“Ultimately, there’s one investment that supersedes all others: Invest in yourself. Nobody can take away what you’ve got in yourself, and everybody has potential they haven’t used yet.” -Warren Buffet
New clothes, new shoes, new hairstyle, or even a new car may make you feel good, but if you are not investing in personal development, you may be limiting your true potential. Personal development affects your entire life, well beyond your superficial appearances. It’s amazing how many people do not invest in abiding self-improvement.
Investing in yourself should include purchasing self-improvement books, attending events or online training & workshops, and connecting with people who can help you succeed.
Here are some actionable steps to get started:
Clarify And Image the Life You Want
Without a clarity, you won’t be able to determine what kind of life you want to live. You need to balance what kinds of changes you want professionally as well as personally. The two will ultimately overlap. If you imagine yourself being more helpful to others, this trait will become part of both. There may be certain aspects of your personal development that you believe are specific only to your personal life but may eventually carry over to your professional career. For example, you may have wanted to increase your skills as a community leader, this could easily be incorporated into professional leadership at your place of employment. The key is to clarify and imagine what this new leadership skill is going to look like.
Assess Your Current Situation
Before you make any changes in your life, determine where you stand with your life as it currently exists. Determine strengths and weaknesses to help you formulate a plan to make the necessary changes. This might be a good time to invest in the Maxwell DISC Personality Assessment to discover your strengths and ideal situation for success.
Set Realistic Goals
Once you know what your strengths and ideal situations, create some S.M.A.R.T. Goals to strive to complete. These should include high level goals as well as actionable steps. Most important, set milestones with firm completion dates.
There can be valid reasons why certain actions or goals cannot be met. Instead of abandoning the entire personal development plan, come up with alternatives steps. Be careful not to simply fall back on these steps because they are easier than the main goals.
Evaluate How You Are Doing
When you reach a milestone, compare how you did against the plan of action. This is a crucial step. It’s important to be realistic and truthful. The best way to handle this is to have a mentor available to perform this for you. It may not be easy to hear, but the benefits of being critiqued will be well worth it.
Keep it Simple
If you overwhelm yourself with a bunch of unobtainable goals, you are likely setting yourself up for failure. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in an audacious action plan to push yourself. It’s just means be realistic about your time, money, and capabilities.