Personal development is something we often tend to neglect and something many of us seem to run out of time for. In a recent survey, over 86% of people admitted they didn't allocate enough time for their own development. Reasons for not doing so varied from competing priorities to lack of motivation and distraction.
Let's take stock: ask yourself, what did you do develop yourself during the past 6 months?
If you've been in a constant state of 'doing' yet haven't done anything to improve yourself or grow as a person, you're selling yourself short. Investing in YOU needs to become an imperative. But where do you start?
First off, in order to solidify personal growth you need to feel good. You need to get yourself into a peak state.
A peak state engenders peak experiences.
How can you get into a peak state?
Amplify the positive emotions in your life. Positive emotions transform us for the better. They expand our inventory of thoughts and actions, which in turn cultivates physical, mental and social resources. Correspondingly this advances personal growth and provides us with more positive emotions; positivity begets positivity. Think gratitude, joy, awe, inspiration, love, serenity, interest, hope, pride and amusement.
Exercise. Just half an hour of exercise gives you the ability to focus and absorb new material. When we exercise, the brain releases BDNF (brain derived neurotropic factor) which maintains cell circuitry/infrastructure, nourishes neurons and creates a foundation for the growth of new neurons. Exercise also optimises your mindset, improves alertness, attention, motivation.
Achieve. When you wake up in the morning and make your bed, you receive a hit of dopamine which is a reward chemical which encourages you to do more. Commit to a morning routine, ticking things off as you go, and you will be setting yourself up for a peak state. Establishing a sense of achievement not only helps you get into a peak state, but it also boosts your overall well-being.
Once you're in a peak state, it's time to put yourself first and limit the outside noise. Many of us get distracted by the trivial things along the way to doing things that matter. We like to 'do' instead of 'be'. Think about when you're waiting for a tab in your browser to open up and because it's taking so long, you open another. Or when you're waiting for an appointment/call and you decide to scroll social media and soon enough realise you've been scrolling for over 30 minutes. Get comfortable with thinking and being, notice the tension of not doing when it arises, sit with it and it will soon enough leave.
If you're not equipped to manage distraction, your brain will be manipulated by time wasting diversions.
To help with distraction, it's also important to set boundaries, determine what is important to say no to that will prevent you from achieving your goals. It's equally important to identify what to say yes to that will help you achieve your goals. Make a list of what these are.
Pre-commitments are also a super-power as they remove a future choice in order to overcome impulsiveness. Make those pre-commitments to activities and people that will enable you to strive forward.
Never bail on appointments you make with yourself.
Ask yourself, who is your future self and what types of environments and people are going to help get you there? Then go out and put yourself in those environments and surround yourself with those people. When you engineer situations in your life that force your hand/action, you are creating the life that you are striving for and embracing the discomfort.
Personal development involves change, it involves uncertainty and discomfort. But it also involves the motivation and volition to see a future self that is powerful, bold and an upgraded version of who you are today.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
Kirsten is a Performance & Leadership Consultant who works with individuals, teams and organisations to help them develop their potential and perform at their best. Get in touch with her today if you're looking for some support, accountability and motivation to become a happier, healthier version of you!