One of the best decisions you can make is to engage in continuous self-development.
We all want to enhance the quality of our lives, become better people, achieve more, and overall be better rounded individuals. That’s why we set personal development goals. Below you’ll discover 16 personal development goals that will make you happier and sexier.
1. Become More Confident. In his book, “The Magic Lamp”, Keith Ellis refers to a study conducted in 1921 by Dr. Lewis Terman of Stanford University involving over 1,500 gifted children. The study revealed that IQ is not the most important ingredient for success. Instead, Terman found that there were three factors that were much more important than intelligence in determining success. One of these factors was self-confidence (the other two were setting goals and persevering).
Your self-esteem, or your self-confidence, is basically what you think about yourself: how competent you think you are in dealing with life’s challenges, and how worthy you feel of happiness and success. One of the reasons why bolstering your self-confidence is important is because is there’s a strong correlation between confidence and success.
Therefore, one of your self-development goals should be to increase your self-confidence.
2. Improve Your Body Language. Body language is nonverbal communication which involves gestures and movements. Studies have shown that the right body language can help you with all of the following:
- It can help you to connect with others and get your message across more effectively.
- It can communicate confidence and assertiveness.
- The right body postures can make you more persistent.
- Certain body postures can improve your performance.
You can read about seven ways in which body language can positively influence your life here.
3. Learn to Get Along With Others. Yesterday I was watching a TV show called “Person of Interest”. One of the main characters–Reese–is working as a detective and his supervisor tells hims that he has to start meeting with a psychologist. During his first appointment Reese does the following:
- He takes coffee for the psychologist.
- He notices a photograph of the psychologist with her cat and initiates a conversation about the animal.
- He leans in when he talks to her and tells her a personal story.
The psychologist quickly calls him on it: He was trying to manipulate her by giving her a gift, talking to her about her interests, and simulating trust and closeness.
I’m telling you this story as an illustration that there are things that you can do to create rapport with others. Of course, you should be honest and your objective shouldn’t be to manipulate other people, but it’s always a good idea to learn ways in which you can better relate and get along with others.
4. Stop Procrastinating. Procrastination has been called the thief of time, opportunity’s assassin, and the grave in which dreams are buried. Fortunately, procrastination is not a character trait, but a habit. And just as you learned the habit of procrastination, you can unlearn it. Make better use of the time that you have by overcoming procrastination.
5. Become an Early Riser. There are many benefits to becoming an early riser, including watching the sun rise, getting some early morning exercise, being able to work on a project just because it’s important to you before the day officially gets started, and so on. In addition, studies show that early rises are happier, healthier, and more productive than their late rising counterparts.
6. Become More Proactive. In his best-selling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen R. Covey explains that the first habit of people who accomplish what they set out to do is that they’re proactive. Proactive people do the following:
- They see themselves as being the creators of their lives.
- They don’t identify themselves as victims of external conditions.
- They don’t allow others to dictate their fate.
- They take responsibility for the results that they get.
If you’re going to create the life that you want for yourself, you need to be proactive.
7. Acquire Conflict Resolution Skills. Conflict is a part of life. After all, people can’t be expected to agree on everything (I once read that if two people always agree, one of them isn’t necessary). The question is whether conflict–when it arises–will be resolved effectively or lead to discord.
Having the ability to resolve disagreements rationally and settle disputes amicably will make you happier and more successful.
8. Release the Past. Most of us are haunted by the ghosts of our past: that opportunity that we let slip by; those kids who bullied us in the playground; that love interest who left us for someone else; that professor who graded us unfairly; that parent who was constantly putting us down; and so on. In order to be happy in the present, we each need to release the ghosts of the past.
9. Read More. You may have heard that knowledge is power, and one of the best ways to acquire knowledge is by reading. In addition, researchers have found that gaining new knowledge can satisfy our need for competence, which makes us happier.
Read books that will help you to learn skills that will allow you to do better in life. Here are three examples:
- Read business books to improve your performance at work;
- Read parenting books to be a better parent; and
- Read personal development books to become better at setting goals, coping with setbacks, dealing with perfectionism, and so on.
10. Become More Resilient. Resilience is the ability to overcome adversity. It’s the difference between facing your problems bravely and confidently, and feeling helpless and like you can’t move on. Fortunately, you can learn how to bounce back from any problem or challenge stronger and smarter.
11. Manage Stress Effectively. Stress is the body’s reaction to anything that requires a response. Feeling stress can keep us alert and motivate us to pursue our goals. However, if there’s too much stress this can lead to distress. Distress can cause headaches, elevated blood pressure, and chest pain. It can lead you to have problems sleeping and can even make you sick.
Knowing how to manage stress effectively–using good stress to learn and grow, and being able to release stress once it starts to reach a negative level–is vital for personal development.
12. Overcome Limiting Beliefs. Limiting beliefs keep us trapped in our comfort zone and prevent us from trying new things and taking risks for fear of getting hurt. We can have limiting beliefs about anything–money, success, relationships, and so on. You can even have limiting beliefs about yourself and what you’re capable of.
Allowing limiting beliefs to hold you back is not sexy, and it certainly will not make you happy. Identify your limiting beliefs, overcome them, and replace them with positive beliefs that will allow you to achieve what you want from life.
13. Increase Your Willpower. Willpower is essential to your ability to accomplish anything worthwhile. It influences your health, your finances, your relationships, your professional success, and all other areas of your life. Whatever goals you’ve set for yourself, you need willpower in order to achieve them.
14. Become More Mindful. Being mindful helps us to recognize the abundance and the good that is already present in our lives. However, we spend a lot of time thinking about things that aren’t happening in the present moment: remembering the past or thinking about the future. This is called mind wandering. In addition, psychologists have found that mind wandering makes us unhappy.
An important component of happiness is learning to live in the moment; that is, becoming more mindful.
15. Learn to Make Better Decisions. I’ve written several posts on this blog on how to make better decisions. That’s because the choices–or the decisions we make–determine the quality of our lives and the outcomes that we get. Our decisions shape our lives, so the better you get at making decision, the better your life will be.
16. Work on Your Attitude. Your attitude is your state of mind. It’s also the way in which you respond to situations and to other people. One of the best ways to get what you want from life is to constantly adopt the attitude that is most conducive to getting you what you want.
Live your best life by setting personal goals that make you a better person. The 16 personal development goals explained above are a good start.