Growth isn’t automatic. You have to be intentional about everything that you do, especially your personal development. Making a commitment and developing a plan will get us on the road. Remember that this plan will change from time to time. Nothing is set in stone. So go easy on yourself and let the process work. Keep coming back to your plan when you get off track. Because you will get off track and things will go differently than you think they will. We can’t know the future, so we can’t lay out a perfect plan every time.
Make A Plan For Growth
So what does a plan look like?
If you’re just starting out, you will need to set foundational goals. Ask yourself some questions. What do I need to learn? Do I need to learn parenting skills, relational skills, computer skills? Is there something I want to learn to do? Do you want to learn to meditate or how to cook? Whatever you need to do or want to learn to do will require some sort of plan to reach the goal.
I can’t tell you exactly what those goals will be because they’re specific to you.
Your goal may be to read 10 books this year and journal what you learn. Your plan will be to set aside time each day to read and journal. Another one could be, listen to audio books while you drive instead of the radio or music. And if you’re a member of the public library, the Hoopla app spelled h-o-o-p-l-a or the Libby app spelled l-i-b-b-y may be available for you. You can download free books from your library if you have a library card. Another part of the plan will be to set aside a certain amount of time each day, each week, each month for growth opportunities. This is the intentional part. Decide what you need to do to grow, and when you are going to do it.
Start Small If You Need To
No matter what form growth takes in your life, it will add up with each small step you take. Starting with small manageable increments you can accomplish in quick succession shows your brain that you can grow. The reverse can happen if you’re just starting out. Ye can get overwhelmed and stop growing when you take off too fast. When you stop growing, it does the reverse of what small incremental growth does. When you give up, it reinforces in your brain that this is hard and I’m never going to do it. So start small and work your way into it.
Remember, there is no quick fix
If you want to grow to your full potential, whatever that is, it takes time. Sometimes it takes a long time, sometimes it doesn’t. Think of it this way: you can become pretty good at guitar in about 3 months if you practice 30 to 45 minutes a day. You can only become great at guitar in about ten years of practicing every day. Either way, it takes practice and time to accomplish anything.
Track Your Growth Progress
Just like starting small, tracking your progress helps you see where you’ve come from. It builds and reinforces in your brain the fact that you are changing. No matter how long it’s taking, you’re changing and you need to see it. In business class, they taught us to keep a journal of all of our successes, no matter how small. Ask yourself,
- What did I accomplish this week?
- How does it make me feel?
- What can I use to build on those successes?
Writing down all of your success, big or small, will help you see over time all the things that you have done to get where you are today. Take credit for what you are and what you’ve become. Don’t hide behind phrases like, “Oh well, it was luck” or “It wasn’t really that hard.” You worked for this, you earned it. Don’t ever take for granted the effort you put into anything.
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