EDITOR'S NOTE: Diet-to-Go guest blogger Mia Redrick has made it her mission to help harried moms everywhere learn how to take care of themselves -- mentally and physically. Today she turns her attention to helping you achieve personal growth.
We've all heard the term and most of us have a general idea of what it means. But when we try to put it into words, it becomes difficult... especially if you're a mom.
Personal growth is about being more of who you really are.
For moms, it's about showing more of who you are to your kids. Often, it requires us to revisit parts of ourselves that we haven't spent any time with recently because we thought that we had to put our lives on hold for our families.
This can be frightening at first, but exhilarating once you get going!
A while ago I decided to try my hand at snowboarding. It was one of the most terrifying experiences I've had in a long time, but I discovered that if I went down the slope backwards, my fear was much less than it was when I went down facing front.
I did something I had never done before and conquered my fear by changing the way I looked at it. Sometimes all we need is a change of perspective to realize that personal growth is just as enriching as it is terrifying.
Once you get started on your personal growth efforts, you'll see that it is still possible and necessary to continue growing while you raise your kids.
Of course, the problem all moms have is that there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day for everything. So here are some simple tips to help you get started.
1. Take stock of your life
There are eight areas of personal growth: financial, work, hobbies, health, relationships, spirituality, legacy and intellectual. Before you can take steps for personal growth, you have to find out which areas of your life are hurting the most.
It's important to work on the eight areas of personal growth in pairs of two. You might find that your spirituality and legacy areas naturally go together or that your work and financial areas pair nicely.
Just pick out an even number of personal growth areas and get started.
2. Set up a time frame
Next, it's time to set up a timeline for when you are going to carry out these areas of personal growth.
Break all of your selected personal growth goals into small, bite-size pieces. This will make them seem much more manageable, plus you'll have a list of milestones so that you will always know exactly how you're doing.
3. If you can't find the time, create the time
As moms, we should always make sure to set aside at least 15 minutes per day to spend time alone.
We also need to learn how to date ourselves in advance, which means scheduling regular time to focus on the things that interest us.
If you need to study, set aside a DEAR time -- DEAR stands for Drop Everything and Read. This means that everyone in your family should be reading during this time.
It creates quiet time for you and occupies everyone else in your household so that no one is asking you for anything. If you need time to train for an athletic event, then use the time you spend at the gym or create games that will allow you to train.
Take a family bike ride to work on your endurance with cycling, and keep right on going after everyone else is back at the house exhausted!
4. Create an affirmation or self-talk statement
One of the best ways to stay on track with your personal growth is to create a statement to repeat to yourself. This statement should be about achieving your goals.
I also find it helpful to create a vision board with a picture of myself after I've accomplished my goal. It might be a drawing of yourself 20 pounds lighter or an image of you holding up that graduate degree.
5. Stay in motion, then accelerate!
The three stages of personal growth are stagnant, motion and acceleration.
Stagnant was where you were before you started on your journey of personal growth.
You become in motion when you start working on four or more areas of personal growth regularly, although you don't always meet all your goals.
Acceleration occurs when you are actively meeting those goals on time and working on six to eight areas of personal growth.
It only takes two personal growth areas to start moving out of the stagnant phase. Once you find yourself moving in those two areas, you won't be able to hold yourself back from working on the others!
Every mom deserves the chance to keep growing, both for herself and her family. Our kids are watching us constantly, and when they see how mom is stretching and growing, they'll want to stretch and grow too.
Moms who are growing personally are happier and more fulfilled too, which simply makes them better moms because they are more relaxed and patient with their children.
There are just too many benefits of personal growth not to do it!
New Diet-to-Go blogger Mia Redrick is author of Time for mom-Me: 5 Essential Strategies for A Mother's Self-care and the creator of the national Time for Mom-Me support group. When you start a support group, you have access to a free six-week turn-key program that empowers you to create and grow your own community of mothers who commit together to make self-care a priority. Our mothers agree that when mothers are happier they are better mothers. For more information, go to www.timeformom-me.com