5 techniques to reach your personal development goals
Life without growth is no life for us right? Who wants to stay exactly the way they are forever? Other than aging (yes, we’d all love to stay 25) we have to stay fresh and agile in an ever evolving society. Tech is constantly changing, and we have to keep up or be replaced! But this post isn’t strictly about developing professionally, but rather, we’ll cover personal development goals and how you can reach them.
An example of personal development plan
First things first, you need to write out what your personal development goals are. This will take a little pen and pencil time, but it’s good to have a physical representation of your intent. Print out the image below, work through the questions, and pin it somewhere you’ll see it every day. I suggest in your bathroom or bedroom. Once you have your list of personal goals, then we can start achieving them.
Courtesy of Healthy Lifestyle Living
How do we achieve our personal development goals? It starts with our daily habits. Below are some recommendations and suggestions to help your along your journey of self growth.
Read Personal Development Books
This one is quick and easy, it’s all about building a morning habitual routine you actually look forward to. In a few words, the author uses what he refers to as Life S.A.V.E.R.S which is an acronym for activities that should be done every day within an hour’s time. Not to spoil the book…but the pracices are;
Silence-meditation and stillness.
Affirmations- positive sayings you repeat to yourself.
Visualizations- time spent imaging your goals coming true or where you want to be in the future.
Exercise- some kind of physical activity to get the heart pumping.
Reading- a good chance to read one of the books mentioned in this section.
Scribing- journaling or writing your thoughts or feelings on paper.
A very lighthearted approach to the psychology of what makes us happy, Daniel Gilbert walks us through the inner workings of the mind as we attempt to plan our own happiness, and why it seems to never last. Here are a few key ideas that stuck with me.
Dopamine, that wonderful little chemical cocktail that’s released in the mind that makes us feel good, was not designed to continually provide pleasure, but only to reinforce a good decision. If we ate an apple, and we only felt the dopamine rush once and it lasted forever, we’d never eat another apple, and die of starvation. So in our world, if we do something that makes us feel happy, it won’t last forever.
Surrogate living is the practice of analyzing other people’s choices and decisions that relate to your own inorder to decide if the same decision is what’s best for you.
In the end, life is about the pursuit of happiness, or finding that which makes you feel motivated to continue growing. There is nothing that single handedly will bare this responsibility alone, but instead, happiness comes from the accumulation of many different factors with a mindset that positions you to want to push forward.
Have you ever played sports? Music? Made art? Can you recall that feeling you got when you were totally focused, and nothing else mattered other than what was in front of you? That’s Flow. Written by
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (saying his name is a flow state in it’s own) he studied those states in which people report feelings of concentration and deep enjoyment.
His studies revealed that what makes experience genuinely satisfying is ‘flow’ – a state of concentration so focused that it amounts to complete absorption in an activity and results in the achievement of an ideal state of happiness. Flow has become the classic work on happiness and a major contribution to contemporary psychology. It examines such timeless issues as the challenge of lifelong learning; family relationships; art, sport and sex as ‘flow’; the pain of loneliness; optimal use of free time and how to make lives meaningful.
Finally, our heavy hitter. If you’ve ever wondered about psychiatrist or visiting a therapist, it’s worth exploring and seeking one out. I’m not referring to these life coaches that seem to be on the rise, but someone who’s well trained in the inner workings of the mind.
Sheldon Kopp is a career therapist who candidly wrote about his experience with many different patients, and compares them to characters from some of the most famous works of literature. Don Quixote and the plight of ambitious youth, Dante’s Inferno and moral decision making, and many more.
He transcribes the idea that we are all victim to the human condition, and can get caught up in its complexities. Literature is a record of people’s issues with the very same inner conflict we all wrestle with today. The lesson to be learned, is that only we have the power to change ourselves for the better. There is no one, living, or dead, that can tell you how to be happy, only you can figure that out.
Take a Sabbatical and Travel
The world is a giant classroom. A wise friend said one day, if you got dropped at the southernmost tip of South America with nothing but the clothes on your back, and had to make your way to the states, you’d learn everything you’d ever need to know in life.
I’m not recommending such a drastic step. However, through my years as a digital nomad, I can personally attest to the liberation you feel once you are no longer tied to physical possessions, or monotonous responsibilities. Along the way I’ve met many people with the same story of frustration, and then, a drastic change. If you feel trapped, unsatisfied, or at a deadend, that’s a good signal to get out for awhile.
There is not a right amount of time s sabbatical should last. It could be a month, or a couple years, but the goal is to gain perspective. It’s not a vacation, and should not be spent as such. But instead, this is the time you can reflect on your life, and see what changes need to be made for you to live feeling more fulfilled. See things you want to see, read, write, and work on yourself. That’s the goal.
Attend Personal Growth Seminars
Unleash the Power Within is a live 3 ½ day event with Tony Robbins designed to help you unlock and unleash the forces inside that can help you break through any limit and create the quality of life you desire. Here you can learn how you can surpass your own limitations to achieve your personal development goals and take control of your life.
The Landmark Forum is designed to bring about positive, permanent shifts in the quality of your life—in just three days. These shifts are the direct cause for a new and unique kind of freedom and power—the freedom to be at ease and the power to be effective in the areas that matter most to you: the quality of your relationships, the confidence with which you live your life, your personal productivity, your experience of the difference you make, your enjoyment of life.
Do you wonder if you are making choices that will lead to the life you desire? Are you hung up in indecision, or stuck in the ramifications of past poor choices? At the Option Institute, you’ll learn to approach decisions in a new way. Make choices that support you in pursuing and living the fantastic life you’ve always wanted, full of meaning and importance.
Enroll in Online Courses
Based on four of the most popular courses taught at the Wharton School. Through exercises, self-diagnostic surveys, quizzes, and many case studies, you’ll discover how to define not only what you want, but also the best way to get it. You’ll learn how to find your passion and core values, how to apply these values to your own life, how to communicate effectively, and more.
In this class, you’ll learn how to examine the “life story” that has brought you to where you are today. Shift your thinking and instead of being part of the society factory, learn how to focus on life as a journey to be experienced fully, rather than a means to an end.
This course is designed to help you be more confident about your role as an entrepreneur, or finally lose those 15 pounds you have always wanted to shed, or start realizing you deserve real love from a partner. Learn to break habit loops, act with courage, and stop doubting yourself.
This course is an active journey of self-reflection. You’ll learn to distinguish between leaders and managers, paint a picture of where you want your leadership journey to go, and motivate people to join you in your cause. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll learn that you can lead even when you don’t have formal authority.
A world famous Buddhist monk will teach you how to find happiness and access the “Kingdom of God” in the here and now. You’ll practice mindfulness techniques, including meditation and simple breathing methods, so you can concentrate fully and connect with all the life that surrounds you.
My list of personal development goals
In the spirit of transparency, I’ve completed the first exercise as an example of an example personal development plan. Other than this document, I maintain a journal of my life, and have for several years now. Every year, I write my overarching goals, and then when the year is over, I flip back and see if I met them. Honestly, I don’t always hit them all. But then, I write my goals for the next year, and try again.
Below you’ll see my sheet. I hope this post was helpful, and you are on your way to becoming the best version of yourself.