It seems almost everyone likes to make goals for the upcoming new year.
Some may choose to focus on their careers in order to get a promotion or be more qualified in their field. Others might decide that they want to get better at a hobby or sport. For instance, a swimmer might set the goal to improve their performance.
Those are certainly are good ideas, but what about making your focus your personal growth in the New Year?
All too often people look outside themselves towards what they believe are “tangible” objectives. Yet, they miss out on the important work that can be done inwardly through personal growth.
Consider three ways you can grow in the new year.
1. Identify Your Strengths and Not-So-Strengths
First, it helps to do a self-inventory of what you do well and where you need to improve in regards to personal growth. This can actually be pretty hard for some to do.
For instance, you might find it easy to identify your strengths, but your not-so-strengths might be harder to pin down. Or you find it too easy to list all of your not-so-strengths, yet have no idea what your true strengths are.
Some examples of each include:
- You find it easy to empathize with other people.
- Listening can be difficult for you.
- You follow a self-care routine.
- It’s hard for you to find the time to relax and unwind.
By the way, the words “not-so-strengths” is intentional. It’s more positive and affirming than saying “weaknesses.” For some, that word can be very discouraging and might even tie into their personal growth struggles.
You don’t’ have to use the same wording, but surely you get the idea. It helps to identify what your strengths are and where you believe you could improve.
2. Create a Plan
Once you have identified your strengths and not-so-strengths, make a plan for each item that you wish to improve upon. Note, it helps to keep this list to three or so goals. Any more can be overwhelming. Plus, it’s harder to direct your focus and attention to the areas that you do want to improve.
Not sure how to make a plan? Do some research!
- Use the Internet (but only reputable sources!).
- Ask a friend or family member who’s been in the same shoes you are.
- Trust your gut!
When planning, use the SMART acronym as a guide. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. You’ll find that this will make it easier for creating effects plans to reach your goals.
3. Commit and Do the Work
Finally, make the commitment and do the work to make your plans a reality. For instance, let’s say that you want to become more mindful in the New Year. How could you accomplish this?
Some ideas include:
- Every day, schedule 15 minutes or so of personal reflective time.
- Follow a meditation or breathing practice.
- Make this time a priority.
- Be willing to try new techniques and practices.
If you miss a day, that’s okay! Instead of beating yourself up, rededicate yourself to the practice. Remember, it takes time to build and sustain new habits.
Professional Help for Personal Growth
Personal growth is something that’s never done. There’s always some area to improve upon. The points mentioned above can be replicated time after time. However, if you struggle with the idea of nurturing or committing to personal growth, you might want to get some extra help.
Perhaps you have decided that you need to address some issues from your past that are painful to recall. Or you know that you want to improve yourself but are just not sure how. A therapist will be able to support you with identifying, planning, and implementing the changes you want to achieve.
If you would like help with setting goals for the new year and working toward achieving them, please contact us. It would be our pleasure to help you further your personal growth.