I hear this word a lot from different quarters and I often wonder what it’s like to apply this to not just image, but all areas of life. It’s a bit of a buzzword, but still interesting to explore. Here’s the definition:

op’-ti-mize:  to make as perfect, effective or functional as possible

These are three wonderful words; perfect, effective and functional. Think of ‘perfect’ as the best version of you. Create your perfect image and perfect self from an internal point of view rather than from some external reference. ‘Effective’ means that your image communicates the right message for you.  Your image is ‘ready for service or action’. ‘Functional’ means that your image works for you.  It is ‘used to contribute to the development or maintenance of a larger whole’.

Optimizing your image is a type of personal growth and requires planning. Despite what TV shows demonstrate, it’s more than just ‘getting a new look’. It’s about becoming your best self, inside and out. Like any other goal or intention, you will need a plan to get you there. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Think: Imagine your best self. What would you be, do or have if you had that optimized appearance, behaviour and communication?

Write: With that vision clear in your mind, write it down in positive, present tense statements.

Set your priorities: Decide which area to start with.

Research:  Look for service providers to help you, books to read or websites to browse.

Plan: Decide on a budget or see if there are things you can start on for free. Set a timeline with manageable achievement steps monthly.

Act: Whatever area you want to optimize, this is the most important step. Make that call, sign up for that class, smile more often. Start small if you need to, and get started.

What do you think of ‘optimize’ as a way of looking at your image?