When we recognize the need for change in our life we begin to ponder what kind of change is needed, and what it will take for us to become the person we want to be. The development of solid goals and personal development ideas is the first step to creating positive change in your life.
Personal development starts with the intention to change. This starts with taking full responsibility for our life, and recognizing areas in our life that we wish were different. We have to understand that we are the creators of the life we want to live.
Although there are many hard lessons for us to learn along the way, we all have the ability to make positive choices right now to move us in the direction of our desired self. We truly can become the person that we dream to be, but it starts with the generation of ideas and visions of what our ideal self-looks like.
Then step by step we need to move in the direction of our personal development goals on a daily basis. If you are ready to start making a positive change in your life then here are 3 personal development ideas to help get you started.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone-This is one of the most important personal development ideas
One of the best personal development goals we can set is a commitment to getting out of our comfort zone. The good news is that the more we face our fears and challenge our comfort zone the easier it becomes to continue on this path and experience things in life that we never imagined. Getting outside of our comfort zone may be challenging at first, but doing so can help us be happier and fulfilled in the long run. We need to first change our mindset and think more positively about getting out of our comfort zone. The more we do this the more habitual it becomes.
Here are some tips to help you get out of your comfort zone.
Start by writing down a list of some of the things that challenge you.
Think of some of your fears or the things that you have always wanted to do but have been too scared, self-conscious, or busy to do. Often times these activities include things that we have held ourselves back from doing because of our own self-beliefs.
Put one or two of the items from your list in the form of a goal or mission statement.
Come up with reasons what you want to accomplish the challenge or have the new experience. Ask yourself what you might gain from the specific experience that gets you out of your comfort zone. Write it down on a piece of paper and carry it with you, or read it before you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning. Remind yourself of the above reasons each time you are thinking of backing down from the experience.
Bring a close friend or family member along for the experience to give you some added support and encouragement.
It can often be more difficult to do new things when we are alone, but with a supportive person, it can sometimes make the challenge easier and less threatening. Choose someone who has an adventurous side to them or who is already familiar with the activity that challenges you.
Break the challenging activity down into a multi-step process.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the idea of getting out of your comfort zone then don’t dive completely in. Make it a step by step process that gradually builds you up to the completion of the activity.
Remind yourself that the activity is a chance to grow.
Fear can often be the biggest barrier to getting out of our comfort zone. It is often the one thing that holds people back from even getting started on their personal development ideas. Use an affirmation such as “After I do this I will feel happier and more fulfilled.” Or visualize the positive outcome once you have completed the challenge.
Take some deep breaths and practice positive self-talk.
Deep belly breathing and self-coaching have both been proven to reduce fear and anxiety when trying new things. Tell yourself things such as “Yes it’s uncomfortable, but I can manage” or “I am cool, calm, and under control” or “I know you’re scared, but just have fun with it, you are can do it.”
Travel And Visit New Places
Traveling I a great way to grow and learn more about yourself. New environments often challenge us to be daring, adventurous, and open-minded. They often expand our awareness and help us to try new things that we might never try if we stayed in one place.
You don’t necessarily have to travel far or leave the country to for personal development purposes. You can search up sites or destinations within your own town. If nature or scenic traveling is not your thing, then check out museums, art galleries, or local sites in the city. You could also consider checking out sites in the nearest town or large city.
If you need some added motivation to travel research has proven the following 5 benefits to traveling:
- Traveling make you healthier. A study from the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association, found that women who took a vacation two times per year displayed a much lower risk of heart attack than those who traveled every six years or less. Men also have a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease and death when they do not take an annual vacation.
- Traveling Is A Stress Reliever. One study showed that travelers feel more rested and less anxious three days after taking a vacation. It also showed that these benefits carried on for weeks after the conclusion of the trip.
- Traveling Enhances Your Creativity. Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School has authored several studies that find solid lings between international travel and creativity. He says that foreign experiences increase the depth of thought and cognitive flexibility. To take it a step further studies have shown that multicultural engagement, immersion, and adaptation were a key component of travel that helped to enhance creativity. Thus, someone who travels and engages with the local culture will get more of a creative boost than someone who never engages with the local environment.
- Traveling Can Boost Happiness And Satisfaction. Naturally, people seem to be happier when they are traveling and not worrying about work or other obligations. Furthermore, one study from Cornell University found that people experience happiness boosts simply from the act of planning a vacation. Then, three days after a trip people feel in a better mood, more rested, and less anxious. In fact, it was also discovered that the anticipation of taking a vacation was much greater than that of obtaining a physical possession. So the benefits of traveling begin before the actual trip and continue to last after the trip has ended.
- Traveling Lowers One’s Risk For Depression. Studies have shown that traveling can help reduce depression. One such study was from the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin. It found that women who take a vacation two times a year or more are less likely to report chronic stress and/or depression than women who only vacation one time every two years or less.
Traveling is an excellent idea for personal development, and the benefits to one’s health and well-being make it an even more enticing draw for people looking for positive change in their lives.
Improve Your Daily Habits, Or Develop/Enhance Your Personal Character Traits
There are many daily habits and character traits that we can all commit to developing or enhancing in our life. The following is a list of potential character traits or daily habits that we can work on our path toward these personal development ideas.
