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Got a Plan for Personal Growth? Set Intentional Goals for an Optimum Life

You are the captain of your life and a plan for personal growth will get you to your desired destination“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen, again and again, fear must be overcome again and again.” ~ Abraham Maslow

Before any captain sails from port, she has multiple, detailed, and documented plans that include checking each operating system. The Navigator creates a passage plan, (a comprehensive, step-by-step description of how the voyage will proceed from departure to destination) and advises course corrections, as needed, throughout the trip. Every crew member has prepared a mental game plan for any contingency they might meet. If one trip involves this much planning, how much planning do we invest in our lives? Do you have a plan for personal growth, so you can live your optimum life?

Some say that plans take all the fun out of life; there’s no room for spontaneity. Do you think the passengers enjoy the trip more if the Captain plans, or if she sails with a damaged ship, toward a storm that might capsize them? The plan lets them operate at the highest level. Everything is shipshape and ready for any emergency. The same can be said for our lives if we have a plan. 

Our plan for personal growth is a framework that helps us grow to our peak efficiency physically, emotionally, mentally, so we’re ready and able to enjoy life fully. Our “engines” stay properly fueled and maintained so we have the energy, strength and agility when needed. Of course, we’re all moving through life, but keep in mind what Ellen Glasgow said,  

“All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.”

When you create a personal plan for growth, take into consideration your specific gifts and goals. One big key to successful personal development is to grow in your areas of strength and avoid getting bogged down in your weaker areas. This is something to be excited about, not to make it harder than it really is. I often reflect on what Carol S. Dweck said,  

“In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.” 

Personal Growth Plans take planning and work 

Our bodies and minds thrive on being challenged through work. That’s when we realize a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. We did it! 

Unless you create a mindful awareness of your personal growth and make it your intention, you won’t recognize the moments when you do grow, nor the moments when you need to grow. 

Learning to mindfully evaluate, without judging, each experience is an invaluable skill for making your personal growth plan succeed. 

Actually, your personal growth plan is a learning plan. When you focus on learning from each experience, you disrupt the shame/blame game. Nothing kills growth faster than a heavy dose of self-criticism and loathing! And the more you learn, the more you embrace curiosity and love of learning. Life becomes a never-ending source of wonder.

Begin your personal growth plan with loving who you are now and then gradually change your thoughts rather than actions. New actions will follow new thoughts. Baby steps will bring big results. Be patient and compassionate with yourself and view this as a journey you want to savor. There will be times you hold back, staying in the safe zone. Recognize it for what it is and choose to move forward, despite the discomfort. Use today to make tomorrow better.

Your plan for personal growth is not a rigid calendar. It’s a mindset. When you have the desire to grow, you intentionally put things into your life that spark growth. Why not use the following suggestions as a starting point…

    1. I plan to grow deeper connections with people who challenge and inspire me. Who would you like to meet and converse with? Dream big! If you want to meet Oprah, put her on your list. You’ve got a lifetime to make it happen!  If Aunt Sue inspires you, then her name on the list is just as important as anyone else’s. Pick one name and make the connection happen this week. Then work your way through the list. Add new names continually to keep your options fresh.
    1. I plan to feed my growth with supportive messages. Until you can talk in person with people who inspire you, you can listen to them on podcasts, Youtube, TED talks, etc. Regularly download a talk, then go for a walk and listen; you’ll have uninterrupted time, plus bonus exercise. A Win-Win! And don’t forget books. One book a month or week is a great goal.
    1. I plan to consume less and create more. Rather than watching or reading about someone doing something, become the one who does. Less vegging on the couch and more living with gusto sounds good, doesn’t it?
    1. I plan to nurture my sense of wonder and growth by soaking in new surroundings. It’s so important to get out of the office and out of the house. Plan an annual trip to a place that fills you up. What’s on your list? You can combine hints 1 & 4 by attending conferences or events that your inspirational people attend…connection and learning…another bonus!

What else would you add to your Plan? This is your journey. You are the Captain of your life. Where is your body urging you to go? When you emBODY these desires in conjunction with your values, dreams and purpose, you’ll arrive at your destination, after a wonderfully fulfilling journey. If you’d like to explore the art of embodiment further, download my free report, 10 Steps to an Embodied Practice. And if I’m on your list of people to connect with, please say hi on my social channels, and maybe even sign up for my 2022 Embody Coach School.

Embodied Leadership Skills, Living Fully, Personal Growth - Professional Growth

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