Put yourself at the top of your to-do list every single day, and the rest will fall into place. - Anonymous.

personal development plan could encompass many things- your professional growth, working on your relationships, improving your communication skills, etc. You could also simply need an extra energy boost because you feel tired and the work feels monotonous. Whatever your reason to have a personal development skills list, you need some direction and a guide to get you started. The journey is not an easy one and depends a great deal on your own rigor and perseverance, more than it does on external factors.

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Significance of Personal Development Skills

Volunteer for social work and community service to demonstrate your leadership skills. Source: Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

The domain of personal development is vast, making it difficult to navigate. You may get confused about which skills to pursue and which to drop and when. It covers everything from non-verbal communication and conflict resolution to yoga and meditation. While the subject itself dates back to the origins of human life itself, with the advancement of technology in the 21st century, the domain has seen a paradigm shift. Till a few years ago, personal skills development largely depended on life coaches, training courses, and self-help groups. But with social media assuming the mammoth role it has today, hundreds of avenues have opened up on how to improve personal development skillsWhat's more? The related resources are easily accessible, affordable, and often available free of cost. 

The rise in the number of personal and professional training guides for success has ensured that the process of self-development is practical, relatable, and can be easily executed. But the same thing can also lead to confusion at times.

What are Personal Development Skills?

Understanding the evolution of personal development and the skills involved is important in defining your own self-improvement journey. Although there is no one definition of personal development, it may be looked at as a process that involves goal-setting, need assessment, developing a plan to reach your goals, and of course implementing it, either individually or with the help of a group of people.

The skills that you wish to develop can be varied and your development goals are unique to you. Some of the most common skills that people incorporate in their personal development skills list include the following:

  • Effective communication.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Conflict resolution.
  • Empathy.
  • Mindfulness.
  • Time management.
  • Organization skills. 

The key to making a good personal development management plan is to first identify your needs and the skills you wish to work on. Start with engaging with yourself daily using some good self-awareness practices that help you understand yourself better and fuel success.

Personal Skills Development for Professional Enhancement

man adjusting tie
A personal development plan has guaranteed spill-over effects in your career growth | Source: Pixabay

A personal development skills list is not restricted to just improving your life in the personal sphere. It is a holistic development process that helps you in business, in work, and in your professional career, in general. At any level, you can follow this simple cycle to give impetus to your personal development plans.

Start With Your Own Definition of Personal Development

The word person in the process of personal development makes the whole concept very individual-centric. It is not something that is covered in a university syllabus or can be learned quickly in a team meeting at the office. It really is a very personal concept, one that you need to define for yourself.

The underlying theme of personal development or the cornerstone of the whole process is being able to set goals that are specific, achievable, relevant, time-bound, and measurable. This means that these goals and targets must apply to your own life and not be influenced by someone else's idea of life goals. You can split up these goals, for your convenience, into three broad categories:

  1. Career goals: These include professional skills related to your job or business and overall leadership.
  2. Personal goals: These may include your physical and mental well-being.
  3. Knowledge building: These refer to building a repository of new information that is useful in life, including building habits of regular reading and writing.

Of course, having one or more of these skills is useful to expedite your career, they are extremely critical in drafting your personal skills development plan. For example, if you know you’d like to work on a personal skill such as fitness, you can make your self-improvement definition focused on setting fitness goals with a regular frequency. Planning in this way also helps you to be flexible and prioritize your needs to align with your goals.

Tackle Your Drawbacks

Self-awareness starts with learning about your shortcomings and focusing on your mental health. There could many deterrents within yourself that prevent you from tasting success in life. Bad habits, for example, can be very explicit as well as subtle, even to the extent of us not knowing they exist until they cause trouble in ugly ways. Procrastination is a classic example of a bad habit that is often much harder to dispel than it is to identify.

How Can You Deal With Bad Habits?

  • Practice mindfulness to develop self-awareness.
  • Interact with positive people who can influence you in a good way.
  • Work on building a positive life outlook.
  • Engage in self-talk to be your own supervisor.

Engage in Research and Reading

The process of learning and improving is a never-ending one, especially when it comes to self-development. No matter which skills you are looking to build or nurture, you must set aside enough time to research and study the latest practices. Read a lot of books or get online to listen to podcasts and motivational speeches. You can even download personal development apps to help you get into a routine.

Check out these useful tips for a healthy mind and body.

Make A Daily Personal Development Plan

If you do not plan, you can not organize well
Plan and organize your time to engage in self-growth practices daily.

Making plans is great. Making them part of your daily routine is even better. And more challenging. So, aim for a personal development plan that fits your needs and suits your lifestyle, but challenges you enough to keep going.

General Rules For Drafting A Personal Skills Development Plan

Here are some standard guidelines to keep in mind while creating your personal development skills list.

Break Down Your Goals

While a big picture vision is important, it is important to break it down into simpler steps. This will clarify what needs to be done when and help you set milestones along the way for better monitoring.

Put Timelines

No plan is complete without this. If you want to achieve something in this life, it is easy to put it off indefinitely and as per your convenience. Avoid doing that. Set timelines for each step of the way and stick to them.

Buddy Up

Faltering is human nature. So is procrastination and other evils. Find someone- a family member, a friend, or a colleague who can act as a mirror and guide.

Evaluate Your Progress

Learning from your mistakes is the best way to learn. Make mistakes, but be sure to draw insights from every simple thing you do in your developmental journey. Make course corrections wherever needed and do better the next time.

Make Changes in Your Daily Habits

If you’re interested in more ways in how you can apply personal development into your daily life, you can try practicing moments of self-care once or multiple times a day.

  • Put your people skills to test.
  • Get into a good fitness regime.
  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Invest time in your hobbies.
  • Read a lot.
  • Engage in stress-management activities like dancing, listening to music, or cooking.
  • Maintain a journal to record your victories and failures.

Final Words on How to Improve Personal Development Skills

Spend more time planning lectures for dyslexic students
Mentoring and coaching are a great way to learn from your students and to share your own life experiences with others.

There are hundreds of little things that you can do to develop your skills. There are innumerable tiny changes that you can bring in your daily habits that can boost your self-development plans. And of course, there are external resources that can help you get ahead. Here is a list of some great resources you can use for self-growth:

  • Online development courses.
  • Podcasts.
  • TED talks.
  • E-books on leadership.
  • Guide to mindfulness.
  • Yoga. 
  • Books on organization skills.
  • Articles on system thinking.
  • Empathy practices.
  • Training courses on cognitive-behavioral practices.

The pursuit of self-actualization and personal development is a long one and traverses your entire life. This is because there is always scope for being a better version of your current self. If you are someone who feels stuck and wakes up everyday feeling like you are not doing enough, then this is your calling and your time to shine. Get out there and make the world a better place!

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Pragnajyoti

Doctor, dog lover, traveler..