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Last Updated on June 26, 2020

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 tap into personal development goals.

Author and motivation speaker, Jim Rohn, once said:

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

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

1. Be Committed to Growth, Learning and Improvement

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 evolve as an individual, 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.

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

2. Engage in the Practice of Goal Setting

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

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.

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, and fail.

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.

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Always keep the end goal in mind, but stay flexible about how and when you’re going to get there. 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.

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.

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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.

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, lighting candles with aromatherapeutic properties, 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 you.

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.

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9. Cultivate Gratitude and Simplicity

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 on our life 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.

10. Embrace the Unknown

Most of us have an instinctive dislike of the unknown. 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.”[2]

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

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[3].

Bottom Line

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

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Have you ever caught yourself in a daydream where you’ve gone for that upcoming promotion, and you’re now the boss at work? Or how about the one where you’ve summoned up all your courage to quit a job where you’re feeling stuck in your career and live your dream instead? Or when you’ve changed career paths to do what really makes you happy?

Then, you snapped back to reality and realized that you’re not the boss, not living your dream, and not even happy in the career path that you’re on.

Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals who’ve told me they feel stuck in their careers, that something had to change for them to break free and be happy, but they lacked the confidence to take that step. My mission is to make sure that nobody feels stuck in their career because of a momentary lapse in bravery that’s dragged on for too long.

Read on to find out how you can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work. .

Here are my top ten tips for becoming unstuck in your career.

1. Make Time for You

If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or unhappy with how your career is panning out, the first step is to work out why.

Maybe you’ve arrived in your current career by accident and haven’t ever made time to deliberately think or plan what you’d love to do and how you’d get there.

Prioritizing time to think is the first step you need to take to stop feeling stuck and start getting ahead. Book some time into your day where you can have an uninterrupted meeting with yourself. This is your thinking time.

Work out what makes you happy at work, what doesn’t, and where you might want to go. Decide on the steps you want to take to progress your career in the direction that you want it to take.

For example, are there training days, evening courses, or online learning that you can do? Have you considered getting a mentor to help you get ahead?

By booking in a meeting with yourself, it signals it’s important (to you and your colleagues) and also stops others spotting a gap in your day and filling it with a meeting.

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2. Grow Your Network Before You Need It

Who you know is more important than what you know for career progression. Don’t wait until you’re feeling stuck in your career to start expanding your networks. Do it now.

Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, says you’re 58% more likely to get a new job through your weak ties than through your strong ones. Your strong ties are those in your immediate circle whom you interact with often. Your weak ties are your friends of friends. They move in different circles to you, they know different people, make different connections, and are more likely to introduce you to new and different opportunities[1].

When I was thinking about setting up my current company, Lucidity, I turned up to every networking event. I drank a lot of coffees with a lot of different people to understand what they did, to ask for advice, to unpick what their problems were, and to look for opportunities for collaboration and connections.

It paid off because, when I launched my business, I let my network know how I could help them, and soon I had my first clients.

Pay attention to building and nurturing your networks and focus on how you can add value to other. That’s where your next career opportunity is most likely to come from.

3. Surround Yourself With People Who Inspire You

According to Tim Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with,” and his associations with different people ebbs and flows depending on what he’s working on and trying to achieve[2].

For example, if you are trying to be fitter, it’s easier if you hang around with people who love doing exercise–they help you to up your game.

If you want that promotion, a career change, or to set up your own business, seek out people who are excelling at it already. They’ll have valuable things to teach you about breaking free and getting ahead.

4. Work on Your Personal Brand

Jeff Bezos defines a personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” People will talk about you when you are not in the room anyway, so you might as well be deliberate about what you’d like people to say!

Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. That can actually keep you feeling stuck in your career. It’s really about being your best “real you.” It’s about owning your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others.

What do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities.

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Once you’ve given your personal brand some thought, make sure that you show up online. Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? And if you don’t have one, get one. Make sure it communicates what you want to be known for and that it’s consistent with your other social media profiles.

Try these 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding.

5. Be Accountable

Achieve your career goals faster, and grow and learn by making yourself accountable. Tell other people your goals and a timeline. and have them to hold you accountable.

For example, you might want to get a promotion by the end of the year, have decided the sector you want to move to by the end of the month, or have got your new business idea before the next pay day. Whatever your ambitions are, you can tell a friend or a colleague, or share this with a mentor or a mastermind group.

