Updated: Dec 27, 2021
Personal development is a lifelong pursuit to better yourself through new experiences, education, and more. Whether you want to achieve personal goals, advance in your career, improve your strengths, or simply continue to better yourself, personal development is the answer. Now is the perfect time to expand your horizons through personal growth. So what's your personal development plan?
Here are some ideas to add to your personal development plan when you are ready to come up with you.
What Is Personal Development?
What does the phrase ‘personal development’ invoke for you?
Some would say personal development is a way to assess one’s skills and qualities, and others may feel it’s a way to consider life goals. Both of these answers are correct!
Personal development is a lifelong process used to realize and maximize your potential.
Let’s face it, life throws some pretty big obstacles in our path from time to time. Think of personal development as a way to jump the hurdles so you can continue pursuing your goals.
Personal development also offers a way of solving problems in your life, which enables us to grow.
Anyone who thinks they don’t need to work on themselves is missing out on becoming an improved version of themself. This doesn't mean you’re not good enough. It means you value yourself and your goals enough to continually grow.
One of my favorite personal development tools is feeding my brain. One way this can be accomplished is through positive thinking.
Researchers are finding that positive thoughts can create real value in your life and help you build skills, improve overall well-being, and enhance many aspects of your life.
Check out this short talk by social psychologist Alison Ledgerwood about improving positive thinking: https://bit.ly/38U8pjb
Learn About Your Personality Traits and Your Needs
Personal development is a way to better understand yourself, your unique personality and potentials, strengths and weaknesses, aspirations, and talents. A self-actualization is a vital tool used in personal development.
According to American psychologist Abraham Maslow, all individuals have a built-in need for personal development, which occurs through a process called self-actualization. Self-actualization refers to self-fulfillment and the need to reach full potential as a unique human being.
Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs to describe the extent to which people can develop. Only when one level of need is satisfied can a higher one be developed.
The basics for survival are located at the base of the hierarchy and include nourishment, sleep, and shelter.
Second, are the needs for safety and security in both the physical and economic sense.
Thirdly, progression can be made to satisfy the need for love and belonging.
The fourth level refers to meeting the need for self-esteem and self-worth.
The fifth level relates to abstract ideas such as curiosity and the search for meaning or purpose, and a deeper understanding.
The sixth relates to aesthetic needs of beauty, symmetry, and order.
Finally, at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy is the need for self-actualization.
Where are you on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?
Knowing yourself is an essential aspect of personal development. Have you ever taken a personality test?
Test Color is one of the easiest and reliable tests available. This test is the result of research conducted and validated by a team of clinical psychologists, psychoanalysts, and mathematicians. Over 50 million different results can be generated, providing personalization for every test taken.
By answering two questions, ‘what colors do you like the most?’ and ‘what colors do you like the least?’ you will receive an array of insights about your leadership style, relationship style, and the things that motivate you.
To learn more about your personality, take the test here: https://bit.ly/3itLiiH.
Create Your Vision and Your Personal Development Plan
The first step in personal development is creating a plan. Once you have a clear idea of what you’re working toward and why you want to do it, you will have the motivation you need to improve.
Now let’s talk about success.
The definition of success can be different for each of us, which is why we need to be careful not to compare our achievements to others.
There are many ways to define and measure success, and success will look different across different areas of your life. When determining your meaning of success, try using various distinctions to guide your process. For example, you will likely have different defining terms for career success than relationship success. Keep this in mind when creating your vision.
It may be helpful to look to others who inspire you. Is there anyone in your life that has personally influenced how you perceive success or what you want to achieve in life? Is there a public or historical figure who you may wish to emulate in some way?
When looking to others, make sure to think about why you find these people influential or inspiring.
Once you have a broad image of what success means to you, think about what sort of life you want, how you want to live, what you want to achieve.
It’s one thing to have a broad idea of what you want your future to look like; it’s another to bring clarity to your vision to accomplish your goals.
Here are a few steps to help you get from vision to goal.
Start by thinking long-term. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? Be precise and aim for three to five bullet points in each aspect of your life.
Next, determine action steps for achieving your long-term vision. Answer what will need to be done so that in five years you’re where you want to be. This process will help you create your interim steps for getting from point A to point B.
The third step simply builds on step two. Break down your timeline even further. Define what needs to be done in three months, six months, a year, etc., to get to your five-year vision.
Once steps one through three are complete, you should have three time-bound action steps. Finally, your vision will be transformed into goals.