7 Critical Areas to Set Personal Development Goals for Work

Loyd Mears

In this article, you’ll learn how you can set personal development goals for work.

At the end of the article, I include seven personal development tools you may find useful. 

There are seven areas you can focus on to set your goals.

Why do you need to set personal development goals?

It would be best if you planned what to do to grow and prosper in your career. Having personal development goals gives you targets and actions for your plan.

You need to set personal development goals for work so you can make a plan for what to do and when to do it to achieve your career objectives.


Yogi Berra
  • When you craft goals for your career, you’re more likely to succeed in it.
  • Setting goals helps you clarify what you want and how to get it.
  • Goals give you the actions to get better in your work.
  • Goals give you focus to be more productive and effective.
  • Goals can keep you motivated and persistent during setbacks.

Set Personal Development Goals For Work

Personal development is a lifelong project. That’s great because it means you don’t need to do everything right away. Choose one area and one goal at a time to work until you see improvement. Then move to the next one and repeat the same process.

Here are seven key areas you can focus on to set personal development goals for work.

1. Develop a growth mindset.

When it comes to your career, your mindset can make or break you. Make sure that you have the right mindset when setting the right goals. Otherwise, everything you do is counterproductive. The best mindset is a growth mindset. 

What is a growth mindset? 

  • It’s believing that you can improve yourself with continuous study and practice. 
  • With a growth mindset, you know you can improve your abilities with dedication and hard work. 
  • You also believe you can succeed if you keep trying until you do.

Focus your mindset on working to be the best version of yourself in the workplace. Before you go straight into making an action plan for your personal development goals, make sure to have a mindset that can lead you to success. 

Develop a growth mindset by letting go of any limiting beliefs you may have on personal development. Believe that you can improve with study and practice.


Related5 Key Principles of a Dynamic Growth Mindset

2. Build emotional intelligence.

In any workplace, the social aspect is vital, so you can’t avoid socializing. When you’re part of an organization, communication ability and relationship skills are important.

Let’s say you want to set effective personal development goals. In that case, you would want to build effective and strong connections with others.

  • You can get inspiration in your goal-setting when you communicate with other coworkers.
  • You can share insights on your personal development goals to discover different perspectives. 

Being a lone wolf at work doesn’t help in setting and achieving goals.

Develop your emotional intelligence by joining and participating in professional organizations in your career field. Interact with other people in your field. The only way to exercise emotional intelligence is by interacting with other people.

3. Develop confidence in your strengths.

Confidence at Work

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and it’s most fruitful to focus on improving your strengths first.

In setting personal development goals, be confident by setting goals in your strongest areas and get even stronger.

To develop, you must push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and confident people aren’t afraid to do so.

If you lack confidence, it’s easy to settle for personal development goals that are manageable, easy, and don’t lead you to growth. 

The greatest confidence comes from becoming excellent in doing your work. The best way to do that is to focus on getting better at the things you do best and delegate or outsource the things you aren’t good at when you can.

11 Small Actions to Instantly Boost Your Confidence

4. Grow your motivation.

Each person has personal productivity that works for them, and not all methods work for everyone. Motivation and productivity go hand in hand. You can perform at your best when these two work together in your favor. 

You set effective personal development goals when you know what motivates you. For instance, if you wish to improve your work performance, the key is to find what motivates you. 

A good exercise to find your motivation is to write down why you want to achieve a goal. Then, consider what your life would be like if you don’t achieve it. How would you feel? Would you regret not sticking with your plans?

Related: What Motivates You to Take Action?

5. Create a vision.

A vision is a mental picture and description of the kind of person you need to be to reach your goals. You need to answer some questions to find out.

 create a vision
  • What’s most important to you in your work and personal life?
  • What skills do you need, and what kind of person must you be to reach your goals?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, and 20 years?
  • How do you envision your ideal life? 
  • What do you most want to leave behind when your life is at its end?

When you focus on your vision, not distractions, you can get more of what you want. Focusing on your vision makes you more resilient when you have challenges and stress.

Related4 Steps to Creating the Ultimate Vision For Your Life

6. Putting an action plan in place and acting on it.

Your action plan is the steps you will take to achieve your vision.  

Reference the answers to the questions about your vision. Then, research to find out the knowledge and skills you need to make your vision a reality.

Develop a step-by-step plan to get the knowledge and skills.

You should have general long-term plans and specific plans for the current year.

RelatedHow to Write an Action Plan for Your Goals

7. Tracking your progress.

Once you have a plan with actions, you need to set milestones for completing the actions.

Tracking your progress
Tracking Progress
  • First, set a deadline for your main goal. Then, make a timetable for finishing each step or action needed to achieve your main goal.  
  • Make certain you can complete the timeline so you will make progress toward your goal. Check the requirements and consider how much time you need to complete each step. 
  • Assume you will underestimate and multiply your estimate by time and a half or double the time you guess. Then adapt as you go along. Don’t use adjustments excuses to put things off. 
  • Promise yourself to do something every day to move towards your goals.

I learned a secret from Tony Robbins. Always do something right away when you set a goal. You should take some small action right now towards your personal development goals for work to gain momentum.

Personal Development Tools to Help You Create Your Ideal Life

In your pursuit of personal development, have you considered technologies that could help? Regardless of the development area you’d like to improve, there’s likely a website or mobile application to help you fulfill your potential.

Check out these online resources and use them to become the person you want to be:

TED.com is a non-profit website, YouTube channel, and an app on Google Play and Apple to watch videos on many different topics. TED’s slogan is “ideas worth spreading.” Suppose you’re looking for knowledge, inspiration, and an impressive list of talented speakers presenting first-hand information. In that case, TED will provide all these things for you. 

Khan Academy is a website that has many excellent courses in every type of school subject from Pre-K through college. It also has courses in computer programming, economics, and life skills. Best of all, it’s free. The life skills include personal finance, navigating your career, starting a business, and many more.

Udemy is an online learning website that has courses created by experts in every field. Courses cost between $11 and $500. They regularly have promotions where most courses are set at a low price, around $11-$12 for a week or so.

Experts teach many courses where you can learn anything like programming in a computer language and building a website. You can learn graphic design or how to write a novel among thousands of subjects.

Lumosity is a brain training website developed and managed by neuroscientists. The purpose of Lumosity is to improve cognitive functioning by providing numerous brain games. Wouldn’t you like to boost your brainpower?

Lumosity can help you to grow your attention span or improve your memory. There is a free plan and a premium plan.

Facebook groups are a good place to find people with similar personal development goals. You can join a group for support and hold each other accountable for pursuing your personal development goals.

Hay House Vision Board App helps you create your life vision on a smartphone or electronic tablet. It’s inspiring to create a collage of what you hope your future will be.

Build vision boards to accomplish your goals and live the life you always wanted. Easily add images, inspiring messages, and music. 

Join the Hay House Vision Board Community to find others just like you to unite and help you stay on course. 

Pinterest provides great exposure to novel ideas, stories, and photos. Whatever your interests may be, there are others on Pinterest posting images and stories related to it. 

The Final Word on Personal Development Goals for Work

There is a lot to swallow in putting together personal development goals. The best advice I’ve ever gotten was choosing one thing and working on it until it’s done.

For example, if you begin developing your mindset, choose a good book and start working on it. Once you finish the book and implement suggestions, start working on another goal.

Follow this step-by-step blueprint to quickly get going on your personal development goals for work.

I hope you have great success and happiness!