Everyone has a desire to get ahead, to set goals for themselves, and seek personal growth in all walks of life. Life in itself can be challenging and sometimes, basic survival becomes the need of the hour. Furthermore, competition, work pressure, and responsibilities have to be dealt with. Faced with this scenario, self-improvement and personal growth can be pushed into the background sometimes. One way to deal with the need for constant improvement is to develop and plan your goals for development and growth. As said by Lord Chesterfield,
If you have an hour, will you not improve that hour, instead of idling it away?
Personal development is an important aspect of an individuals life, and is a lifelong major undertaking. Cultures all over the world since ancient times have given a lot of importance to it in order to bring children and youth into the society, and fulfill and assume meaningful roles within it. Religion, philosophy, and ethics all encompass methods for personal development and self improvement. I have made a list of a few areas where one can set goals for development. Though far from comprehensive, this list includes areas which constitute a large part of our lives, like self-improvement, career, health, lifestyle, family, relationships, education, art, and culture.
This is an area where constant growth and improvement is possible. You can enhance your skill set, take up something new, or finally get those projects done that you have been putting off. An example of this would be to stop procrastinating and finally get your garden landscaped.
This is one of the most important areas for setting up goals. Work is what one does for a major part of the time, and also, one’s identity and self-esteem is based on where they work and what they do. Working towards a promotion, increase in responsibility, or an increment in salary are all examples of career-related goals.
Working on aspects of your health, such as losing weight, increasing your stamina, or eating healthier, may be on your mind. The right thing to do would be to select one as a goal for yourself and act on it.
Many people are looking for ways to enhance their lifestyles, and you can easily do so by setting a personal goal, such as enrollment in a wine tasting club. Other ways are taking a class for music/art appreciation, attending a sculpting workshop, planning a meaningful vacation, or taking up any new sport.
Personal goals regarding family could be setting a date for marriage, having a child, meeting family members you have not met for a long time, organizing a family get together, etc.
Setting up personal goals for relationships is a good way to approach them, and helps you monitor your progress. Goals could include finding that special someone, going steady, setting a date for engagement, etc.
This is a key area of personal development, as it often describes who you are and where you work. Continuing and enhancing your education for a career or out of interest is always a good goal for development. You could finally take that foreign language class you have been thinking of, or take some time out to study art history or Renaissance studies. Other options could include taking advanced courses in your area of work or an advanced degree in management.
Art is an important aspect of human life, and has the potential to give a lot of satisfaction to anyone. Attending art lessons, taking up a musical instrument, or attending an acting workshop could get you started in this area.
Culture is a vast area to explore and you could do this by learning a new cuisine, traveling, going on an archaeological dig, learning a traditional dance form, etc.
As seen in the above paragraphs, setting personal goals requires only a few basic steps. One is to do this by identifying an area and setting up a sample goal for personal development within it. The next step is to put a time boundary on the activity, that is, when to start and how long it should take. The next step is to set up the development plans. Once the goal is decided and the time boundaries set, it is simply a matter of putting the plans into action.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ― Aristotle