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Personal development goals are essential for growth. It’s imperative that as you grow numerically, other aspects of your life such as the mental faculty must grow too. 2021 is finally here! And it’s about time! 2020 is better off gone and I pray it took with it all its drama.
So I’ve been working on my new year goals and topping the list are 12 personal development goals. This is because everything starts with me, my mindset and how I perceive life. Have you planned how you want to grow as a person?
To help you navigate through this article better, I have provided a table of contents below.
What is personal development?
Personal development involves investing in yourself so that you are able to effectively cope and manage yourself regardless of what life throws your way. It has five elements which are Mental, spiritual, social, emotional and physical aspects.
You need personal development to grow in the various aspects of your life. And this does not come in a silver pill. You have to invest time in personal growth. Personal development affects your quality of life, your happiness, your relationship with others and overall success in life. Every good and important thing needs work, dedication and consistency. You as a person are more important than anything and so you must embark on strategies to improve yourself.
Why set goals?
You need to know who you are, where you are right now, what you are doing and where you are going. Sometimes all these things may not be so clear perhaps because of the circumstances that may be surrounding you. But if you set some goals for yourself, it may assist you to get a clearer picture of your life and where you would want to be.
Not only do goals give you vision and motivation but they also help you monitor your growth. They also help you align your focus and ensures that you are in charge of your change and growth. If you don’t set goals for yourself in every area of your life, you may find yourself being tossed to and fro by peer pressure, circumstances and other influential forces. But if you have a list of life goals that you always refer to, you will be able to track your progress.
Whichever project you embark on, always ensure that your goals are SMART; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
12 personal development goals for 2021
Let’s get right into our 12 personal development goals for the year 2021!
Spirituality is recognising and believing that there is something more supreme and superior than you. And there’s more to humanity than what meets the eye. This offers hope, peace, security, happiness and contentment. For individuals that struggle with anxiety and other mental health-related issues, it offers comfort and relief. It also enables you to make better and responsible decisions in life and dispels the fear of death.
Psychology says spiritual people are more gracious, compassionate, self-actualised, tend to practice gratitude and flourish better than those who are not. Personally, I don’t believe life came about by an accidental bang or evolution of some sort. I believe life is a purposeful and planned design of a supernatural divine and supreme mastermind. The creator created life by purpose and for a purpose. You were created for a purpose and by purpose, are you living that purpose?
You can’t go about life believing you are a coincidence. Life is easier to navigate when you have an object of hope. I share spiritual articles here, do subscribe for weekly spiritual inspiration in your mail.
Spirituality is a delicate and sensitive subject. You must be careful what you venture in. and if you are just starting, you need proper guidance. I recommend you start here.
Discover who you are
They say the most important journey you will ever take is the journey to self-discovery. It’s a life long journey that involves discovering who you are, your temperament, your potential, your principles, core values, and purpose in life. It involves introspection which is taking a trip into your inner self. This article will guide you on how to introspect the right way without getting trapped by ruminating thoughts.
Self-discovery is a crucial component of personal growth. Of which the ultimate desired destination for this journey is self-awareness, self-love, self-acceptance, self-confidence and self-actualisation. True happiness begins when you know and love yourself. You will have more success in your relationships because this will improve your relationship with yourself.
Accept and love yourself
When you love yourself, you feel good about yourself and it shows by the way you treat yourself and other people. You carry so much positivity around you that you literally become irristable regardless of your physical appearance.
Most often, the hindrance to self-love and acceptance is body image; which involves how an individual sees their body and how attractive and desirable they see themselves to be. Most often, body image is influenced by the society, peers, family, friends, social media and the fashion industry. You need a healthy body image for you to have good self-esteem. Healthy body image is loving and accepting your body as it is and not trying to change it to satisfy society or your idea of what “beauty” is supposed to look like.
If you have issues with self-love, this article gives you 16 ways of practising self-love.
Let go of your past
The past can be a dilapidating factor in one’s personal development especially if it contains memories of abuse, rejection, failure, loss and other undesirable memories.
The past has a way of repeating itself through the people involved, like carrying on some curse. For instance, an individual that was raised in a toxic environment is likely to be a toxic parent if he/she does not break away from the past and make peace. Create an iron wall between you and your past where memories can neither penetrate and hurt you nor change the course of your life. Do not allow your past to define who you are or your future.
Embark on that project that you have been planning forever
I have this friend that has been talking about this brilliant business idea for over a year now but hasn’t taken a step of actualising it. If that’s you, my question is, what are you waiting for? No time is right, the time is now! You have planed for too long. If plans were babies, obviously your plans could be moving on walking aids now because of old age. Just do it already!
I had planned this blog for years and when I eventually put it into effect, I wished I had done so the very day I had thought about starting a blog. Unlike planing one thing for years. There’s need for progression in life, procrastination is a thief of time, you are not getting any younger.
