Are you willing to start your personal development journey? If you have decided to read this article, then I assume you do like to develop yourself, don’t you (I mean, who doesn’t)?
Our lives are filled with a lot of holes. While we may be good at something, we lack in many other things. A good public speaker might be having a drinking problem, a wealthy businessman might be having a personal life crisis, a beauty model might be feeling unattractive internally.
To fill all these holes, the answer is personal development. It doesn’t matter what problems you are facing. The only thing that matters is how you deal with those problems.
So let’s start your personal development journey with just 4 steps, shall we?
Steps we’ll be discussing:
1. Find Your WHY To Start Your Personal Development Journey
Before anything else, it’s essential for you to learn about your purpose. You should know what motivates you to do something.
Why do you do what you do? Is it the money? Or satisfaction you get from doing it? Do you love the process? Once you are able to answer this question, you will be able to know yourself.
In one of the most viewed TED Talks ever, Simon Sinek discussed the question “Why?”.
When you hear about successful people, you must have heard that they had to struggle a lot, haven’t you? But they never quit, why? It’s because their desire to succeed is more than their fear to fail. They are driven by a purpose. They feel that they have to achieve it, no matter what.
Finding your purpose could take a long time, as it did for me. In fact, it took me more than a week to finally figure out what I really wanted with my life.
My WHY/ Purpose
After a lot of thinking, I was finally able to realize that I wanted to do something good for the children. The children who were deprived of basic needs because of their unfortunate circumstances. I realized that even if I could help 10 children have a better future, then I would call my life a successful one.
Having this purpose in mind, I was able to use it when I hit my “mental blocks”. For me, a mental block is a time when I don’t feel like doing anything, you know, just want to sleep or watch movies for the entire day.
At that moment, my inner-self reminds me, “Why am I just lying around? Think about the children. You won’t be able to help any of them if you do nothing!”
Hearing such a deep voice makes me believe that I should really not waste my time if I want to make a difference in this world.
So I hope that you too will be able to discover yourself. Don’t worry if it takes time. Once you figure out your purpose, you will realize it was worth it.
“There are two ways to build a career or business. We can go through life hunting and pecking, looking for opportunities or customers, hoping that something connects. Or we can go through life with intention, knowing what our piece looks like, knowing our WHY, and going straight to the places we fit.”Simon Sinek
2. Set Your Goals
While your purpose helps you with your why, your goals help you with your how. After discovering your why, you should now proceed towards setting your goals.
But if you haven’t yet found your why, then it won’t help much with your goals. As you don’t know what motivates you or what you want out of your life, you would be setting the wrong goals. Your why gives you a reason to fulfill your goals.
While setting down your goals, you should break them into yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily. Breaking them down into time-specific blocks will make it easier for you to track and reflect them later on.
I like to particularly use the SMART goal setting technique. As a demonstration, I would like to provide one of my actual goals for 2020, so you can relate to it.
GOAL: Improve Reading
- Specific – Read 18 books
- Measurable – Compare with the total books read in 2019.
- Achievable – Yes, if I can find all the books.
- Realistic – Reading 30 minutes a day will make it possible.
- Timely – 2020
So far, I have completed 11 books, and am expecting to surpass my goal quicker than I thought.
Try setting your goals in this format, and you will see them differently.
If you believe that you won’t have much time to complete your goals, then start using a time block. The most effective people have been using this technique for a long time.
As per RescueTime, time blocking is the practice of planning out your day in advance and dedicating specific time “blocks” for certain tasks. While a standard to-do list tells you what you need to do, time blocking tells you when you’re going to do it.
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”Bill Copeland
3. Commit To It
This one is obvious, isn’t it? After all, what’s the point of setting goals if we are unable to commit to it. Sadly, a lot of us (including me) tend to divert to other areas of our lives.
I have been using a time block for some time now. It has helped me a lot to stick to only those tasks that are important to me. I can do my remainder work later on.
Alternative to Time Block
If you don’t like the idea of time block, then consider alternatives. The best one would be to establish good habits. Habits either create or destroy us. Think about one of your bad habits that is degrading your life.
Why aren’t you able to quit that habit?
It’s because you are so “committed” to it that you are unable to uncommit to it. You might have tried to remove it several times. Unfortunately, it keeps coming back, doesn’t it?
I used to suffer from insomnia early on. Staying up until 4 in the morning was the norm for me. I barely used to get any sleep. I thought my life was doomed to fade away.
One good thing was that even back then, I had the habit of reading books. As I was so desperate to change my sleeping habits, I picked up the book ‘Atomic Habits’.
I cannot thank enough to James Clear for writing such a masterpiece. With simple but effective steps, I was able to commit myself to break my bad sleeping habits.
Since then, my sleeping habits have improved dramatically. I even cured my insomnia in the process.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.”Jim Rohn
4. Self Reflect On Your Development Journey
Without reflecting, how can we know how much progress we are making? Simply, we can’t.
It’s as important to review your goals as it was setting them in the first place. Whatever goals you have written for yourself, see how far you have accomplished.
If you have completed them, then that’s wonderful. This will lead you towards your long term goals. If you haven’t, learn about why you failed to do so. Commit yourself to avoid failing them from next time.
Don’t fear to self reflect at any given time. You must know about yourself, about your mistakes. You’ve to find a way to overcome them from next time.
How to Self Reflect?
1. Daily Reflection
Before going to sleep, tally your day’s tasks with your actual tasks done. You may give a score to yourself based on how you feel went with your day. If you failed to complete any of your tasks, then be sure to include it in the following day’s tasks.
2. Collaboration With the Nearest One
It’s okay if you feel it’s difficult to control yourself. Even I cannot do it at times. So in that case, have your closed person evaluate you. It could be your friend or a family member. Just make sure you trust that person. Discuss the challenges you are facing in your personal development. Take any criticism positively as it provides you an opportunity to improve upon.
Now that you know the 4 steps to start your personal development journey, it’s time for you to take that first step. Forgive yourself for whatever bad you have done to yourself. Promise that from this day, you will change. You will change for the good!
”What we perceive about ourselves is greatly a reflection of how we will end up living our lives.”Stephen Richards