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Personal Development Goals – The Complete Guide

Personal Development Goals – The Complete GuideUpdated on February 28, 2021 | Published on February 12, 2020
Reviewed by Dr. Johanna Lamm, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist

Personal Development Goals - The Complete Guide

The negativity in our world is increasing at an alarming rate. Although we have no power in how others are behaving or doing things, we have enough scope and capacity to bring a change within! Life becomes easier when we start setting personal development goals. Most importantly, when you change, the world starts changing with you!

In This Article hide

What is Personal Development?

SUMMARY
Personal development is a life-long commitment towards self improvement.

Personal development is the art of improving yourself by doing the necessary inner work. The journey of personal development starts when you are committed to self-growth. Life starts to change completely when you are focused on self-improvement. Besides that, the world starts to become a better place when more and more numbers of men and women join in this growth marathon!

Most importantly, your personal development will actually happen when you set some goals to improve your life. Therefore, to achieve this you must start with personal development goals. Also, keep it in your mind that personal development is a life-long journey!

Why Personal Development Goals Are Important?

SUMMARY
Personal development goals are important because people actually start to improve their lives with them.

Personal development goals help us to improve ourselves. These are effective tools that make our lives better in every possible way. Besides that, these goals guide us in the correct direction. Gradually, these development goals will assist you to walk away from your comfort zone.

As you implement these changes to improve your life, you gradually bring value to everyone around you! Therefore, the world shifts to a better place as more people become serious in bringing some good changes in themselves.

Personal Development Goals - The Complete Guide
Personal Development Goals – The Complete Guide

How to Set Personal Development Goals?

Goal setting is an art and if you do not know how to do it correctly, you won’t be able to achieve them. This is the reason why most people set goals but sadly they fail to achieve any of those!

Here, we are giving you a few tips on how to set achievable goals – 

Tip #1- Sit Alone and Reflect on Your Life

Sit Alone and Reflect on Your Life
Sit Alone and Reflect on Your Life

So, are you thinking, how to identify your goals? Sit quietly in your room or go for a walk in nature. Reflect on the different areas of your life. Which areas are going fine while which are not working? Only you can answer these questions. Therefore, spend some time alone to find out areas in life you need to work on. 

Tip #2- Meditate

Meditate
Meditate

Still, you are not clear about your goals? Practice meditation. If you have never practiced it, don’t worry, you can start now. Also, meditation need not be a complicated process. Just choose an undisturbed place, sit upright (on a mat or a chair, it really doesn’t matter!), close your eyes and focus on your breathing. It might feel strange at first but as you do it for a week you will become comfortable.

Now when you get comfortable with it, before sitting ask for guidance, like what needs to be done or what is it for your best interest. Answers will come, maybe not immediately but within a few weeks (it can come instantly as well!). You might get the answer while taking a shower while driving or in a dream. Don’t underestimate the power of meditation in setting personal development goals.

Tip #3- Write It Down

Write It Down
Write It Down

Now that you know your goals write them down in a diary. It has been seen that written goals are more effective than the ones we tend to keep in our minds.

Tip #4- Set Fewer Goals

Set Fewer Goals
Set Fewer Goals

Don’t pressurize yourself with too many goals! This is because when our mind is crowded our focus tends to scatter. The best way is to work on one or two goals, achieve those before moving to the next lot. 

Personal development goals for leaders

A leader can improve his organizational success by setting goals to improve his efficiency level. Here are 10 personal and professional development goals that leaders can set for themselves to hone their leadership skills. 

1. Practice being an active listener

As a leader, you must be having a busy schedule. It is normal for you to instruct others. A good leader makes his vision clear to his subordinates. But a great leader is a people person. He spends time communicating with all the team members. He does not pretend to listen to his people but he is truly an active listener.

To strengthen your leadership skill, enable clear communication in your organization. Let the members speak and give their feedback. When you allow your team members to speak freely and listen to their opinion with patience, you automatically instill a strong trust in your people. Therefore, incorporate active listening skills for professional development. 

2. Give constructive feedback to subordinates

Learn to give feedback in a positive way. Instead of highlighting the mistakes talk about how differently the project could have been completed. Do not make personal comments or point out flaws that humiliate people. Talk in an affirmative way. Great leaders inspire people.

If you point a mistake don’t present it as if you are accusing someone! Discuss solutions to problems instead of blaming and hurting others. Talking affirmatively is a practice that you need to develop if you want to become an efficient leader. 

3. Be well informed

An effective leader is always knowledgeable. One of his leadership development goals is staying updated. He has knowledge not only about his industry but also about the others. He reads books every single day. He invests in taking courses and learning new skills.

Get time to scan the important newspapers daily. Set goals to stay ahead of others. You should be the person others could rely on for information. Become the person who knows the most in your organization. 

4. Have great time management skills

Needless to say, great leaders are excellent at managing time. To become a better leader you must learn how to use time effectively. Have a To-Do list for the important tasks. Get up early and start doing things before others are awake.

When you become efficient in time management you get more time for supervising your team.

5. Build a diverse and inclusive team

Ideal work culture is diverse and inclusive. As a leader, it is your duty to bring people from various backgrounds. This builds a dynamic team. Your team would be unique and bubbling with new ideas when you are open to bringing talented people irrespective of their race, skin color, gender, or other parameters. Learn to lead a diverse team.

6. Set high standards 

A leader sets the standard for his organization. If you are leading a company or a business team, you must set high standards. You can set qualities such as punctuality, honesty, assertiveness, activeness, etc. before your team. Communicate that you would not allow anything less than these qualities. 

7. Be the example

When you set the standards you have to follow them first. If you are talking about punctuality all the time, be the example. Live the rules you set for others. When you follow your rules, the employees would have no excuse for not abiding by those. 

8. Have empathy

Good leaders are empathetic. You have to communicate with your employees and know them personally. Maybe this is not possible in large organizations but then you can always give this charge to your managers. A company that is empathetic towards its employees always wins the race. 

9. Become a good mentor

Leaders should have good coaching skills. You cannot make all the decisions in your company. Then you would be burdened with responsibilities. If you allow your employees to decide on certain official matters the organization will function smoothly.

Learn to become a good coach, a mentor to your employees. You must learn how to coach and counsel your team members. Get some training yourself and become an able coach who can guide his employees to make proper decisions and work efficiently.

10. Be honest 

A leader must be honest. If you hide all information your employees might not trust you enough. Include your employees by communicating to them about the company’s major accomplishments and future planning.

Personal development goals for managers

A good manager knows how to deal with all types of situations and people. To become an effective manager you must cultivate certain qualities that enable you to be at the top of the game. 

Here are 10 personal goals that managers can set for themselves to improve their managerial skills.

1. Improve your communication skill

A manager must effectively communicate with the employees. Not only should you encourage open communication, but you must also implement that yourself. Talk clearly. Make your goals clear to your team. If you are not good at communication you should learn and become an expert in this skill.

2. Learn to become a motivator

The best employees also sometimes do not perform to their full capacity. It’s because they are demotivated because of professional or personal reasons. Managers must constantly boost their team. The best managers are great at motivating their teammates. But then, you cannot falsely cheer up people.

If you are not genuinely uplifting them, it would be reflected in your behavior. Employees do understand the difference between authentic inspiration and fake motivating words! So, learn how to truly inspire your team. 

3. Improve your problem-solving  skills

As a manager, you have to deal with different situations. One of the management skills for you to adapt is your problem-solving ability. A manager has to handle complex projects as well as tackle difficult employees.

You must be the one with the solutions. And you have to do it in a cost-effective way so that your organization does not incur any loss. Set a goal to improve your problem-solving skills. 

4. Improve your training skills

Learn to become a good trainer to your subordinates. Share tips from your expertise. Guide them on how to finish a certain assignment. If you are good at mentoring your subordinates you will create valuable assets for your company.

Ultimately, human resource is the most valuable asset for any organization. When your staff are well trained they generate profit consistently for the company. Therefore, start improving your training skills. 

5. Increase productivity

Day to day, a manager has to see that all the staff are being utilized effectively. You are responsible to increase the productivity of your employees. Often employees are busy doing things that do not generate profit for the company. You have to learn to utilize all your staff wisely and increase their productivity. 

6. Learn to use time effectively

A manager has his plate full. If you are not good at managing your time you might be rushing all day without completing all your major tasks. Therefore, set a personal development goal of time management for yourself.

Efficient managers utilize the workforce and minimize wasted time. They are great time managers always balancing time, work, and efficiency. 

