I created a post on how to start your personal growth journey and received great feedback. As a result, I’m creating a whole series on how exactly I made those changes in my life (and all the struggles I faced along the way) so that you don’t make the same mistakes I did.
I know there can be a lot of list posts that gives you an overview of “x things you can do to achieve x,” but I want to be real and actually show you the good, bad, and the ugly of trying to improve your mindset and ultimately, your life (and trust me it isn’t easy!).
This series will take a holistic approach to improve your life. This means we’re not just going to be talking about developing your mindset; we’re also going to work on your health, relationships, and other aspects of your life.
I’m going to use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a guide for this series. Simply put, Maslow’s theory segments human needs in categories (displayed below) and states that we have to satisfy our basic needs first (by working up the pyramid) to become the best version of ourselves.
I’ve learned from experience that you can’t try to improve your mindset without making sure these other areas are taken care of. I actually used a top-down approach with Maslow’s hierarchy (not intentionally). What ended up happening was that I had a strong mindset but then had to deal with major setbacks because of neglect to these other areas. I was holding myself back in some cases, and I didn’t even realize it!
Sidenote: While you may also try to use this top-down approach, you will probably experience the same setbacks I had. I’m not mandating that you go with any particular order, but I will be using a bottom-up approach in the series. You may have some needs already satisfied so feel free to tailor this approach as you see fit.
I’ve learned a lot over the years since starting my personal growth journey, and I’m creating this series to make it easier for you to start yours. Here’s what’s included:
- In-depth evaluations of various parts of my life I had to work on to grow (and what you need to focus on!)
- Everything I wish I knew along the way to make my personal growth process easier
- What I’ve learned from my failures and struggles
- What I did wrong + What I did right
- All the resources I’ve used for motivation and how it has helped + What I’m using & doing now to stay motivated
- how to become the best version of yourself
- why you should take care of your body as well as your mind
- learning how to manage your finances (cause you can’t focus if you’re broke!)
- the types of relationships you need to have & how to let go of toxic people
- building your confidence & self-esteem, and how to become the best version of yourself
I’ll let you in on a little secret. The biggest ally in my personal growth journey was the books I’ve read. Sometimes, it can be hard to stay motivated and achieve your vision but these books have helped me push through to the positive person I am today.
Define your Goals & Vision
This may seem like a no-brainer but believe it or not, I made this mistake myself.
This was the post that started it all. I felt genuinely happy for the first time in my life, and I was determined to grow as a person and maintain that happiness. At that point though, I had no specific goal in mind. The goal was just to grow as a person and be happy. While this is great in theory, in reality, I struggled to define that path because I didn’t take the time to define what that happiness entailed or how to achieve that personal growth.
So here’s my advice:
1. Evaluate your life: Use this post and answer all the questions on paper (to avoid distractions online). As you’ll see, I actually did this myself when I became frustrated and unsure of what my next move was.
Before you can clearly define a path for yourself, you have to know what is important to you.
This post on goal setting for the New Year also walks you through how to set and actually achieve your New Year’s goals and resolution.
2. Make a list of SMART goals
Don’t make generic goals like I did and get lost in the process/not hold yourself accountable for completing these goals by a certain time. Here’s a video from Freedom Kingdom on Youtube to explain the concept better. I highly recommend you watch it if you don’t already understand the concept of SMART goals.
3. Create a Vision Board
This is actually very helpful because it creates these subconscious reminders in your brain which motivates you to work toward your goals. I have a vision board on my wall near my bed so that every time I sit up in bed, it’s directly in front of me. It’s also the first thing I see when I wake up.
Here are some simple steps for creating your vision board:
- Find images on Google or in a magazine that represent the goals and personal vision you just created
- You may even Photoshop some of the images to make it more specific. For example, if you want a specific award, Photoshop your name on the award so it feels more realistic
- Print them out (or cut them up) and paste them on a cardboard/posterboard
- Hang it up in a spot you know you’ll see every day
You’ll want to include your short term and long term goals on your vision board. Include pictures of your dream house/car/vacation in the long run and then add things like food if you want to eat healthier in the short run.
Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see a post on creating your own vision board!
What I want you to remember:
If you read through my diary in chronological order, you’ll see I had many ups and downs. The downs were because I wasn’t clear on the path I wanted to take or how to accomplish my goals because they weren’t specific enough. The ups were because I was determined to grow as a person and work for the things I wanted.
Saying you want to be rich is not specific enough. But if you set a monthly income goal you want to attain, then you can break that down into steps on what you can do to earn that money.
Please don’t make the same mistakes I did! Don’t write down any vague goals and visions you have for yourself. Be very specific with what you want so you can create a plan to achieve it.
Also important: it is absolutely okay if you don’t know what path you want to take (I don’t either, and neither do a lot of people). This series is about self-discovery in order to achieve personal growth and eventually accomplish your goals. I would highly recommend answering these questions as a starting point (and add to it if necessary!) The point is to start there to explore various avenues you take to end up doing things you love.
Need help creating your vision? These books will help!
Click here to go to the second post in the series! Learn about how I paid the price for neglecting my health and focusing on just my mind so that you don’t make that mistake!
Other posts that will help you with your personal growth journey:
- The Secret to Achieving Your Near Year Goals
- The Biggest Mistake we make that Hinders our Personal Growth
- What Nobody tells you about Personal Growth
- 4 Ways to Take Your Life to the Next Level
- 3 Types of People You NEED to Have in Your Life
- The Hidden Truth Behind Why you Struggle with Time Management
- 4 Toxic Relationships that are Killing Your Dreams