by  Cindia Carrere

Cindia Carrere

Why is personal growth important?

  • To grow wiser and not just another year older
  • Identify and remove negative influences from your life
  • Improve the quality of your life

What are examples of personal growth?

Going beyond what you’ve been told or believe you can do. The person who heard they “would never amount to anything,” or “walk again,” or “get beyond something,” but transcended their circumstances and proved the naysayers wrong (even if the critic was themselves).

How do you set good personal goals for the right areas of your life?

Think about any areas that could use improvement Where would you like clarity? What are you tolerating? Gather information by spending time in reflection, journaling, and listening to your heart and spirit about what you want.

September is Self-Improvement Month, so I thought I’d share 20 tips to start stretching beyond your own real (or imaginary) limits:

1. Write down your personal goals

2. Get your body moving!

3. Take a screen break for at least ten minutes at a time. No distractions! Just hang out with your own energy.

4. Read at least one book every month

5. Organize an area of chaos like the garage, a closet, a relationship

6. Eat healthy

7. Get a massage

8. Go to a museum or art gallery

9. Play! Have some fun

10. Do something creative just for the heck of it, not to produce anything “special,” or for sale

11. Peruse magazines and books you normally wouldn’t flip through

12. Invite someone outside your social group for coffee (or tea, or wine, or …)

13. Say hello to God, utter a prayer

14. Read or write a poem

15. Forgive someone, including yourself

16. When your breath is even, it sends a message to your body that everything is okay

17. Write down specific things you’re grateful for every day

18. Make a mistake on purpose. Color outside the lines, be less than “perfect,” and start focusing on excellence

19. Tell someone you love them, including yourself

20. Create a vision board

What are the 5 areas of personal development? 

You’ve probably heard of “arrested development.” Not the TV show starring Jason Bateman, but the concept that for many different reasons, people stop developing physically, emotionally, socially, mentally, or spiritually.

Personal growth and self-improvement imply progression, so in theory, we get better and not just older as we transition through the four stages of development, from early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, to adulthood.

You probably know at least one person who is developmentally arrested. The person who stopped studying in high school and hasn’t picked up a book or new information since. The friend who’s stuck in a particular decade, or who still acts like a teenager, never advancing beyond their stunted emotional age.

Humans are designed to continue developing in all areas of their lives, for their whole lives. While studying in Japan, all my teachers had a sensei of their own. It didn’t matter how adept my Kendo teacher was, or the woman teaching ikebana (flower arranging), the art of tea ceremony, or the calligrapher, they all continued studying with masters of their craft. The idea that we are never “done,” and still have room to learn, grow, and evolve left a positive impression on me for life.

How can getting out of your comfort zone lead to success and happiness?

Comfort zones are great and often get a bad rap. The surgeon, pilot, or anyone with inherent risks in their job should be in their zone of comfort while performing. I’d be less than thrilled to discover that the person flying the aircraft was actually a dentist trying something new and was “getting out of their comfort zone!”

However, the problem with comfort zones is that they don’t grow unless we do. By nature, they shrink, and if we stay within them and don’t stretch and push beyond our own edges, we shrink, too. We continue to get smaller until we are imprisoned by our comfort zones and perceived limitations.

Staying open to new experiences, interacting with different people, and acquiring new skills will promote growth and confidence in life. This confidence leads to success and happiness.