7. Improve retention rates

Employee retention is a major concern for all companies. New recruitment requires time and money. Also, when experienced staff leaves your company you waste the resources you have utilized in training those employees. It should be your goal to see that the retention rate is improved. Implement better recruitment policies and practice tactics to improve retention rates. 

8. Learn to be more empathetic

Empathy is a quality that sets you apart. When you are empathetic towards your subordinates you automatically earn respect from them. Understand people to utilize their skills.

Stay in touch with your staff, listen to them attentively when they talk. Instead of blaming people for their failures, sit with them and find out a way they can improve their skills.

9. Stay updated

To become a better manager stay updated with everything that is going on in your company as well as with the competitors. Know the current trends in the industry, update your skills, read a lot of business magazines. You should have all the answers about business at your fingertips. 

10. Appreciate your employees

Managers rarely appreciate their subordinates because they feel it could be detrimental to their productivity. On the other hand, when you appreciate your staff they become more motivated to work. Appreciation is a great skill that you must absolutely learn!

Personal development goals for employees 

If you want professional success you must absolutely develop a growth mindset. To reach your full potential set S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself. As an ambitious professional, it’s crucial to identify key areas of your life that need improvement.

Set personal development goals and then chalk out short-term and long-term goals to achieve them. Personal and professional development goals are important to lead a successful and happy life. These personal development goals will bring a significant impact on your career.  

Here are 10 personal and professional development goals that employees can set for themselves to advance in their careers.  

1. Improve your public speaking skills

If you have career development plans it’s good for you to join a class and polish your public speaking skills. Whether you need to deliver a presentation at the office, pitch to clients, address your team, you must be a confident speaker. Public speaking  is a crucial skill at the workplace if you want to reach heights in your career! 

2. Develop emotional intelligence

If you want to be a good team player, you must learn how to control your emotions. This takes care of your mental health and reduces stress. One of your personal development goals should be to improve your emotional intelligence.

When you develop this quality you will be able to avoid conflicts with the co-workers. In fact, you can become a pro in conflict resolution at your workplace!

3. Learn marketing skills

Marketing skill is extremely important nowadays. If you master this skill not only will you pitch to prospective clients more efficiently but you will showcase your skills in front of your manager more confidently.

By improving your marketing skills you will be able to project yourself as a skilled professional, you will be able to sign more deals from clients. In short, you will become an indispensable employee in your company. 

4. Improve your networking skills

By improving your networking skills you become a magnet that attracts opportunities. Start networking intensively to advance in your career. Maybe there is a good opportunity in another department of your company that could interest you.

Or maybe your LinkedIn connection would easily get you the job you are looking for! Make it one of your personal goals to network with more people to achieve success in your career. 

5. Learn new things

To stay ahead of others you must be ready to regularly update yourself. Nowadays you will get a bunch of online courses to choose from. Pick a new skill and just do a course on it. Read a lot.

Setting goals towards learning new skills place you ahead of the race. Simply put, keep adding skills and certificates to your resume to make you irreplaceable in your industry. 

6. Improve your research skills

Learning how to use the search engines properly to extract relevant and beneficial information is one of the critical personal skills. In this day and age, if you are not using your smartphone in the best way possible you are spoiling your chances to advance in your career.

Start learning how to research things on the internet and get valuable information to grow as a professional.

7. Improve your time management skills

A person who can’t manage time is unable to manage his life. If you want to effectively manage your time in the workplace you must plan all your tasks at the start of the day.

Each task must have an allocated timeline that you follow diligently. Improve your time management skills to manage stress and achieve all your work goals.  

8. Take new roles in your office

It’s comfortable to keep doing the same job every day. But if you are ambitious you would not like to stay stuck in the same role forever. Getting a promotion is not a piece of cake. But what you can do is request your supervisor and take extra responsibilities.

You have to step out of your comfort zone to volunteer at your workplace for some other roles. Offer your extra services for free for a month, or a couple of months. By doing so, you will learn a lot. Your confidence level will increase and you will become experienced in a separate set of skills.

Also, if you do the new task exceedingly well, you might be noticed by the management and even offered a promotion. If not, you can always use this experience and apply for a new position in a different company. 

9. Appreciate more

Appreciation is an art not many people are willing to practice. But if you have a personal development plan you have to master this skill. Learn to appreciate other people and give them sincere compliments.

