personal growth plan

Kickstarting Your Personal Growth Plan

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All of us come from varying circumstances, some more disadvantaged than others. Yet we all have a simple choice: Will we accept the call to live life as a man and a dad at a higher level? Or, will we passively neglect responsibility to the point that we and those around us suffer the consequences of debt, unemployment, estrangement from family, and so many other terrible things? We do have a choice.

Years ago, I was asked to go to a retreat deep in the Tennessee woods to speak about transformation to 40 men I had never met. Before I even came up on stage, I was excited to be there because of how engaged they were. They made the choice to come on that retreat, they made the choice to open their hearts to learn and grow, and they made the decision to participate fully in the process. That attitude is the key to fueling a personal growth plan. Here are 5 necessary steps to get started.

1. Start planning.

Make a list of goals and traits you wish to achieve and attain. Then take steps to put them into action.

What do you really want from your life? We get very distracted by things that bring zero value to reaching those goals. Video games, sports viewing, Facebook, and a myriad of other distractions might be fun, but they aren’t getting anyone anywhere. Make a list of goals and traits you wish to achieve and attain. Then take steps to put them into action.

2. Accept responsibility.

Whatever it is you are doing and whatever you’ve done are now part of the fabric of who you are. And what you’ve already done can’t be changed. So separate the good actions from the destructive ones. Build upon the good and atone for the destructive. Take ownership of your mistakes. It’s cliché, but life really can start new today by accepting responsibility once and for all.

3. Take action.

It’s time to change. It’s going to be hard, but you’re a man, and you were built for this type of challenge. It requires action. One of the manliest men of the 20th century, Teddy Roosevelt, had this to say on the subject: “Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind.” Do you want the earned respect of your wife, your family, your friends, and the world? Take action.

4. Let some things go.

There’s not enough room for it all. So many of us unknowingly wind up with lives that look like a storage building overflowing with things nobody needs anymore. We hold on to all the pain, mistakes, distractions, and bad influences that keep us from moving forward. They’ve got to go. Have a clean sweep, and create an efficient and vibrant new existence.

5. Give to others.

If we just did this, most of the other items just naturally seem to fall into place. Joy and peace are derived from giving. The world doesn’t teach that. It teaches us to take. Higher purpose calls us to give of our talent, our time, our resources, and our hearts.

Sound off: What are some habits you’ve developed to grow personally?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “In what ways can we improve personally every day?”