“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” — Will Durant
Have you ever tried to define personal growth? It’s that immense feeling of expansion. You feel like you’re a greater person when you become better, kinder, and more knowledgeable. Your soul grows bigger. It’s the goal we all have in life, whether we realize it or not.
Why should we be concerned about personal growth, you might ask?
- The goal to become a better person gives us a sense of direction. You know that feeling of being lost? You won’t experience it if you know where you’re headed to: towards a better you.
- The journey of personal development makes us more self-aware. We get to realize who we really are and what we want to become. We identify our beliefs and values, as well as our purpose in life.
- This goal gives us focus. We get the feeling that we’re not wasting a single day when we continue working on ourselves. We become more motivated to achieve our goals, and we develop resilience against stressful situations.
There’s no question about it: it’s important for each and every one of us to develop a culture of personal growth. The only question is: how?
That’s why we’re here for today: to learn how we can give a boost to our personal growth journey. I have a few tips to share:
1. Then, Act!
We all have dreams. Until we start acting upon them, they remain dreams. To turn those ideas into tangible goals, we need to strategize a bit. If for example, I want to become more knowledgeable, I’ll define a precise area of study and I’ll locate several online courses I can take. Then, I’ll include the timelines of those courses in my Google Calendar and I’ll plan my time in a way that helps me achieve that goal. That’s how I managed to complete a mindfulness course on Coursera. It was a great experience that made me realize: I can turn every dream into a goal, and every goal into action.
- Your strategy needs to include long-term goals, which you’ll translate into short-term goals that lead you in that direction.
- Then, you’ll need to work gradually towards the desired results. You can’t expect rapid, flashy personal development. It’s a process, so be patient and walk through it.
2. Confront Your Comfort Zone
Is it a comfort zone or pure laziness? However you put it, it’s the same thing. If you want to develop a personal growth mindset, you’ll have to stand against that comfort zone. You’ve been thinking about joining a book club, but you don’t like meeting new people and you can’t relax when being in a group? It’s time to get out of your shell.
Whatever it is you dream about doing, do it! Whether it is about learning a new skill, developing a new habit, or visiting Japan, just make your strategy and start doing something. The comfort of your personal space is cool, but it may suffocate the growth.
It’s amazing how good literature can expand our points of view. It inspires us to explore new ideas, places, and cultures. Turn yourself into a passionate reader! List at least 10 books you want to read this year, and start reading 30 pages every single day. You can definitely find time for 30 pages.
As for the books, they have to be valuable. Don’t focus on mainstream bestsellers! If you’re wondering where to start, here’s a good list to consider: the Rory Gilmore reading challenge.
4. Follow an Example
Do you have a person you admire? A yoga teacher? Keanu Reeves, maybe? What is it about their character that attracts you so much? How did they achieve that level that helped them develop a magnetic personality? What did they do?
You can start following their footsteps. Join courses and lectures they attended and start learning the things they know. It’s important not to become obsessed, though. Remember: you’re you. Your personal growth will be an individual journey. You can use others as your motivation, but always be self-aware!
5. Keep Challenging Yourself!
Our life can become full of routines even when we stay committed to personal growth. Reading, exercise, healthy eating… everything can become a boring routine. Commitment is much different than routine. We need to keep imposing challenges to ourselves.
As a writer at writing service, I can’t risk turning my job to a boring habitual practice. I want to grow. That’s why I practice a weekly exercise and involve my colleague writers in it: we get a prompt and write a 150-word story. We share our stories between us, and we give each other feedback. That’s the kind of challenge I’m talking about. Do something different, something that pushes you forward and keeps you on the path of personal growth. The most important thing is to have fun along the way.
6. Become Physically Strong
Our body is a reflection of our inner state of being. Being able to get into a headstand or a handstand requires not only physical, but mental and emotional strength as well. A constant physical activity makes your character stronger and more resilient.
Turn this into a habit: start every single day with a physical activity. Pick yoga, cardio fitness, aerobic, pilates… whatever you want. Stay committed to your practice and you’ll notice the change in mindset.
7. There’s No Need to Do Everything
When you start listing areas you want to improve yourself in, the list will be endless. Be realistic: it’s not possible to master every single aspect of your being. Make priorities and stay focused on the goals that really matter.
Don’t forget: personal growth is not an easy thing. It’s a lifelong journey that takes commitment, persistence, and actions. Stick to that plan!
Sophia Anderson is a freelance writer and a blogger who is passionate about covering topics on writing, learning, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes that learning something new every day is a must. Her inspiration comes from reading books and online blog posts that cover a wide range of her interests. Meet Sophia at @Sophia7Anderson.