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Last Updated on May 13, 2021

10 Personal Development Goals for Success and Happiness

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10 Personal Development Goals for Success and Happiness

Success is like an elusive rainbow that we chase our whole lives. Every time we get close, it appears to fade into the distant horizon. After numerous futile attempts, we begin to wonder if we will ever get there. However, this doesn’t have to be the case if we choose to set personal development goals.

Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said:

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.”

By spending time aspiring towards these 10 simple personal development goals and consistently working on them, you’ll be well on your way to a life of success and happiness.

1. Be Committed to Growth and Learning

Whether you want to create an ideal relationship, build a successful business, or master a new skill, you’ll need to be open to learning and expanding your knowledge to further your progress.

Just as your body needs a healthy food diet, your mind needs a wholesome information diet to build a growth mindset and develop emotional intelligence.

To evolve as an individual and improve your performance, feeding your mind with new ideas and information is essential. Every day, dedicate at least 15 to 30 minutes to reading material that enlightens and enhances your knowledge.

Don’t read just to be entertained; read to stay informed and broaden your horizons. Consume content that is actionable and directly relates to your goals and aspirations.

Your reading material could include books, magazines, newspapers, journals, and online publications. You may also listen to podcasts and audiobooks if you prefer to learn aurally.

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2. Practice Goal Setting

You can’t achieve success without knowing your destination by setting goals. Having a vision of where you want to go makes it easier to create a road map and develop a plan for focused action for your personal development goals.

If a lifetime vision plan does not seem feasible, break it down to a 10-year, 5-year, or 1-year plan—whatever time frame you’re comfortable with. This important component will help you avoid procrastination in the long run. If you find yourself struggling with this, check out Lifehack’s Fast-Track Class: No More Procrastination.

Based on your vision, create long term goals and short term goals. Ensure that they are meaningful goals that inspire you to think big and build your commitment to stay on course no matter what obstacles you face along the way.

3. Build Realistic Strategies

To manifest your goals on the material plane, you need to be strategic about allocating your resources, such as time, money, effort, and connections. Your strategy should include a comprehensive pre-assessment of what really goes into realizing your goals.

Outline a plan based on your assessment, as well as a strategy for execution. Getting a realistic overview of what’s needed to accomplish your targets will give clarity on the amount of effort required.

Without having this estimation, you can easily underestimate how much work and resources will be needed.

4. Be Flexible and Patient

While it’s important to stay focused on your personal growth and progress, you’ll also have to prepare yourself for unforeseen changes in various areas of your life.

Always keep the end goal in mind, but stay flexible about how and when you’re going to get there, especially when learning new skills or focusing on career development. You have to lower your expectations regarding how your path will look because there will be many twists and turns along the way.

When you let go of your rigid outlook, you release yourself from the anxiety, worry, and disappointment that occur each time you hit a curveball.

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The best practices that have made it easier for me to go with the flow include mindfulness, deep breathing techniques, staying in the present moment, and having a sense of humor.

5. Make Your Physical Well-Being a Priority

Your body is your vehicle for your life, so this is one of the most important personal development goals you can set. It will be challenging to reach you full potential if you’re perpetually unhealthy and unwell.

A lot of ailments, sicknesses, mood disorders, and lack of energy are a direct result of a poorly managed lifestyle. Science has proven that our intellectual capacity and emotional wellbeing are strongly related to the state of our physical wellbeing[1].

Make sure that you’re following the basic tenets of healthy living, such as eating healthy and nourishing foods, getting enough sleep, and living an active lifestyle that keeps you fit and strong.

6. Breathe

In our hectic and fast-paced world, it’s essential that we make time during our days to pause and take a breather. You can center yourself by bringing awareness to the breath.

Most of us don’t realize that when we are stressed out, we have a strong tendency to hold our breath and have shallow breathing.

By directing our attention to our breath, we not only take in more air, which relaxes our minds, but we bring our focus to living in the here and now.

There are several exercises that can help us bring focus to our breath, such as certain breathing exercises, meditation practices, and yoga. You can check out one specific breathing technique below[2]:

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Breathing Techniques for Stress and Anxiety

    7. Take a Moment to Relax and Rejuvenate

    If your thoughts are getting too overwhelming to handle, it may be best to step away and take time out to unwind and get into a calmer state of being.

    In addition to bringing more awareness to your breath, you can engage in relaxing activities, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, nature walks, listening to soothing music, gardening, drinking calming herbal teas, reading a novel, or anything else that brings your pulse down.

