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Have you been feeling like you’re in a rut lately? It can be easy to fall into a routine in which your personal growth feels stunted. What may feel comfortable and stable for a while can eventually become stifling. When this happens, it’s time to get to the root of your dissatisfaction and figure out a way to jump start your personal development.
Break Up the Routine
It may not always be the ideal time to make big changes, but even small ones can be enough to get you centered again. For example, you might set aside ten minutes in the morning or at the end of the day to meditate, write in a journal or simply sit quietly and observe the world around you. If you eat lunch while sitting at your desk at work, stop. When working from home, avoid bringing your laptop into bed.
Instead, take fifteen minutes to walk around outside. Don’t take your phone or any other type of distraction. Use the time to really notice the world around you. Some people set a goal of a certain number of human interactions to have each day that are not with coworkers or family members. This can mean a chat with the cashier at the grocery store or the person sitting next to you on the bus. Any of these changes can be enough to shift you out of the stagnant state you feel like you are in and kickstart your growth.
Personal growth is not just about focusing on yourself. If you have more time, volunteering is one of the best paths to growing as a person. You’ll improve the lives of others and bond with your fellow volunteers as well. There are many different volunteer opportunities requiring different levels of commitment, so it is not always necessary to be available on a regular basis. Some volunteer opportunities may be flexible or simply require a one-time commitment. This can also be a powerful chance for you to live the values that are important to you through the volunteer opportunity that you choose.
Go Back to School
Sometimes nothing less than a full life makeover will do. Whether you never went to college in the first place or you did but you are ready for a career change, further education can be a way to invest in yourself. One of the biggest obstacles for people in going back to school can be paying for it. Taking out student loans is one option. You may qualify for federal student loans, but you still might want to add loans from private sources as well depending on the cost of the program. Your employer may help as well. Some businesses will pay for employee education.
While the degree must be work-related in some cases, not every company requires this. Some university systems offer free or reduced tuition to employees, so you could even consider changing jobs. Grants and scholarships may also help. As long as you follow certain rules, you may be able to use money from a retirement account without penalties to pay for tuition.