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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 October 22, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed, and exhausted. Therefore, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, it’s time to do something about it.

Here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm, leaving you calmer, in control, and a lot less stressed at work.

1. Write Everything Down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when work feels overwhelming is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s occupying your thoughts[1].

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind, write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind.”

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will help you stop feeling overwhelmed at work. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have emptied your head, go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. You can learn how to create a more meaningful to-do list here.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago to help when work feels overwhelming. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and we humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take[2]:

When feeling overwhelmed at work, use Parkinson's Law.

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad. It’s more wishful thinking than bad judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage when we’re feeling overwhelmed at work. If you have estimated that to write five important emails will take ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is that you put yourself under a little time pressure, and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time, so it plays tricks on us, and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our team members to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening, and we get more focused and more work done. This will help when work feels overwhelming.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos to avoid getting overwhelmed at work. Schedule time for each task, especially high priority tasks, while also grouping together similar tasks. This will help relieve stress and anxiety in your daily work life.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done, and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer, and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one[3]. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend, or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss or a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away and will only make you feel more overwhelmed at work. You need to make a decision to deal with it, and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved.

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed, and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend about the problem.

    He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem, and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I pay a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first was: don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second: there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we are feeling overwhelmed at work (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

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    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

    It also means that, rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible, and you can make decisions about what to do about them.

    Often, it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be that you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    When work feels overwhelming, it’s not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work. It can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    It’s easy to feel like you have too much on your plate, but there are things you do to make it more manageable. 

    Make a decision, even if it’s just talking to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution.

    When you follow these strategies, you can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Josefa nDiaz via unsplash.com

    Reference

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