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Last Updated on May 13, 2021

10 Personal Development Goals for Success and Happiness

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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    Last Updated on June 9, 2021

    Finally Reach Your Goal with the 6 A’s of Change

    Finally Reach Your Goal with the 6 A’s of Change

    Many of us set goals for ourselves at the start of each new year. Some of us choose to set specific goals such as losing a certain amount of weight by a certain date or decreasing the amount of carbonated drinks we intake.

    While others choose more general, less specific goals such as be more organized, be healthier, or manage time better.

    Whatever your goals or New Year’s resolutions are, there almost always seems to be the assumption that we won’t keep our New Year’s resolutions by the end of the year. Most of the changes we wish to make are positive habits we hope to incorporate and establish in our everyday lives. Your belief that these goals are not attainable may actually be influencing your ability to make a change.

    Our problem is that we tend to focus on the obstacles that may be placed in front of us that can prevent or hinder our goal attainment rather than focusing on the actual process towards attaining those resolutions. Some models like the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, are great guides to assist with understanding our levels of change.

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    So, how do we ensure we meet our goals and resolutions before another ball drops (literally and figuratively)?

    With the Six A’s of Change!

    1. Awareness

    As the old saying goes, the first step towards change is admitting that change is necessary. Being aware and acknowledging that change is needed is the first step towards tackling a goal. It takes strength to understand that change is needed. Believe it or not, some people don’t realize when change is needed. This change can be external while others can be internal. It truly takes a sense of mindfulness to become aware that change is warranted. Mindfulness practice can be beneficial establishing awareness towards needed changes in your life. If you are at this step, give yourself a pat on the back! You are one step closer towards your goal.

    2. Assessment

    If there is something in your life you wish to change on a permanent basis, it may be helpful to attempt to understand the origin.

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    For example: let’s say you have a certain behavior you wish to change. Assessing where the behavior may stem from can be beneficial to your goal attainment. Sometimes, establishing an origin is difficult and/or impossible to achieve and that is ok, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

    The key is to attempt to assess the origin. Sometimes the root of the problem or not knowing the root can hinder growth or progression towards goal attainment. In theraputic practice, this is known as a psychodynamic approach. If you are able to find an origin or contributor of behavior, it’s important not to identify origin of behavior as an excuse but to better understand where that behavior comes from so you can begin to work on tackling the behavior and the origin to assist with permanent results.

    Another part of the assessment stage is to understand and assess your why! Why do you want or need this change? Determining your why will assist in keep you motivated towards change.

    3. Accountability

    Stay accountable! One way to keep yourself accountable towards your resolutions and goals are to write them down. Write your goals down some place you can see them every day. I like to carry around a notebook that are designated towards my catergorized goals. My goals range from financial goals, personal goals, and business related goals. Each month I re-assess my goals to ensure that the goals I made in January of a new year don’t end up transfering over into other months or worse, years!

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    Another way to hold yourself accountable is to tell someone. Your close friends and family can’t hold you accountable towards your goals if you don’t tell them. Having a supportive environment is helpful when attempting to make change.

    4. Activation

    In the activation step you are taking action. Activate measurable actions towards change.

    For example, your New Year’s resolution may be to “be more organized in the mornings.” Some action steps you may activate include going to bed earlier, making the bed in the morning, and planning and prepping meals or outfits before bed.

    The activation stage should feel like homework. This is a cognitive behavioral approach in which you implement or activate measurable steps towards change. These are all measurable action steps that you can activate to establish adequate change in habits that will ultimately assist with your goal attainment.

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    5. Analyze

    Once you have activated measurable goals the next step is to analyze. Is everything in your activation step assisting with attaining your ultimate goal: “to be more organized in the mornings”?

    If you ask any business owner or entreprenuer, analyzing results and outcome measures is key towards success. If you don’t assess analytics within your own goals it will be difficult to determine if adequate change has actually been made. Ask yourself, are there some additional action steps that need to be activated in order to truly attain change? Am I being held accountable? Could I be doing more?

    6. Attain

    Lastly, attain! Ensure that you are not only obtaining the necessary activation steps but that you have attained your initial goal successfully. If you need to go back to step 5, that is ok. In this step, you have established adequate change and are sure that you have attained your goal(s).

    So, there you have it, The 6 A’s of Change: Awareness, Assessment, Accountablity, Activation, Analyze, and Attain! Don’t be afraid of change! There is often a negative connotation that comes with the thought of change. However, change is truly the only thing in this world that remains constant. Let’s make 2017 the year we actually keep our New Year resolutions. Always remember, “Change begins in your mind.”

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    Featured photo credit: Aline de Nadai via unsplash.com

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