Girl planting

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, most of us think about resolutions in the new year. One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is to strive for continuous self-development. Most of us strive to enhance the quality of our lives and become a better version of ourselves. Setting personal goals can help.

Below are 12 small, doable goals — one to try each month if you like — to support a healthy, happy you this year. Here’s to a 2021 of new adventures and personal growth.

1. Embrace Empathy. Empathy is about being open to different perspectives. The bonus of this practice is the greater insight into your own.

2. Listen Actively. Learn to pay attention and demonstrate to others that you value their opinions and what they have to say. Open-ended questions, supportive body language and distraction-free spaces go a long way in supporting active listening and strengthening relationships.

3. Smile! Smiling often is said to not only improve relationships but also attract others, sell ideas, and even strengthen the immune system.

4. Manage Stress. Too much stress leads to distress, impacting your physical, mental and emotional health. Countless stress management techniques are available these days with the click of a mouse.

5. Befriend Fear. To eliminate fear, first allow yourself to feel afraid. Once you are comfortable with the ambiguity and uncertainly of a situation you can begin working through it with clarity and calm.

6. Get Along. Your wellbeing is most supported when you routinely look to create rapport with others. Do to be honest; your objective should not be to manipulate but to learn to relate to and enjoy others. Getting along with yourself is a precursor to getting along with others. Appreciate and accept your skills, experience, philosophies, aspirations and limitations.

7. Be Proactive. People who are proactive typically: consider themselves to be the creators of their lives, don’t consider themselves to be victims of external conditions, and take ownership for the results they get — all healthy outlooks. Chronically putting things off is not a character trait, but a habit, so it’s 100% possible to unlearn it.

8. Read. Knowledge is power and reading builds knowledge. Research shows that acquiring new knowledge satisfies your thirst for competence, making you happier.

9. Boost Confidence. Studies show that an individual’s IQ is not the most important factor for success. Considered much more important are self-confidence, goal setting and perseverance. An individual’s self-confidence, or self-esteem, is what one thinks about him or herself. A good reason to boost self-confidence is the strong association between confidence and success. So, it’s a great self-development goal to boost your self-confidence.

10. Master Conflict Resolution. Conflict is part of life. The ability to resolve conflicts rationally and settle disputes amicably makes life happier and healthier.

11. Let the Past Go. Holding onto the past can really hinder growth. To be truly happy is to live in the present. Being mindful in this way supports your awareness of the abundance and benefits you enjoy.

12. Develop a Growth Mindset. Your attitude reflects who you are as a person and powerfully affects your mindset. Being mindful of moods and attitudes can help you “move mountains” and fully enjoy the day.

It’s never too late to live the life of your dreams by setting achievable personal goals to be the best you can be — for yourself and others.

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