And I don’t mean physically because clearly I fell behind on that a long time ago.
Growing shouldn’t stop because if it does then you are becoming to comfortable with where you are. We’re not perfect, we need to better our health, improve our character, learn new skills and challenge ourselves to the next step of who we can be. As a kid you wanted to grow taller because you didn’t want to be the smallest in your class or be left unpicked for the basketball team. As a teenager it was about growing up so you can finally do all the things grown ups do (which obviously was nothing to look forward to). And now, as an adult it’s about being a grown up….growing your career, growing financially, growing your family…so many levels of growth.
Growing is good. Set goals, reach them, and look back at the delta. Repeat. That is growth. Who you were and who you have become. Work towards something little or big at every phase in life and in different areas of your life.
For some it’s about losing those 10 pounds, for others it’s getting that promotion. One may feel he/she wants to be a better person. It’s all do-able and you will grow once you achieve these goals. But set the goals, set realistic, measurable goals. In the business world we call these S.M.A.R.T goals.
1. Exercise: I will exercise everyday for one month until I lose one pound. Can you exercise everyday? If it’s not realistic or attainable than say you will exercise twice a week for two months.
2. Career: I will set up regular meetings (every 2 weeks) with my manager to understand what I need to do and my progress on getting a promotion. I will commit to manager the following in the next year in order work toward my promotion ie: build the following skills, take on the following projects.
3. Self: Every day I will let one car merge in front of me without getting pissed off. I will hold open the door for people following in behind me. I will be thankful for one thing at the end of every day.
Don’t get me wrong here, there should be a level of satisfaction or else you will be running endlessly your whole life without knowing what exactly you’re running after. ie: gosh I wish I had more money…I wish I enjoyed life more which is why you need these goals so you can actually be growing towards something.
One may question, why do I need to set goals? I mean its not like most of us said, I will graduate from elementary school and will do everything in my power to achieve that goal. Somethings just happen. Did you grow from the time you started your elementary school days to the day you graduated. Of course. You went from being a scared little kid who didn’t want to let go of your parents leg to wishing your parents didn’t have to come to your class room to drop you off. Sure, you can technically “grow” without setting goals. Goals pace you, they may in fact push you to achieve something faster.
Goals are a proactive approach to growth. Without goals you are living in a reactive world, just letting things happen when they do. If I had understood the benefits and impact of goals as a kid, I may have been more determined to graduate from elementary school in say 4 years. Getting out of elementary school asap and jumping to reap the benefits of being a “middle school” student is every kids dream. Fortunately for me, elementary school were the best of my academic career and it was a good thing goals didn’t make sense to me till more recently :).