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"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis

Some people look forward to setting goals and working towards them. I admire that person. They have the initiative and drive to get things done. I have not been that person. At this point in life, I want to grow to my full potential, so I live with more drive to get there!

When I was younger, I wanted to be “somebody” and make a difference in life. I felt like a nobody and had no interest in doing the things required to make something of myself. I put myself down all the time. I had friends through church that tried to help me look at myself differently, but I was stuck in my crazy belief that I was worth nothing. I tried different things but was only mildly successful. I believe that because I allowed myself to think I could not succeed, I did not.

Why would I allow myself to stay in that mindset? I was afraid I would fail, so I did not try.

Once I was well into adulthood, I decided to make a change. I started trying new things, took chances, and worked on not beating myself up when I failed.

When I decided to better myself, I first researched my Bible to realize and accept who I am in Christ. (For those who know me, Jesus is the most important thing in my life.) Then I researched what personal development meant. I found the following definition: Personal development is looking inward and focusing on improving yourself. It increases your self-awareness, your self-esteem, improves your skills and fulfills your aspirations.

The first thing I saw in that definition was I needed to look inward. I expected others to make me feel like somebody. I craved both positive and negative attention. I fished for compliments and was crushed when I got nothing from others. During those years, I rarely looked at people, was awkward, and when I would receive a compliment, I would tell the person why their praise was wrong.

I decided I needed to change my life and started changing my mindset. It did not happen overnight, and I am still working on my personal development. I found many things online that tell you how to improve. I am sharing the process I am going through to grow personally.

· Goals – goals are a huge part of succeeding. I set goals but struggle with writing goals out and setting benchmarks. I have learned that I need to assess what I am doing quarterly and change some of my goals. Things I have learned about goals.

o Goals must be measured, so set reasonable goals with realistic end dates.

o Goals are not all or nothing –When things don’t go as planned, don’t give up; keep moving in the right direction.

o Goals can change as your life progresses.

o Accomplishing goals gives one a great sense of fulfillment.

o It is worth making a goal.

· Worked on my mental growth. I learned many skills in dealing with my thoughts and actions through therapy. Through my therapists, I learned about my negative thought patterns and how to change my thoughts to positive ones. (I still will sometimes go to the negative side; however, I have learned to be positive more often.) I have grown as a person and now don’t jump to conclusions as often. I read more and am willing to learn and apply things to myself.

· Changed my social life – I have been involved in church since high school and continue the same commitment. I have made changes in my community relationships. I was never interested in the community and was too shy to try anything. When I moved to Fresno, a friend took me under their wing and got me involved in Rotary, and my life changed. I am now on the board of the Rotary Club of Fresno; the Fresno County Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and I am an Ambassador with the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. I am active in my community and love every minute of it. I have developed new friendships in these groups that come from different ways of thinking than I do. It has been a great way to gain insight into others' viewpoints.

· Spiritual growth – My faith is very important to me. I read the Bible, pray, and read books to improve my relationship with Christ. I am active in my church. I enjoy public speaking and have been honored to share my story (testimony) in several churches.

· Emotional growth – This is an area I also work on in therapy. I have learned not to take things personally and to laugh. I can be in stressful situations and not be overwhelmed and become nonfunctional. I can handle when someone doesn’t like me (It hurts, but I no longer let it rule my life.) I have grown in many aspects of this area.

· Physical growth – This is the area I need to work on. I struggle with weight and allow that to form my self-image. I am working on this area with a therapist and pray I can finally get out of myself and do the needed work!!!!!! The goals I need to work on in this area are:

o Loose ******* of weight

o Exercise 30 minutes a day

o Go to Weight Watchers

o Say no to foods that are not good for me!!

· Mentorship – Having someone to help guide you in your personal growth is essential. I am fortunate to have a person I consider my friend and mentor. I talk to her about my issues and look for direction. I admire the woman she is and learn from her.

The above are ways I have dealt with my personal growth. What are you doing to help yourself?

The following are some avenues you can use to start making changes.

· Face your fears

· Read

· Learn something new.

· Be open to feedback.

· Network

· Keep a journal.

· Find a Mentor.

I encourage you to look at how you can live successfully!

Have a great week!

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