Updated: Feb 22
Tips to help improve personal development
In 2019, we focused on the foundations of self-mastery by putting together 12 articles that shone a light on some of the most important elements in our individual and collective journeys.
In 2020, we focused on the Covid-19 pandemic by sharing 12 articles that showcased concise ways to improve our overall well-being during this unprecedented period in our lives.
In 2021, we're going to focus our attention on tips (and tricks) regarding a wide range of topics; from personal development and financial management to relationship building and negotiation.
The first instalment in our 2021 tips & tricks series looks at ways in which we can improve our personal development. Before we dive in, let's first clarify the term personal development.
If you tend to roll your eyes when you hear the words personal development, I'm sure you're not the only one. A lot has been written (and said) over the last couple of decades and personal development is often equated to life coaching, business coaching, mentoring etc. The truth is, despite all that has been said and done in the field of personal development, many of us are still looking for ways to improve our personal and professional lives. Just because there are numerous thought leaders (and lots of literature) out there, doesn't mean that everyone around the World is consistently applying the insight that exists. The point is, it doesn't matter whether we roll our eyes when we hear someone talking about personal development and it doesn't matter whether a lot has been written and said about the topic. It is such a vast field and since we all have unique experiences, each one of us can add our own perspectives to the mix of information available. The way I see it is that if we can make a meaningful impact on one person's life then we are truly on the way to making a difference in our lifetimes.
Personal development in the context of Embrace Your Process looks at the what, the why and the how.
- What are we trying to improve?
- Why are we trying to improve a given area?
- How are we going to improve that area?
I personally don't believe in complex frameworks that overcomplicate the journey. We want to focus on creating awareness around the what, the why and the how so as to offer simple, yet effective ways to make small, but consistent improvements in all areas of our lives. If we can improve by 1% every month then we can improve by at least 12% every year. That may not sound like a lot, but what if I told you that you can then double this number in year 2, triple it in year 3 etc.? Well, you can.
The following list offers a few suggestions which address the three components above:
1. Identify (in writing) the most important pillars of your life.
Examples include: relationships, family, work, fitness, travel
2. List out the values that govern your life.
Examples include: purpose, passion, dedication, self-improvement, friendship
3. Pick one or more pillars that you want to focus on.
4. Match the value pertaining to each pillar.
Example: the value of friendship should be matched to the relationships pillar
*Note that there may be more than one value per pillar.
5. Brainstorm three tangible actions per pillar.
What can you do today that will allow you to take that one step closer to your end goal(s)?
Example: relationships - 1. follow up with someone you recently met and plan a coffee (virtual or in person) / 2. go through a list of people you know and look for potential friends / 3. reach out to a few people and see how they're doing.
Understanding the most important pillars of your life helps you get to the what. If you don't know what you're working towards, personal development can seem daunting and unattainable.
Listing out the values that govern your life and matching these values with their respective pillar(s) helps you get to the why. If you're driven to improve on an area of your life because that area is intrinsically related to a core value of yours then it'll be easier to remain committed.
Brainstorming three tangible actions per pillar helps you get the final piece - the how. Breaking big goals down into smaller ones allows us to focus on tangible actions.
Remember, Embrace Your Process advocates for an approach that makes things easier, simple to implement and straight to the point. Why? Because why not? The only way to stay committed is to know what you're working on, why you're working on it and how you're going to make tangible improvements.