Whether you are after personal or professional development, you will always find something to improve about yourself in order to reach the next level. In this technology-driven age, you may have already encountered far too many options — and articles — that promise to help you achieve that.
Here, you won’t be asked to download this app or join that community to start upgrading things in your life. Just go back to basics and begin using these practical tools to effect self-change:
Instead of cramming resolutions every new year, set yourself up for success by listing the things you want to accomplish. Like in business, you can define milestones for yourself. Placing them in a timeline will give you perspective on where and when you need to adjust. And as you work on achieving the milestone, you can also change a few things that may be getting in the way of your goals.
Milestones are really your guiding lights, keeping you on track especially if you tend to lose sight of things when the going gets tough.
Acquiring a certification
Whether you work for yourself or for a company, having a certification on a certain skill or area enables you to earn more than your peers. But there is more to this tool than economic benefits. A certification tells people, specifically your boss or client, that you have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in a field of expertise. That gives you an edge over non-certified colleagues or applicants. More importantly, you gain new learning as well as understand your strengths and weaknesses better.
Thus, according to PTPioneer, choosing the right certification plays a huge part in this process. To become a physical trainer, for example, you should take on a certification that prospective employers hold in high regard. In the IT industry, you should go for the certification that is recognized around the world.
Using technology to your advantage
There are many distractions these days you just have to mix them up to make your own cocktail. Majority of them are products of technology, such as smartphones and the internet. However, unless you have decided to live as a hermit, you will need your mobile device.
This is more of a trick than a tool, but why not try to trim down your smartphone apps to the most important ones? For example, if you are a creative person, you can build an arsenal of tools like Canva, Lightroom, and Adobe Premiere. You can also choose to turn off notifications for your social media accounts while you are at work. And you can download Audible and listen to podcasts about leadership and other productive topics may be interested in.
Books have been around for millennia and are not going anywhere. They are credible tools that often do not need an introduction. But while there are many of these printed and digitally-produced resources, fewer people are reading them. In the United States, only 43% of adults surveyed in 2016 said they read any type of literature not required for work or school. It was considered an all-time low in the last three decades. So, why read? Because, as Warren Buffet put it, knowledge is built up like compounding interest through reading — and he meant covering 500 pages a day at that.
Finding a mentor
While you are an adult who can clearly make his or her personal and professional decisions, you need someone whose counsel proves valuable in times of making big ones. That role should be filled by a person with more life experience than you. And it is especially important that you can trust this person.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a mentor as an experienced or trusted adviser. So if you don’t have one yet, remember that definition. Further, you can look for multiple mentors based on areas you want to improve in, such as spirituality or career, and let them know you are treating them as one.
How is this a tool, you may ask? Well, it is because it touches on different aspects of your well-being, both personal and professional. If you work long and hard, never stopping, you are subjecting your body and mind to stress. It is only a matter of time when the stress will show its claws in other areas of your life, such as your health and relationships. And those claws are going to scratch and expose what you have been neglecting all along.
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