How to set goals for your personal development

Becoming a better person through self-development is an admirable goal well worth pursuing. More than that, it’s a goal that will do you – and the people in your life – a world of good, no matter what stage of the journey you’re at.

You might want to pursue self-development for any number of reasons, from improving the quality of your life to being a better student, spouse, friend, or employee, to doing more in your career, and all these are valid.

Regardless of why you are interested in it, the most important thing you can do is to simply start.

Picking a starting point can be a bit daunting, but you might be relieved to know that it’s far easier than you think. There’s no magic or mysticism; being a better you starts with doing small but significant things every day.

To show you just how simple this is, here are some easy self-development goals that you can commit to that will most certainly have a very positive effect on your life if practised every day.

Actively listen to others

Paying attention – real attention – to others and genuinely listening to what they have to say is one of the easiest ways to show whomever you are talking to that you value them. Asking questions that encourage the other person to talk more, and then giving them the space to do so, is one of the easiest ways to do this.

Practice empathy

By listening closely to others, you will be exposed to perspectives different than your own. Embracing these without judgement will give you the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, even if only for a moment. This, in turn, will provide you with plenty of insight into your own perspectives – a valuable tool in any self-development toolkit.

Embrace fear

This one sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s actually incredibly helpful. Encountering fear in life is inevitable; allowing yourself to be afraid is the first step towards growing comfortable with it. When you’re comfortable with it and fear no longer triggers your fight-or-flight response, you have the power to deal with it rationally.

Kick your procrastination habit

Think putting things off is one of your quirks, or a family tradition, or something genetic? Think again; it’s a habit – a series of choices that you keep making. This is, in fact, good news, as habits can be broken. Using your time as efficiently as possible, rather than putting important tasks off until later, is one of the fastest and most effective ways of becoming a better person and moving your life forward at the same time.

Make destressing part of your routine

Make time to do things that counter the inevitable stresses caused by modern living. This can include exercise, going for a walk somewhere nice with someone you love, spending time helping at the SPCA, or finding a nice spot to read a good book. It’s important not to forget this as stress affects people physically, emotionally, and mentally, and regular destress sessions are the best way to keep yourself in peak physical, emotional, and mental condition.

Share your knowledge and skills

By taking part in activities where you’re sharing what you know and what you can do with others, you’re not only transferring your knowledge and skills to other people; you’re creating a feedback loop that reaffirms everything you know. By teaching and sharing yourself, you reinforce existing neural pathways in your brain. This makes you even better at those things and pushes you ever closer to mastering them entirely.

These are just a few examples of personal development goals to aim for; there are plenty more. The point is that setting and attaining personal development goals isn’t overly complicated; it’s just a matter of consciously doing some very human things that will, without major effort on your part, make the world inside and around you a much better place.

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