I know Evan believes that accountability leads to success but I find those who are working towards financial security get so caught up on the numbers that they ignore a key aspect of success: personal growth.  When we invest time in ourselves we increase our earning potential through developing new skills.  When was the last time you did something to better yourself?

I strive to work on myself daily.  Since that doesn’t always happen, I make it a point to have yearly goals that constantly help me better myself.  I also try to ensure that I am helping my children learn the skills it takes to develop by setting goals that get them passed their personal growth milestones, such as potty training Simon and teaching Rosalyn the alphabet.

Reading one book per month is a goal I’ve chosen because of the variety of ways it can help me grow as a person.  I love reading but it usually gets shoved aside when other things come up.  However, as a writer, reading inspires me to write, teaches me new vocabulary and writing techniques, and opens up the creativity flood gates.  I write much better when I regularly spend time reading. Since I plan to do some freelancing here and there, I should be focused on keeping my brain engaged through reading.  Knowledge gained by reading is of course always a plus.

I’m doing fantastic with this goal.  The books I’ve read this year have been:

  • Purgatory by Schouppe,
  • This is a Book by Demetri Martin,
  • A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin, 
  • Tell All by Chuck Palahniuk, and 
  • Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue.

Researching investment strategies is another goal I have set for myself in terms of personal growth.  The world of investing confuses the hell out of me.  I’d like to think I’m a pretty intelligent person but I just can’t wrap my head around where to begin with investing.  Since our emergency fund is fully funded, the money funding it can now go towards saving for retirement, but don’t know what to do with it because I’m very risk adverse.

I would like to start investing my money at the beginning of 2013, so I’ll be spending the rest of the year learning all my options.  Anyone have any good resources for me? (Editor’s Note: How about starting with my search box to the right?!)

As a parent, it is my responsibility to teach my children how to better themselves.  It is in my best interest to give them the tools to ultimately learn new skills on their own.  With Simon it was having a potty available, continually reminding him to try, and encouraging him when he was frustrated.  I help Rosalyn by providing the alphabet in different forms (blocks, magnets, books, posters, etc) throughout the house and repeating the letters until she remembers them. Helping them with these skills not only sets them on the path of success but also teaches me a lot about my personality.  While going through the potty training process I learned that I am not a patient person so now I am actively trying to be more patient.

Whatever your goals are in life, whether they relate to finances, career, family, or travel, never forget that you have a better chance of succeeding if you invest time in yourself.  I challenge all my readers to do at least one thing purely for your own growth this week.  It could be reading up on interviewing strategies, creating a piece of art, playing 20 games of chess, fixing that leaky faucet yourself, or anything that teaches you a new skill or betters an old one.  This week I’ll be focusing on learning different investment options.

Readers:  How will you better yourself this week?