What’s your definition of personal growth? Which aspects do you assess when determining how much you’ve developed as a person over the years? Do you think you’re slowly but surely working your way up, or are you still lost and confused?
Everyone has their own set of personal growth goals that they aspire to achieve. To reach yours, you need to check yourself regularly. When you become aware of your progress, you’ll be more motivated and less discouraged even if you hit some road bumps along the way.
Why Are Personal Growth Goals Important?
Self-improvement goals allow you to have direction in life. With them, you’ll know where you’re going and why you’re working hard in the first place. What’s more, setting personal growth goals lets you have better control of your present and future.
Being goal-oriented enables you to be more focused, motivates you, and helps you avoid procrastination. Of course, it’s not enough to just pinpoint a few random things you want to achieve. You have to sit down, think carefully, and come up with SMART goals.
However, even SMART goals can be overwhelming if you focus on all of them all at once. It’s best to take them one at a time. But what exactly are SMART goals?
- Specific: They’re clear and concise. Avoid making vague and general goals.
- Measurable: Your goals have to be tangible enough to be measured in some way. Those that are difficult to gauge will only lead to slow progress and may discourage you.
- Achievable: Don’t set yourself up for failure. Choose goals that are realistic and within your capabilities.
- Relevant: Goals should apply to your circumstances and no one else’s. Make sure that they’re aligned with your general plans. There’s no point in hitting milestones that won’t contribute to your personal growth in the long run.
- Timely: When you give yourself enough time to succeed, you won’t burn yourself out, and you’ll experience less pressure and stress. More importantly, specifying the completion time of each goal will help you plan accordingly in order to meet the deadline.
How to Measure Personal Growth
It’s possible to develop different areas of your life no matter how busy you are. In doing so, you’ll experience and benefit from holistic personal growth.
But how will you know if you’re making improvements in any or all of them? Keep reading to find out how to measure personal growth depending on the area you’re working on.
Self-improvement should be all-encompassing. This means you should strive to grow all the relationships you have with the people around you.
It’s true that you’re setting goals primarily to better yourself, be a positive influence on others, and gain personal success. However, in working toward your objectives, you have to consider the state of your current relationships. Are you happy with them? Do they inspire you? Do you find them rewarding?
Part of personal growth is spending enough quality time with your loved ones. Here are some points to consider when aligning your goals with your relationships:
- Are you working so much that you can no longer prioritize your family? Do you still get to have dinner with them on most nights?
- Do you spend too much time watching your favorite TV shows instead of taking care of your home? Is it possible for you to set a schedule for housework and another for me time?
Personal growth and confidence are connected in that you become more confident if you consistently work on your personal growth. But given that confidence is an intangible concept, how do you measure it?
You can determine your confidence level by reflecting on how confident you are now compared to yesterday. Remember to keep track of this daily. Doing so will help you reflect on why you lack self-confidence and find areas you’re most confident about. Feel free to assess your confidence in relation to the following:
- Public speaking
- Your relationships
- Your physical capabilities
You can measure your personal growth by looking at how positive and focused your mindset is. Like confidence, one’s mindset isn’t an object to be physically measured. Here are some questions you may ask to check whether yours is in sync with your personal goals:
- Are you happy and satisfied with who you are?
- Are you often jealous of others? Do you find yourself constantly comparing yourself with others?
- Do you often blame others for your shortcomings?
Ask these questions on a regular basis, and observe the differences in your answers yearly. If you work on improving yourself, your mindset will likely transform within that period. Changes are what will help you ascertain whether you’re progressing or not.
5 Steps to Achieve Personal Growth
Here are several recommended steps you can try to reach your goals and aspirations in life:
1. Set a Timeline
Setting a specific due date for your goals will help you become inspired and motivated to work on them. You’ll be more excited to cross the finish line and savor your victory.
Each of your goals will have a different timeline. Maybe you’re planning on pursuing your dream career, or you could be saving enough money by the time you reach a certain age to purchase your first brand-new car.
Whatever your goals are, own them. You can accomplish them as long as you keep your eyes on the prize. Just be sure not to pressure yourself to finish all of your goals at the same time. Though you can make your timeline a bit challenging, give yourself enough flexibility for unforeseen circumstances that may cause delay.
So how do you start making your timeline? Here’s a short guide you can use:
- Come up with an estimated due date for your goals should everything go according to plan.
- Consider the extra time you’ll need if you come across roadblocks along the way. You can also look for ways to expedite your journey regardless of whether you’ll work toward your goals at a comfortable pace or not.
- Once you’ve decided on a due date, take note of the activities you have to carry out daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly to reach your goals on time. Afterward, you can start finishing those tasks one by one.
