Personal goal setting starts with having a destination in mind.
If you don’t know where you’re going, why bother moving forward? You’ll just get more lost or find yourself back where you started again.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, every road will take you there.”- Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland
You have to have a destination of who you want to become in order to get there.
Personal goals will be easier to make if you know where you want to go.
You must start with how to get there and break down the steps. These steps must be realistic.
That doesn’t mean you can’t dream big; in fact,
“Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll still land among the stars.”
Dream big no matter what but be realistic at the same time. Be open to detours, too.
According to Action for Happiness, ways to make goals include deciding on goals, writing steps down, telling someone about it and plan out each step.
Here I will outline 20 personal goals that can help you become a better you:
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.
In Success Magazine, Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich suggests 3 techniques to never stop learning:
“1. Embrace the Mind of a Child.
2. Put yourself in the hands of a trusted teacher.
3. Read, read, read.” Overall, be responsible for your own growth in life.
You are never too old to learn something new. Start today.
2. Live Authentically
You don’t have time to be living your life as someone else. All you can do is be yourself. You must choose to be who you really are. That’s the best way to live.
Being yourself is not easy though. It requires dedication to your values and dreams. You won’t be able to be authentic without losing your fear of what others think of you.
There’s only one way to be successful in this life and it’s if you do it for the right reasons. It’s if you choose yourself. It’s not until you find that you will be free.
Get inspired by my other article: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want
3. 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.
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.
4. 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.
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.
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. Prioritize Self-Care
Self-care is not something you should take for granted. Often, we don’t prioritize it well enough. Some examples include finding time for yourself, do things that make you feel good. Get dietary advice to eat healthy and exercise to improve your health.
Take a break. Go outside. Relax. Read a book or watch a good movie with someone you love. It’s about rewarding yourself with your joys and hobbies.
You can find more examples here: 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit
Self-care is not selfish. It’s important to find time for yourself so that you CAN give more of yourself to the areas of life you need to. You deserve it. You are worth it. Remember that.
7. Don’t Take Things Personally
The less you are concerned with others, the more you can focus on doing what matters most to you. What others say does not reflect the real you. It is just their perception, which may not be the full picture or the truth.
People who try to hurt you are not happy.
“Happy people don’t try to bring other people down.” – Anonymous.
That’s why it’s just not worth holding on to their words.
When you refuse to take things personally, it’s because you know who you are.
8. Decide to Be Who You Are Meant to Be
Look for things you are passionate about. Advocate to make yourself and others heard. Join groups that support your beliefs.
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”- Anonymous.
So, decide what you value and what you stand for. Then, you can do anything.
Take a look at this guide if you aren’t sure what you’re passionate about: How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life
9. Find the Silver Lining
Find happiness in any situation by finding the silver lining. You can decide to be happy because of the good you find. You must choose to look at the good.
People often think about the bad first, and they dwell on it. It’s human nature, but if you can look for the good or the silver lining, you will be happier for it.
You can learn from any situation or use any situation to better yourself or humanity. Take that and you will overcome it all.
10. Do Something Good for Someone
Instead of just focusing on your problems, do good for someone. It will not only take your mind off what problems you have, but also help you see that you are capable of doing good — right, you still have things to offer.
There are many opportunities to do good. Volunteering, checking on a friend or family member, get involved in a project that serves your community, etc.
The more good you do, the better you will feel.
11. 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.
12. Practice Daily Positive Self Talk
Every day is a new day. The way you talk to yourself is how you can ensure you build resilience and endurance through any challenge.
Here are some positive self talk examples:
“Things may have not gone my way but I can see the good in the situation still.”
“At least I am alive. I have my health, my abilities and the opportunities to use what I have for good.”
“I am worthwhile.”
“I can do it.”
Even more here: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life
The more you practice positive self talk, the more you will overcome and accomplish.
13. Surrender, When Necessary
When you surrender, you give in to the current rather than fight against it. It means you value inner peace most of all. You don’t sacrifice your inner peace for anything. You know your worth, and you are willing to see how a situation unfolds. You don’t try to force solutions either.
Instead of forcing solutions, you allow the best ones to come forth. You also know how to use what you have. You don’t fight against your situation. You instead use it.
When you surrender, you are accepting what is. This makes it easier to move forward.
14. Ask for Help in One Area of Your Life
We are often taught that needing help is a sign of weakness but it is actually a sign of strength. It’s developing skills that you might not be as well versed in. It’s developing mentor/mentee relationships to help you succeed.
Success is subjective to every individual. When you are developing yourself, you need others’ input. You need help to be who you are meant to be.
There is no shame in asking for help. Asking for help instead opens doors for you that you may not have been able to open yourself.
15. Set Boundaries and Say No When Appropriate
Having boundaries can feel uncomfortable because we are telling others what we do not accept. It is also necessary for healthy relationships. You will use them to protect yourself, your heart and your mind.
No one can make you do anything. If you are uncomfortable with something, you have a right to say no. Those who truly care about you will not be offended. You are also setting the bar high, or setting an example for others who are too scared to have boundaries too.
You will make better choices if you have better boundaries: How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries
16. Follow Your Gut
Trust your instincts. They are trying to tell you what to trust in.
You may not want to do something but feel pressured to do it. Your gut is the one speaking to you, telling you not to do it if you don’t want to. It can save you from many things, for example preventing you from making poor choices.
When you follow your gut, you preserve your interests and secure yourself.
17. Do What You Love
Are you doing what you love? You must choose what you can’t live without. Don’t sacrifice that for anything. Life is too short.
Your best also comes out when you are doing what you love. You can give more, do more if you’re happy with what you are doing.
So, do what you love. Don’t question it: Why You Should Always Do What You Love (And How to Do It)
18. Appreciate What You Have
Good Deeds Day defines gratitude as,
“Gratitude allows us to recognize good in our lives. Focusing and appreciating the good in our lives constantly reminds us about the great things all around us… Gratitude allows us to see that the sources of that good are usually close by. Practicing gratitude allows us to recognize those who bring goodness into our lives and humbles us in order to give credit to those we are grateful for.”
At the end of the day, you need to recognize what you do have rather than focusing on what you don’t have. You must choose gratitude as your attitude in order to live a happier, better life. You will win then.
Counting your blessings everyday will help you bring in more blessings. You are limitless. You will overcome more too if you have that positive perspective.
Appreciating what you have starts with the simple things in life. Recognize what’s working. Find your reason to hold on. And then change the world.
Here’re 32 Things You Should Be Grateful For if you need some reminders.
19. 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.
20. 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.”
When we let go and trust in what we cannot see, we open the doorway for abundance.
Goal setting is about finding what will better yourself and lead you to happiness. You will find peace with yourself when you are on the right path.
You have to make the decision to make the best of everything, and you have to remember what really matters. Your goals will shape you for the rest of your life.
Featured photo credit: Anika Huizinga via unsplash.com