Want to be awesome? Ready to be brilliant? Then it’s time to make some big changes in the way of personal growth. Oprah said it best when she said:
“We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” ~Oprah Winfrey
Of course it’s not easy to grow and change as a person, so we thought we’d offer a little inspiration of our own. After all, you’re going to face a few obstacles on your road to newness, no matter how small or large you’ve set your goals.
The good about obstacles is, they were meant to be overcome! The better you get at jumping over hurdles, the sharper your vision will become. Wasn’t it Nietzsche who said “that which does not kill us makes us stronger”?
Personal Growth: What’s Your Angle?
We all have our personal goals, and we all have dreams. Which ones become realized and crystallized into plans for change? That’s up to you, of course, but let’s take a look at what others are doing. Here are some examples of personal growth areas …who knows, maybe you’ll get inspired.
- going back to school
- getting rid of negative emotions
- finding new friends who support you
- changing careers
- learning a difficult new hobby
- pursuing a lifeline dream like hiking the Appalachian Trail or sailing around the world
- Taking a year off and teaching abroad, or doing volunteer work in a remote area of the world
- starting your own business
- taking control of your own finances/freeing yourself from debt
- growing your own food
- forgoing processed foods for a whole year
- saving to buy a home
- quitting an addiction like smoking
We’re just getting warmed up, but you get the idea. Maybe you’ve even come up with a a few of your own by now. Whatever the case may be, let’s see about those tips for staying on track once you’ve begun your personal growth journey.
Tips for Staying on Track for the New You
1. Expect difficulty.
Like we said above, you will find a few hurdles along the way, but instead of being surprised by them, be ready for them. Embrace challenge and get excited about facing it…you will come out the other end stronger and more committed to your goal. Challenges are doing you a favor by testing you and making you better!
2.Don’t expect all your “friends” to be on board.
It’s a harsh truth that while some friends will be wonderfully supportive, others will be slightly less forthcoming with their enthusiasm for your new life. Chalk it up to jealousy or their own negative issues, and move on. Don’t get mired in the social drama of figuring out why some people just aren’t very supportive of you and the new directions you’re trying to take. Just accept it. It’s a bit like expecting the difficulties…expect some people in your life to be negative about change, even if it’s your own changes and not theirs! In fact, you can pity them because change is so traumatic to them, it scares them even when it’s you who’s doing the changing.!
3.Find positive people and hang out with them.
On a related note, seek out the supportive people in your life. Try to just share your goals and what you hope to achieve with a few select people. They should be positive people who will serve as your allies.
4.Be ready to let some people drift away from you.
These are the people who don’t measure up to the level of positivity that you require when you’re working hard to stick to a plan. You could say this is when you find out who your true friends are! In order to stay on track to achieve your goal, be prepared to let the negative people go, at least temporarily. If not, they’ll bring you down and keep you from making your big changes.
5.Write it all down
List your reasons for pursuing your goal, or you could make a bullet list of what the benefits will be once you succeed. This crystallizes your thoughts and makes the goal more real. Read it when you feel unfocused.
6.Break it down into milestones
If the end goal suddenly looms over you like an impossible task and you feel overwhelmed, then seeing success as a series of smaller milestones will help you. Break down your goal into steps, and focus on the next step rather than the big picture, every time things get to be too much.
7.Have answers ready for nay-sayers
As hard as you try to surround yourself with positive people (see Tip #3), a few Negative Nellies will creep into your life. No worries, though! You’ll be prepared, just like you’re prepared for all your obstacles (Tip #1). If they doubt a successful outcome, tell them you’ve got it all worked out. We’ll see when we get there! or how about Oh just you wait! Whatever suits your style, perfect the phrase and repeat it often.
8.Support yourself by celebrating milestone successes
In Tip #6, we mentioned breaking your long-term goal into smaller milestones so you don’t get overwhelmed by the immensity of your project. Well, Tip #8 goes hand in hand with that one: celebrate when you reach one of those milestones! Nothing feels better than celebrating something you’ve achieved, and it’ll keep you highly motivated to reach the next level, too.
9.Seek inspiration from others who’ve gone before you
Someone who’s already done what you’re working to accomplish can serve as a great motivator. You’ll see that person enjoying the benefits of having reached that goal, and you may even get some tips. People love to share their successes, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find someone willing to talk. As a last resort, put it out on Facebook- somebody’s bound to leap at the chance to let everyone know of their past success!
Personal development and growth take amazing amounts of strength and courage, especially for the long term. Save these tips for when you’ve truly lost direction, and you’ll be back on track in no time.