How to Focus on Personal Growth

Young woman playing guitar

Focusing on personal growth can help you achieve.

You know those people who are always doing something fabulous, like traveling frequently and landing new, better jobs? Have you ever wondered how these “achievers” do it? Could it be that these change makers are focused on personal growth and achievement? (You betcha!)

Personal growth comes from an emphasis on learning new things, embracing change, and, some say, setting goals. Many successful people actively pursue personal growth and learning throughout their lives. While it doesn’t guarantee success, placing a value on personal growth helps keep the brain active and boost resilience, while also enhancing your resourcefulness.

On the other hand, today’s culture and pace tends to create busy-ness and distraction. Many people fall into spending their free time on social media, YouTube videos, online games (and so on), which can hold them back. Change makers with positive mindsets are less interested in these activities and more interested in personal development. They work on themselves to get ahead so they can do the things they truly enjoy, like spending time with family and securing their future.

Warren Buffett clearly values learning and planning—he has leveraged those values and his skills to become a billionaire. He once said, “You know… you keep doing the same things and you keep getting the same result over and over again.” In order to move forward and change, you have to change the way you do things!

We assembled a few ideas to help you focus on personal growth, which may help you achieve your financial goals and enhance your life in ways you may not even have imagined.

Make learning a priority

Many consider education a key component of personal growth. Learning new things has been shown to improve your brain’s plasticity, which is just another way of saying learning is good for your brain!

So, is there something you need to learn in order to improve your career or get a better job? Your employer may perk up to know you are interested in learning more about subjects that can help you at work. Want to become more confident? Is it time to finally learn to play an instrument? Or, would you like to be more skilled at saving money? (We can help with that!) It may not be as difficult as you think to learn new things that will enhance your life, finances, and career. Here are a few ways you can learn more about a topic:

  • Devote time to reading books, researching articles and listening to podcasts about the topic
  • Find a fulfilling, relevant volunteer activity that allows you to learn more and help others
  • Take your learning to the next level through a community college class, lessons, or online academy
  • Talk to subject matter experts and attend lectures

Open your mind to the possibilities of educating yourself through a variety of means. You might be amazed at how much you can learn by reading, listening, and talking to others who know more than you do. Other skills may require instruction, but if they interest you, it’s probably worth the time and money you’ll spend!

Learn to set goals

Not everyone thinks about their goals in life, but according to a study led by Dr. Gail Matthews at the Dominican University of California, those who write down their goals are 33% more successful in achieving them than those who just think about their goals. Setting goals acts as a motivation tool and gives you something to reach for.

You may have heard about SMART goals, which create more accountability because they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. (Go ahead and google it. We’ll wait.) People who use SMART goals say it’s easier to get results by following this system. Goals can be further broken down step by step so you can check off each step as it’s completed.

Work with a life coach or counselor

Changing your mindset doesn’t happen overnight. Before you can make a change, you may need to address the little voice in your head that’s holding you back. Many of these beliefs develop in childhood and replay throughout your life. A good life coach or counselor can help you identify those limiting belief systems so you can grow faster and stronger.

Embrace change

You can’t grow without change, so it’s worth exploring how you react to change. Resilience to and acceptance of change will help you on your path to personal growth.

Seek new challenges

What activities can you participate in to further your personal growth? Is there an open mic night where you can read your poetry and practice public speaking? Is there a club dedicated to your new interests? A community band you can join? Look for people and places you can connect with to challenge yourself.

One example of setting a personal challenge comes from song geek Jonathan Coulton, a former software developer who challenged himself to something he called a Thing-a-Week in 2005. He wrote or covered and performed a new song nearly every week, sparking online fame, music sales, and his own personal growth as a musician and songwriter. Today, he makes his living as a musician as he has since he had that wild idea 15 years ago!

Seed, planted

We hope these tips will help you uncover how you can grow personally—and professionally—to improve your life. Remember, Linn Area Credit Union is here for you if you want to explore the financial aspects of your life! Just contact us to get started.

We’ll leave you with one more bit of wisdom from Warren Buffett. He said, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” What is one thing you want to learn or do? Plant the seed for it now! (It’s worth the work… plus, the more you know and grow, the better off you will be!)