Embrace positivity and gratitude
Positivity and gratitude work hand in hand. You can’t be grateful for anything in life with a negative mindset. It takes a positive outlook on life to discover the beauty of every situation. Your thoughts affect your actions and your actions determine whether you will succeed in your endeavours and your personal relationships. Naturally, nothing good comes out of pessimism as it ruins everything including you in the end. You need to take responsibility for how you think, feel, and react to situations in order for you to be in control of your life. You can learn more about the benefits of positive thinking here.
Gratitude has several benefits that are highlighted in this article, which will also guide you on how to practice it. It has been proven that individuals that are grateful in life tend to be happier and content regardless of life situations.
Invest in your relationships with others
We all have an inner circle of people that we know we cannot do without. People that we love, cherish or care about. However, sometimes life gets so busy that we may forget to give back as much or more than we are taking from these people. How are you caring for those that care for you? Do you even see the efforts that they make to please you or make you happy? Do you make quality time for them? Are you faithful and loyal?
Sometimes, you may feel the need to expand your inner circle by acquiring new friends or perhaps finding love. Have you done your homework which is loving and accepting yourself? If you skip this very important step, it will be hard for you to find true love. And if you do find it, it may be hard for you to keep it. Work on your self-esteem so that you are able to attract people to yourself, that way, you will not settle for less.
And remember the ultimate rule that will never grow old; do to others as you want to be done to you. If you apply this rule, you will find your relationships fulfiling. Sometimes, you have to die a little to get the most out a relationship. Don’t always strive to win. Sometimes, your loss is an ultimate win in disguise. Learn to forgive, tolerate, sacrifice and compromise in love.
Learn a new skill
Learning is a never-ending process and is necessary for personal growth. Acquiring new skills opens up so many possibilities such as new income streams, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities by making your resume richer. It increases your productivity, broadens your perspective and creates a sense of achievement. It can also help you self-actualise especially if your focus is purpose-oriented.
Balance your finances
We cannot deny the fact that one’s financial state affects his/her quality of life and conflict in this area may result in lack of peace, harmony and/or the advent of anxiety stress and even depression. Therefore, there’s a need for one to set his/her financial priorities right. How are you spending your money? Are you investing and saving? Are you deep in debts?
The pandemic caused so much havoc on the global economy that almost everyone felt the impact. If you are one of those that were affected negatively, you can rise again by slowly paying off debts and balancing your standards of living with your current income.
Spend less time on social media
Human beings are social by nature and thrive on functional and satisfying human relationships. We learn a lot of skills and great ideas from social media, but we also learn a lot of bad habits, mannerisms and stereotypes from there too. Social media has so much bad influence in the sense that it does not reflect the real-life situations of most people that post on platforms. This leaves one unsatisfied with their own lives, feeling left out, insufficient, disadvantaged or less privileged.
If social media takes up too much of your time or leaves you feeling empty, unhappy or bad about yourself, wean yourself from it slowly. Psychology has proven that social media is a source of anxiety, depression and even suicidal tendencies. It increases unproductivity and time-wasting.
I can not lie to you that I do not use social media. In fact as a blogger, sometimes I’m required to be on those platforms to showcase my work or provide solutions in certain social threads. If you can not avoid it altogether, you can set a daily target. For instance, I know that I easily get distracted if I start scrolling down all those updates on my feed. So I set daily targets such as I must not go online until I finish writing an article, or complete a chapter of a book. That way, I maintain focus and maximise my time.
Avoid unnecessary drama
The older you grow, the more you must yearn for peace and quiet. Work on your conflict resolution techniques in order for you to preserves your relationships. You must realise that it’s not necessary to control other people especially those that are under your influence. People grow and eventually, they will outgrow you. When this happens, you will lose the control you thought you had on them. And this creates a feeling of instability and imbalance on your part.
There’s more to life than having your way all the time. Who told you that your ways and ideas are more supreme than others? Yes, you may be smart and wise in certain areas, but be open to learning from others in other areas. You are not infallible.
“Tit for tat” kind of living will get you nowhere and it’s time you started minding your own business, literally. Live a quiet life, be your own icon of beauty and influencer, don’t mind what your neighbour has or does not have and remember that your path and destiny is unique from that of your friend, sister or neighbour.
Self-actualisation is the full realisation of ones potential, complete development of one’s abilities and appreciation of life. This involves your full involvement in life and realizing what you are capable of accomplishing. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you can only self-actualise after you have satisfied your need for survival, security, human relationships and self-esteem needs.
Worrying about how you look, what people are doing with their lives or saying about yours, what’s latest on social media, the car that your best friend is driving, etc will hinder you from self-actualisation. And most people that are happy and satisfied in life are those that have attained self-actualisation. This will also define your purpose; when you feel are where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing. The eleven steps that I have provided above for your personal development along with the many other that I share on this blog are meant to guide you towards self-actualisation.
In conclusion, the 12 personal development goals shared above are meant to guide you through a more satisfactory and happier 2021. If you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the 12 personal development goals above satisfy most of those needs and it is proven that happiness comes with the satisfaction of needs in life. You must take 2021 by the horns and ride it like a victor by focusing on improvement of self, how you perceive life and treat others.
What are your personal development goals for the new year? Please do share in the comments below. Thanks for reading, stay well.