    Avoid being in noisy and crowded environments, or consuming stimulants such as caffeine.

    8. Build a Reliable Support System

    Success is not a one-person journey, so this is another of the key personal development goals. You’ll need the help of a trusted team of advisers, mentors, friends, and skilled professionals to facilitate your goals.

    Seek out friends and partners who support and encourage you in your endeavors.

    You can find these individuals anywhere, but there’s a higher chance of meeting them in certain types of groups and organizations that generally attract people with high self-awareness, strong value systems, and consciousness. These can include volunteer groups, animal shelters, self-enrichment courses/workshops, and spiritual or religious organizations.

    9. Cultivate Gratitude

    Sometimes we may not like what’s going on in our present life, and we’ll be tempted to give in to unhealthy forms of escapism. We can steer ourselves away from this by cultivating an attitude of gratitude and simplicity.

    There’s been so much written about the power of gratitude and how it can instantly raise our personal vibration. The mere act of appreciating the simple things that we normally take for granted can instantly shift our perspective and uplift us in the process.

    A warm cup of hot cocoa on a winter’s day or your loyal pet who’s always by your side, especially after rough days, or your healthy body that allows you to stay active are all simple yet profoundly blessed realities that we can appreciate.

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    10. Embrace the Unknown

    Most of us have an instinctive dislike of the unknown, even when we set specific personal development goals. We’re uncomfortable with uncertain outcomes and not knowing what lies ahead of us. But trying to get insights and clarity about an unknown future is a recipe for mental anguish.

    As spiritual leader Deepak Chopra says:

    “Those who seek security in the exterior world chase it for a lifetime. By letting go of your attachment to the illusion of security, which is really an attachment to the known, you step into the field of all possibilities. This is where you will find true happiness, abundance, and fulfillment.”[3]

    When we let go and trust in what we cannot see, we open the doorway for abundance.

    The Bottom Line

    According to a study done by nurses who spent time with dying patients, the number one regret of the dying was wishing that they had the courage to live a life true to themselves and not what others expected of them[4].

    Let this inspire you to take hold and steer your life in the direction that will bring you the joy that you seek. This is your life, and only you can make it as spectacular as possible!

    More on Personal Development Goals

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Help Guide: The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
    [2] Spa & Wellness Association of Africa: Breathing Techniques for Stress and Anxiety
    [3] The Chopra Center: 5 Steps to Detaching for a Happier Life
    [4] Business Insider: The 5 Things People Regret Most On Their Deathbed

    More by this author

    Seline Shenoy

    A passionate author, podcast host, and coach who focuses on personal empowerment, self-esteem, productivity, and wellness.

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    Published on September 16, 2021

    What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

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    What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

    Ready. Set. Go. For years, this was my three-step mindset when it came to goals. I would reach for the moon and hope to land among the stars without feeling the pain of the fall. This approach was all or nothing, and as a result, I experienced loads of burnout and almost zero productivity. In short, my task list was filled with high-level intentions, but I hadn’t taken the time to create a map to reach the destinations. I was lost in the planning stages because I didn’t understand process goals or have any examples to follow.

    Since then, I’ve learned how to embrace the journey and break my outcome goals into smaller and more manageable process goals. This approach has improved my focus and reduced frustration because I’m now working towards a surefire strategy that will take me where I want to go––I’m creating a plan of action with achievable daily targets (a process goal).

    What Is a Process Goal?

    A process goal is not a destination, it’s the path you plan on taking to get there. For example, if you want to become better at writing, your process goal would be to post one blog article per week and learn from the feedback you receive. The destination is a monthly goal of 12 articles.

    This distinction is important because it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that these types of goals are not all or nothing. Think about it. You’ve heard it said: it’s not about working hard but working smart.

    Well, a process goal is an actionable target with what we call SMART criteria:

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    • Specific – The more detailed your goal, the better. For example, instead of “I want to be fit,” you would say, “I want to lose five pounds.” Make sure your goal is crystal clear.
    • Measurable – You need a way to measure progress and success, so it needs to be quantifiable. This is where you decide what “fit” actually means for you (more on this later).
    • Achievable – If your goal isn’t challenging, then it’s not going to be motivating. On the other hand, there must be a steeper mountain to climb if you want substantial results.
    • Realistic – “I want to run a marathon” is not practical for most people. Ensure you have the time, energy, and resources (e.g., training program) required to achieve your goal.
    • Time-Bound – Your goal needs an assigned deadline or it’s just a pipe dream. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, but what happens when the fantasy ends?

