How to Keep Growing with GROWTH Goals ll By Brenda Bomgardner

We all want to believe we are capable of achieving our personal and professional goals. Reaching our goals in life requires us to actively participate on our own personal development. Professional development is pretty straight forward. Set a goal for learning a new skill or gaining new knowledge often associated with career advancement. However, when you hear the words “personal development,” do you scratch your head and feel a bit confused by what those words actually mean?

Everyone likes the idea of personal development, but it can come off as a vague concept.

How exactly are you supposed to successfully develop yourself, after all?

One idea is by using the GROW model. It will help you have structure while creating a path towards personal growth. That way, you feel less like you are grasping at straws and more capable of achieving your personal development goals.

Let’s take a deeper look at the GROW model which was developed in the early 1970’s by Sir John Whitmore and Graham Alexander as a coaching model for performance. 

Establish a Goal

The first letter in the GROW stands for Goal. This is where you set the objective that you wish to achieve.

When you set a goal for your personal development, it could be anything that helps to enrich your life. Perhaps you want to learn how to play a musical instrument or know how to fix a spare tire (always a useful skill!). The goal can be career oriented. Such as how to stay calm when taking a career risk such as changing a job. 

A goal is supposed to be the endpoint. That is, what you envision accomplishment being. The endpoint is a destination of where you want to go but is not the same as the way your travel toward your goal

For example, changing a spare tire might mean being confident you know the rules to each step of removing and replacing a car tire. However, once in the process you might feel less than confident. Aim for being willing to feel whatever might show up as you accomplish the work toward your end goal.

Face Reality

The next letter in the GROW model represents Reality. You may have a great goal, but what is the reality in achieving that goal? Or, another way to look at it is what barriers stand in your path?

For instance, you want to learn how to change a car tire—an obstacle is that you don’t own a car. That could certainly be a problem! Or you own a car but you do not have a jack. 

The idea with the Reality step is not to be discouraging. Rather, it’s meant to help keep you grounded to what it will really take toward accomplishing your goal. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re at. Knowing your starting point can be a motivating factor if you feel discouraged as you move toward accomplishing your goal. Look how far you’ve come.

Define Your Options

The third letter is O, which represents Options. As imagined, it defines what your options are for reaching your goal.

Imagine that there are many paths you can pursue to accomplish your objective. So, what are they? Which ones are more feasible than others? Again, this is another reason for an objective assessment of where you’re at with a realistic assessment. The ‘R’ in growth.  

When you think about it, you do this all the time when making a decision. Now you are applying that mindset with goal-setting. Hence, the saying, “More than one way to skin a cat.”

Have the Will

Finally, you need to have the Will to choose a path. “Will” could be short for willingness. It’s a desire and ability to follow what will best get you to your goal.

Of course, this can certainly change if need be. Maybe your first choice was a dead end. You can revaluate your options and choose a different one.

Far too often people get frustrated and believe that reaching their goal is impossible. If you find yourself in that situation, do two things. The first is to reconsider your options. The second is to rethink and tweak your goal. Ask yourself if you are willing to feel your own experience as you pursue your goal. Willingness open gate to more options. Sometimes the feelings or emotions you experience are clues to other choices. 

Having the willingness to be flexible and re-evaluate when necessary is certainly an invaluable life skill.

Tactics as a Way Forward

How you keep moving forward is a question with a gazillion possible answers. Ask your, “What strategies work for me?” Setting your intention for personal development is one thing. Implementation is the secret ingredient to applying and developing systems and techniques that increase the odds you will follow through with your intentions. And if there is a roadblock what will you do to keep going and growing? You can’t predict what will come up that will hold you back until you start to move forward. 

The mind can create its own form of a roadblock creating frustration and discouragement. What tactics work for internal roadblocks? With ACT training (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Training) a skill called defusion is a method you can learn to help liberate you from internal roadblocks

Habits are Easier Made than Broken

Spend you precious energy on creating new habits rather than breaking old habits. Seriously, believe me, focus on new not old habits. Whew! No screaming and yelling as you drag yourself away from old bad habits. Focus on incorporating and increasing doable behaviors what work for you. It does not have to be all or none. Personal growth is a lifelong process to be in the world in a way that is fulfilling and meaningful to you as an evolving human being. Habit coaching is a method of accountability in learning a long-term skill set that will endure the test of time.

Find Clarification with Value Cards

Even the most well-planned goal can still be evasive if it isn’t aligned with your values. If you’re unsure what those are, don’t feel discouraged. There are tools available—such as value cards—that can help you to clarify your values. This, in turn, will help you to set goals and create a framework that will be successful.

Personal development is a lifelong journey. It’s important to set goals that help you to become the best version of the person you are meant to be based on your values and dreams.

These could be more tangible objectives such as learning a new skill or sport. Or, it could be mastering communication and listening skills. Or, pursuing the job and career of your dreams. —

By using the GROW model you can create a framework that will help you to better achieve your personal development goals. However, if you find yourself frustrated by this process, don’t hesitate to reach out to me for help. I’m a personal development professional and like to help people create their beyond. 









About the Author: Brenda Bomgardner is in her encore career. One of her greatest joys is seeing people move beyond life’s roadblocks toward a fulfilling and meaningful life. She believes each person has a purpose in life waiting to be realized that evolves over a lifetime. And the path to reaching life’s purpose is as unique as each individual. We all have dreams. Step by step she will walk with you on uncovering how to bring your dreams to fruition.  Brenda is a counselor, coach and clinical supervisor specializing in practicing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training (ACT) which is a cutting edge evidenced-based processes. This means there is scientific research proven to show ACT works. Before becoming a therapist, she completed a successful 17-year career in Human Resources at a Fortune 500 company. On a personal note she loves the great outdoors, ATV riding, adventure travel and family. To learn more about Brenda visit her About Me page.