By Sandra Domingos
Where do you want to be at the end of the year? What are your goals for success in work and life? Achieving your goals starts with investing in your personal development. According to psychologists, personal development is the process of defining your goals and how to achieve them.
Personal development includes:
- What is Important to you
- What You want to achieve
- Your strengths
- What you need to improve or develop
Individual goals vary from person to person. One person may want to achieve business success while another may hope to accomplish something completely different, like having a better relationship with their partner or finding a way to afford college for their child.
Even though people’s goals aren’t the same, the process of personal development follows the same pattern and requires the same dedication. Using this new year to invest in your personal development can help you reach any goal you chose.
What is important to you
Before you decide what you want to achieve, you need to understand what’s important to you personally. Right now, do you value money, traveling, relationships, or health? Your goals can change throughout life, but what you value today helps you define areas for personal development.
Changing your life begins with small steps. You will find it hard to change everything about your entire life all at once. Personal development helps you determine what area you want to focus on this year.
What you want to achieve
Now that you’ve determined what’s important to you, it’s time to set goals. To be effective, goals must be specific, measurable, and obtainable. “By the end of the year, I want to earn more money” isn’t very specific or measurable.
You might get a cost of living raise next year. Is that the level of improvement you were hoping to achieve? If not, set a more specific goal like a percentage or dollar amount. Be sure to make your goal obtainable, too. You need to decide if it’s possible to double your salary, for example, or if you need a more modest goal next year.
The next step is to determine what your strengths are and how you can use them to achieve your goals. By looking at what’s important to you and setting goals, you can match your strengths to your plan for achievement. You may already possess many of the skills and abilities you need to reach your goals. This step helps to improve your self-esteem and self-confidence by reminding you that you can carry out your plan and move forward.
What you need to improve or develop
Once you’ve determined your strengths, you will also know what you need to improve. You may have the skills to complete an intricate protect but need to develop the patience and time management skills to follow through to the end. Even if you want to eat healthier, you may need to improve your knowledge of which foods are better for you. Knowing what you need to improve or develop gives you guidelines for what to focus on.
Taking these steps to personal improvement will help you grow. It also helps to categorize your goals into areas for improvement based on what is important to you.
When you are considering what to focus, think about these areas for personal development
- Professional Goals
If you plan to focus on your professional growth this year, your personal development may include several professional goals. Consider which of these goals will help you obtain success and decide if you need to improve or develop the skills required to achieve them.
- Build Your Professional Relationships and Network
- Improve Your Time Management Skills
- Find New Challenges that Showcase Your Strengths
- Develop a Growth Mindset
- Develop Your Professional Skills Through Workshops and Classes
- Learn How to Motivate Others
- Lifestyle Goals
Your goals may be more focused on your personal life and happiness this year. A change to your lifestyle may mean you need to improve or develop the skills required to achieve success throughout your life.
- Improve your Health
- Strengthen Personal Relationships
- Practice Patience
- Let Go of Limiting Beliefs
- Become a Better Listener
By taking the necessary steps to identify what’s important to you and what you want to achieve, as well as determining your strengths and areas for improvement, you can move forward. Choosing the right goals starts with your personal development!
*Sandra Domingos is a certified yoga teacher and personal life coach. She lived in the U.S for over 20 years and have visited more than 50 countries around the world. She lives now (2018) in Itararé, Bahia/Brazil.