12 Creative & Unconventional Exercises For Personal Growth
Doing self-work has never been this fun.
Personal growth, here we come. Level up your self care and personal development using these 12 fun and unconventional exercises for personal growth!
Personal development is a lifelong journey. While that is a beautiful thing, it can be fun to spice things up once in a while! To keep things fresh in the self care and personal growth department, I’ve compiled some of the best exercises for personal growth out there so that we can all grow to become the best versions of ourselves.
These exercises for personal growth are all ones that have helped me personally, and that have helped countless others I know to get clarity on their goals, practice self love, and so much more.
If you enjoy these exercises for personal growth, be sure to subscribe to our email list for even more amazing personal growth content, and find me on social media (@anaestheteandherthoughts) so that we can connect! With that said, let’s jump into these exercises for personal growth.
1. Doodle Your Goals
If you’re someone who likes to draw, (or even if you’re not) this exercise for personal growth is a fun one! All you need to do this exercise is a piece of paper, a pencil, and possibly some paints, colouring pencils or markers to add a pop of colour.
While you can do this exercise however you like (this is a creative exercise, after all), some guidelines you can follow are:
Draw yourself in the center of the page, and surround yourself with doodles representing your goals
Be as detailed and specific as possible with your doodles to evoke the feelings you want to have after achieving your goals
Spend as much time as you can on this exercise to really immerse yourself in your aspirations!
Having these doodles drawn, keep it somewhere you can see it often. Similarly to a vision board, having these visual cues about your goals at the ready is helpful in staying motivated and starting to subconsciously take action to achieve them.
2. Make A List Of Small Things That Bring You Joy
For this personal growth exercise, write down a list of the small joys you find in daily life. This is such a simple exercise that you can likely do in just a couple of minutes, yet it can be super powerful.
Why? With the information of what brings you joy written down on a piece of paper, you can consciously begin to add more of these things to your day. This exercise also allows you to notice and enjoy these joys in your days more, because you are consciously aware of them.
Grab a piece of paper, a pen, or your phone, and give it a try!
3. Draw A Pie Chart Of Your Core Values
This exercise requires some circle-drawing skills, but I know you can do it! To begin, draw a circle on a piece of paper. Then, list some of your values beside it, up to ten if you feel you need that many.
Now, cut that list of values down to a maximum of five. Any more than that, and they are no longer core values, just peripheral ones. If you are struggling to whittle down your list, see if you can come up with a different word that encompasses multiple values.
As an example, I consider my top value to be wellbeing, which encompasses multiple smaller values such as health (mental, physical, environmental and emotional), balance and fulfillment. This isn’t cheating, just being clever with your word choice!
Once you have your valued down pat, fill the pie chart with them according to the importance they have in your life. From here, you can return to your pie chart regularly to reflect on if you are living according to your values or not, and making adjustments as necessary.
4. List Or Doodle Your Greatest Fears
This next exercise for personal growth might not be as fun, but it is certainly eye-opening.
This involves getting clear on what your biggest fears are in life so that you can a) work on moving past them, or b) avoid making choices that lead to them.
You can write these out, draw them, paint them — whatever floats your boat! Once you have your fears on paper, you can begin to use those as guides to help you stay in alignment with what you desire in life and use them to help to push you out of your comfort zone.
5. Scribble Your Emotions Out
If you are feeling some serious emotions and have no idea how to express them, this exercise for personal growth is an amazing one to start with.
It is super simple, requires no words and no artistic talent whatsoever. You simply grab a writing utensil of choice, a piece of paper (or a few) and scribble out shapes, lines, zigzags, whatever. Channel your emotions into some furiously spiky zigzags or delightfully loopy curves; whatever you are feeling.
This exercise is so easy you can do it in five minutes and can be a powerful release of pent up feelings with nowhere to go.
6. Make A Mind Map Of Where You Are Now vs. Where You Want To Be
Inspired by Aileen Xu from Lavendaire’s “future me” exercise, this involves doing a kind of brain dump of where you are now versus where you want to be.
A good place to start is creating a mind map of your life now. Some good things to include are:
- How you feel
- Who you surround yourself with
- What you do
- Where you live
- Your health
- Your purpose
You can be as creative or as linear as you like, but try to make the mind map as complete as possible.
Next, create a mind map of where you want to be in a set period of time from now. This can be a month, a year, five years, whatever works for you! You can refer to the elements above to create the transformed version of your current life.
