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In our last blog post, we discussed why it is easy to get stuck in life and, similarly, why it is so challenging for most people to get what they really want. In this post, we’re going to explore a process that will not only get you unstuck, but will enable you to progress further than you ever imagined you could!

This process of personal development and improvement has 5 primary elements:

  1. Discovery

Everybody needs to have as clear an understanding as possible about aspects such as who you are, what motivates you (and what doesn’t), what makes you “tick,” what your skills and talents are, and where you could improve. Discovery involves “looking in the mirror” and being open and honest with yourself; seeing your “warts and all” and not only what you want to see.

  1. Goals

As one’s level of self-knowledge and -awareness increases, you are better able to identify what is most important to you to accomplish, both personally and professionally. The selection of goals should not be taken lightly because effectively addressing them will likely require a considerable commitment on your part: of time, energy, focus, resources, etc. If you’re not ready to make a substantial commitment to your goals, then they’re not actually very important to you.

  1. Plan

Setting goals is often the fun and exciting part. But many of us don’t like to plan; we’d rather jump right into action. It’s been said many times that “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” and creating a good plan is critical to determining the best means to accomplish your goals. When developing your plan, be sure to build in some flexibility because few things happen exactly as we’d like them to.

  1. Action

Often, one of the most difficult aspects of goal achievement is actually doing what’s necessary in order to move forward. Frustration often occurs during this part of the process (where “the rubber meets the road”) because success isn’t a straight line but curvy, bumpy, and iterative, with a succession of steps forward, backward, and sideways. To make meaningful progress, persistence is crucial, as is having the right mindset, holding yourself accountable, and being open to changing what needs to change about yourself.

  1. Results

There are few guarantees in life, and accomplishing your goals is no different. However, adhering to this improvement process, adjusting along the way as appropriate, and focusing on making lasting change will take you a long way. As you make progress, be sure to celebrate your wins. Often, we move too quickly onto the next part of the process without taking time to appreciate our accomplishments along the way.

As you might imagine, this personal development and improvement process does not end at step 5. Rather, this process, and its steps, are ongoing as you strive to learn and grow throughout your life.

Next time, we’ll complete this 3-part series by exploring why partnering with a coach can have a significant impact on your ability to successfully navigate your own personal development and improvement.