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How Do I Set Personal Development Objectives?

By Lily Ruha
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Setting personal development objectives involves exploring your reason for wanting to set the objectives, such as career aspirations, relationship goals, health needs and personal qualities. A particular career path, for example, might require strong communication skills. Having a happy marriage and family life usually involves the ability to get along with and appreciate other people. The need to lose weight or recover from illness typically requires will power and a disciplined approach to diet and exercise. With respect to personal characteristics, developing patience, becoming more generous or addressing anger in a healthy way might be some personal development objectives.

The desire to excel in a career path is one reason why people enroll in personal development seminars. A top-level executive might be required to deliver high-quality speeches to clients and company employees. The personal development objectives of many salespeople include communicating with others in ways that are motivational and persuasive. A mental health counselor might focus on becoming a better listener to meet the needs of clients. In each case, the developmental goal is different, requiring the identification of specific skills or qualities and making efforts to attain them.

Relationships also present people with opportunities to set personal development objectives. A shy person who has difficulty meeting new people might set a goal of engaging in regular activities that increase social exposure. People whose romantic relationships dissolve because of an inability to resolve conflicts in a healthy way might sign up for a conflict resolution seminar. Gaining more effective parenting skills might be a personal development goal for a new parent.

Personal health is another area worth exploring when setting personal development objectives. Learning to eat nutritious meals, exercise regularly and practice stress management techniques are possible goals. If a person is challenged with emotional eating tendencies, personal growth might come from exploring the underlying feelings through working with a personal development coach, nutritionist or counselor. Dealing with chronic illness also can present challenges that might require the development of new qualities. A person who has a heart condition, for example, might need discipline to follow a strict health regimen to prevent health complications.

For some people, setting personal development objectives is more about aligning behaviors with values, spiritual beliefs or cultural norms. Controlling one's temper, showing kindness to others and protecting victims in unjust situations are possible goals. Signing up for an anger management class is one way to understand personal feelings and deal productively with anger. Improving personal finances, managing time wisely and donating to charity organizations might be other areas of development. Surrounding oneself with people who possess the desired qualities is one way to remind oneself about personal growth goals.

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