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You may be thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. Whether you already have some specific personal or professional goals you are working on, it helps to set aside time for reflection. How have you improved, grown, and evolved over the past 10 years? And what do you intend to accomplish in the next 10 years? What specific or SMART goals to you have?

Whether you have learned new skills, changed jobs, or taken on new hobbies, you are probably not quite the same as you were a decade ago. There is also a good chance you will be a different person in the future. 

Take some time to consider who you are now and who you want to be in the years ahead. Getting older happens, however, growth must be intentional. If you want to learn how to be purposeful in your personal growth, keep reading. 


Do not be defined by labels

When someone assigns a label to you, it can be hard to lose. Maybe you were once told you were too noisy, bossy, or messy. And this label stuck with you. Sometimes, we may even assign a label to ourselves. Even if that label is not necessarily derogatory, it will stifle your room to grow if you decide that is all you are. Who you were maybe a part of who you are and who you are becoming, but it is not your entire story? However, you may want to label yourself, make a point to move beyond those labels to grow. 

 

Think about who you want to be

Instead of contemplating who you think you will become, consider asking yourself who you want to become. There are many choices you make now that will impact who you are in the future. For example, if you want to lose weight (a common goal), you can make intentional choices about what you eat and how you exercise. We are all in a constant state of becoming. This means you should look to the future; be sure to shape your behavior not around your past but around your desired future self. 

 

Assess how you are growing

If you do not step back and consider your progress, you will not know if you are on the right track. Regularly measuring your development by examining the gaps between who you are and who you want to become. Once you better understand this gap, you can begin to make detailed comparisons to the baseline that was you and zero in on the areas you want to focus on next. 

 

Clearly identify your desired outcomes

Everyone is driven by different motivators. While some people are motivated by faith and hope, others are driven by obligation, ambition, or simply the desire for something new. Think about who you want to be in the future, where you want to be, and then lean into the motivators that will help you reach that result. When your future is clear, your behavior will reflect that clarity. 

 Before moving any further forward, think about how you can be intentional with your personal growth. Let go of past labels, clearly envision what your future self looks like. Check-in on your progress regularly. You can take charge of your growth when you approach it with purpose. And thrive.

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