The simplest answer to the question: Why invest in personal development is that If you are not investing in personal development, you may be limiting your true potential. Personal development affects your entire life, not just your work life or your personal life. It’s amazing how many people don’t try to improve themselves. These are the same people that wonder why they are not getting anywhere with their lives.
Below are some guidelines to get you started:
- Imagine How You Want Your Life to Be
If you want to imagine how you want your life to be you need vision. Without a vision, you won’t be able to determine what kind of life you want to live. Think about the kind of changes you want to make personally to help you in your professional and private life.Let me give you an example.
In my younger days I was so shy and nervous about talking to people. This was something that I wanted to change about me. I wondered how I would be able to find a job and develop friendships if I was too afraid to talk to people I didn’t know. I was raised in a very rural area and spent a lot of time at home in a very sheltered environment. I didn’t develop many skills to socialize with others so that was a challenge for me when I went to university. I had a few difficult and lonely weeks until I became determined enough to make a change. The pain of loneliness was more than the pain of changing things. I realized that I would have to learn to talk to people I didn’t know. It wasn’t easy, especially at first, but with practice it got easier until I no longer even thought about it and spoke to people easily.
You need to balance what kinds of changes you want professionally as well as personally. The two will ultimately overlap. If you imagine yourself being more helpful to others, this trait will become part of both. There may be certain aspects of your personal development that you believe are specific to personal life but may eventually carry over to your professional life. If you have wanted to increase your skills as a community leader, this could easily be incorporated into your professional career. The key is to identify and imagine what this new skill is going to look like.
2.Assess Your Current Situation
Before you make any changes in your life, determine where you stand with your life as it currently exists. Determine strengths and weaknesses to help you formulate a plan to make the necessary changes. What changes do you want to make in order to improve your personal and/or professional life?
3. Set Goals
Once you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, create some goals to strive to complete. These should include high level goals as well as action steps. Most important, set milestones with firm dates for these action steps.
There can be valid reasons why certain actions or goals can’t be met. Instead of abandoning the entire personal development plan, come up with alternatives steps. Be careful not to simply fall back on these steps because they are easier than the main goals.
5. Evaluate How You Are Doing
When you reach a milestone, see how you did against the plan of action steps. This is a crucial step, and it’s important to be realistic and truthful. The best way to handle this is to have someone else perform this for you. It may not be easy to hear, but the benefits will be well worth it.
6. Keep it Simple
If you add a bunch of unobtainable goals to your plan, you are likely setting yourself up for failure. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to push yourself. It just means being realistic about your capabilities.