People always like to be appreciated and they would like you instantly. This skill will bring you more appreciation and opportunities on your way. 

10. Start a new entrepreneurial role 

If you are success-minded why would you stay as an employee all your life? It’s wise to start side hustles while you doing a job. You can start a small business, do affiliate marketing, or own a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel. Experiment with new ideas. Trying out a new entrepreneurial role is great for career growth. 

20 Personal development skills

Here are some examples of some long-term personal development goals that will change the course of your life –

1. Taking Care of Your Health

Health Improvement
Health Improvement

Ask any ailing person and they will tell you that there is nothing more valuable than health. Still, we often risk our health for money and success. But when health is lost all the money in the world cannot make you happy! So, why not work on improving health?

Set a simple goal to improve your health. It could be losing or gaining weight, healing a disease, building muscle or anything else. If you can bring some positive changes in regard to your health it would no doubt be life-changing for you!

2. Anger Management

Anger Management
Anger Management

Do you easily get annoyed and irritated? Maybe you should work to manage your anger and therefore reduce stress levels! Anger is not only bad for health but it can also ruin relationships and careers. So, why not start working to curb down your anger issue.  Handling bad habits one at a time and releasing them will have a huge impact on your life.

3. Communication Skills

Communication Skills
Communication Skills

How you communicate with others is important because people perceive you through the interactions. You can easily learn some practical tips on this area by reading books on this topic. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is one of the best books on the subject. Set personal goals to improve your communication skills.

4. Time Management

Time Management
Time Management

Time is the most valuable resource available. Therefore, if you learn to use time effectively you will be able to improve yourself immensely.  A large part of our time is consumed in unnecessary stuff. So, if you start to utilize your time properly you will be able to achieve all other goals in life. All successful people have mastered the art of time management. Whether you want to achieve personal goals or professional, you must first learn the art of time management. If you are an entrepreneur you can as well educate your team members about this useful skill.

5. Learning a New Skill

Learning a New Skill
Learning a New Skill

Learning a new skill must come under your personal development goals. It could be a skill that will help you to gain professional success or improve your lifestyle. Most importantly, a new skill will keep you ahead of your peers!

Each year choose one skill and hone it. It could be anything from learning about body language, photography, a foreign language, gardening, blogging, a computer language or anything that excites you! Just keep learning new skills to stay updated. 

6. Incorporating Success Habits

Incorporating Success Habits
Incorporating Success Habits

There are some habits that bring success in life easily. These are called success habits, such as – reading daily, working out, eating healthy, goal setting, doing focused thinking, positive thinking, time management, etc. Incorporating such habits in life is a sure shot route to success! Start setting goals to implement success habits in your life.

7. Working on Mindset

Working on Mindset
Working on Mindset

Mindset is literally everything! Therefore, if you really want to improve yourself you must develop a winning mindset. Most importantly, you have to work on your limiting beliefs. Our limiting beliefs have been conditioned in our childhood and they often act as hurdles to growth and success.

Besides that, if you do not recondition your disempowering beliefs you will always get the same results again and again! There are plenty of ways to change your negative beliefs but positive affirmations are the most effective strategy available.

 8. Building a Network

Building a Network
Building a Network

Let one of your personal development goals be to create a good network. In today’s world, the more you have contacts, the more you have the chance of getting more opportunities! Successful people always keep good connections. If you really want long term benefits, start to make new friends and acquaintances.

9. Self Care

Self Care
Self Care

What amount of time do you allot for self care? Really, self-care is important because it nourishes your mind, body, and spirit! A daily self-care routine rejuvenates our inner being. Even a simple act of self-care can do loads of good to you. 

Most importantly, have separate routines for your mind, body, and soul. Pampering your body at spas and salons are for your body, reading and learning are activities for the mind while meditating and self-reflection are for your soul!

10. Learning About Money Management

Learning About Money Management
Learning About Money Management

The money you earn cannot protect you if you are not aware of money management skills. You can’t be rich just from your earnings! Saving and investing money rightly helps you to become prosperous. Besides that, with good investment plans, your money grows even while you are asleep!

This is the magic of the right investments. There are several books on this topic, podcasts, workshops, and classes. Take some guidance and set goals to learn and practice handling your money properly.

