Goals that encourage personal growth are not exactly new. In fact, if you have already set a few goals or resolutions for this new year, you likely already focused on goals that furthered your personal growth.
You plan to run a marathon.
You want to write a book.
Or you resolve to hire a life coach.
It’s perfectly fine to want to get fit or or gain a new professional accomplishment . . but is that what will challenge you, grow you, heal you the most as you start this new year?
It may be. But you’ll only know the exact goals you need—the exact growth you need—if you’re somewhat strategic about it.
Last week, we talked about setting goals to help you build better relationships, and this week we’re bringing it back to you. But this time, instead of focusing on self-care, we’re focusing on self-growth—the personal transformation that will help you more fully develop into the most authentic expression of yourself.
Because there are good reasons to set goals that encourage personal growth—just not when you’re setting them because you think you constantly need “fixing”, and you don’t consider the growth you actually need or want to go through. It’s all too easy to think that you need to set a goal that makes you look good on Instagram. Trust us, you don’t. Because when you set the right goals for your unique growth path, you’ll always feel and look good.
And we’re here to help! In this third post of our “Creating Goals to Cultivate Balance” series, we’re going to show you how to create goals that encourage exactly the growth you need.
Create Your Vision
What’s your ideal version of you? Again, we don’t want this to be an exercise in determining what you feel needs fixing. This is about self-actualization—about getting in touch with yourself, who you are and what you want deep down, and giving yourself the habits and experiences that will help you get a little bit closer to that best version of you. As cheesy as it sounds, this is not about creating a new you this new year—it’s about getting yourself that much closer to the best version of yourself. Make sense? So sit down with a piece of paper and write down who that is . . . who are you at your very best?
Okay, now that you’ve got that ideal vision of yourself, we want you to pull on the reins a bit. It can be really exciting—and perhaps a bit overwhelming—to think about all of the new habits you can implement, achievements you can earn, and experiences you can . . . well, experience . . . on your individual path of personal growth. But if you overload yourself with doing it all at once, it’s not very likely that any of it will happen. Instead of trying to grow in every area at once, why not pick one or two areas? For most of us, there are often one or two that stand out at any given time anyway. You might want to focus on your health or your attitude or your self-discipline. Just pick the one or two areas that are most important to you right now—and remember that you have the rest of your life to keep growing.
In general, goals that encourage personal growth can be very vague. You may want to be more outgoing or build some self-esteem or have a generally more optimistic, grateful attitude toward life. That’s all well and good—really well and good, in fact!—but what does that mean exactly? What does “building self-esteem” look like on a day-to-day basis? What are the tangible steps you can add to your calendar or to-do list and say, “Yes! I did that today”? Make sure you’re clear on exactly what it is you want to accomplish on your personal path to growth.
Pick Your Goals
This is the step where most people start—but not you! Now that you’ve gotten clear on your vision, been realistic about what you can accomplish (while still challenging yourself!), and gained clarity on the specific steps that will help you grow, start setting your goals! Pick 2-3 specific and actionable goals that align with where you truly want to develop, learn, and grow this week, this month, or even this year. You’re likely to find that you have a lot more motivation to stick with the goals that strengthen the growth you seek!
Next week, we’re going to help you balance your time, money, and energy better with the right goals. Until then, we encourage you to make a plan for your personal growth goals and track your progress. Day Designer is a simple and easy system created to help you find balance in support of your ultimate goal to live a well-designed life. View our latest edition here!