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 I have put together a few points of focus that, if you work on each over the next 12 months, you will become unstoppable in every area of your life. Only a handful of people will read this. But it’s for you people this article was written:
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 there’s a strong correlation between confidence and success. Therefore, one of your self-development goals should be to increase your self-confidence.
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 welcoming and approachable to opportunities.
- Certain body postures can improve your performance.
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.
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 risers are happier, healthier, and more productive than their late rising counterparts.
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:
- See themselves as being the creators of their lives.
- Don’t identify themselves as victims of external conditions.
- Don’t allow others to dictate their fate.
- 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.
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 time we lost a lot of money; and so on. In order to be happy in the present, we each need to release the ghosts of the past.
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.
- Read personal development books to become better at setting goals, coping with setbacks, growing as a person, and so on.
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.
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 cause chest pain. It can lead you to have problems sleeping and can even make you sick. It ultimately limits your performance rather than drives you performance, hence the reason you must learn how to manage it effectively. 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.
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.
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.
Learn to Make Better Decisions
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.
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.
Remove the Negative People from Your Life
Science has shown that human beings tend to emulate the 5 closest people in your life. The reason so many people are unsuccessful is because of the company they surround themselves w
ith. If you are around people who are negative, no-good doers that believe life happens to you and not by you, then that will have an impact in your life when you try to do anything remotely positive. I use the example of Andy Murray. If all he did was train with a 16 year old boy who had only began to play tennis 6 months ago and for one whole year Andy Murray’s daily training was to play this boy at tennis, it is obvious what would happen. Andy wouldn’t get any better, if anything he would begin to get complacent and lower his standards naturally, whereas the young inexperienced boy would begin to get better as time went on.
Carefully try to understand that extreme example. We are who we surround ourselves with so be mindful of the company you keep. Find a higher pier group and naturally you will lift your game.
Spend some time reflecting on these points of focus and what changes you can make that will enhance your life in these areas. If you want to improve in any of these four areas and are not sure how to move forward, consider working with a coach or mentor.
Kieran Cannon, a millennial leader and motivator, lives in Glasgow, United Kingdom. He is the owner of Tapas At Singh’s; a family style restaurant with a collection of World cuisine, infused with traditional Indian flavours.