    To summarize, these are the essential components of any process goal: specific, measurable, achievable within a certain time frame, and realistic.

    What Is a Destination Goal?

    A destination goal is a point in time when you plan to be at a particular destination. For example, if your goal is to get to represent your country at the 2025 Summer Olympics, you right need to focus on smaller increments to attain that success. On your way to that goal, you need to focus on smaller destinations. First, make the national team. Then, compete in a few events and so forth.

    If you try to make it to the Olympics from the very start without any milestones along the way, it would be too daunting. On the other hand, if you focus on each milestone as a destination goal, it will all seem possible and achievable.

    Process Goal Template

    Let’s say you want to become a better cook. Here is one way of writing the process goal: “I will save $100 per week by cooking all my meals at home for 12 weeks.” This would be your destination (monthly), and the steps required to achieve this goal (weekly) would be:

    1. Spend one hour on Sunday planning my meals for the week.
    2. Shop for groceries after work on Monday and Tuesday nights.
    3. Cook all meals at home on Wednesdays through Sundays.
    4. Pack my lunch for work on Mondays and Tuesdays.
    5. Save $100 per week in cash by cooking at home.

    This process goal will help you become a better cook by teaching you to save money through planning, shopping, cooking, packing your own lunch, and trying new recipes. It also includes a weekly reward (saving $100 in cash) that will help you stay motivated.

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    Process goals encourage you to reach your ultimate goals. When you feel like you can accomplish smaller goals along the way, you gain sustainability and confidence to move forward.

    In many ways, process goals are a lot like faith. Each accomplishment brings you closer to seeing the fullness of the life that you desire––it breaks through the fog and makes things clearer.

    What Questions Helped Me Find My Process Goals?

    After several years of setting lofty goals and becoming increasingly frustrated when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, I decided to take a closer look at my approach.

    Now, there are many ways you can do this, but here’s how I went about it. Last year, I asked myself the following questions:

    • What am I doing right now?
    • How can I get better at this?
    • Is this process goal leading me closer to my ultimate goals?

    The choices I made from the answers to these questions became my process goals. They were the driving force that kept me motivated and moving forward when I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. Since then, I’ve been able to accomplish lifelong goals that I had given up on years ago. For example, I’ve been able to obtain a publishing contract, create more digital products for my business, and enjoy the moment.

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    Before I broke down my goals into smaller ones, I was struggling to just get out of bed. The thought of my endless list kept me stagnant. Now, I look forward to each morning and taking on smaller projects to reach profitable outcomes.

    What Are Some Process Goals You Can Try?

    So, now that you understand the importance of process goals, let’s get you started with some examples that you can utilize this week:

    • Sign up for a new class.
    • Complete one portion of your project by Thursday.
    • Start walking around the block instead of running a mile.
    • Improve your writing by spending 30 minutes everyday journaling.
    • Practice your interview skills.
    • Read at least one book from the library this week.
    • Do ten push-ups each day before you leave for work.

    You get the idea. These process goals don’t have to be complicated. If anything, you want to break down your plans to the point of them feeling easy or at least doable without needing a week’s vacation. By breaking your goals down into smaller pieces, you can accomplish a lot more in a shorter period. You’ll also feel more confident that you’re able to accomplish something within the moment.

    It isn’t easy to continue towards your goal if achievement feels too far away. You need to celebrate the small things and embrace the process.

    What Do You Need for Process Goals?

    Think about how much time and money you’ve spent on new clothes, books, technology, etc. Many of us want to keep up with the latest trends and purchase the best gadgets from Apple or Microsoft. But all of these extra investments come at a steep price.

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    To find your process goals, you may have to face some difficult emotions or situations bravely and confront them head-on. You might need to forgo the new outfit or the latest Mac book to meet your overall objectives.[1] Remember, process goals not only protect you from feeling overwhelmed, but they also keep you from being distracted.

    Final Thoughts

    You may feel overwhelmed at first when trying to set a process goal. Sometimes, just thinking about change triggers stress hormones, which only leads to more worries and anxious feelings. However, if you keep yourself focused and take small steps in the right direction, you’ll soon realize that goals don’t have to be complicated.

    You can achieve your process goals one day at a time, and you can start today by breaking down your larger goal into smaller steps. It doesn’t matter if the process takes a week or six months, what matters most is that you’re moving forward and doing something to make yourself better.

    Now, go on out there and achieve one of your process goals!

    Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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    Reference

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