Personal growth is one of the greatest investments we can make in ourselves. Whether it’s refining our characters, or becoming more productive, the benefits of personal growth are nothing short of amazing. Some of the greatest achievers who have walked this planet attribute personal growth to being the key factor to their success.
Yet, personal growth just doesn’t happen. It requires time, energy, and most importantly a plan. This is why so many people miss out on its benefits. For instance, the individual who wants to stop gossiping or better control their tongue, likely won’t achieve the results they desire without putting together a strategic plan to change the behavior. Intentionality is the secret ingredient that leads to lasting and effective change. Without it, growth will likely never occur.
So to assist you in your journey I’d like to suggest five simple steps you can utilize to develop your own personal growth plan.
- Identify the areas in your life that need some improvement. The first step to making a positive change is to clearly identify what areas in your life need to be changed. If you’re like me you likely have many areas that could use some improvement. However, trying to focus on them all at once isn’t the wisest approach. Therefore you should list them in order placing the ones that are most detrimental to your success at the top of your list. After doing that, choose 3-5 that you plan to work on first.
- Determine exactly how your life would be better if you changed these things. Take a few moments and think about this clearly. Write down each and every way your life would be better if you improved in certain areas. For example, if you no longer gossiped it would help you stay out of messy situations, increase your integrity in the eyes of others, and most importantly cause God to smile. If you got a handle on negative thinking it would allow you to believe more in yourself and as a result not only would you accomplish more but others would see greater value in you because you see greater value in yourself. By completing this exercise you are giving yourself several solid reasons to pursue change.
- Identify resources that will help you make the improvements you desire. These resources can come in a variety of different forms such as a mentor, a class, or a book. For example, if you struggle with a bad temper maybe you should find someone who conquered in this very area. Speak to them for helpful tips and tricks that helped them overcome. Then study the scriptures on anger and self control, maybe even make a visit to the library and check out books that deal with anger management.
- Map out specific times when you can use the resources. Knowing the areas you need to work on and having the proper resources isn’t enough, you must now be intentional about your growth. You must understand that the enemy will be working feverishly against you in this process. He doesn’t want to see you soar and rise above your past self. Therefore, he will do whatever he can to distract you from this journey. As a result you must deliberately schedule time each week and each day to work on your development. Do not allow one day to go by without consciously working on improving yourself, even if it’s simply scheduling 5 minutes to pray about a specific issue. Stay focused.
- Chart your progress. Nothing is worse than looking back five or seven years and realizing you are in the same exact place today as you were back then. That’s not growth. Yet that’s exactly what happens when people don’t chart their progress. It does something to our minds when we see or don’t see progress. By keeping a log of where we are we can self-motivate ourselves to do more. This is so important when it comes to our personal growth which can easily fall through the cracks of life. What a tragedy to realize we’ve been persisting in the same detrimental behavior for years. To stop the cycle we must chart our progress.
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