Personal development primarily consists of focusing on areas that you want to see improvement in to achieve the key milestones that you have set for yourself within a fixed time frame. And it has to be unique for every individual as we all have different areas to improve, the goal must always be to see measurable progress and develop the areas that are key to our grown.
To define these areas we must start from a broad perspective and define personal development at the 3 key levels which are Personal, Professional and Spiritual development. And then we can drill down from these areas and find the key development areas that are unique to us. The main focus of this exercise must be to arrive at actionable steps by which measure our progress towards our desired goals. Research has found that daily measure is not possible as the progress happens in slow increments and a monthly reviews are too far and there is a high probability that we will procrastinate and lose focus on some of our development goals so the best place to start is to review your personal development at a weekly level and be completely objective about it. The more focused and honest you are with yourself the faster will be the progress. So let’s talk about the three areas in some details:
Personal Goals: These can be anything from having perfect health, to looking your best, to be more courteous, to be more intellectual as a sapiosexual (definition), make more friends, a better speaker, writer, player whatever you choose to focus on. A good horizon for these goals would be a year and then you have to break it down to a weekly level. For example if you want to develop writing skills you may set a goal of writing two hundred words every working day and then say two fifty from the next week till you get to a thousand a day in say a few months and you’ll be on your way to be a professional writer. The key is to plan in small increments and track weekly and don’t forget to give yourself a well earned treat on the weekend if you achieve your goal.
Professional Goals: The focus area here should be what you want to be not what you are i.e. you may be striving for a promotion, better skills at your chosen profession, growth by finding another job or higher responsibility or just better work relations with colleagues. Again start will a yearly horizon and break it into weeks and track it. The most important thing is that the weekly tasks must be actionable and measurable. And never put more than two major tasks per week or they’ll go unfinished. Our minds can just juggle through two major focus areas at a time and you can have as many small tasks that you like.
Spiritual Goals: This is not the same as finding meaning or religion, it is primarily to become a more aware and contributing person in the society. You can do this by reading books that you make you broad minded, choose to interact with like minded people that you admire and monitor how to think, speak and act and the whole life will start getting transformed for the better. The key here is to say to yourself everyday that I’ll be a better person that I was yesterday.
So focus on these three major areas of personal development and you will be on your way to becoming better in every way.