Growing as a person is a great way to get what you want out of life, and having the right personal development tools is crucial for accomplishing that. Without a little planning and specific tools to work towards your goals, you will never achieve them. Having the right tools can also make a big difference in the level of happiness you feel in your life.
Let’s Get Started
Accomplishing goals takes planning, and the right tools are the first step. Anything that will help you stay organized and focused to help you achieve your goals can be considered a tool, so let’s take a look at a few of them.
#1: Know your strengths and weaknesses. After all, if you don’t enjoy being in the water, you don’t need to concentrate on becoming a better swimmer. If you’re unsure what your strengths and weaknesses are, just ask those close to you for a better picture of the truth.
#2: Tell yourself it is all right to change. Some people want to change, but aren’t able to because of things they were taught as children or preconceived notions they already have in their minds. Give yourself permission to change, because change is likely necessary to reach your goals.
#3: Take responsibility for your actions. Accept your mistakes and try to correct them. Blaming others for your own mistakes will only stifle your personal development and cause you more unhappiness. Take control of the situation and you’ll do much better at achieving your personal goals.
#4: Be proactive. Instead of waiting for things to happen, make them happen instead. Anticipate problems before they arise, and you’ll be better prepared for them. Unexpected things always happen, but anticipating them beforehand can help you feel more in control and bring you one step closer to achieving all of your personal and even professional goals.
Some of these tips are merely common sense, whereas others are more specific and relate to formal tools that you can use. You just have to find the tools that are right for you.
Formal and More “Official” Personal Development Tools
If you search online, you can find practical, hands-on tools to help you stay organized and develop your own goals, which is the first step to actually achieving these goals. If you need assistance with your journey to self-development, here are a few tools that you will likely find very useful.
#5: The Pareto Principle. This principle states that 80% of the results you get come from 20% of your efforts. What does this mean for your self-development goals? It means you need to identify the problems getting in your way so that you can turn your attention to real priorities. Finding out the causes of those problems is the first step, and it goes a long way in clearing your mind so you can concentrate on what is important.
#6: Try Penzu. Penzu is an online diary that allows you to write down all of your plans and goals, as well as the steps you need to take to achieve those goals. It even allows you to write down monthly and yearly reviews to keep track of where you are with your goals. Best of all, it is private and, therefore, no one else can see what you’ve written.
#7: Try Goalmigo. This website allows you to set specific goals and track your progress towards those goals. One of the most efficient personal development tools available, it is easy to use and even sends you reminders that you can use as motivation to move forward. You can also join groups with your membership and see how other people are handling these tasks.
#8: Try Disciplanner. Disciplanner is an online community that is best for people wishing to set long-term goals. It helps with personal goals and getting rid of bad habits, and whether you’re trying to quit smoking or achieve a certain business goal, it is perfect for you. It is best for people setting weekly or monthly goals and not micro-goals, so if this describes you, Disciplanner is a site to explore.
#9: Try Trello. Trello is based on the fact that constant learning is a must if you want to develop and grow on a personal level. It allows you to drag and drop cards onto various lists so that you can develop and track your goals as you go along. The boards used allow you to glance at your goals and progress easily and quickly, making it simpler to achieve your goals in the end.
There are a lot of online tools you can use for self and personal development, and a quick Internet search will expose you to these fantastic tools.
Tools That Are Good for People of All Ages and Interests
Of course, the best tools are those that can help people of all ages and genders, especially those tools that can be easily applied, regardless of what your personal goals are. Many of them are also great for both personal and professional development because let’s face it, these two are often intertwined. Below are yet other tools to help when you want to grow and thrive in any area of your life.
#10: Make sure you have a separate area in your home to work in. Don’t just lie on the couch and write down your goals. Get yourself a desk and consider it a professional endeavor, even if the goals are all personal in nature. This way, you can get inspired every single day before you get to work on your goals.
#11: Get rid of any fears that you have. Whether your fear is physical or emotional, you need to eliminate it from your life if you intend to achieve all of your goals. Determine what that fear is and most importantly, don’t hesitate to get out of your comfort zone. This is the only way to make sure that fear doesn’t prevent you from achieving your goals.
#12: Always have a to-do list. This list should be constantly changing, and it should be revised and updated regularly. If there are no items on your to-do list, you are not taking your self-development seriously enough. This is one of the most basic personal development tools out there, but it is also one of the most valuable.
#13: Get rid of the negativity in your life. Everyone moans and complains now and then, but don’t let it overtake your attitude and turn everything into a negative. Work hard to eliminate the negativity you’re feeling so that you can move forward with more positive goals.
#14: Learn how to deal with the difficult people in your life. Everyone has them, and they are not going to disappear. Learning to deal with difficult people can be a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. Learn to deal with them now, before they get in the way of achieving your goals.
#15: Consider a 30-day challenge. Pick a small goal and commit to achieving it in 30 days. This forces you to develop steps to achieve that goal and, most of all, it will help you avoid procrastination, which is always a goal killer. It also prepares you for the bigger goals you’re trying to develop and track.
#16: Hang out with like-minded individuals. This means, of course, that you need to always be around positive people who are goal oriented and excited about their personal development. Hanging around people who aren’t motivated will only set you back and prevent you from achieving your own goals, which is not what you want.
As you can see, attitude goes a long way in achieving your personal development goals, because without the right train of thought, you simply won’t accomplish anything. There are a lot of ways to improve your mindset so that you can achieve those goals, and below are a few more of them.