11. Practicing Virtues

Practicing Virtues
Practicing Virtues

We are taught about certain virtues as a child! But over the years we tend to forget those. You can have some goals in learning and implementing certain virtues in life. Honesty, discipline, punctuality, and truthfulness are some of the virtues you can gradually implement in your life. At first, it might seem to be difficult but you must be willing to step out of your comfort zone to cultivate these habits.

12. Changing Your Environment

Changing Your Environment
Changing Your Environment

Your environment has an influence on your overall life. If you are feeling dissatisfied or depressed in life, guess what, you are surrounded by negative elements! The people you interact with, the places you visit, the magazines you read and the programs you watch constitute your environment.

Therefore, you must deliberately create an environment for success. Change your surroundings by choosing good people in life, watch and read more inspiring content, do things that give you joy.

13. Listening Skills

Becoming a Better Listener
Becoming a Better Listener

Did you know that listening is a great skill? Although you might think that you are a good listener, the reality is most people do not listen while in a conversation! They are more eager to respond rather than listen. Cultivate the habit of listening attentively. It can really improve your relationships and assist in your professional development as well!

14. Practicing Forgiveness

Practicing Forgiveness
Practicing Forgiveness

When you keep hold of your resentments, you inhibit your growth because you remain stuck with old, bitter memories. Forgiveness is a practice that releases past hurt and helps us to move towards a better future. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to do it personally! Besides that, you don’t have to keep in touch with them anymore.

You forgive them from your heart so as to remove the energetic hooks of those people. Forgiveness can be done in many ways; meditation, scripting, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) or you might have to take the help of a therapist. Just make a decision and start forgiving people. In a short span, you will feel a huge difference.

15. Waking Up Early

Waking Up Early
Waking Up Early

Early rising can do tons of good to you. It has a health benefit for sure but it also makes you more productive! When you wake up early you get most out of the day. This is simply because when you start the day early, you have a competitive edge over others!

Most successful people wake up at 5 am. When most people start working at 10 am, the early risers have already completed the vital tasks! Now, they have time for other tasks, self-care, relationships, and fun!

16. Asking for Feedback 

If you are serious about mastering skills for personal development try asking for feedback from people who are doing better than you. Ask successful people to review your career goals and give you some advice. You will go a long way if you implement these suggestions for improvement. 

17. Quitting Bad Habits

Personal development is not only about picking a new skillset or practicing a new habit. It also involves giving up limiting beliefs and bad habits. Quitting bad habits is necessary for personal growth. But you can’t quit all your bad habits at once! Instead, make a list and start with one.

Go without it for at least 21 days and eventually, it will be ingrained in your mind. Also, hold patience while at it. Bad habits are rooted in our psyche for years probably since childhood. So, it takes time and persistence to let go of those. You might even have to take professional help to quit some of your persisting habits. 

18. Learn To Use Social Media Strategically 

Most people waste a lot of their time browsing social media. If you can learn the skill of using social media strategically, not only will you save time but generate business from it! If this piece of information surprises you, it means you have no idea about the power of social media.

Social media can help you from building your brand, to generating leads, promoting your business, or getting a job. Instead of watching those cute cat videos on Instagram, learning social media strategy should be in your goal setting. 

19. Learn the Art of Self Promotion

If you want to become successful you have no other way than to establish your brand and promote it. Whether you are a corporate professional, fitness trainer, writer, musician, or businessman you must learn how to promote yourself. Read books on this topic, attend some webinars or maybe take a course but learn this skill thoroughly. If you can’t promote yourself correctly, all your other skills won’t be able to save you!

20. Hire a Coach

It’s not possible to figure out everything by yourself. Mastering all the skills mentioned in the list can take time. Maybe you won’t be able to learn all of these alone. So, here comes the benefit of hiring a coach. Take the guidance of an expert to hone one or multiple personal development skills. It will save your time and you will learn those better under supervision.

NOTE
Personal development goal not only helps you to improve but also helps the world! Because as you become better, therefore, you create value to other people! We all must intend to set certain development goals that would help us to grow personally and professionally. Most importantly, goal setting is an art!

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have discussed exactly how to set your goals effectively. Besides that, we have also provided ample examples of setting personal and professional goals for you. Remember that as you start to change your life starts to become better.  Furthermore, on your journey to success, you create an impact on this world. Therefore, start setting personal goals for yourself.