When we tell other people our goals and intentions, they hold us accountable, and we are more likely to make progress faster.

6. Make Sure Your Values Are Aligned With Your Company’s

All the professional development, goal setting, and networks in the world won’t make you happy if you’re working for a company that ultimately has opposing values to yours.

Figure out what’s important to you in a job. For example, does your company’s product help people live a better life? Do you feel strongly about your company’s ethics and social responsibility? Does the company culture allows employees to be themselves and shine? Or maybe flexible working and more holidays for employees with families is where your heart is?

Some companies put their employees well-being at the core of their business; others put profits first. If you feel that your values don’t match the core values of your employer, it could be a reason why you’re feeling stuck in your career and unhappy.

It’s important to work through this and identify whether it’s the job that is not right for you, or if it’s a great job but the organization or sector is wrong for you.

7. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is your safe place. For any change to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

It’s actually much easier not to change anything and to keep grumbling on about how you’re stuck and unhappy in your career than to step outside of your comfort zone to address the fearful unknowns associated with change. It’s part of human nature that we’d put up with the devil we know rather than risk the devil we don’t.

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This is true even if the devil we know is a boring, unfulfilling job because we’re wired to think that making a change to find a better option might actually leave us worse off.

If you feel stuck, it might be that your confidence has got the better of you.

To get ahead at work, start taking small steps outside of your comfort zone. Consider what you’re scared of that is stopping you from making a change. Then, tackle that in small steps.

For example, if you know that to move into the job you want, you’ll have to do more public speaking, but public speaking terrifies you so much it’s stopping you from going for the job, then start small to build your confidence. You can speak up more in team meetings, then slowly build from there.

You might also choose to set up or be part of a specific group. One of my clients, who found that confidence was holding her team back in achieving work goals, set up a “get out of your comfort zone club,” where they challenge and support each other to build their confidence by regularly leaving their comfort zones.

8. Learn to Embrace Failure

Failure is part of life. A New York University study found that children learning to walk averaged 2,368 steps and fell 17 times an hour[3]. Failure is simply the natural path to success.

The truth is that we don’t get everything right the first time. We fail, we learn, we pick ourselves up, and we try again.

In my experience, it’s common that whilst the theory of learning from failure is supported, the reality of being open about failures to enable personal learning is much harder to achieve.

We don’t like to admit that we’ve failed. We have a fight or flight response to failure. It’s a normal gut reaction to ask ourselves: “Will I get away with it if I don’t tell anyone?” We are fearful of criticism, of losing face in front of others, or even being fired for failure.

However, if you’re going to stop feeling stuck in your career, you must be open to learning from failure.

Reframe failure by viewing everything as an experiment because you can’t have a failed experiment—you just learn whether something works or not. Think of Edison inventing the lightbulb, when he said:

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“I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

9. Build Your Resilience

Resilience is the ability to tackle difficulties and setbacks, to bounce back, regroup, and to keep going.

Getting unstuck in your career, taking a different path, and achieving the results you want will take resilience. Having resilience is also the capacity to choose how you respond to the unexpected things that life throws your way and adapt and thrive in times of complex change.

Given that the world we live in is in constant flux, and the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, the ability to adapt and bounce back is an important life skill, as well as a career skill.

In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth’s research shows that when measuring success, the ability to persevere beats talent every time.

Learn more about how to build resilience in this guide: What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

10. Ask for Help

It can be hard to ask for help, as it can make us feel vulnerable.

No one person can be expected to have all the answers. That’s why we need a group of people that we can go to for help, people who can pick us up when we have setbacks and also help us to celebrate success.

My advice is to be deliberate about creating your group. You can do that with a tool called a “Me Map”:

  1. Write down all the things that you might need support with, like help with career progression, interview practice, making new connections, talking through business plans, learning from failure, etc.
  2. Next to each thing, write the names of the people you go to when you need that particular thing.
  3. Make sure you get in touch and regularly connect with them.

Final Thoughts

You can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work by applying the tips in this article. Start small by incorporating three new things in your first week, and then adding more as your comfort zone and capacity expands.

Remember, no matter how stuck you feel, it’s never too late to make a change and land the career that you truly want.

More Tips to Stop Feeling Stuck in Your Career

Featured photo credit: NEW DATA SERVICES via unsplash.com

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