How to Turn Personal Growth into a Habit
When was the last time you measured your personal growth? Maybe you waited until your year-end review at your workplace? Or maybe on December 31st when you spent 15 minutes thinking about the year that is about to end and created a few mental “year-end resolutions” that you don’t end up accomplishing? Or on your birthday when you go through a similar mental exercise as you did on December 31st. This might not be you but this is how the masses track their personal growth. Very passive with external triggers.
In business, you track metrics to improve sales, operational efficiency, and a myriad of other KPI’s. These metrics are reviewed regularly and processes adjusted to meet goals and targets. If you go to the gym on a regular basis you track metrics almost daily. It can be the number of reps, total distance on a treadmill, or weight loss or gain.
The reason why you can measure these is that there are clear goals. Most people go about their lives without having personal goals but then are disappointed with their life. You interact with people like this daily and you might yourself be one of them. If you can evaluate your job performance for an annual review you can evaluate your life and take ownership instead of being passive and disappointed. I'm going to provide you with the steps to make personal growth a daily habit so you can avoid disappointment.
First, you need to know what you want from the single life we are all given. Where do you want to be financially, professionally, your relationships, spiritually, and your health? Write them down somewhere where you can review them regularly. Don’t be shy to make these as lofty as you want. This is for your eyes only and don't let the “size” of your goal intimidate you. Life is a marathon and not a sprint so it doesn’t mean you have to meet these lofty goals in the next six months. Next, take these lofty goals and write down what smaller goals and tasks you need to accomplish in the next six months to make progress towards the lofty goals. What you have in essence done with this exercise is that you have created a project plan for your life.
In the same way, you have KPI’s to try to increase sales or improve operational efficiency at the workplace, you need to establish some personal KPI’s against the six-month goals you have just set for yourself. This is an area many struggle with as they don’t know how to become more self-aware on a daily basis. It's both a struggle with building the right habits but also developing a simple personal system that allows you to measure personal growth.
Personal Scoring System
The trick to establishing a scoring system is to keep it simple and not getting caught up with trying to get scientific with everything you do. That is not scalable and it holds you back from developing a habit to measure yourself daily. Let me share with you some examples which you can use as-is or use as a model to develop your own.
I was able to move a goal forward today. (1-10 scale answer)
I was able to put a smile on someone's face today. (1-10 scale answer)
I avoided distractions today. (1-10 scale answer)
I felt energized and engaged today. (1-10 scale answer)
You can have 5-10 of these types of categories for yourself with the answer being in the 1-10 scale format. Now you can measure yourself daily in less than five minutes. It is just math now. If you have 5 categories your max score for a day is 50. Add up your score and divide it by the max number to give you your daily growth percentage score.
Improve Each Day
If your answer for “I was able to move a goal forward today” is a 2, you can reflect on the why and make adjustments to increase that number for tomorrow. Regardless of the score you achieve on your first few days, stick with it, and just aim to improve a little each day. As with anything in life, there are going to be good days and bad days.
By scoring yourself on a variety of areas, you can help to create balance in your life, and you can add work and home-related areas to your scorecard. Improvement starts by tracking, and once you track your results each day, you’ll be able to pinpoint those areas of your life which need more focus and attention. To achieve large goals you need to start small and create momentum and this is done by having a system in place and a habit to follow through daily. Once you have momentum it is hard to stop and the process becomes as enjoyable as reaching the light at the end of the tunnel.
Tracking personal development is key if you want to pursue a side venture. I dive deep into this topic in my upcoming book so please check it out by clicking here. Pre-sale now. Shipping on April 22nd.
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