Let’s talk about personal development! Yours, specifically, and the tools that can help make it a creative and fun process for you.
But, hold on a sec. In my excitement I’m getting ahead of myself!
First let me tell you my definition of Personal development, why it’s so important to me (in both my life and my business), and the benefits you might experience if you make Personal development a priority in your life.
Personal development covers an activity, or activities, that you undertake to enhance your life whether for personal or professional reasons. It is of positive benefit to you, whether it helps you improve a tangible skill, an internal quality or both. It supports you with your goals and aspirations and as you work towards achieving personal success.
I make it a focus in my life intentionally because of the benefits I’ve personally experienced – broadened horizons through the exploration of new topics, increased confidence through getting to know myself and what I want from life better, and a deep belief in the benefit to me and those around me of working towards my own vision of success and fulfilment.
If you’re ready to work on your personal development, but you’re not sure where to begin, I’d like to start you off with my top five activities and why I find them so powerful.
If, however, you’re not completely sold (yet) on personal development being a worthwhile use of your time, I get that too.
I know that since you’ve probably got so much to do already, me suggesting adding yet another activity to your to do list makes you want to throw cabbages.
But if give me just a moment to make a quick case for the benefits of incorporating some personal development activities into your life, I think you’ll be hooked and want to give it a try.
It’s my belief that everything you already have to do in your life will be made so much easier if you make time for personal development. To me, it’s a form of self-care that underpins how I feel and helps me discover and act upon how I want my life to be.
Personal development is a term (often used interchangeably with ‘Personal growth’ and ‘Self-development’) that can be used to cover so many activities, and so many areas of our lives, that it can be difficult to pick what to do, or understand the benefit of each popular personal development activity. So, to start you off, here are five of the tools I believe to be the best for personal development.
Picture this: A chilly, rainy autumn afternoon, the low sky barely visible through the rain-streaked window. A self-styled reading nook in a quiet corner of your house. Plump, soft, velvet cushions and warm, fleecy blankets in your favourite colour. A large mug (or glass) of your favourite drink.
Some time to yourself.
And a book you love.
Sounds perfect, right? And you haven’t even started reading yet!
As well as the obvious potential to increase your knowledge on a specific subject, reading has been shown to have additional positive effects on our emotional, physical and mental health.
Increased exploration and understanding of our own views, increased empathy for others’ situations and informed action on our own hopes and plans can all be stimulated by reading, both fiction and non-fiction. These skills are all key components of personal development work too so, if you’re a bookworm, you’re off to a great start!
The next time you feel you shouldn’t be reading because you have “something better” to do, ask yourself, do you really?
You knew that Journaling was going to be on this list, didn’t you? Journaling for personal development is what my business is all about, after all! I consider my journal the “command centre” for all my personal development activities, harnessing the power to support my growth in a way that’s creative and fun. It’s always great to find a win-win-win, and for me, I’ve found that in Journaling.
Whenever I want to CREATE a change to better my life, THINK something through or, most importantly, EXPLORE and shift the unhelpful mindset and thought patterns that hold me back, putting pen to paper is always my first step.
And hey, it’s something else you can do in your reading nook! #HoorayForThat
If you want to find out more about Journaling for Personal Development, have a poke around my blog or hop on my mailing list to keep in touch.
And guess what! I’ve a new, free Facebook group opening very soon! I’m planning for there to be tons going on that will be useful to you, so look out for more info shortly. (If you’re on my mailing list you’ll find out as soon as I’ve got everything in place).
I’d love to have you in my community! See you there?
- ONLINE COURSES
I love learning, don't you? I always want to learn more and more and sometimes it pains me that there’s not enough time in a normal lifespan to learn about EVERYTHING!
I’m incredibly fortunate in that I can find something of interest in almost anything (I once did a project on whether or not training records should be centralised and I had a BLAST!) So I’m thrilled at the affordability and availability of online courses and the myriad subjects available to study.
Similar to when looking for a book, a search will turn up a course on almost any subject you want and it’s often a more guided and supported way to learn about something specific rather than simply reading alone.
I’ve done a range of online courses from different providers covering many topics (both business related and personal interest) and it’s a format I really enjoy. Usually I can learn in my own time, at my own pace and, as well as reading about the subjects, there are often accompanying videos and workbooks to help the information really stick. Online courses have certainly opened up the world of personal development even further for me.
Obviously, as with most things, quality varies, so you have to do your research and due diligence for your own wants and needs. Because I research everything to death, I’ve been fortunate and not had any bad experiences, but the usual “buyer beware” advice applies.
I’m a reasonably new convert to meditation and still need to completely find my groove, but I’ve tried several different resources and it’s a topic I’m going to keep exploring further.
I started with the free version of the app Headspace, then moved onto a paid programme from Ziva meditation. More recently I’ve been digging into Gabby Bernstein’s work and the combined meditation and yoga practices from Adriene Mishler (Yoga with Adriene).
I personally resonate more with Gabby and Adriene’s work, but I believe each style has, in its own way, helped me enhance my creative and spiritual abilities and supported my other personal development practices. Even just by reminding me of the benefits of taking a period of time out to focus on peace and stillness, they’ve helped me in addition to the meditations themselves.
- MINDSET WORK
When I first came across the concept of Mindset work in the online space a few years ago, I came to the (too) swift conclusion that it only involved being in the right frame of mind to approach whatever I was doing. I thought it would be simple to build and maintain a supportive mindset. You can find out how well that went for me here. (Short version, not very).
I now firmly believe that Mindset, when given its due focus and ongoing attention, provides the foundational springboard for your life and/or business that makes whatever you want to “do” so much easier to act upon and follow through.
Our Mindset determines how we think about the events and circumstances of our lives and the meanings we attach to them. It’s therefore SO important to cultivate a mindset that supports us and helps us to take the action to achieve what we want.
It’s something I do in my journal – journaling on how I think about what happens in my life, the stories I tell myself about my abilities and how I can do these things in the most supportive way.
It’s something I will be talking about A LOT more in my community. Mindset work is a daily personal development practice for me, so if this topic interests you, definitely stick around.
Do you already have your favourite go to Personal development activities? Is there anything you would add to (or take off) this list? Let me know!