Personal Growth. . .
Everyone has areas in their life that they wish to improve. But why do most of us have such a hard time achieving our personal goals? Having a well-defined personal growth plan can help us identify goals, acquire skills and develop habits in any area of our life.
Personal growth is a never-ending journey. Our areas of improvement are largely formed by the people around us since we are young. As we mature, we have a greater sense of self-awareness and can actively take actions to improve ourselves.
Throughout life, we develop skills just by interacting with stimuli like the people and things around us. These skills are learned and used in our everyday lives, but by actively seeking ways to enhance these skills, you’re able to realize your full potential and set goals that will help you achieve things in your life no matter what comes your way.
Create a personal development plan – As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” The best way to ensure you achieve everything you want is to create a self-development plan. Sitting down to map out your personal development journey helps to make it more real and gives you something to look back on if you ever feel unsure of the path you’re taking.
When creating a personal development plan, there are a few things you should include:
- A clear vision of where you want to be and why
- A list of actions you will need to perform to achieve your vision
- The skills you currently have and the skills you need to develop to achieve your vision
- A priority of those actions and skills
Having clarity around the ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ is essential to beginning your journey to self-improvement and, once you’ve finished this step, it will be a lot easier to narrow your focus and achieve your goals.
Set goals – No good strategy is complete without goals; just ask any of the top athletes, performers and business people. Goals provide us with long-term direction and short-term motivation, giving us a target to work towards, rather than waiting for things to happen. If you’ve never set goals before, I recommend the well-known SMART criteria for goal setting. You should be making each goal specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timed. Using these criteria, you should be able to focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving the goals you’ve defined.
Expand your circle – One of the best ways to enhance your personal development is to surround yourself with like-minded people. You can do this through networking events, conferences and events on topics that interest you. Not only are you developing your interpersonal and communication skills, but you can also learn a lot from interacting with other personality types. You might even establish relationships that can be beneficial for you or others in your network in the future.
Get a mentor – If you need breakthrough, accelerated growth or understanding in a particular area of your life, using a personal development mentor might be a good idea. Not only do mentors help guide you on your self-improvement journey, but they will usually have helped many others with similar journeys, so they understand what you’re going through and what you’re trying to achieve. And often, those mentors will have a mentor guiding them as well! I like to say that mentoring helps us to understand ourselves, which is vital in leading other people. We all have blind spots, and it often takes an objective outsider to help us see them and manage them better.
Measure your achievements – I touched on this when talking about setting goals; it’s important to do regular check-ins with your personal development to ensure you are on the right track. It is also important to celebrate your achievements, to remind yourself of how much you have grown. Acknowledging and reflecting on how much you’ve grown is a personal development skill in itself.
Regular check-ins are important, but you should also evaluate yourself once you have achieved a certain goal, gained another skill or improved a certain area of your life. The more self-evaluation you can do, the closer you’ll be to self-empowerment.
However, you decide to start your personal development journey; just remember the skills you learn are a worthy investment. And you can never go wrong when you are investing in your mind, your life and your understanding.
Peace and Love, Jim