How to Set Your Own Personal Development Goals

Christine Johnson on

“Success is the progressive realization of predetermined, worthwhile, personal goals.” – Paul J. Meyer, businessman & author

Do you check in with yourself to see if your personal development is on the right track? Do you have goals guiding you on this track?  If no, then you may be missing out some key areas of your growth.

Here are four ways help you determine areas for your personal development.

Focus on Strengths

For many people, focusing on areas that they are already good at may seem counterintuitive.  Marcus Buckingham, the founder of The Strengths Revolution, author, and motivational speaker, says we should invest in our strengths:

  • Strengths describe who we are and not who we want to be. Growing these can help us be more productive and have a better relationship with ourselves.
  • Larger ROI. Since it’s all about what we get out of what we do, why not get the biggest bang for your time?  Research is shown we grow “exponentially” more when we focus on our strengths.

So what are your strengths?  And what are you going to do to grow them?

Focus of Opportunities

While I am a firm believer in focusing on our strengths, I do feel that that reviewing our own opportunities is important.  I refuse to call them weaknesses.  Opportunities are areas you consciously identify and want to improve.

When I am talking with job candidates and I ask a question about opportunities, I often get silence or “ah’s” and “um’s”.  No one is perfect and we all have area of our lives we want to improve.  Why can’t we admit it?  If not to someone else at least to ourselves.

Focus on Relationships

How we interact with others can be a constant source of ways for us to grow.  Take any interaction you have had recently.  How did it go?  Would you have liked it to have gone differently? Evaluating these situations will help you hone in on creating personal development goals.

I made commitment goals to learn from my business interactions with others early on in my career.  By being aware, I have been able to pick up when my tone is not matching my words or reign in my listening skills when my mind is not focused.  How did I learn these things?  Using personal development tools like self-reflection, reading books, and listening to podcasts.

Focus on Skills

What is a skill that you would like to learn or improve?  How could learning this skill help you not only grow personally, but even professionally?  Take learning to paint.  Not only will you learn the skills about creating art, choosing color palettes, and knowing what brush to use, I bet you will learn something about patience, interpretation, and practice in the process.

We live in a world where we are waiting for someone else to take the lead.  With our own personal and professional development, we need to own it.

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