When the period of time you’ve set elapses, it will be fun to reflect on this exercise and see how far you’ve come.
7. Photograph Yourself And Appreciate Something You’ve Never Noticed
With this exercise for personal growth, the focus is on self love and body image.
At some point in our lives, I think we all struggle with some sort of self worth issue, and this is a simple way to reconnect with your body and appreciate it in all of it’s gloriousness.
Take a photo of yourself — your face, your body, your feet whatever — and start to feel into a sense of gratitude for something you’ve never appreciated about your body before.
This can look anything like “I love the cute wisps of hair that fall out of my ponytail” to “I love the freckle on my big toe for making me unique” to “I am so grateful for my nose for allowing me to smell and breathe”.
Give this exercise for personal growth a try and see where you end up.
8. Feng Shui Your Space To Reflect The Energy You Want To Cultivate
Our environments have such an impact on how we feel. With this exercise, we will be rearranging our space to reflect the energy we want more of in our lives.
You do not need to be some sort of interior design expert to do this, nor do you need to go out and buy a bunch of new furniture. All you need is to know how you want to feel.
If you want to feel at peace, tidy up some things, declutter a bit, and add some light, soothing colours to your space. Maybe a plant or two. If joy is a feeling you want to cultivate, add some colourful artwork to your space or throw in a couple of beanbag chairs.
Even something as simple as rearranging the furniture you already have, cleaning up a bit and letting some light in can have a profound effect on our daily lives.
9. Plan One Thing You Can Do To Add More Joy To Your Days
This exercise for personal growth is one of my favourites, and I’m sure it will be one of yours too!
This exercise is amazing because it makes you realize just how easy it is to make your days much more intentional and enjoyable.
All you have to do is this: plan one thing that you can add to (or take away from) your day to make it more joyful. That could mean scheduling in time to have a coffee with a friend. Maybe it’s making sure you go for a walk outside. It could even be something as tiny as having a piece of chocolate after lunch.
Start with small, manageable things so that you are sure to stick with them, and build from there! Joy is something we could all use a little more of.
10. Get A Plant And Each Time A New Leaf Grows, Write Down How You’ve Grown Too
For anyone with a green thumb, this is the exercise for you!
Get a plant, plant a seed or pick a plant you already have. Now, as you nurture the plant and watch it grow, reflect on how you’ve grown recently with every new leaf (you can also use other indicator of growth).
When you see a leaf, grab a journal and write something down that you’re proud of. It can be significant, such as “I have overcome my depression”, or tiny, such as “I made a healthy meal for myself today”.
Big or small, reflecting on these wins in your life makes things more fun, more fulfilling and brings the badass attitude in. This is an exercise for personal growth that I personally love because it’s so easy, so quick, but so impactful.
11. Photograph Some Things You’re Grateful For, And Look At Them Often
The next exercise for personal growth involves some photography.
To do this exercise, you can use a camera or a phone. Start by grabbing your device of choice and taking some photos. Specifically, take photos of things you are grateful for.
This is a spin on the ever important gratitude list, except it’s visual — for most of us, making the feelings of gratitude more potent. Your photos don’t have to be of just things either; take photos of friends, family, pets, or anything else.
Once you have these photos taken, keep them somewhere you can look at them often. Feel the gratitude for all you have in your life, and bask in those warm, fuzzy feelings.
12. Brain Dump About A Current Problem You’re Facing
The final exercise for personal growth I want to touch on is the good old brain dump.
Brain dumping is a helpful tool because it allows thoughts to surface that we may not even know we have. To start, grab a journal or piece of paper and set the theme. If the theme is a problem you are facing currently, this exercise will be even more effective.
Now, write down all the thoughts that come to mind thinking about this theme. Don’t worry about what comes out or even making sense, just allow the ideas to flow.
No one needs to see this but you, so be as honest as possible. When we write in this way, it is amazing what comes out. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself with ideas you’ve never had before, realizing truths you’ve never dared think about, and releasing pent up emotion you didn’t know you had.
Brain dumping is an exercise for personal growth that is absolutely life changing if you practice it enough, and I hope you decide to give it a try!
If you found this post helpful or have other creative exercises for personal growth that you want to share, I’d love to hear from you! Be sure to connect with me in the comments below and on Pinterest and Instagram (@anaestheteandherthoughts) so that we can connect! In the meantime, have an incredible day — and try some of these exercises for personal growth while you’re at it! 😉
Sending you joy and light,