You have a better chance of reaching your goals if you manage your time wisely. It’d help for you to learn time management skills to increase your productivity and minimize procrastination.
2. Hit Your Milestones
The timeline you make should be detailed enough that it contains important milestones. Hitting each milestone serves as an indicator that you’re progressing toward your goal.
For instance, your goal is to lose 15 lbs in three months. What are the milestones you need to target? For the first month, you can opt to lose 3-5 lbs, 5-8 lbs more by the second month, and, finally, lose all 15 lbs by the third month. You need to figure out what workout routines to do every day. You also have to calculate how long you need to exercise daily to reach your goal.
Milestones can be likened to items in a to-do list. Check off the ones you’ve accomplished so you have a visual representation of how well you’re advancing.
Your growth journey will have its ups and downs. If you’re having a hard time, look at the milestones you’ve achieved so far to gain enough energy to keep going.
3. Monitor Your Improvement
Having a timeline and milestones won’t be enough for you to succeed in your goals. You have to monitor and track your progress actively as well.
Let’s say your goal is to be financially stable. To achieve that, you need to keep track of your income and expenses. If you continue doing this, you’ll see a pattern in your money habits, which you can then adjust accordingly.
There are tools that you can use to keep an eye on your progress. Some prefer using software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Others turn to project management tools like Asana to set up and check their to-do lists. You may also go for the more conventional pen-and-paper approach.
It doesn’t matter which method you choose. What’s crucial is how consistently you monitor your progress.
Aside from tracking your milestones, you need to examine your emotions, actions, habits, and thought processes. Tracking these may help you gain further insights about your improvement and guide you on how to refocus when there are obstacles present.
4. Set a Regular Monitoring Schedule
Many years have gone and passed. How many of your New Year’s resolutions have you fulfilled? Don’t allow yourself to be trapped by the intense burst of motivation at the start of the year and eventually fall short.
What’s the point of having a timeline, setting milestones, and tracking your progress if you don’t know when to monitor yourself? How regularly you want to do this would depend on you.
The key here is to be consistent. Plot a specific date and time to check your progress and list of milestones. Treat your personal growth progress appointment as a business meeting. Look at all the data you’ve gathered, evaluate your growth, and make the necessary improvements to your game plan to maximize your results.
This step will require patience, resilience, and effort from you. Sharpen your time management and organizational skills to reach your goals more efficiently.
5. Be Your Own Cheerleader and Motivator
The most important key in attaining your goals is cheering yourself on. Going on this path can be tough and test your limits. To stay motivated, you may need daily reminders of what you’re capable of in the form of positive affirmations.
You might be disappointed if you don’t reach your milestones on time. Don’t beat yourself up, though, since that’ll only foster negativity and possibly break your spirit. Instead, use your failures as a learning experience to push yourself to continue and hold on to hope.
You should also be open to making changes to your goals from time to time. There’s a need for you to adapt them to your current situation in order for them to work for you and for you to be able to accomplish them. In addition, you have to be accountable for such changes as you move forward by following these tips:
Find an Accountability Partner
At the onset, going on a solo trip can be exhilarating. However, it may get boring in the long run.
Similarly, your solo journey toward goal attainment might eventually become tiresome and mundane. You’ll need someone to help and motivate you, a partner who’ll remind you to stay focused.
Reach out to someone you trust and can be involved in your personal growth journey early on. This individual will be able to celebrate with you, too, as you hit important milestones.
Celebrate Your Achievements
It’s a good idea to reward yourself whenever you achieve key milestones so you can enjoy the fruits of your hard work and persistence. Doing this will surely reenergize and prepare you for the next steps you’ll have to go through.
Share Your Progress
For the sake of accountability, you can opt to show your progress on social media. Posting regularly and sharing your experiences on any platform of choice may encourage you to keep going and enable you to solicit moral support from friends and followers alike.
Focus on Your Own Business
Life is, for the most part, about progress. When you grow and improve as a person, you’ll likely be more satisfied and happier with your life. You’ll be better than who you were yesterday as well.
Having goals is a great way to give your life more purpose. However, see to it that you don’t move on to the next goal immediately after attaining the current one. Take the time to pat yourself on the back and celebrate your accomplishment first. This way, you won’t end up overworking yourself.
If at this point you’re still struggling to see the importance of personal growth, go ahead and speak with a life coach or counselor about it. At Counseling Now, we can guide you in eliminating road bumps that may get in the way of your personal growth. One of our life coaches will help you in developing a timeline for your SMART goals, working on each of them, and monitoring your emotional wellness. Don’t wait any longer—contact Counseling Now today!