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Last Updated on December 8, 2020

Why Self Development Should Be On Your Life Goals List

Why Self Development Should Be On Your Life Goals List

Self development is an endless journey with no final destination. The results of this journey are important, but the aspect that is most important is the journey itself. But why is this journey so crucial to everyone’s lives?

Every so often, we all have those moments where we strive to do better, to be better. Maybe it’s something as small as becoming more punctual, or something that takes more time and effort, such as changing a troublesome behavior. But that journey often feels like a dead end, like nothing is improving. Sometimes it makes you ask yourself why you’re even trying.

This article aims to explain the purpose of self development and hopefully encourage you to keep pursuing this route to a better version of yourself.

What Is Self Development?

As mentioned above, personal development is a process. In general, it involves identifying skills and qualities, setting goals, and creating a path to improvement through skills you have or those you wish to develop[1].

Personal development is a process we all engage in, whether it’s conscious or unconscious. When you make it conscious by creating specific goals and planning how to reach them, you’re able to keep an eye on how you develop over time, making it more likely you’ll become the person you hope to be.

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Why Self Development Should Be on Your Goals List

Making self development a conscious goal in itself will help point you in a positive direction and get you motivated toward achieving the other goals on your list. Here are 8 reasons why you should start working on it today.

It Will Help You Find a Purpose

Self development forces you to take a look at what you want from life and what your values and beliefs are. From my own journey, it has shaped what I want to do with my life and has made me more passionate about my beliefs.

Many people lack a sense of self-awareness that will allow them to create a mission statement for their life. By focusing on self development, you engage with who are you and who you want to become, laying out exactly what you hope your life will look like. This naturally steers you toward a purpose you can work for.

It Can Stimulate Your Motivation

Once you have figured out your goals and mission statement, you are able to pick and choose how you want to develop yourself to achieve these goals. This will give you motivation, as it will give you a starting point.

For example, if you would like to help people, empathy and patience may be good skills to start working on. It will also give you more motivation to undertake the personal development journey as you will be able to see a clear end-goal. Once you have a path in sight, it’s easier to start walking it.

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You Will Have More Appreciation for Yourself

By understanding yourself, you will be able to appreciate yourself more. You can learn about overcoming your weaknesses and feel proud of your strengths. You will realize that weaknesses aren’t a bad thing; rather, they show you self-awareness. You will learn to find happiness on this journey by looking back at how much you’ve achieved in a short time, and how much you have changed.

It Will Create More Opportunities

When you start to develop yourself, you will be able to see all your potential, and this will open the doors to numerous opportunities. When you strive to be better, you are more likely to push yourself out of your comfort zone and seek out opportunities that would usually scare you.

Furthermore, self development often involves the development of specific skills and talents. By working on these, you will automatically open new doors and find new things to be interested in.

You Will Be More Resilient

Self development will unfortunately not stop obstacles or undesirable things from happening. However, it will allow you to build resilience and deal with whatever life throws at you[2]. It will give you the strength to power through.

By identifying your strengths and weaknesses, you will learn to be mindful of where you are at a given time and understand that you will be able to grow from any challenge. This will make it easier to overcome obstacles in the future.

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Change Won’t Seem So Scary

Similar to the point above, personal development will allow you to build the skills and qualities to overcome hurdles and difficulties. Before I started trying to develop myself, any small change in my life would create an impending sense of doom and dread. Now, I have come to realize that change is inevitable and that I can work through it using self development.

When you know that change is an opportunity for self development, you will feel more optimistic about hard times in general.

It Will Give You Confidence

As you aim to improve your personal limitations you will become more confident in the person you are becoming, along with how much you’ve changed. If you set a goal to improve your ability to listen and you find a year later that you are absorbing more and more details during conversations, you will begin to feel more confident in your ability to improve in other areas. Any time you get better at something, it will stimulate the knowledge that you are capable human being.

You Will Have Better Relationships

Self-improvement can improve how you build relationships with people and will also allow current relationships to thrive. Being more self-aware will allow you to be more open with people. You will feel much more confident in yourself and be able to let people see you for who you are.

During self development,  you can acknowledge your weaknesses and plan to improve them. Instead of letting them hold you back from sharing who you are, you will develop the ability to accept yourself and allow others to accept you in the process. This will naturally create a stronger relationship between you and your friends and family.

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Final Thoughts

Personal development will allow you to learn about yourself and what you want from life. When you’ve invested in personal development, you will want to keep going. Personal development in itself will change the way you live your life – you will always be strving to be better. It will allow you to flourish and live in the moment. It will give you the feeling of wellbeing and happiness and will help you to succeed and reach your full potential.

If you feel like self development is too challenging, try to understand that you’ve already been doing it. Since the day you were born, you’ve been developing and improving skills and talents. Now is simply the time to make the process more conscious and devote energy toward the things you hope you improve.

More Tips on Self Development

Featured photo credit: Fa Barboza via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Skills You Need: What is Personal Development?
[2] David D. Woods: Essential Characteristics of Resilience

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Tema Mamdani

Author and blogger

Why Self Development Should Be On Your Life Goals List

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Last Updated on January 21, 2021

12 Learning Goals For Personal Growth And Self Development

12 Learning Goals For Personal Growth And Self Development

Learning is an essential part of life. The more you learn, the more you need to learn. As Harry Truman put it,[1]

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

Your attitude toward personal growth and self-development through continuous learning is an important factor in how you succeed in life. In this article, I have highlighted some learning goals to help you become a better version of yourself and be more successful.

How Independent Learning Leads to Growth and Development

When you are dedicated to lifelong learning, you will experience development in key areas of growth. This includes intellectual, professional, social, and physical growth.[2] You can pick these areas of growth one by one and learn something to improve yourself. When you have achieved your goal in one area, you can then consider another area that also needs improvement.

