Personal Development

How Scheduling 30 Minutes Each Day For Personal Development Can Change Your Life Forever

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone gave you $1 million?

Wouldn’t life be easier if someone gave you $1 million? Unfortunately, the odds of being handed that kind of money are probably zero. But that doesn’t stop people from hoping.

Every year, according to INC, 60% of us will make goals we want to accomplish this next year, but only 8% of us will succeed by the end of the year.

So what is it that 8% of people do that the other 92% don’t do?

They take the time to learn, plan, and then spend the energy to execute their plan as part of reaching a goal.

One of the Olympic sports that I enjoy watching is ice skating. The fluidity of the skaters in motion is amazing. Their transition from one position to the next looks like they are floating. And interspersed in their routine are dramatic turns, flips, and spins. They choreograph every move and practice to perfection.

They make it look easy.

But behind the scenes, they fail and fall and get up to do it again and again. They train their muscles until they respond exactly the same every time. Each day they practice techniques, learn new skills, and plan for the future. And they envision winning a gold medal.

Being an Olympic skater, having a successful marriage, growing a business, or any other thing you want in life doesn’t just happen. Being successful at anything in life takes a tremendous amount of work, dedication, planning, and envisioning.

In the Bad Athletics article, “Personal Development — The Key To Success”, Whitney Meine writes, “Living every day as an Athlete requires you to work on yourself. Spend at least 30 mins to 1 hour of your day learning, goal setting, building habits, and evaluating what you want and where you want to go.”

If you aren’t working on your own personal development every day, then you're probably going to end up with the 92% of people who don’t get what they want out of life over the next year and possibly for the rest of their lives.

Success begins with personal development.

The 5 steps of personal development

There are 5 parts to personal development:

  • Learning
  • Goal setting
  • Building habits
  • Evaluating what you want
  • Envisioning where you want to be in the distant future

Step 1 — Learning

Learning something new should be a part of your daily routine. In the article “The Top 7 Benefits of Learning a New Skill”, the author says learning anything new will:

  • Change your brain chemistry
  • Increase your learning speed
  • Make connections between your skill areas
  • Make you a more interesting person
  • Make you less bored
  • Help you adapt to change
  • Possibly stave off dementia

As part of your daily learning routine, read a chapter of a biography of someone you admire. Or listen to a chapter of an audiobook by a successful motivator.

To help you get started, read biographical books about Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, General Douglas MacArthur, Steve Jobs, and The Diary of Anne Frank. Some of the best motivational speakers are Tony Robbins, Stephen Covey, Seth Godin, Louise Hay, and Wayne Dyer.

Learning something new as a part of your daily personal development routine has tremendous benefits.

Step 2 — Goal Setting

Talk to anyone successful in whatever area you want to improve, and you will learn they are goal setters. They focus on what they want to achieve in the coming year and longer.

Here’s a list of 10 goals to help get you started:

  • Stop procrastinating.
  • Become a better listener.
  • Overcome fear.
  • Manage your time better.
  • Improve your self-confidence.
  • Stop dwelling on the past.
  • Learn to be optimistic.
  • Meet new people.
  • Be a regular reader.
  • Ask questions.

Step 3 — Building Habits

Have you ever written down what you do habitually? And even better, timed how long you spend on your habits.

Here are some things that consume our time:

  • Watching TV
  • Procrastinating
  • Social media activities
  • Answering emails
  • Deciding what to eat
  • Surfing the net
  • Chatting with friends
  • Smoking

Everyone wastes time. It’s universal, and no one is exempt. The trick is to take time and repurpose wasted time to more productive activities.

Building habits is about eliminating poor practices and adopting good ones.

Step 4 — Evaluating what you want

The knee jerk reaction to the question “what do you want” is “everything”.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

But part of personal development is looking at your life and figuring out what works, what doesn’t work, and figuring out how to achieve short-term and long-term goals.

To discover what you really want in life, ask yourself these questions:

  • If money and time were not an issue, what would I do or have?
  • If I had 5 things that I could accomplish before I die, what would they be?
  • What am I most passionate about?
  • After I’m gone what do I most want people to remember about me?

Step 5 — Envisioning your future

Envision where you want to be in 5, 10, 20, or more years. Where the prior steps concentrate on today or the near future, now you are seeing yourself in the distant future.

Envisioning your future will help you make important life changes today. If you are in a job that doesn’t fit into your future, then you know you have to make a change. Steps 1 through 4 will help you redirect your life so you eventually live what you envision.

By taking 30 minutes to an hour every day for personal development, you can discover what is important to you. It isn’t an enormous investment in time, but it will change your life forever.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” — Yogi Berra

Published in The Ascent, The Writing Cooperative, Illumination-curated, Writers’ Blokke.

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