Free Personal Development Exercises

Here you will find a range of free personal development exercises to help you achieve personal change.

Solo Build It!

If you have a coach or attended any personal development programmes you may have carried out various exercises to help you move forward. These could include exercises to assess your strengths and areas for development, clarify what is important to you, identify your priorities and set meaningful goals.

In this section I have put together some tried and tested exercises and templates you can carry out on your own which will get you thinking about some key areas to consider when making personal change.

You can then use these as a starting point for your own personal development plan and, if you have a coach use them as a starting point for your discussions and to help you to maximise your sessions.

If you are a coach or trainer do feel free to use these personal development exercises but please do acknowledge their source.

Personal Development Exercises (Coachee)

Lifetime Goals Exercise

Creating A Powerful Vision

Focus On What You Want

Lifetime Goals Exercise

Here is a really useful lifetime goals exercise to really help you think about what you want to achieve in your life, after all having a clear picture of your destination is the first step to ensuring you take the right route to getting there.

For instance, imagine getting in your car and starting to drive with no real idea about where you are going - you will probably just end up driving round and round with no clear purpose and perhaps end up in some place you don’t want to be when you either get bored of driving, time runs out or you run out of fuel! And imagine how will you feel – de-motivated, that you’ve wasted your time, wasted your money, and wasted your energy?

The same principles apply with your life – start with the end in mind and you at least have something to aim for and once you reach your destination you will feel fulfilled and that your time and energy have been well spent.

So, the lifetime goals exercise…
First allocate yourself some time and find yourself a special place to do this exercise, whether it is a quiet spot in the garden, your favourite room in your house or that place in the country where you like to go to relax. (For me it’s my local coffee shop where I can sit in a wonderfully comfy chair and enjoy a latte and a piece of their wonderful chocolate cake!)

This is time for a little self indulgence so make the most of it and enjoy... OK you may not complete this exercise first time round, but every time you spend time on it make it a pleasurable process.

  1. List 100 things that you would like to achieve in your lifetime
    …yes 100 things, don’t be afraid to write them all down and remember not to hold back thinking ‘that might not be possible.’ …this is the start of making your dreams come true. These could be things you want to achieve, experience with your family, learn, places you want to visit…they can include anything that are important to you. And commit them to paper - after all writing down goals increases dramatically the chance of them being achieved.
  2. Importance of your goals
    For each of your goals now write down why it is important to you and on a scale of 1 - 10 how important. You might start to learn about yourself in this process, about what is really important to you and some goals that you once had may no longer be a priority.
  3. Make your goals SMART
    To ensure your goals really give you the focus needed to achieve them ensure they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and have a Time Scale (see SMART objectives) And included in this is ensuring you put a time scale on each – when would you like to achieve these by – 3 weeks, 3 months, 3 years, 10 years?
  4. View, Review and Revise
    Once you have a list of goals you are happy with put them somewhere where you can see them and be reminded of them day after day. Keep adding to and revising the list. This may only be the first stage in the process (and you will find more tips to help you on other pages)…but this lifetime goals exercise is an exciting and powerful first step in helping you to achieve your dreams. 

Creating A Powerful Vision

Here are my top 9 tips for creating a powerful vision:

  1. Find a quiet and relaxing place free from distractions and allow yourself at least half an hour to start off with.
  2. Close your eyes and picture exactly what you want. Your vision should be as detailed as possible right down to the colours you can see and the sounds you are hearing.
  3. Most importantly imagine how it feels to have what you are visualizing – really tune into your emotions whether they are ones of elation, fun, happiness, contentment etc.
  4. Refine your vision so it is crystal clear and feels great.
  5. Revisit your vision regularly. First thing in the morning as you are waking up or last thing at night before you drop off to sleep are great as at these times our conscious mind isn’t full of other distracting thoughts.
  6. As well as your mental picture also create a physical picture of what you want. A great way to do this is buy yourself a board and stick on it pictures that represent you dreams whether it is a postcard of a sunny beach, a picture of your ideal partner or dream house, or images of people enjoying themselves – put this board where you will be constantly reminded of your vision.
  7. Act as if you have achieved your vision – the more you can imagine that you are at least on your way to achieving what you want the more powerful this process will be. For example if you want to be that successful business person start talking how they would talk, start going to place they would go to, buy yourself that nice pen they would use.
  8. Keep revisiting and adding to your vision.
  9. Remember when creating a powerful vision to think big…the more you visualize the more you will achieve!

Focus On What You Want

The first rule to being successful is to focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want… all too often we think about what we don’t want and wonder why we just get more of the same whilst others appear to be successful.

Understanding The Law Of Attraction helps as this states that we are responsible for attracting everything into our lives, so focusing on what we do want will help to attract what we want rather than attract what we don’t want.

The fact is that people who are positive thinkers are so much more likely to be successful than someone who isn’t, and positive people focus on what they want.

Think about a successful Olympic athlete…do you think they focus on winning or do they dwell on the thoughts of losing? In the recent economic recession I have worked closely with many struggling businesses and they have generally fallen into one of two camps: those who have focused on what they do want who have found new and innovative ways of surviving and those who have focused on their problems who have ended up closing their business and in many cases sinking into debt and despair.

To understand, recognise and focus on what you want doesn’t necessarily mean you know how you will get there. But don’t worry, having a clear picture of what you want is the first step and the rest will follow. 

What do you want?

At this stage don’t start imposing limits by saying ‘well, I can’t have that because…’ or ‘I’ll never achieve that.’ Just think about your perfect world, no holds barred, and create a compelling picture of all the things that you want in your life: the relationship you want, the house, the career, the friends etc.

Creating an overall vision (see the power of creative visualization and my 9 tips for creating a powerful vision) and setting specific goals are two techniques you can use that really help to focus your mind on what you want.

If you are at this stage a really good starting point is to watch the DVD The Secret as this really does highlight the power of focusing on what you want.

Personal Development Exercises (Coach)

These are stored in our Free Coaching Tools section.

Further Reading

The Secret (Extended Edition) [DVD] [2006] ~ Sophie Angelle; John Assaraf; Anthony Baron; Dr. Reverend Michael Beckwith; Lee Brower

Read The Secret DVD Review 

See Also:-

More Personal Development Resources
Personal Development Books
Personal Development Articles
How To Achieve Your Goals

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