There are different ways to learn, and these include reading, listening, webinars, online courses, mentoring and any other means by which knowledge can be passed and absorbed. You can also learn by observing people: friends, colleagues, bosses, or any other person whose lifestyle you admire.

Examples of Personal Learning Goals

We learn not just for the sake of learning but to gain knowledge and improve certain areas of our lives. Highlighted below are areas where you can set personal learning goals. There is a sample learning goal statement for each of the items on the list. You can adopt these goals or adjust them as they apply to you.

1. Develop Communication Skills

Your ability to communicate effectively plays a crucial role in your pursuit of success. This applies to both verbal and non-verbal communication to colleagues, clients, customers, friends, and families. While everyone cannot be an orator or great writer, we can all be great communicators by learning.

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In whichever industry you are in, having a goal towards improving your communication skills would be of great advantage.

Enroll in online courses to learn topics in communications, such as speaking to an audience, communication strategies for sales and marketing, effective corporate communication, virtual communication, etc.

2. Negotiation Skills

Whether it is about contract terms, business deals, salary, or prices of commodities, negotiation skills are essential to have at hand. They can save you tremendous time and money and can also give you leverage in your dealings with people. You might not be able to always get everything you want, but negotiation skills can help you get more of it.

Take an online course or read three bestsellers on strategies and skills for negotiating effectively.

3. Ethics and Social Responsibility

Sometimes we know what is expected of us, but at other times, we are not so sure. We often come across situations where we get confused about what we are supposed to do.

Knowing what to do and being able to meet up with expectations can boost your positive image and earn you a favorable reputation at work or in the community. It can also open a door to leadership or make you more effective in your leadership capacity.

Continue to learn about ethics and social responsibility by reading wide on the subject. In addition, read all available information within an organization regarding its ethics and core values. Read also the ethics of the particular industry.

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4. Teamwork and Flexibility

Some people find it easy to blend into a team, while others are more of the solo type. If you belong to the second category, you need to be intentional about being flexible and working in a team to achieve a common goal.

Learn to be open-minded, volunteer to help out, and ask for help from colleagues. Also, offer suggestions on solutions to fix a common problem.

5. Reasoning and Making Good Judgment

The ability to make sound decisions depends on how you can deploy your reasoning skills. Unfortunately, this is not something everyone can pull off easily, especially when it comes to making tough decisions.

A Harvard Business Review article outlined the following useful tips for making good judgments[3]:

  • Listening attentively or reading critically to turn knowledge into understanding.
  • Picking up what is not said and interpreting body language.
  • Cultivating sources of trusted advice: people who are bold enough to tell what you need to know and not what you want to hear.
  • Understanding, clarifying, and accepting different viewpoints.

Improve the capacity to listen and read information and intentions carefully to gain proper understanding and assess different viewpoints before making a decision.

6. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are described as the ability to use knowledge, facts, and data to effectively solve problem.[4] It is being able to think about a problem and proffer an immediate solution or come up with ideas that can lead to a solution. The competitive world of work requires a great deal of critical thinking, and being able to fix problems is a great advantage.

Learn how to analyze and synthesize information and predict the future outcome of a decision. Use puzzles and games to develop logic and create mind maps to practice visualizing a problem and its solutions.

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7. Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking is also a component of problem-solving skills. It is described as visual thinking that gives one the ability to solve problems quickly using a methodical step-by-step approach.[5] Analytical thinking helps to break a complex problem down into smaller, manageable components.

Improve analytical thinking capacity by practicing brain games, reading books, and using the analytical approach in solving problems.

8. Creative Thinking

Thinking about new ideas and ways of doing things rather than the old way is creative thinking. It can also be referred to as disruptive thinking — bringing new, fresh perspective into current realities. In this era of innovation, creative and disruptive thinking are essential to achieve success at work.

Improve creative abilities by tapping into inspiration from books, videos, documentaries, and other sources. Create time daily or weekly to brainstorm and create something new.

9. Improved Memory

A good memory prevents us from forgetting important dates, facts, and deadlines.[6] Memory also helps us to avoid committing the error of omission due to forgetfulness. Such an error can have serious consequences on our work and business.

Boost memory by learning to memorize and recall. Learn a foreign language or learn to play a musical instrument.

10. Staying Organized

Take control of your schedules, activities, and routines by getting organized. Getting organized will give you focus, increase your productivity, reduce stress, and help you manage your time better. Some have assumed that being organized has to do with personality types, but being organized is really not an issue of personality. Anyone can learn and develop this habit.

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Learn more about how to be organized. Create a daily to-do list. Learn to keep things in their proper place and declutter regularly.

11. Build Self Esteem and Confidence

One of the ways to build your self-esteem and confidence is through reading. Reading equips you with valuable information that makes you knowledgeable and vast. It also makes you more intelligent as you will gain a broader perspective on issues, and this makes you more articulate and confident when communicating with people.

You can also build your self-esteem by learning to make positive affirmations about yourself. Read self-help books and make daily positive affirmations.

12. Toughness and Resilience

Your ability to stand strong in the midst of storms depends on how tough and resilient you are. Whether you anticipate them or not, there will always be some tough times on your success journey.

Learning to be tough and resilient will ensure that you don’t buckle when under pressure. It also helps you to keep your mind sane when working through difficult situations. Read biographies or watch movies and documentaries featuring heroic acts. Participate in mental drills.

Final Thoughts

As much as it feels good to learn new things, consider perfecting an area of learning before moving on to something else. You might have a number of things to improve on (and you should), but you can’t take on everything at once. When you have chosen your learning goals, put a timeframe on each of them. You can also create a yearly calendar for your learning goals and pick them one after the other.

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Featured photo credit: Seven Shooter via unsplash.com

Reference

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