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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Personal Development Goals

We all have hopes and dreams, and aspire to reach ever greater heights, whether it be in school, work or family. Personal development goals are used to accomplish this task, and allow us to gauge our success and our progress.

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, sometimes self-improvement and personal growth can be pushed into the background. One way to deal with the need for constant improvement is to develop and plan your personal development goals. 

'If you have an hour, will you not improve that hour, instead of idling it away?'

Personal Development Goals Overview

Personal development is an important aspect of an individuals life. Personal development is a lifelong major undertaking. Cultures all over the world, since ancient times, have added a lot of value on personal development 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 personal development goals. Though far from comprehensive, this list includes areas which constitute a large part of our lives. The areas are
self-improvement, career, health, lifestyle, family, relationships, education, art and culture.

Personal Development Goals: Examples

Self Improvement: This is an area where constant growth and improvement is possible. You can enhance your skill set, you can take up something new, or you could finally get those projects done that you've been putting off. A personal development goal example would be to stop procrastinating and finally get your garden landscaped.

Career: Career growth is one of the most important areas for setting up goals. Work is what one does for a major part of 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.

Health: 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 personal goal and act on it.

Lifestyle: 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 that include are taking a class for music/art appreciation, attending a sculpting workshop, planning a meaningful vacation, or taking up any new sport.

Family: Personal goals regarding family could be, setting a date for marriage, having a child, meeting family members you haven't met for a long time, organizing a family get together, etc.

Relationships: Setting up personal goals for relationships is a good way to approach them and helps you to monitor your progress. Goals could include finding that special someone, going steady, setting a date for engagement, etc.

Education: Education is a key area of
personal development in two ways. It often describes who you 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've 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: Art is an important aspect of human life which has the potential to give a lot of satisfaction and personal growth. Attending art lessons, taking up a musical instrument, or attending an acting workshop could get you started in this area.

Culture: 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 development goals require a few basic steps. One is to set up the goal by identifying an area and setting up a sample personal development goal 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 setup the personal development plans. Once the goal is decided and the time boundaries are 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

Examples of personal goals may include
  • Building your own identity
  • Becoming the person you aspire to
  • Fixing your priorities
  • Specifying your values
  • Determining your lifestyle
  • Defining your ethics
  • Improving your knowledge, potential and awareness
  • Enhancing the quality of your life
  • Developing strengths, learning techniques or methods to achieve wisdom
  • Fulfilling aspirations
  • Building human capital
  • Defining and executing personal development plans.
Have you ever noticed that major religious practices such as prayer, music, dance, singing, chanting, poetry, writing and sports etc., are nothing but personal development programs or tools. These tools were designed to help perform various functions, such as health improvement or aesthetic satisfaction, but they can also be linked to 'final goals' of personal development such as discovering the true meaning of life or living good life. Examples of personal goals can not be considered as 'personal' forever as they often continue to influence family values, education, management at workplace or rather every aspect of life. Personal development goals play an important role in leadership and management. Here are some examples of personal development goals at work.

Examples of Personal Development Goals at Work

Here are sample personal development goals:
  • To increase level of professionalism and efficiency
  • To communicate effectively with all colleagues and boss
  • To recognize and appreciate work of others
  • To create a new strategy for maximum output with minimum resources
  • Learn what is required to enhance your performance (continuing education)
  • Learn stress relieving techniques
I think you would accept the fact that your goals at this point of time would be surrounded by the roles that you are currently fulfilling.

Setting personal development goals for managers is crucial, since without these goals their career can be ruined. Learning new
management skills, developing positive thinking, learning new techniques of human resource management, adopting negotiation skills, learning the art of dealing with difficult people are some examples of personal goals for managers.

While setting a goal, you should just check how this goal is going to affect you in the four areas of life; body, heart, mind, and spirit? You should set meaningful, realistic and professional 'development goals' to make progress towards your ideal life. Setting long term goals is as essential as setting weekly or daily goals. You need to set SMART goals, no matter where you work or what you do, as SMART goals are based on the principle that goals could be easily achieved if they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

Properly set goals lead you towards the path of success, allow you to take risks and set challenges. If you have set goals, then only, you keep trying, if at first you don't succeed. Goals help you control your emotions and fears when the going gets rough. Achieving small goals makes you more and more confident and you can easily set and achieve big goals then. Goal setting is very personal but I hope you find the above 'personal development goals examples' helpful while setting new goals. While setting new goals, you must look inward to understand what it is you truly want to accomplish. Setting personal goals requires discipline, time, and an ardent desire to make personal change.

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