4 tips for setting intentional goals for personal growth

Setting intentional goals can significantly impact your life and career. They can help you learn new skills, improve your performance at work and become more effective and satisfied in your daily life. It involves assessing yourself and identifying areas where you can improve. It can be improving your time management, developing your emotional intelligence, learning to assert yourself, or managing your emotions. There are many!

How to set intentional goals?

Without goals, you don’t know which direction to go in. Setting goals allows us to be satisfied with past achievements, progress made, and the road ahead. Here are some tips to help you set intentional goals.

  1. Assess yourself and use the S.M.A.R.T method

First, take an objective look at yourself. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, and desires. This step will help you determine which personal development goals you should focus on. Be careful to distinguish between the objective and the intention. For instance, spending more time with your family is not a goal but an intention. This idea is very general, unconstrained, and difficult to measure.

All your goals should follow the S.M.A.R.T framework. That is, your objective must be specific, with the most precise wording possible. It must be measurable so that you have an idea of how the project is progressing. You must have the certainty that you can achieve the objective. Besides, be realistic. Setting the bar too high can lead to deep demotivation. Finally, limit your goal in time, e.g., “in the next six months.”

2. Develop a plan

The next step is to develop a plan to achieve your goals. Take each of your final goals and break them down into a series of simpler steps. Development does not happen overnight. It is a process, but what is important is to be in action.  

A personal development plan must be structured, clear, and precise. Otherwise, the risk is to get bogged down in good intentions. You need to be clear about your ambitions to give yourself the means to achieve them.

3. Have a diary

Have a diary in which you can write down your objectives for the month, week and day. Ideally, it should be a weekly paper diary, not digital. Inside, you can write at the beginning of each week, using different colors: 

– First, the imponderables: Activities related to external appointments or your hobbies. All the time slots that you can’t change.

– Second, your work schedule.

– Third, your objectives: After entering the imponderables and working hours, you will realize how much time you have left to devote to your objectives.

As you work towards your personal goals, keep track of your progress. Notice the changes you make and the effects on your life. It will help you identify the best practices.

4. Get out of your comfort zone

When we set intentional goals, in the beginning, we are excited because it is a new challenge. But little by little, the euphoria disappears. This is because fears appear. It can be fear of failure, fear of judgment, or fear of change. When people reach this stage, they usually go back to their comfort zone and stop what they started so well. 

You will be confronted with this, but keep moving forward! After the fear zone, there is the learning zone, and there you will feel proud of yourself.

You can always readjust your plan if necessary, as your personal development goals may change slightly along the way. However, always remember you are the one in charge of your life. So, start believing in yourself, your goals, and your dreams!

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