Prioritize Your Personal Development

There’s nothing like the start of a new year to rejoice in our past successes, reflect on our mistakes, and resolve to learn something new.

If you are a resolution-type person, I hope that you’ve stuck with your resolutions so far! My constant goal is to try to be better today than I was yesterday in actions, thoughts, and deeds. Under the umbrella of this overall resolution; I have a list of specific goals for my career and personal life for 2018. In looking at past years and unmet goals, I've realized that in order to have a better chance at being succesful with this year's plans, I need to spend more time on the details.

I recently came across an article on the Glassdoor website written by Isabel Thottam entitled “8 Ways to Transform Your Job Search in 2018.” This informative piece shares all kinds of uplifting advice for obtaining your dream job and provide hints and tips for making your job search in 2018 a success. Among the tips provided is to “Prioritize your personal development.” What does that mean exactly?

The Skills You Need website offers this definition, “Personal development…is a way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider their aims in life and set goals in order to realize and maximize their potential.” The site stresses that personal development is a lifelong process - as you constantly grow and develop, so should your life goals.

Simply put, having a personal development plan increases the possibility that life will go in the right direction.

How do we prioritize personal development? By taking the time to set and reach for our goals (you can call them resolutions if you want to, but I prefer to call them “life goals”).

Setting life goals can enhance your career prospects, increase your self-confidence, and lead to a more fulfilling life. This type of goal setting can be applied to almost every area of your personal life – from health and wellness, to education, to career goals.

Your Personal Development Plan:

Define what you want (take some time with this one - dream a little and come up with a general list. Then get specific, i.e. train for a particular job, lose 15 pounds, go back to school and earn your degree, etc.)

  • If you have multiple goals; put them in order of the ones you hope to achieve first, second and so on.
  • In this step, recognize the strengths you already have and those that are lacking and therefore, preventing you from reaching your goal. Jot all of these down.

Define why you want it (what will the benefits be? What will you gain?)

  • Visualizing what success will look and feel like is important. Consider creating a vision board to keep you motivated and on track. Include images of a happier, healthier you!

Define how you plan to get there (this is the most important step – what will it take? Upskilling? Seeing a nutritionist? Taking online courses? These should be actionable events – signing up for a course in a skill for which you need improvement, for example.

  • Before you take action, plan on how you are going to measure your success. Make sure to include mini milestones along the way so that you can celebrate small successes.
  • Keep a list of sources of inspiration and support at the ready. These are people that you can lean on when things might get rough; or uplifting reading material or podcasts. Anything that motivates you and propels you forward will do!

Set a deadline. A goal without a plan is just a wish. Set a time to reevaluate your progress. If needed, restructure your plan and timeline and start again!

“Resolutions of [this] type help to expand your world, and along with the expanded world come expanded opportunities,” says Laura Weldy, life coach at The Well Supported Woman.

“The beauty is in the learning and growing that comes from setting clear intentions and overcoming our own obstacles,” says Weldy. “Even if the goal isn’t completed at the end of 2018, you’ll feel proud of the progress you’ve made in that direction – but if you set no goals or resolutions, it’s harder to know which direction you’re headed!”

To achieve your goals, you will need to plan forward and actively pursue personal development opportunities. Mapping out the process will allow you to track your progression and motivate you to stay on track.

Ed4Career makes it easy to pursue your personal development goals. We want to help you to be the best that you can be! We understand the way adults want to learn and how they learn the best. Ed4Career has valuable resources built into our programs and curriculum to help ensure student success. We have skilled Educational Consultants on staff, and we offer an Online Student Center as well as Career Coaching. Visit us today to learn more about the Ed4Career difference!