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Living Well

Upgrade Your Life in 2024 | Unconventional Advice From An MD

December 27, 2023

I’m Kim.
I’m an M.D.-turned-entrepreneur and I’m dedicated to helping you build your dream career + lifestyle. Welcome to my blog, where I write (and podcast) about wellness, business + success!
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As 2023 ends and the new year begins, you’re probably inundated with tips and tricks for making 2024 your best year yet.

You might have noticed that most of this conventional self-improvement wisdom centers on setting goals and resolutions. But, if you’re among the 80% of people whose New Year resolutions always fail, I recommend taking a fresh perspective on upgrading your life this year.


And that’s what I’m talking about in this week’s YouTube video and article. So, if you’re ready to make a real change, read on for some eye-opening, out-of-the-box advice!

The 2 Things That Block Us From Personal Transformation

Before we get into the strategies for effectively upgrading our lives, I want to discuss what prevents us from becoming our best selves.

It is all to do with our identity and self-concept

If we have low self-esteem and do not see ourselves as worthy of becoming better, no matter the goals or intentions we set, we will always struggle to achieve them.

For example, if, on a deep level, you do not feel that you deserve to have the body of your dreams, you will continue to (unknowingly) self-sabotage your diet and fitness efforts.

So, how can we overcome our self-sabotaging tendencies and elevate our identity and self-concept?

There are three elements you should focus on:

  1. Non-negotiables
  2. Standards
  3. Boundaries

Let’s explore each of these elements.

Establishing Your Non-negotiables

Our non-negotiables are our fundamental, unchanging beliefs. You might know them as your principles and values, things you are unwilling to compromise on.

These core beliefs serve as the backbone of your identity and self-concept, representing and reinforcing the essence of who you are and what you stand for.

We feel good about ourselves and our decisions when we have and uphold firmly established non-negotiables.

However, when we are unclear on our core beliefs, we are more likely to compromise them or allow external forces to influence them, which negatively impacts our identity and self-image.

Our non-negotiables can be values like honesty, integrity, respect, family, freedom, etc. 

Let’s say one of your non-negotiables is family. When opportunities arise in your life, you will only consider them if they do not require you to significantly compromise on quality family time. 

So, you might take an opportunity that requires you to go away for one weekend. But you likely won’t take an opportunity that requires you to be away from home for one weekend EVERY month. 

Upgrading Your Standards

Standards are the set of expectations we have that guide our behaviors, choices, and actions. 

The key difference between non-negotiables and standards is that non-negotiables are fixed and tend to remain the same as we grow and improve. 

Standards, on the other hand, are flexible. They change as we evolve, and we tend to adjust them based on our goals and circumstances.

Our standards serve as a tool for upgrading certain aspects of our lives. They help us overcome our limiting beliefs and become the person we aspire to be.

Let me explain how…

Let’s go back to the previous example of wanting to have your dream body but not believing you are worthy of it.

To overcome that limiting belief, you must establish and adopt the standards of someone who ALREADY HAS their dream body.

One standard would be to work out daily, even if you don’t feel like it. So, to become a woman with a slim and toned body, you’ll have to adopt this standard.

Another example is if you want to become a more positive and grateful person.

One standard this person would have is starting every day by writing down what they are grateful for. 

So, to become more positive and grateful, this is the behavior/habit you need to cultivate.

Defining Your Boundaries

While our non-negotiables and standards are about how we see ourselves, boundaries are about how others see us.

When we set boundaries, we establish rules around how we interact with the world and others. This determines how others view and treat us. 

Our boundaries show what we will and will not tolerate, allow, and be available for. 

So, by setting healthy boundaries, we protect ourselves from being taken advantage of, which in turn enhances our self-image and identity. In other words, the more we assert ourselves through boundaries, the higher we view ourselves. 

However, setting boundaries is just the first step. We must clearly communicate them to others and continue to uphold them, no matter what. 

So, how exactly do you get clear on your non-negotiables, ensure your standards align with the person you want to be, and build and protect firm boundaries?

In this week’s YouTube video, I guide you through these three strategies, giving you the required tools to step into your power in 2024.

Watch the full YouTube video here:

If you prefer an audio-only version, here’s where you can listen to the podcast episode:

Once you do the exercises detailed in the episode, I’d love for you to share your insights.

  • What are your non-negotiables?
  • What standards will you work to upgrade this year?
  • And what is one new boundary you will set?

Let me in the comments below or find me on Instagram and send me a DM!


Resources Mentioned:

Download my free Change Your Mindset Change Your Life workbook: https://drkimfoster.com/mindset


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