Ladies and gents- we are officially in month two of the New Year, and that New Year’s resolution feeling still lingers in the air. After what we’ve experienced in the past two years, it’s a wonder why any of us get out of bed, but there’s something almost beautiful about overcoming adversity. If you’ve set a New Year’s resolution, you know that the thing about planning and personal development is that it is unique to the individual- you don’t have to go at anyone else’s pace. Sometimes, we can get caught up in comparing our progress to other people’s- even though we have no context for their success/ progress. Especially in a pandemic.
Have you heard of the story of the tortoise and the hare? It’s a story about a tortoise and a hare running a race. Many people assumed the hare would win because he clearly was moving much faster than the tortoise- but he didn’t. In this scenario, you are the tortoise. It doesn’t matter how fast you are moving in the right direction, it matters that you are moving in the right direction.
What is personal development?
Personal development can be seen as many things. It can be discovering how to learn from your mistakes, take care of yourself, or even decide that you may need the help of a life coach or therapist. It could be learning how not to be a perfectionist, or finding the job you love.
Are you catching the pattern? These are all things that can help you grow.
Look inside for a moment, what things about yourself do you feel you need to work on? Now, look around– what things do you need to tweak about your life so that you can be more in alignment with your goals.
For example, if you are trying to stick to your diet- those Little Debbie cakes may have to go. Also, when I say go, I mean in the garbage or to other people that aren’t on a diet- not you.
Take inventory and make steps to “clean house”.
Here’s a task for you:
Review some areas of your life where you are tolerating a situation that frustrates vou Some examples include: noisy neighbors, a coworker who repeatedly interrupts you, a close talker or a friend who calls too early or shows up late consistently. List 20 of these “tolerances”.
Personal development would be identifying five boundaries that you can set that will improve those situations, and then also setting them.
Personal development goals
To paraphrase John F. Kennedy’s famous quote: Ask not what your life can do for you, ask what you can do with your life. Adopt an attitude of service. Instead of looking for the job you want, or finding a city or town that you want to live in, consider seeking a life built on service.
If you want to trade the pursuit of your own desires for contributing through service, ask yourself: Is there a community that I can positively impact? How can I use my skills to help this community? If I
dream big, what could the impact be when I use my skills?
Here’s an example from my book, A Year of Self Care Journal:
Goal: Create new frameworks for encouraging, fostering, and facilitating your evolution and skill development. Recognize the importance of these frameworks for empowering your growth
What do the words “respect”, “trust”, and “acceptance” mean to you? Please write thorough and thoughtful definitions for each of these terms.
There is one parenting philosophy called RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers). The basic belief of RIE is that children can be respected, trusted, and accepted as the inventors, explorers and the self-learners they are.
Learning isn’t just for children, adults learn too. This week, let’s observe how we speak to ourselves about trying something new. Using the RIE approach, how do you trust and encourage yourself as a learner? How do you pursue your interests? Can you talk to yourself as you might talk with a child, encouraging them to try something new? Or do vou hesitate and say, “I’ve never been good at X”? Observe the less encouraging words you may use with yourself.
Then, take stock of some activities you’ve thought about pursuing in the past. Painting? Activism? Running a race? Though you may feel as though the world at large has its own agenda for what you should do, what would you like to do?
As you consider these activities, notice if the negative voice returns. Hear the voice, but don’t heed it. Continue to use the RIE method, and respect yourself as an inventor, explorer. and self-earner. If you lower the volume on the “You can’t” voice, and amplify the RIE voice, what interests might you like to explore more deeply?
Personal development plan
Have you had a chance to check out my Morning Motivation book? In it you’ll find motivational and inspirational quotes and prompts like this one:
“Write a letter today and address it to yourself 10 years from now. Write a letter to the person you will become. Let yourself know what matters to you now, and what you think will matter then. Write down your dreams, your aspirations, and your hopes for the experiences you’ll have, the people you’ll meet, the accomplishments you’ll achieve.
You will go through significant changes over the next 10 years; some you can prepare for and some you cannot fathom. Some changes will be superficial, some profound. Speak kindly and compassionately to yourself, and in an understanding way about some of the difficulties you may experience. Imagine who will enter and who may leave your life. What do you want those changes to be? Perhaps this exercise will motivate you to remove some non-working parts of your life that you’ve been tolerating.
To complete this letter, write a list of 10 experiences you’d like to have in the next 10 years, and seal the envelope and add the date when you can open it. Dream big.”
This is YOUR life and you can take it as fast or as slow as you like. What are some things you’ve written down that you’d like to accomplish and how many of those can be knocked out this year?
Once you get the answer, I’d advise hiring a specialist to help you develop your personal development plan- you may need help creating and implementing a plan to help you hit goals you haven’t hit more.
View my qualifications here.
Remember, the notion of moving quickly or slowly comes from watching others. As long as you are moving and making progress towards your desired destination, you’re doing the right thing! And believe it or not, that’s personal development!
Please reach out if you’d like to set up an introductory meeting; I’d love to help you grow in a direction that’s aligned with your values.