Personal self-development is a big deal to me. 

Recently a friend of mine sent me a Joel Osteen video. I had heard it before but I had not really listened to it.  My mind was open and the time couldn’t have been better for me to listen to his message. From that point on, my life has become “next level thinking”. 

This topic can encompass anything that involves your transformation as a person. It means becoming the best you can be and reaching towards your potential. When you become a ‘better’ person than you were yesterday (this does not mean better than another person) your life and its circumstances improve. This is usually achieved by looking internally and then changing the way you act externally.

When it comes to doing something, planning what you intend to do is essential. Writing down what you want is the first step. It’s no different when it comes to your personal self-development. Plan for it. Keep it brief and monitor what happens. Write down the results in a diary. Writing down what you want and what you get clarifies your thought process and cements your intention.

You are allowed to change or adjust your plan whenever you wish. If there is no success as you follow the steps in your plan, that’s your signal to review what you have done or to adjust your plan.

What to consider for your self-development plan

  • Start now

Do something about your personal development plan today. It’s going to take some time to achieve lasting change so you need to start now. You can build on what you do today, tomorrow. Don’t become a pro at procrastinating!

Write your goals down. Recording your goals will make you 100% more likely to achieve them. Write short, medium, and long term goals and actively track your progress against them. It will give you a sense of achievement which will inspire you and spur you on.

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
– Abraham Lincoln

  • Start with baby Steps

To make a plan you need to include steps. Break a large goal into its smallest components. Keep the end result in mind as you focus on the smaller bite sized steps.

  • Learn from other people

You can gain from the success of other people and you can learn from their mistakes. Your own experience is a harsh teacher so learn from the mistakes of others. If you can find a mentor or coach your task will be easier. Read as many books as you can.

If you can’t afford to buy books or don’t want to spend the money borrow them from the library.

Compete against people better than you. Go to places where you know you will be at a disadvantage. Competing against superior performers will expose you to strategies which will enable you to alter your own. You will learn tricks and spot hints to improve your own performance you won’t learn in years of competing against rookies.

  • Embrace Change

The world is changing all the time. Even if you do nothing you will change by default as the world turns. There is no escape from this. If people and ideas didn’t change we would all still be living in caves.

Your personal self-development plan needs to include how you are going to change, what action you will take and you need to realize now that only action leads to results. Do something, if you have been a back office Accountant, purpose to know how Cloud Accounting works. Look at how technology has changed the world, align your skills to fit within the dynamics of changing technology.

  • Be Accountable

You are responsible for your own progress. You are responsible for what you are today and where you are today.

That means it’s your job to initiate the steps involved in your personal development plan. If you don’t bother, no one else will. It also means you own the result and no one else is to blame. The buck stops with you!

  • Be grateful & recognize your worth

Focus on what you already have.  Think about how others benefit from what you do. If you improve yourself, those benefits will increase. Your personal development is for others, as well as for you. Also, recognize when you are wrong and make amends. Never be too proud to apologize or patch things up. Even if you are right and the other person is wrong, if they are adamant in their beliefs, changing their mind isn’t going to improve relations therefore even being right can mean you are wrong.

  • Be Intentional

Whatever you intend becomes your reality. Find your true intention before you resolve to do something and make sure you really want what you say you want. If your goal and your intention are not aligned, then you’ll think up lots of excuses and all sorts of situations to prevent your progress. Do something different. If you Zig when others Zag, you will avoid being in the majority making it easier to rise to the top. It’s far easiest to be great in a smaller pool.

Say no to almost everything, and say yes to things that matter.

  • Challenge Yourself

Your goals need to be just out of reach. If you reach for an impossible target, you’re setting yourself up for a failure. If you stick to what’s easy, you’re denying yourself the satisfaction of achievement and only minimal change will occur. Find that middle ground with a stretch goal in your personal self-development.

  • Follow Your Passion

It’s no good doing things that you don’t like. Chose actions that appeal to you and are in line with your values. Pick people to help you that you like being around. Make sure you’re following your heart while not running from the hard issues.  Become a Master in the Art of Living where people can’t tell if you’re working or playing because, to you, you’re always doing both!

  • Keep going & never give up

Life works in cycles and moves to a rhythm. You will have up and downs. When you hit a new low or things don’t seem to be moving, don’t give up, keep going. There is no such thing as continual rapid advancement and that means your personal development plan needs to be achievable and balanced. Find your rhythm and go with the flow. There’s no such thing as finished personal self-development. You can go on learning, changing and renewing for all of your life. Also, don’t be afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only if standing still.

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