Ever since you were a young child, you’ve been setting and achieving goals for yourself over and over again, even if you haven’t realized it! Setting goals for yourself gives you a sense of direction in life, and the steps you take to achieve those goals help you develop as a human. Setting personal development goals for yourself can help you face your fears and move forward in life feeling successful and satisfied.
Why Are Goals Important?
Without goals, we wouldn’t get anywhere in life. Why do you spend your time studying when you could be watching television? Why do you wake up and run a mile every morning when all of your friends are still asleep in bed? It’s simple to take the easy way out if you don’t feel passionate about anything. If you never wanted to get a career, you wouldn’t bother spending your time studying when you could be participating in activities that are far more fun. If you didn’t want to be physically fit, you wouldn’t exhaust yourself running every single morning and you’d stay curled up in bed instead.
Without goals, we are stagnant people. Goals help us control our emotions and our fears, and push through our most difficult times in order to see the light at the other end. Nothing can be achieved without effort, and as humans we tend to be lazy unless we have a particular end goal in mind. Goals help keep us occupied and focused on a certain task, which in turn helps us develop as people.
If you have never run before and you enter yourself into a marathon on a whim, odds are you’ll find yourself exhausted a couple of minutes into the race and your self-esteem will suffer. The trick is to start with smaller goals and work your way up to the larger ones. If you want to run a marathon, why not assign yourself the goal of running around your block once without stopping? Once you can do that, run around it twice, then three times, and so on. Before you know it, you’ll have trained so much that you can run a marathon with no problem! By succeeding at your smaller goals, you’ll boost your self-confidence and give yourself the motivation you need in order to achieve larger goals.
What Does Personal Development Consist Of?
Personal development can be almost anything that helps you progress, no matter how big or how small. Whether you want to learn how to draw a perfect circle by hand or are training to climb to the top of Mount Everest, you have a goal in mind that is going to help you develop yourself. A personal development goal doesn’t always need to consist of one large “success” at the end of a long road. You could set a personal development goal of helping others more often, and the goal isn’t necessarily completed when you sign up for volunteer work. It can be something that you work on for years and years to come; you may volunteer at a soup kitchen, take more time to help your siblings with their homework and start a conversation with someone who is sitting alone at lunch.
Personal development is constant; every day you participate in some task that is helping you grow as a person, regardless of whether or not you realize it.
Where to Start
How do you set your own personal development goals? Sit down and think about everything you have ever wanted to do. Have you always wanted to learn Spanish? Have you always wished that you were more social, could play the trombone, or paint with watercolors? Make a list of every hobby you have wanted to take up and every personality trait you have wanted to exude.
It’s important to note that having one particular goal in mind is easier than having 20 different goals in mind. Start with a simple, easily attainable goal and also come up with an “end” goal. This end goal could be anything from being nice to others all the time to composing your own symphony. The beginning goal should be one little stepping stone to your end goal. Pick a personality trait or a hobby on your list, and then make a list of all of the small goals that you need to achieve before achieving the end goal.
It’s difficult to start if you don’t know where you’re starting or where you’re ending. By making a list of your goals and outlining a clear way to achieve them, you’ll have more of an idea of what you need to be doing daily to achieve those goals.
If you’re unsure of where to begin, maybe some of these examples of personal development goals will help spark an idea.
- Develop an exercise routine that you will stick to, whether it be doing yoga every morning, taking time to hike a couple of times a week or lifting weights at the gym.
- Find peace in your spirituality. Whether you want to learn more about Christianity, Buddhism, Paganism or simply reconnecting with the Earth, find something that can bring you peace in times of hardship.
- Eat healthier! This can consist of adding an extra couple pieces of fruit and vegetables into your meals every day, or opting to make one day a week a strictly vegetarian day.
- Read more. Find a genre of books that interest you (these can be fiction or non-fiction), and just begin. Even if you’re not a reader, books on cooking, knitting or space travel can both fascinate you and increase your knowledge at the same time.
- Be friendlier to others – even if it’s just smiling at someone you pass every day. You’d be surprised how much of a difference a simple smile makes, and sometimes a casual “hello” is all someone needs to make it through their day.
- Be more positive. When something gets you down, don’t wallow in your negativity! Find ways to bring your mood back up, whether it be meditating for a half an hour or watching your favorite television show. Even participating in a meaningless task can help you develop if that task is helping you become a more positive person.
- Manage your time better. Do you find yourself clicking on Facebook every 10 minutes? Set a goal for yourself that you won’t touch any social media for an entire hour, then two hours, then three hours. Your mind has a lot of control over your body. The more you tell yourself you’re going to focus on your work, the more you actually will focus on your work.
- Pick up a new hobby. Have you always wanted to knit a sweater? Start by learning the basics of knitting, then knit a simple scarf, and then finally work your way into knitting your own clothing.
Anything you want to improve about yourself can be a personal development goal, and these goals don’t always have to be extraordinary. No one becomes the person they wish to be overnight; life is all about learning and growing day by day.
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