“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”―Ernest Hemingway
I’ve always loved this quote from Ernest Hemingway. Personal growth is an ongoing process of understanding and developing ourselves in order to achieve our fullest potential. It is such a vital part in our overall development, maturity, success and happiness. I don’t mean to oversell here, but personal growth is the foundation of emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual health. No pressure, right? But personal growth is a tricky one because I think a lot of people often confuse it with productivity. And while productivity is certainly integral to personal growth, it’s not the end all be all.
Personal growth is a push. It’s a struggle. It’s a challenge. There wouldn’t be any development without a challenge. It’s all about the struggle and the challenge to develop ourselves and our skills to see what we can create in the way of value in the world. You don’t have to make huge leaps and bounds every day in order to see consistent personal growth. I’m a firm believer that small, repeated actions yield the greatest results, while also helping you live your best life.
✓ Wake up gratitude
Before you start any work, list out three things that you’re grateful for. I can’t oversell the importance of gratitude in your overall wellbeing. Gratitude helps foster creativity, helps puts the world in perspective, and has a genuinely positive impact on our mental health. Before you start in on your inbox, take a moment, and list out a minimum of three things. It doesn’t have to be anything huge. It could be anything as simple as a good night’s sleep, the smell of your favorite flower, or the desk you’re sitting at.
✓ Check your financial wellness
Your financial wellness contributes to your daily life in more ways than you might be aware. It’s easy to ignore money problems if we don’t check in with them daily. And ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your financials. Each day, you should check your accounts, pay outstanding bills, and reconcile your expenses. Having a healthy relationship with your finances makes all the difference in your personal growth.
✓ List your needs
I love a good to-do list, but I think people often overlook listing out what they need as opposed to just what they need to do. Each morning, after you’ve listed out your gratitude, make a list of your needs. What do you need during the day to feel fulfilled? What do you need to be successful? Once you mind-map those out, you’ll be amazed at how it can shift your entire mindset and help you focus on the bigger picture rather than just the tasks at hand.
This task pad is the ultimate resource for your personal growth checklist. Whether I’m listing out the checklist itself, writing down my daily gratitude, or making a list of needs, this handy little notepad is always by my side. Grab one with your favorite style and also a set of my favorite pens to help you make it through the day.
✓ Read a chapter of a book
The benefits of reading are endless, but reading daily is especially crucial for your personal growth. Commit to reading for 10 minutes or a chapter a day and you’ll find it’s a habit you can’t live without.
✓ Morning affirmations
Start each day with a morning affirmation. And not in a woo-hoo New Age-kind of way. Pоѕіtіvе affirmations аrе the communication between the соnѕсіоuѕ thought part of the mind, and the subconscious action part of the mind. Wе uѕе positive affirmations for success or negative affirmations еvеrу dау without even thinking about it. When you start each morning with a positive affirmation, it sends a positive message to your subconscious mind. A good set of positive affirmations for success can help invite wealth, good health and upgraded status in your life.
✓ Move your body
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a walk around the block, an hour-long workout class or a quiet evening yoga ritual, you have to move your body daily for positive self-growth. Especially if you sit at a desk all day, a daily movement session has all kinds of benefits for your physical and mental wellbeing. Try the 60/10 rule for busy work days. For every 60 minutes you spend on a work task, take 10 minutes to do something for your body, such as a walk or stretching.
✓ Celebrate someone you love
When we celebrate others’ success as if it were our own, we feel a huge surge of positivity and happiness. We feel fulfilled instead of bitter. And most importantly, we foster social connections with people who mean the world to us. Celebrating our friends and family daily is something a lot of people skip out on. It can be something as simple as sending a text to your friend to let them know you loved their most recent blog post, or wishing them good luck on the first day of a new job. When we make an effort to focus on others, we not only improve our own levels of optimism and positivity, but we help others feel loved and seen.
✓ Unplug for two hours
For two hours a day, put your phone on silent in the other room. Put on a record, pick up a book or go for a walk. Anything that doesn’t have you tethered to an electronic device or staring at a screen. Work on a puzzle, have a conversation over a glass of wine. Not only does unplugging help us decompress, but it also helps not add to our stress level. As wonderful as the WWW can be for many things, it’s also a constant barrage of noise and bad news. We don’t need to be bombarded with that at all hours of the day. And no, the two hours you spend unplugged don’t count if you’re sleeping 😉.
✓ Note your flashes of delight
When you make documenting your flashes of delight as part of your daily routine, you start to look for them. Just like our Flashes of Delight Creativity Challenge, incorporate that process into your day-to-day. Carry a journal to jot down what you see or take a photo of it. The idea behind searching for those little flashes of delight is that it not only brings joy into your day, but it helps you from thinking distressing thoughts, since you’re fully engaged in searching for beauty. Think of it as a form of mobile meditation: Instead of focusing on your breath, focus on the world around you.
✓ Set one evening priority
It’s tempting to waste the hours after you get home from work—you’re tired and there aren’t any hard deadlines to meet like there are at the office. Each day, try setting one (simple) priority for every weekday evening. Maybe you want to go for a walk with your family after dinner, or call a friend, or read 100 pages of a novel, or go to a gym class. It’s far too easy to come home after work and just feel like, “Well, I’m too tired to do anything.” But you have several hours then that are going and you will never get that back.
✓ Recap the day
Remember those lists and affirmations we made at the beginning of the day? Goals and intentions mean nothing if we don’t check our progress. Before you turn out the lights each night, go over your notes from the day. Did you accomplish everything you want to? Were all of your needs met? Did you check off everything on this list? Recapping will help you see which areas are lacking and where you are thriving.
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