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Published on November 26, 2020

15 New Skills To Learn For Rapid Self-Improvement

15 New Skills To Learn For Rapid Self-Improvement

Personal development doesn’t just happen. You can’t expect to be bitten by a radioactive arachnid and wake up the next day with new skills. Self-development requires hard work, dedication, and an ever-growing skillset.

So, what new skills do you need to power forward? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but these 15 new skills are great places to start.

All skills have value, but some are more helpful than others when it comes to your self-development. Adding these to your arsenal will increase the pace of your growth:

1. Goal Setting

On your journey toward your best self, you need to set goals. The key is balance: If your goals are too lofty, you’ll get discouraged when you fall short. Start too small, and you’ll become satisfied with your progress too early and stop pushing yourself forward.

The better approach is to think in milestones. If you want to be a novelist, don’t set a goal to finish a book in a week. Focus on getting a couple of pages done each day, or on writing a chapter each week. This measurable progress is more sustainable and fulfilling.

Some resources for you:

2. Stress Management

Personal growth can create a lot of stress.

“Growth and comfort do not coexist.” — Ginny Rometty, former CEO of IBM[1].

To keep going when times are tough, you have to learn how to manage your stress levels. If brisk walks help you keep your head on straight, schedule one for your lunch period every day. If you need to take Sundays off to recharge for the next week, it’s more than acceptable to do so.

Some resources for you:

3. Organization

Organization is a skill that comes more naturally to some people than others. If you’re a naturally messy person, start small. Otherwise, you’ll get overwhelmed.

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Focus on the places where you spend the most time. Clean up your bedroom or vacuum your car. If physical cleaning is stressful, start by culling files from your computer. Believe it or not, one clean space can set the tone for the rest of your life.

Some resources for you:

4. Problem Solving

On the road of personal development, you’ll run into some barriers. Nobody but you can remove these from your path. That’s why problem solving is a vital skill for self-development.

Perhaps anxiety is keeping you from doing your best work. Instead of struggling through it, quietly take a mental health day. “You absolutely don’t need to disclose why you’re taking a sick day,” says Carissa Toyama of Forward, a membership-based preventive care group.[2]

Don’t let personal challenges stand in the way of your growth. If you can solve them, do — and don’t let anyone give you flak for it.

Some resources for you:

5. Time Management

To master yourself, you must master your time. You only get so much of it, and every minute wasted is a minute you’ll never get back. The good news is, time management is a skill that transcends every situation.

Time management is about the power of routine. You can use an online calendar to give your day more structure.[3] You can develop morning and nightly rituals to promote better sleeping habits.

When in doubt, replace idle time with projects geared toward new skills. If your goal is to learn to bake, spend an hour making muffins rather than scrolling through social media.

Some Resources for you:

6. Work Ethic

You can wish for something all you want. But if you’re not willing to put in the work, you won’t actually achieve it.

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The first step is acknowledging the work you need to do for personal development. The second is actually getting your hands dirty.

If you want to squat a certain amount of weight, you have to spend hours in the gym. Simply imagining yourself becoming stronger will do nothing.

Some resources for you:

7. Accountability

You are responsible for your own actions. Hold yourself accountable to them. The sooner you do, the quicker you can get back on track after making a mistake.

If your personal development slows down because you opted to sleep in instead of getting up early to work out, don’t blame the cold, grey morning. You made that choice.

Some resources for you:

8. Networking

The fast track to self-development is through networking. By connecting with other professionals in your field, you gain access to the wisdom of those with more experience than you.

The internet makes networking incredibly easy. Social media sites like LinkedIn allow you to connect with workers and leaders from all corners of the globe. Make meaningful connections, and they’ll give you not just something to aspire to, but a helping hand along that path.

Some resources for you:

9. Empathy

The people around you impact your self-development more than you might realize. Treating them with empathy cracks the door not just to compassion and understanding, but to all sorts of mentorship opportunities.

Remember, mentorship is a two-way street. Mentors benefit just as much from the arrangement as mentees do. One study of CFOs who mentored others found the top benefit they cited was improving their own leadership skills.[4]

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Some resources for you:

10. Self-Control

Self-development is no walk in the park. In challenging times, you’ll be tempted to find comfort in relaxing activities, such as playing video games or scrolling through social media. In order to truly progress, though, you have to learn self-control.

