to Connect to Your Favorite Version of Yourself   
  • When you imagine your favorite version of yourself, what words would you use to describe them?  
  • What do they prioritize?   
  • How do they carry themselves?  
  • What daily habits or rhythms would help you become your favorite version of yourself?  
  • How could your favorite version of yourself shift from day to day?  
  • When was the last time you felt connected to this version of yourself?  
  • How does your favorite self differ from your image of your best self? 

May this be the year you come more into yourself and find the connection, peace, and presence you deserve.