#17: Get a new hobby. It is always good to have something to look forward to, and if you do that, life will be much more challenging and fun. It is also a good idea to be continuously learning something new, which developing new hobbies will do for you.
#18: Consider finding an opponent or foe. This doesn’t necessarily mean someone you don’t like, but someone you feel you can compete with so that you are continuously moving forward with your goals and plans. A little competition is great for keeping you motivated!
#19: Become completely committed to your life goals. You won’t achieve your personal goals if you don’t have a real sense of commitment. Wake up every morning and reaffirm your commitment to your goals, because this is the only way they will happen.
#20: Decide to do something every single day. Your goals are broken down into steps that you have to take to achieve your goals, so there is never a shortage of things for you to do. Commit to doing something every day that is related to those goals, because this technique will never disappoint.
Take Good Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally is important in achieving any goal you’ve set in front of you. There are also additional tips you can use to increase the odds that you will eventually achieve your self-improvement goals, and these include the following:
#21: Concentrate on good and healthy habits. This means getting enough sleep every night, eating right, and getting enough exercise. You can’t feel good mentally if you don’t feel good physically, so one of the most important personal development tools consists of taking good care of your overall health. This means taking care of your emotional health as well, which can include participating in meditation or various social or spiritual activities.
#22: Accept that the past is gone. You can’t do anything about the past, so don’t let anything that happened there prevent you from moving forward with your plans. You can learn from your past, of course, but don’t make it the center point of your life.
#23: Take a break every now and then. No one can work on personal or professional goals all of the time, so regular vacations and down time are crucial to yourself. Only a well-rested body is able to handle the emotional parts of achieving your goals!
#24: Decide on someone to mimic. Everyone has someone they admire, and once you find someone that you admire and want to be like, mimic the qualities that person has so that you can move forward in your personal development.
#25: Write a letter to your future self. It may sound a little silly, but this is a great way to keep things in perspective. In the letter, include things you wish you had and hadn’t done, along with tips you’ve already learned that will make things easier on you in the future.
#26: Take courses or classes in self-development or self-empowerment. Classes and seminars that center around self-development are invaluable, in part because they contain dozens of tips and practical suggestions that not only help you achieve your goals, but will also keep you more motivated to do so.
Practical Tips Always Do Best
The best results always come from practical, easy-to-apply tips and suggestions that anyone can follow. In fact, the very best personal development tools are often the simplest ones because they are not overly thought out or complex. Below are some of these simple and practical tips:
#27: Develop a vision statement. People often think that vision statements are just for businesses, but individuals can have one as well. Work on it so that you end up with the perfect vision statement in the end, because this statement will go a long way in guiding you towards each and every goal you have.
#28: Make sure everything is in writing. Plans and goals that are not in writing can easily be forgotten. Get a notebook or day planner and write down all of your goals, and make sure they are specific and detail oriented.
#29: Continuously visit your goals so that you can make the necessary updates and revisions. After all, you will be constantly accomplishing those tasks on your to-do list because that is your goal, so you’ll need to revise and amend whenever necessary. This also keeps you a lot more motivated because it shows you how well you are doing in achieving the tasks that lead to accomplishing your goals.
Self-Reflection Is a Part of the Game
Of course, if you’re going to set personal development goals for yourself, you’ll need to self-reflect so that you can make the best decisions. It is also a great way to determine what you truly want out of life so that creating your goals is a lot easier. Below are some personal development tools that will help get the process started:
#30: Know the difference between your ideal self and your ought self. Your ideal self is all about the attributes you possess or which you think you should possess. Your ought self is the person you and others think you should be. You can ask yourself questions such as, how do I feel in certain situations with these two selves? Why do I want to achieve certain goals? Who would be proud of me if I succeeded?
#31: You can also create an empathy map. In this exercise, you draw four squares on a piece of paper and label them “thinking,” “seeing,” “feeling,” and “doing.” Think about your reactions in past situations and write down what you thought, saw, and so on. It is a great way to discover if there is a disconnection between your thoughts and your actions. Make sure you analyze the situation from a third-party point of view to get realistic answers.
#32: The “why” exercise. Ask yourself a series of “why” questions to determine what you really want out of life. Some of your answers may surprise you. Some of these questions can include:
- Why do I feel so small/important, and so on?
- Why do I look at situations like they are just black and white?
- Why do I keep finding myself in certain situations?
- Why don’t I look at the positive aspects of things?
#33: Put on your thinking hats. According to one study, there are six different thinking hats you should wear to determine who you are and what you want out of life. These include a blue hat that identifies the situation; a white hat that provides the information and facts; a yellow hat that describes the positive attributes; a black hat that provides the negative dimensions of the situation; a red hat that describes the intuitions or hunches you have about what is going on; and a green hat that gives you possibilities and new ideas.
#34: Create a life satisfaction list. Write down the following 10 areas and assess each of them on a scale from 1 to 10. These areas include: you, health, relationships, money, career, emotions, competences, fun, spirituality, and technology. After the first evaluation, get rid of all of the numbers 4 through 7, then reevaluate them using only the numbers 1 to 3 and 8 to 10. This gives you a good idea of what is truly important to you.
#35: Concentrate on your obsessions for a while. In many cases, obsessions are caused from past needs or injustices in your life. If you’re obsessed with money, it may be because you were raised in a poor household. Deal with your obsessions so that you can learn what is driving them. Obsessions can really get in the way of reaching your goals, but you have to know what is driving them before you can stop them from holding you back.