Smartphones in particular are a threat to self-control. The average person spends hours per day on their mobile devices. If you fall into that bucket, ask yourself: How could you use that time more productively?

Some resources for you:

11. Patience

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” — An old Chinese proverb

Remember no meaningful goal is achieved overnight.

Be patient. Self-development is a process that can take years, even decades. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t see immediate progress. Take pride and find joy in even your smallest accomplishments.

Some resources for you:

12. Resilience

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. In other words, you have to push yourself through hard situations. Every time you throw in the towel, you lose momentum that’s difficult to get back.

Resilience is a skill acquired through struggle. That may not sound encouraging when looking for quick self-development, but you’ll soon see the power that comes from never giving up.

Some resources for you:

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13. Balance

Spend all your time at your profession, and you’ll become a master at your trade. Spend all your time with family, and you’ll have wonderful relationships — but fewer skills and a much smaller bank account.

The key to getting the best of all worlds is balance. If you’re tired of working on one thing, take a break. You can always come back later, when you’re feeling more up to it.

Some resources for you:

14. Self-Care

Self-care means different things to different people, as it should. But the overarching truth holds for everyone: If you don’t care for your health, you won’t see the self-growth you want.

Make time to exercise regularly, either at home or at a local gym. Choose a diet that will supply you with the nutrients you need, and stay hydrated. Meditate at least once per day. And if you’re having trouble managing your health on your own, reach out to a professional.

Some resources for you:

15. Sacrifice

What do you have to give up to achieve your goals? When it comes to personal development, there’s always something.

When you’re learning a new skill — especially if you also work full-time — you can’t spend the night socializing with friends. You may even need to sacrifice your weekends.

While it’s important to find time to enjoy life, this isn’t the same as indulgence. Too much of any good thing is bad. Be prepared to give up a few pleasures in service to your self-development.

For Best Results, Start Today!

Developing all of these skills is a tall order. You’ll find, however, that in doing so you’ll already have made a lot of progress.

Use that progress to push even harder. Keep honing your skills, and you’ll see just how life-changing self-development can be.

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Featured photo credit: Melanie Deziel via unsplash.com

Reference

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Kimberly Zhang

Kimberly Zhang is the Chief Editor of Under30CEO and has a passion for educating the next generation of leaders to be successful.

Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts 6 Reasons Why Taking Up Digital Skills And Knowledge Is Crucial How To Make the Right Career Choice After 30 And Succeed How to Protect Your Mental Health in Tough Times How To Be Successful In Leadership As an Introverted Leader

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

If I told you that there was one activity that you could do frequently that would dramatically accelerate your rate of self-improvement, would you do it?

SWOT Analysis may very well be the solution to your problems of feeling lost, unproductive, worried about the future, and the general struggle that inevitably arises on the road to personal development. It is quick to carry out, reliable in terms of changing your perspective, and effective in getting you the results that you desire.

So what exactly is this SWOT Analysis? You will find everything you need to know about it below as well as how to do it and all of the amazing benefits that it will bring to your life.

What Is SWOT Analysis?

SWOT Analysis is a business term that has steadily made its way over into the world of personal development due to its effectiveness in getting things to improve — whether that be a company or, more recently, a person.

S.W.O.T. is an anagram that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When assessing these four key pillars in life, it gives a very good picture of which direction you should be heading in and even highlights some of the best ways to do it.

All in all, it is a great way to reflect on past actions and to decide on the best way to move forward.

How to Do a SWOT Analysis

Carrying out a SWOT Analysis is relatively simple. The best way is to take out a pen and paper and write down four columns: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. From there, you can begin to fill out each one and apply it to whatever situation you find yourself in.

If you are considering expanding your enterprise, you might want to write down the current strengths and weaknesses of your business as well as the opportunities that you could possibly move into and the threats that you might need to minimize.

If you are an individual looking to improve yourself, you can carry out a SWOT Analysis either on the micro or macro level. A micro example would be focusing on one specific area of life. For example, you could write down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats when it comes to dating, productivity, or changing your job.

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You can also take it to the macro level. You might simply write down your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats across all areas of life — or simply the areas that you want to focus on for now.

SWOT Analysis is very easy to do and is excellent for the bigger picture stuff. Here is a rough template with a few questions across various areas of life that you can use for your own personal development purposes:

Strengths

What professional qualifications do I have that make me stand out from everybody else?

What do I exceed at where most people are either average or below average?

