4 Ways to Achieve Personal Growth at Any Stage of Your Life
The article below is a guest post by Brad Krause, founder of Self Caring and author of an upcoming book on Self-Care. I’ll post details about his book as those become available! Brad has written several great articles for Living Simply. I’ve included links to those articles at the end of this post.
You need not wait for a midlife crisis to feel burnt out, uninspired, or regretful for all the things you did or didn’t do up until now. The truth of the matter is that you can achieve personal growth at any age, and sometimes it’s making the decision to actually take the plunge that’s harder than the act itself. In order to move forward with a big change of any kind, you’ve got to make a brutally honest assessment of your current situation. It’s time to banish any excuses you’ve been making in order to start living your best life. What’s your calling?
Start a New Career
If you’re hesitant about changing your job, consider that some of the most successful people in America made their biggest achievements later in life after deciding to make a career change. Telltale signs it’s time to move on include loss of purpose and passion, undervalued talent, stunted growth, a toxic culture, lack of compensation or reward, and not being able to be your true self. Consider what it is you want to do and then write down the necessary steps it will take to get there. Perhaps you need to beef up your skill set in a new area, or maybe you want to start your own business instead of working for someone else. Make sure to research the potential careers you have on the table before making a rash decision.
Go Back to School
The decision to go back to school can affect your current financial situation, schedule, and relationships. While these are big sacrifices, they are only temporary considering the goal of achieving a higher education is to get a better job that pays more. If you’re married or living with a partner and/or have kids, make sure you have a heart-to-heart conversation about what the next few years are going to look like so you can develop a schedule and avoid misunderstandings. Other things that make it easier to manage going back to school as an adult include getting financial aid, getting enough sleep, acquiring a support system of like-minded adults, and managing test anxiety (arrive early, take your time, read through all the instructions, and answer the easy questions first).
Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle
Losing and maintaining weight gets harder with age, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embark on adopting a healthier lifestyle that produces results. Find an activity you enjoy so you’re actually motivated to lace up your sneakers. Consider signing up for a race or sports league so that you can be held accountable. To boost metabolism, make sure you’re incorporating weight training to build muscle tissue — you lose three to five percent per decade. Other tactics include high-intensity interval training (HIIT), drinking water, eating real (not processed) foods, and consuming five to six mini meals in lieu of three larger ones.
Become inspired by healthy eating by taking a cooking class or starting a healthy dinner club where you can exchange recipes with like-minded individuals over a meal. And if you need to properly unwind at the end of a long day, consider taking up meditation. In fact, you can dedicate an area of your home as a meditation space, which will make it easier for you to find solace and get your mind off everyday stresses and anxieties.
Take a Sabbatical
While you may not be able to take a three-month Eat, Pray, Love-like sabbatical, do take advantage of your vacation days to allow yourself to have a period of self-discovery. It can be difficult to determine what you want to do with your life when your agenda is full, so take some time out to focus on your needs.
If you’re having a hard time determining what path you want to embark on next, consider hiring a life coach—just be prepared to invest a decent amount of money. Along with helping you establish clear goals that can lead you to a happier place, it’s liable that you’ll notice an improvement in your relationships because you’re learning how to take control of your life instead of blaming it for various circumstances. Support of any form is key when making any major changes, so make sure you’re surrounding yourself with positive people.
Leave a comment and tell me what you think. What stage of your life are you in and what plans are you making for personal growth?
Check out some of Brads other articles: