Personal development strategies can ensure that you are maximizing your strengths in multiple areas of your life. When Claire was in her early twenties, she participated in what was then called EST and is now the Landmark Forum. She used what she learned about herself and others to be a founding member of TLA Entertainment, which went on to become a multi-million dollar company that employed over 250 employees in it’s peak year. She uses almost all of these tips on a regular basis and finds them all very helpful!
Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Establish Routines
Establishing routines is a great way to develop productive and healthy habits. Morning routines help to get you started on the right foot for the day, while evening routines are a great way of letting the stresses of the day go so you can recharge, unwind and relax so you can be at your best the next day.
However, it is also useful to review and assess your routines on a regular basis to ensure they are productive and not a trap.
- Doing the same routine day in and day out with little to no change creates a behavioral pattern that has the potential of limiting or stifling your emotional growth, learning capacity.
- Static routines can also reduce the optimal number of active synapsis activities in your brain.
- Routines can create “comfort zones” so changing a routine to break out of your comfort zone can encourage innovation and creativity
2. Take Time Mental Breaks
Dedicate time every day for yourself to reflect, think and refocus. This will help you to recharge and maintain focus.
Read, mediate, or listen to music or a podcast, do an activity that you enjoy and allows your mind to be free of tasks.
3. Exercise the Critical Parts of Your Mind, Body and Soul
Walk daily, ride a bike, or go to the gym, to keep yourself active and invigorated. This can center us in times of quiet and eliminate distractions.
Feed your brain. Read, experience a film or play, have a stimulating conversation with someone you maybe normally wouldn’t. This helps our brains to stay active and engaged in the world we inhabit.
Fill your heart and soul. Volunteer for a charity that is important to you, get involved in a community activity. It doesn’t matter what it is, just do something that you gain fulfillment from outside of business to keep your horizons broad and available to new opportunities.
4. Find an Accountability Partner or Group
This is a person or a group that you can meet with on a regular basis that helps all participants to keep focused and accountable for the things you want to accomplish. In addition to the mutual aid of keeping each other accountable, you can also discover new things about your process for advancement.
5. Daily Journaling
Keeping a journal of your daily activities helps you analyze what is working and what isn’t. This enables you to adjust what you are doing and make positive changes that support your growth. Capture your thoughts and review them from time to time, alone or with your accountability partner(s).
6. Disconnect from Technology & Social Media
Step away from technology, the news, TV and other distractions so you can create some space where you can hear your own thoughts. While technology is a wonderful thing and social media helps us to stay connected they also, unfortunately, separate us from our thoughts, feelings and ourselves overall. It’s easy to become lost in these worlds and ignore the problems or challenges troubling us rather than resolving them.
7. Create Goals and Map Out A Plan
Creating personal and professional goals helps you stay focused and on track to accomplishing them.
Write them down and think of a few things that you want to improve about yourself and set off on your journey of discovery! Short term goals can be as little as 6 to 18 months and longer-term goals can be 2 to 5 years away.
8. Learn to Ask for Help
One of the best personal development strategies is to ask for help or guidance. This is not a weakness but is a strength as long as you grow from the experience. Learning from others can significantly increase your chances of success and growth too.
And, if you need more dedicated help find a mentor or a coach to provide that focused expertise. Having such an advisor will help you to reach your goals much more quickly than going it alone, and therefore you will be able to enjoy the benefits quicker as well. They can also help you to stay committed to your goals when the myriad distractions of modern life might intervene.
Above all, seek out feedback. This is one of the most critical components of personal growth and also helps you to gauge your own progress in your journey to personal development. This is also an area where it can feel awkward, both to ask for and to receive information about yourself. The most important piece here is being in a headspace of learning and growth.
9. Focus on One Thing at A Time
When we try to multitask, we spread ourselves to thin. When we do that, we become mentally drained as well as physically tired from moving so fast to get all the things on our list completed and spiritually deplenished from the lack of calm in which we might center ourselves. There will never be enough time to get it all done should this occur. However, if you focus on 1 or 2 things to completion you will find that you will get more done, be less mentally drained, physically tired, and spiritually deplenished. In some cases, you might even have more time in your day. As Ron Swanson from Parks & Recreations puts it: “Don’t halfass two things, whole-ass one thing.”
10. Don’t be Overly Hard on Yourself
This should probably be #1 because it is so important, but it only comes as a result of the other nine points. Not only to your mental health, but your physical and spiritual health as well. Even when you are completely dedicated to your personal development strategies, change and growth take time. Enjoy the journey, be open to it and accept that it will take time and even be uncomfortable at times- that’s how we grow. Be kind to yourself.
Written by Alex A. Pilkington