What achievements have I been awarded?

What struggles have I overcome in the past that give me hope for the future?

Weaknesses

Where do I fall short where others seem to excel?

What bad habits do I have?

What thoughts tend to hold me back?

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Opportunities

Is there any significant advancement happening or about to happen that I can take advantage of?

Is there a new position in a company that maximizes my skillset?

Is there a gap in the market that I could potentially fill?

Is there an opportunity that is low-risk (i.e. I can fail fast and decide if I want to keep pursuing it)?

Threats

What competition do I face in a certain area?

What is the most likely thing to throw me off course? Is it me?

If there was an economic downturn, would I be in a position to survive? Could I even turn it into an opportunity?

Benefits of SWOT Analysis for Self-Improvement

Now that you know what it is and how to do it, you may already start to see all of the benefits for your personal growth that can come from a SWOT Analysis. If you haven’t already started to think about how to use it in your own life, here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. It Gives You an Actionable Plan

One of the most obvious benefits of doing a SWOT Analysis is the fact that it gives you an actionable plan. It is rare for someone to actually sit down and write out their strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats they are facing, so you will be getting well ahead.

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More importantly, taking the information from all four of these areas allows you to create an effective plan for yourself going forward — whether that be doubling down on your strengths, a plan to overcome your weaknesses, or how to leap at one of the opportunities in your life.

SWOT Analysis is designed specifically to drive actions and decisions — it is not simply a discussion exercise that you put to one side once you are finished with it.[1]

2. It Allows You to Zoom Out

Far too many people are so trapped within their day-to-day activities that they forget to see the big picture. Not being able to see the forest for the trees is one of the things that hold many people back from reaching their full potential.

SWOT Analysis allows you to take a moment of reflection, see the big picture, and then to make an informed decision about what your everyday tasks and activities are going to be, rather than the other way around.

It is important to be able to zoom out from time to time to make sure that you are on track with whatever your objectives are in each area of life. SWOT Analysis is the best way to do just that.

3. It Helps You Recognize New Aspects and Patterns

One of the unique things about SWOT Analysis is that it manages to combine different areas of your life and lets you see patterns, opportunities, and much more that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

An example would be the combination of your strengths and your opportunities. When you look at both of these side-by-side, you get a good idea about where the crossovers are, and, as a result, you get a clear picture of what opportunities are worth pursuing based on your strengths.

Another example would be looking at your strengths and threats next to one another. When you have a decent idea about what your strengths are in a certain situation, you can start to see how those strengths might come in handy when it comes to mitigating certain threats that you might face.

The truth is, any combination across SWOT Analysis creates a unique perspective that will be extremely useful for your own self-improvement.

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4. It Minimizes Risk

Branching out from the previous point, a SWOT Analysis is carried out to help minimize risk [2]. Although this is primarily a benefit from a company’s standpoint, it can also be helpful from an individual’s perspective as well.

On a personal level, risk can come in a variety of forms. It might be an imaginary risk that feels real, like asking your crush out or asking your boss for a raise. It might be an actual risk where you are thinking of expanding your business or entering a new market where you have little experience. Either way, seeing the threats you face as well as the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities you have allows you to go down the path that minimizes risk and maximizes gain.

5. It Can Marks Stages of Your Path

An interesting way that companies use SWOT Analysis is that they carry it out every month or every quarter in order to reset and recalibrate their destination. It can be used in a similar way by you as well. Just like there are certain times when businesses use them, there are certain times when you should use them.[3]

Every month or every couple of months, take the time to do a SWOT Analysis to see how you are progressing. What strengths have been added? What weaknesses have been discovered? What opportunities have revealed themselves or been lost? What new threats are you facing and which have been removed from the picture?

Not only will carrying out a SWOT Analysis on a frequent basis accelerate your self-improvement by helping you see where you want to go with less distraction, but it is also nice to see how things change and, hopefully, get better.

It is also worth looking back at your SWOT Analysis from the start of the year when you reach the end of the year to see how far you have come.

To Wrap Up

So there you have it. SWOT Analysis might just be the tool and technique that you have been waiting for to truly take the next step in your self-improvement journey. It is practical, easy to carry out, and effective in terms of planning your next moves.

Whether you do it on a consistent basis to ensure that you are moving in the right direction or you only do it when you feel lost, SWOT Analysis will always be right there waiting to help.

Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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Reference

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