Develop The Attitude Of Gratitude – Gratitude can help us increase our happiness, improve our mental and physical health, improve sleep, and enhance our relationships. Gratitude is about a feeling and expression of appreciation and thankfulness for all that we have (even the small things). All that we have received, and for the things that fortunately have not befallen us. In other words, it is the opposite of discontentment.
If we put forth the effort and keep an open mind we can always find something to be grateful for no matter how desperate or negative things may appear. Gratitude can change our perspective and sweep away the small day to day annoyances that we focus much of our attention on.
These small annoyances often bring up emotions of anger, resentment, impatience, negativity, and intolerance. However, gratitude can help us reduce self-centeredness, self-pity and help us to feel more connected to others and the world, as well as give us a greater feeling of well-being.
Practice Optimism – Much like gratitude, optimism is another wonderful quality to purposefully cultivate in our lives. Studies have shown that optimistic people are happier, healthier, and live longer than those who are negative and pessimistic.
You can begin cultivating optimism by being aware of your thoughts and feelings. Practicing calming and stress management exercises such as deep belly breathing, yoga, or meditation, and by noticing and savoring the good things in your life (being grateful), and by connecting with yourself, your body, your loved ones, and the world around you.
Embrace Empathy – Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to the emotions of others. It is a very important quality for happy and healthy relationships, and to be an all-around happy and successful person. If we purposefully approach situations with an empathetic perspective it helps us to be more solution-oriented, form more meaningful relationships, and understand ourselves. It is important to realize that we can all increase our empathy but just like any character trait it takes hard work and effort.
Become An Active Listener – Learn to pay attention to others and demonstrate that you genuinely value their thoughts and opinions. You can begin active listening by removing distractions, having supportive body language, and asking open-ended questions.
Stop Procrastinating – Procrastination is a habit and can be improved with intentional effort. Just like we can learn habits, we can also unlearn them. Make efforts to use your time in the most effective manner possible.
Wake Up Early – One excellent habit of high achievers is waking up early. The old saying that says: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise!” is a timeless truth that still applies today.
Some benefits of early risers include: doing early morning exercise to help our fitness and be alert for the day, watching the sunrise, and being able to start your day off with an important project. Studies have shown that early risers are healthier, happier, and more productive than later risers.
Become More Proactive.
- They see themselves as more in control of their lives.
- They do not consider themselves to be victims of the outside world.
- They do not allow others to determine their fate.
- They take complete responsibility and ownership of the results they get throughout their lives.
Master the Art of Conflict Resolution. Conflict happens in relationships. It is very beneficial to our wellbeing to develop the skill of conflict resolution. It can contribute to one’s happiness. Also, your success if you possess the ability to resolve disputes assertively and in a positive manner.
Let Go of The Past. One of the biggest barriers to personal development is holding on to the past. One aspect of happiness is the ability to be present. In order to be present, and envision a positive future it’s important that we learn strategies to release our past heartaches, pains, traumas, and struggles.
Read More. Read Often. The treasure of knowledge that reading has can be extremely beneficial to our mental and emotional wellbeing. Research has shown that acquiring new knowledge satisfies our thirst for competence, which can increase one’s happiness. Finding books and topics of interest can be helpful. Also making a commitment to improving our reading skills through reading more often.
Become More Resilient. Resilience is our inner ability to overcome adversity. It is a quality that helps us face our problems with confidence and bravery. Work toward developing the quality of bouncing back from problems or challenges. This will help you to notice your self-confidence and internal composure increase.
Manage Stress Effectively. Too much stress can cause use many psychological and physical hardships. It’s important to learn and apply stress management tools. There are a plethora of stress management techniques online. Do a quick search and begin practicing stress management tools on a daily basis until you find some that are a good fit for you.
Ignore Your Limitations. Limiting beliefs hold you back because they get you caught up in your comfort zone. This is hindering you from trying new things or taking risks due to the fear of failure. We all have limiting beliefs, and often they were developing at a young age. It is important to identify your limiting beliefs and make a commitment to conquer and replace them with positive achievement based beliefs to move you in the direction of your goals and dreams.
Become More Mindful. Make efforts to become more mindful. Instead of spending time dwelling on the past which no longer serves your interest, or worrying about the future, learn to live in the present and enjoy the current moment in which you are living.
Make Better Decisions. Develop the habit of making better decisions in life. The choices and decisions you make determine the life you will eventually lead. Your decisions shape your life, so the better the decisions you make, the better your life will likely be.
Develop A Growth Mindset. A growth mindset is the belief that we can develop our self and our abilities through work and effort. Versus a fixed mindset, which is the belief that we are born with a certain set of abilities that cannot be changed throughout our life. Studies have shown that people with growth mindsets show greater improvements in their ability than those with fixed mindsets. Just like any other skillset, our mindsets can also be improved or developed. Make a commitment to seeing yourself as the type of person who can change, grow, and improve with effort and hard work.
The above-mentioned personal development ideas and goals have been listed to help you move in the direction of your desired self. If you have any other thoughts or suggestions to add to the conversation please leave a comment. Let us know some of the things you have done to jump-start your personal development.