Becoming a better person seems like a simple concept on paper. You need to reflect, consider your past mistakes, and focus on your goals for who you want to be as you move forward. Sounds doable, right?
But anyone who’s tried to truly work on themselves will know just how difficult it can be! You need to be fully committed to the process, even when it gets painful or tough, and that’s a struggle for anyone. But don’t be discouraged! There are ways that you can make this effort easier. Here are five ways to commit yourself to continuous personal growth.
1. Visualize Your Goals
Your goals for personal growth can feel very far away, especially if you have big ones. Setting smaller short-term goals in order to make the climb more manageable is a great way to handle that, but there’s also an additional tool that you can use: visualization!
Visualization is an incredibly powerful way to take control of your goals and manifest them. While visualization alone doesn’t get the job done, it can provide inspiration, motivation, and clarity by helping you to anticipate success. It also allows you to become more confident and determined in your personal growth.
Research has found that the act of visualizing success is just as convincing to the human brain as achieving that success. In other words, when you visualize well, your brain becomes certain that it will achieve that goal and becomes more committed to it. Visualizing the act of growth and the actions you have to do to achieve that growth is also as helpful as imagining success, and it commits your brain to the imagined actions.
There are, of course, some caveats to this. Overindulgent visualizing will likely not provide the same positive benefits. That’s why using visualization hand-in-hand with short-term and long-term goals is important. A vision that seems very grandiose requires further breaking down into smaller goals.
2. Start Your Days Off Well
The way that you begin your day can determine the tone for the rest of it. You don’t need to have a picture-perfect start, but knowing how to set the day’s mood with a positive morning routine can be beneficial when you work on personal growth. You want to be able to put your best foot forward every day so you can make productive steps towards your goals.
There are many different kinds of routines that are great for the morning, but they have common themes. Most involve a mixture of physical and mental activity, as these factors provide benefits for your overall wellbeing. As an example, let’s take the 20-20-20 routine, created by humanitarian, leadership expert, and well-respected author Robin Sharma. The 20-20-20 routine involves the following components, each broken up into 20 minutes for a total of one hour.
Exercise has been very well-researched, and its benefits for mental health, physical wellbeing, and positive thinking can’t be denied. With the release of feel-good hormones, the health benefits of the workout, and the energy boost from the pulse-racing activity, your body can get charged for the day. You’ll be more productive and energized with just 20 minutes of daily exercise!
Twenty minutes of reflection can do a lot for your personal growth. It ensures that you have time to contemplate your daily plan, incorporate steps towards your goals into your to-do list, and set the tone for more focused action. After you’ve looked over your itinerary, you can devote some time to reflecting on the previous day and learning from it. You’re now equipped with all this knowledge to take with you during your daily activities.
· Personal Growth
The final twenty minutes of the 20-20-20 routine is dedicated to personal growth. You’ll spend this time catching up on things like podcasts or books, reading up about skills, or anything else that furthers your learning. The goal is to use this daily time to actively work towards being better and improving yourself. When you set the tone for the day with this growth in mind, you’ll continue to grow throughout your waking hours!
Remember. You don’t have to use the 20-20-20 routine specifically. Any positive morning routine that gets your brain ready for growth throughout the day will do the trick. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the routine that works for you.
3. Prioritize Experiences Over Results
A lot of people are very results-focused. It’s perfectly fine to like to see efforts pay off and to desire validation through evidence of success, but leaning too far into that can harm your commitment. You see, the whole point of personal growth is improving through challenges and mistakes. This means that you’re going to make more mistakes as you go!
When you only focus on results, it’s easy to lose positive thinking as you become disheartened by “failure”. Seeing repeated results that aren’t to your liking may make you believe that you’re not capable of the personal growth that you seek, causing you to abandon the journey.
