Caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival. - Audre Lorde

Investment in personal development is the most underrated advice and practice in the 21st century. In an age where people don't have the time to breathe, the importance of personal development has assumed greater proportions than ever.

While personal development opportunities sound complicated in theory, development opportunities are actually much simpler and easier to take advantage of. If you want to optimize your time utilization and learn new skills so you may get started on the journey of self-development, then you may find these tips useful. Give yourself enough time to go over these 10 tips for personal development again and again till they become part of your daily routine just like brushing your teeth!

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1. Understand What is Personal Development

A man in a suit facing a chalkboard covered with white arrows, with a red question mark above his head. The art of making decisions is studied in behavioural economics.
Setting life-goals is important to decide the direction you want to go to.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs sets the tone for delving into the field of personal development. The theory is the foundation on which your skill development and need identification training lie. Using the hierarchy to identify and distinguish between physiological and self-actualization needs, you can work on skills such as emotional intelligence, organization skills, management, etc.

Originally published in a 1943 paper entitled “A Theory of Human Motivation,” psychologist Abraham Maslow suggested that self-development happens in a series of stages. These stages are represented in the form of a pyramid, with each level representing a specific category of needs. Although the theory has been refuted by many, it still remains a great source of information and a useful framework to derive your life goals based on needs assessments.

2. Identify Your Reasons for Personal Development

Before you get started ask yourself this- "Why do I need personal development?The reasons are unique to every individual. Why you need self-care and growth are very different from why your friend might need it. It is important to establish a connection between your needs and the goals you set.

It’s equally important for you to draw up your own definitions for personal development. Your level of self-awareness can help you determine your own definition of personal development. When you reflect on your self- your qualities, strengths, weaknesses, etc., this helps you form a clear definition of personal development. Self-awareness is a very powerful tool to communicate with yourself and keep discovering the nuances of your personality.

3. Do A Thorough Need Assessment

The needs of any individual are very many. And they are diverse too. However, they can be broadly categorized into three:

  1. Individual Needs include mental well-being, physical fitness, hobbies, passion, etc. They help you exercise your body and mind and focus less on technical skills.
  2. Need for Knowledge that signifies man's undaunted quest for discoveries. This includes anything from development training courses to reading self-help books that help expand the knowledge repository.
  3. Career Development Needs include the type of skills that enhance your professional portfolio. They have a positive impact on your employability and can include skills like non-verbal communication, conflict resolution, or even interpersonal skills that will lead to a better rapport amongst your colleagues.

This categorization in terms of need assessment will give you the right amount of flexibility and adaptability between meeting your personal development goals based on priorities.

4. Tap into Your Human Potential

IT training courses can help get you the career you really want
The human mind is a treasure trove of deep knowledge that is waiting to be unraveled.

Investment in personal development starts with investing in yourself. You have immense potential within you that you still are unaware of. While always welcome, you don’t need a life coach or a mentor to be able to decide what you’ll need to accomplish in order to attain your new skills. People start planning for the next life milestone the moment they are born. Humans are born with the innate ability to foresee and forecast. Use that to plan and refine your abilities to achieve different life goals. Be it a career, or a personal goal, you achieve anything if you are armed with the right plan. Make sure to track your progress by setting markers and milestones along the way.

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5. Set Realistic and Relevant Goals

The first step in creating a plan for self-development is to clearly lay down a goal that is achievable, measurable, specific, time-bound, and relevant. This makes following the plan easier and gives you a sense of direction. Needless to say, before diving headfirst into working on your transferable job skills, make sure to define a hard and achievable set of goals for yourself.

6. Work on Your Time Management Skills

Procrastination is the biggest enemy of productivity. Avoid delaying things that can be easily done right away. Get them done and out of the way immediately. Start with the overall plan and then break it down into steps. Each step should have a timeline attached to it, and you have to monitor it closely as you go. If you don't trust yourself with this initially, get a friend who can give you a heads up every time you are about to go off track.

There are also useful training courses available on time management to help you manage things better. Such organization skills can give you a better sense of how close you are to reaching your goals. What's more, is it keeps you motivated and focused on your path.

7. Seek Resources to Learn New Skills

Use the internet to get hold of free personal development resources online | Source: Pixabay

Whether you are looking to enhance your skills for a job or just to lead a stress-free life, the internet is the place to look. Go for online training courses, listen to podcasts, watch motivational videos and speeches, or take an online class with experts on platforms like Superprof.

Just doing a need assessment and identifying the skills you need to work on to accomplish what you set out to do won’t be enough. In fact, self-improvement is surprisingly very rarely a solo enterprise. You need guidance and even supervision, at times to implement your development plan. You need to have an eye for detail for things like buying new art materials to getting a library card, each step being extremely important in achieving your development goal. And if you are working with a tight budget, this can be extremely useful. A lot of online resources are available for free.

8. Prepare for Adversities

Irrespective of which domain you work in or which skill you wish to improve, there are some basic things that you can do in order to prepare for adversities over the course of your journey.

  • Be cognizant of your weaknesses. They can easily get in the way of your goals and toss you off course if not dealt with in time.
  • Keep a positive attitude. Maintain a work ethic, organize your physical space, interact with people- they can all contribute to building a positive outlook, and pose fewer obstacles.
  • Engage in introspection. Pause every once in a while. Keep checking back on the question "Why do I need personal development?"
  • Identify triggers. This helps you regulate emotions and navigate better in your journey.

9. Find Some Time for Yourself

Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love. - Brene Brown

A plan is only as good as the person who makes it. And you can get better at being you by spending more time with yourself. This helps you get in touch with the undiscovered nuances of your own personality and who knows? You may find new traits and qualities that you were not familiar with, that may turn out to be your strength in the long-run.

While maintaining mental or verbal communication with yourself is one way you can continue to practice self-growth, another method can be by checking out the various guides, books, and materials that deal with self-improvement. Self-help resources are great sources of new information and inspiration. You can also write and maintain a journal to record your thoughts and feelings.

10. Make Personal Development A Daily Affair

Making a plan is a one-time affair. Implementing and following through is a matter of a lifetime. Put theory to practice and work on little everyday things to work on your personal development. That way, it won't feel like you are doing something out of the ordinary to achieve your self-care goals.

While this might sound like an added burden to your already ambitious self-growth plans, it can actually help with stress management. Practicing mindfulness is another great way to stay in good spirits and elevate your overall well-being. It is simply a meditative practice focused on mindful breathing that helps build your focus and clarity of thoughts. Do this daily, multiple times a day, and see how your overall energy improves at the end of the day.

The path of self-discovery and personal development can be a beautiful one if you make it so. Like any other good thing in life, it is not achieved overnight and requires dedication, sincerity, and rigor. And just the right amount of motivation. So get out there and get in touch with yourself.

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Pragnajyoti

Doctor, dog lover, traveler..