While personal development opportunities sound complicated in theory, development opportunities are actually much simpler and easier to take advantage of. If you’re interested in learning how to optimize finishing your to do list or how you can learn new skills – these tips will give you some guidance. From understanding what personal development goals are to how to draft personal development plans – this will give you the insight you need to get started.

1. Understand the Origins of Personal Development

If you’re ever heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you already know the basics of how the field of personal development was formed. If you haven’t, here’s a quick intro to give you the foundation you’ll need on your journey to improve your personal development skills.

While you may want to work on your emotional intelligence, soft skills or management skills right away, Maslow’s theory suggests you may want to restructure the way you think about self-improvement. 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.

Shaped like a pyramid, these stages actually refer to a set of needs that need to be fulfilled in order to be able to complete the next set of needs, in order of most importance. While it is by no means a perfect theory, it has shaped the way we think about self-help.

In other words, Maslow’s theory suggests that before you can start to think about improving job interview skills or communication skills, you need to have some basic needs met: safety, love, shelter, respect from others, and more.

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2. Create an Individualized Personal Development Definition

While looking at the origins of personal growth theories can help you get a better grasp of the kind of development skills you’ll need on your journey, it’s equally as important for you to draw up your own definitions for personal development.

In other words, take a moment of self-awareness and self-confidence and reflect upon what you view personal development to be. This sort of self-knowledge will be an important tool in maintaining effective communication with yourself throughout the process.

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3. Identify What Area Needs Some Self-Help

Another way to look at skills development is to understand that, while being an extremely broad field, it can generally be boiled down into three categories: individual, knowledge or career development.

Individual development deals with the kinds of skills training involved in fitness and mental health. These personal skills are less about technical skills like PowerPoint presentation skills and more about exercising your mind and body.

Knowledge development involves the sort of development skills that will increase our personal knowledge. Whether that be by taking development courses such as photography lessons or by participating in time management workshops.

Career development involves improving the soft or hard skills that can be found on your CV or, in other words, increase your employability. This category can extend to cover skills like non-verbal communication, conflict resolution, or even the interpersonal skills that will lead to a better rapport amongst your colleagues.

Defining your personal development through one of these three categories can help give your outlook on personal development an adaptability necessary for changing times and priorities.

4. Starting to Develop Your Human Potential

Before looking into any development programs or tackling your personal goals, the first task you will have to accomplish on your journey is create a personal development plan.

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. Whether you’re considering serious career exploration, want to improve your professional skills, or simply desire to boost your life skills – you won’t be able to refine your abilities without a plan.

Drawing on all the leadership skills you’ve acquired thus far, clear out some time every week to, first, develop your plan and, second, to either execute your plan or to keep in touch with your progress.

5. Set a Specific Goal

Goal setting is step number one in your growth and development journey. When drafting your development plan, not only will having a specific goal make it a lot easier to give your plan some direction – it has actually been proven to be a vital step in anything related to self-improvement.

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. If you need any more persuasion that this will help you stick to your plan, check this guide out.

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6. Developing Self Management by Making a Timeline

Avoid procrastination and practice some assertiveness by establishing a timeline for your progression. In order to do this, you’ll need to identify all the steps you’ll need to take in order to achieve your goals.

Whether your plan simply involves enrolling in courses or it will require that you learn a whole new skill set, make sure to work out how long each step in your plan is projected to take. This kind of organisation will both give you a better sense of how close you are to reaching your set goals and also provide you with the motivation you’ll need to get there.

7. Acquire the Materials You Will Need to Learn New Skills

This tip applies whether you’re working on employability skills, writing skills or your career planning. Sometimes, understanding the skills list you will need to follow in order to accomplish what you set out to do won’t be enough.

In fact, self-improvement is surprisingly very rarely a solo enterprise. Understanding what you will need to execute your development plan, from buying new art materials to getting a library card, is extremely important.

This tip can come in handy especially for people who are working with a budget. Having a clear sense of what materials you’ll need and how much it will cost you will allow you to adjust your plans as necessary. For example, if you know what a certain language course will cost you, you’ll be more inclined to either save up for it or modify your budget in order to participate in it.

8. Solving Problems Before Starting Your Journey

Whether you’re working on conflict management, your people skills, or simply want to improve yourself by reading more – there are a few things to keep in mind before setting off to accomplish great things.

The first is to know the importance of being able to identify your bad habits. While you may already know some of the practices that hold you back, such as procrastination or over-eating, being able to spot more implicit bad habits can help reduce the setbacks you’ll experience on your journey.

The second involves understanding how a positive attitude can impact your success. By maintaining a positivity work ethic, you will be able to approach obstacles with a more calibrated and creative approach.

The last involves a bit of introspection. Even if you’re just working on personal development for career purposes, taking stock of how you feel throughout the process of self-growth improve your experience. Whether you plan deals with work life or your nutrition, being able to take determine what actions trigger positive or negative feelings can aid in making your self-improvement a more meaningful experience.

Whether this last bit is accomplished through journaling daily or by simply talking to a friend, having an outlet to express the accomplishments or frustrations of your progression will make a huge difference.

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9. Find the Right Resources for Your Personal Development

With your development plans in hand, you are now ready to implement your personal or career goals and make some great things happen. 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.

While self-help materials tend to call up images of unscientific novels that harm more than they improve, these resources have actually been given a major boost by technology. While social media is a great way of connecting with or broadcasting your personal-development journey, you can also turn to other media such as online workshops and podcasts.

10. How to Practice Development Daily

While following your development plans is already a great new habit to practice, you can continue to change your life by practicing personal development in your daily life. 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 not only something you can apply to your development goals, but also to your general well-being. Mindfulness is a breathing and mental exercise that is similar to meditation. Clearing your mind a bit before the start of your day or after stressful situations can help you regain some emotional equilibrium.

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Krishna