This is why it’s important to prioritize experiences instead of results. As you go through personal growth and overcome challenges, you’ll learn a lot more from the actions and steps in the journey than you will from reaching the finish lines. By paying attention to the experiences you gain, you’ll be able to focus on learning lessons, reflecting on behavior, and discovering new knowledge.
In addition, focusing too much on results can cause you to avoid risks and challenges. When you’re afraid that you won’t get the result you want, you’ll just bow out and run away. But if you want the experience, you’ll care more about how much you can grow from the difficult hurdle and will be willing to face it head-on!
When encouragement is in short supply, the aid of a mentor can be a lifesaver. Mentors are people who can teach, guide, and hold you accountable, preventing you from making excuses and steering you on a continually committed path.
On top of that, there’s a lot to be learned from people with more experience than you, and you can hear all sorts of outside perspectives that can help your growth. You’ll be inspired and spurred on, and you’ll want to do better and stay motivated for both you and your mentor.
But you can do more than just find a mentor if you so choose. You can also become one! If you have a reasonable amount of knowledge in a subject, you can take someone under your wing to guide them on their journey. You can feel inspired by the trust that your mentee places in you, and your desire to remain a good role model will help your commitment to your own battles.
5. Learn To Manage Stress Better
Seeking personal growth isn’t an easy task, and it can become stressful sometimes. If you don’t know how to manage the stress that you experience, you’ll be more likely to lose motivation and quit on your journey. And that’s not something you want to have to do!
Research shows that stress, pressure, anxiety, and depression can all have profoundly negative effects on someone’s motivation and subsequent performance in life. While a little bit of stress can drive forward momentum, too much of it can quickly leave you feeling overwhelmed.
If you want to stay committed to continuous personal growth, you’ll need to be able to balance stress well enough. Here are some tips for doing so:
You’ve probably heard time and time again that exercise is good for stress, and that’s because numerous studies say that it is. Getting your heart pumping can help relieve excess tension while releasing positive hormones. You’ll also feel more confident. Any kind of exercise works, as long as it gets your heart rate up. You can do anything from walking to dancing and from going to the gym to gardening!
· Take Regular Breaks
Working non-stop on one task, even when it comes to a goal of personal growth, can be draining. You do need to give yourself breaks so you can recuperate and come back fresher and stronger! While you should always keep your goals in mind, you should also learn to rest. Taking short, quick, and infrequent breaks improves your focus and decreases stress, according to research.
· Sleep Well
Getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night is crucial to keeping your stress levels down. A lack of sleep and the ensuing tiredness can spike stress and negatively affect your day-to-day performance, thus hampering your personal growth, say studies. You should also maintain good sleep hygiene, so go to sleep at the same time every night in a comfortable, dark environment and set alarms for the same times every morning!
· Use A Journal
Journals are great tools that allow you to express your thoughts and fears without being worried about judgment. The written accounts of your emotions are also easy to look over and reflect on later when you have a clearer head. You’ll get to relieve stress through self-expression and gain insight into your triggers and stressors, all at the same time! It’s no wonder that studies recommend journaling for managing stress that’s as severe as anxiety!
· Eat Healthily
You don’t need to eat an absolutely perfect diet in order to manage stress, but you do need to be mindful of what you put in your body. Decrease your intake of sugars, processed food, junk and fast food, and unhealthy fats. To fill the gaps, increase your intake of whole foods. Also, make sure to drink enough water and to eat enough so you always have the energy you need! Fueling your body well will keep the levels of the stress hormone cortisol well-balanced.
If you truly struggle with getting stress under control, you can talk to a doctor or mental health professional about possible ways to relieve that tension. Chronic stress is no joke and can be very hard to manage on your own!
Everyone wants to grow and improve, but few have the drive necessary to follow through. This isn’t to say that it’s an impossible task, but it’s certainly a hard one. Without commitment and motivation, it’s simply not possible to ensure continual personal improvement. Being sure to incorporate these five methods for improving that commitment can be a great help on your personal growth journey!