When it comes to personal growth milestones, everyone’s goals are unique. Personal growth and development are some of the greatest learning experiences you can have, but it’s hard to know when, where, and how to take action to reach your goals. Even during a pandemic, the world is a busy place. We’re constantly distracted by things like social media, personal responsibilities, or a busy schedule. Between juggling work, school, or social life, sometimes it seems like there’s too little time for setting goals and reaching milestones.
Setting these goals seems daunting, right? Good news: it doesn’t have to be.
Oftentimes, we think of personal growth milestones as great leaps we take to reach our goals. But these milestones aren’t only about setting bucket-list goals for yourself. While climbing Mount Everest, directing the next blockbuster, or meeting a handsome stranger in Italy sound like exciting goals to reach, they’re also expensive and take a long time to plan out! Smaller, more achievable milestones can help you grow as a person and can be done on a budget. Taking little steps every day towards the person you want to become can be as meaningful as taking a giant leap forward.
Meaningful milestones don’t come without some challenges, though. Personal growth involves taking responsibility and being independent. Even if the daunting task of responsibility seems scary at first, it’s the first step to reaching your own personal growth milestones and becoming the person you want to be.
Here are a few personal growth milestones every millennial should make.
Create a 5-Year Plan
Let’s face it: sometimes, it’s hard to know what you want to do with your life! Whether you want to go to grad school or write a best-selling novel, it takes step-by-step planning to figure out your goals in order to reach your personal growth milestones. Making a five-year plan has helped me plan for my future by thinking about ways in which I can use my unique qualities and follow my passions.
To make a five-year plan, take an hour or two one day to sit down, do some research, and think about where you want to be in five years. Then, write down a few steps you can take to get there. They can be as vague or specific as you want—the world is your oyster!
After you’re done jotting down your plan, you can use a planner, such as the Productivity Planner, to track your progress, meet your goals, and hold yourself accountable. I’m a big plan of tracking my progress with hand-drawn charts in my own planner. To make it more fun, I draw fun designs in the margins and color-code with gel pens.
Set Fitness Goals
Achieving your fitness goals and prioritizing physical well-being is a personal growth milestone every millennial should work towards. Let’s face it: part of growing up and becoming your own person is taking care of yourself. Making sure you’re treating your body right is an essential way to become healthier and happier.
Sometimes, staying fit and healthy can seem like a chore. Believe it or not, there are ways to make it fun. Try setting aside a little bit of time every day for a workout, whether it’s an intense five-mile run, signing up for a virtual fitness class on Grokker, or a walk in the park with your dog. This is a great way to prioritize wellness, and it’s also a great way to stay connected with people. You can even host virtual fitness sessions each week with friends and hold each other accountable to your goals.
Visit a New Place
Going out of your comfort zone and traveling to a new place is a huge personal growth milestone. Travel shows us new and different ways of living, exposes us to exciting new places, and makes us more open-minded. Plus, traveling means we get to try new food.
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Venturing somewhere new and exciting—whether it’s Rome or New Orleans—is a great way to explore new places and try new things. The cost of going to a new place can be expensive, which may deter many people from traveling (especially if you’re tight on cash).
But there’s good news. There are many ways to travel on a budget, whether it’s purchasing plane tickets from Momondo that have been marked down or going to visit a friend abroad and staying with them. Just be sure to postpone your next adventure until it’s safe to travel again.
Make a Dream Purchase
Maybe it’s a signed first edition of your favorite book or a meal at a five-star restaurant. Either way, taking action to save money for a big purchase is a huge personal milestone every millennial should make. Why? Because it can incentivize you to make a budget and be aware of your spending habits!
Yes, this means breaking down monthly or weekly expenses, tracking your purchases, and cutting out all those unnecessary coffee shop runs. Small purchases add up, and budgeting helps you take charge of your money, prioritize your spending, and learn about yourself and your habits. There are even programs like Trim that help you save money easily, so you can finally reach that goal of buying your dream item.
If you need more help saving up for this big purchase, read our article Why You Need A Money Saving Cart Now.
Because of all the hard work and organization it takes, making that dream purchase is super rewarding. Plus, it’s always fun to treat yourself! You deserve it. We promise.
Fall in Love (with Yourself or Someone Else!)
Sounds corny, right? It isn’t, I promise.
Falling in love with someone is a great opportunity to grow by learning about yourself and the person you’re dating. Falling in love also means opening yourself up to trust and vulnerability. These may seem like scary things at first, but trust and vulnerability foster true courage and compassion.
Loving someone doesn’t only mean extending kindness to another person. Sometimes, you have to learn to love yourself, too, because you can’t love anyone else without loving yourself first. Focusing on self-care and self-love has allowed me to accept myself more. In turn, I’ve been able to open up and be more trusting in my relationships. It’s hard work, but it ultimately pays off.
If you need to focus on self-love right now, there are many great self-help books or mental health professionals that can guide you through your journey. But if you’re ready to fall in love or meet someone new, there’s good news: in our growing age of technology, there are many ways to put yourself out there and meet new people!
Take Control of your Healthcare
A big part of growing up and reaching goals means taking control of your own body. Making sure you’re prioritizing your health is the first step towards independence and growth. This means learning about healthcare, your needs, and prioritizing what’s best for you.
Maybe this means switching from your parent’s health insurance to pay for contraceptives because they don’t approve of you taking birth control. Maybe it means prioritizing mental health, and finding a low-cost therapist. Whatever it is you need, your body is #1 at the end of the day. Making sure you’re making the right decisions for your needs is an important milestone when taking control of your life.
Move Out of Your Parent’s House
Yes, this is scary. Moving out of your parent's house means you have bills and more responsibility. But that responsibility is a huge personal growth milestone: it means you’re independent and you can support yourself.
It also means a huge learning curve. You'll have to research topics like leases and buying insurance. It means learning how to cook yourself food, or holding yourself accountable to clean and do laundry. It also means budgeting and paying rent. These life skills are super important when achieving personal growth milestones. How are you supposed to grow if you never learn new things?
To get a jumpstart on learning all these essential things, read our article What Every Millennial Needs To Know About Renting An Apartment For The First Time.
Moving out is a huge responsibility, but there are so many fun parts of being on your own. First of all, being on your own means independence. You can host game nights with friends, sing karaoke in your undies, or bake cupcakes at 3 a.m. I’d say the best part of moving out, though, is decorating your new space to suit your style.
Read our article How To Furnish Your First Apartment With A Small Budget for some tips and tricks on how to decorate like a pro.
I know from experience that growing isn’t always pretty. But the rewards of facing hardships and learning from them are how we become better, more adaptable people. These personal growth milestones might seem challenging at first, but they’re all super important ways to grow and develop as a person.
In my experience, the challenge has always paid off in the form of learning, development, and independence. We hope these suggestions help you reach your personal growth milestones, and challenge you a little bit, too.