Once upon a time, I used to think having a new resolution every new year made me a better person. But one bad thing about my resolutions was that they were always materialistic. “Get a new this, get a new that, try this, try that, lose weight to fit that outfit in my wardrobe, and so on” was all that was always on my new year’s resolution bucket list every year.
But I never for once get all of them done.
I was always so focused on getting everything done at the beginning of January. It is funny how It always barely lasted the first week before I left it to focus on the battles life force on me.
This means that the remaining 92% of us either fail miserably at it or couldn’t achieve much. This is why it is much better to just focus on personal development as your new ‘new year resolution.’
What is personal development?
Personal development is the gradual and continuous act of accessing yourself in areas of values, life goals, qualities, and assets to build and develop yourself continuously to reach your maximum potential.
Personal development is not just a fancy name. It involves many areas of your life.
5 general areas of your life that need personal development:
- Mental growth.
Every growth starts from the mind.
Someone dreamed of flying someday but people never believed it. But the dreamer never stops at dreaming. He started to work on how to achieve it. Another person dreamed of living on Mars. The same thing happened – people never believed him but today, it is looking like it will happen very soon. Go and ask Elon Musk.
Mental growth, according to Brittanica, is the psychological development of human beings’ cognitive, emotional, intellectual, and social capabilities and functioning throughout a normal life span, from infancy through old age.
This may sound ambiguous. Let me try to simplify it
This can be more simplified as the change in your mindset from worse to better; intelligence from lower to higher; how you learn and think; how your brain and cognitive functions work, and so on.
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- Social growth.
This is more focused on the growth in your ‘people skills’ and your ability to communicate with them effectively. It involves being able to improve in your relationships, morality, and the way you influence people.
Whether you are an introvert, extrovert, or an ambivert (in the middle) like me, your ability to increase your social circles, influence them and create positive experiences is dependent on how well your social growth is doing.
You need to learn how best to relate with people. I know you cannot please everyone but it is not an excuse not to get better with people.
- Spiritual growth.
For some, personal spiritual development may be linked to their spiritual growth and their respective religions. But for some, it is more about their ability to dig deep and connect with themselves on a new level. Maybe by doing yoga, meditating, or just reading spiritual literature.
Spiritual growth is the increasing feeling of belonging, peace, security, and acceptance of oneself.
- Emotional growth.
Emotional growth is the increase in the ability of an individual to manage their emotions well. It is the ability to keep oneself in check when in tough or trying situations.
Emotional growth controls your level of self-confidence, your ability to develop meaningful and lasting relationships and empathize with others. It also influences your mental growth.
- Physical growth.
Physical growth is the developmental change of the body from conception till old age. In between these stages, it involves taking care of the body and its health, to improve and maintain the proper functioning of the body either by exercising, eating right, or avoiding unhealthy substances.
Reasons why personal development should be your new year resolution
1. Personal development strengthens the mind.
Ever wondered why some people seem like nothing can faze them? Or why do they seem more mature than you think you could ever be?
It is because these people are mentally mature. Not that you’re stupid, don’t get me wrong, but these people have faced situations that either forces them to grow up, or they chose to themselves.
Developing yourself mentally will prepare you for that annoying person or demanding boss and causes you to be less hurt by them. Even when you are hurt, you get to heal faster.
2. Personal development improves your social life.
Let’s use a scenario here
Imagine that one day, you tried to finally summon the courage to talk to that girl you’ve been crushing on for the past year. But as you move closer to her, your heart seems as if it is going to come out of your body. As she looks up to look at who is coming, you got so scared that you look away from her and talked to someone else instead of her.
After that event, you make that decision to develop yourself, and then boom! You feel more confident.
Days after you learn how to start and sustain a conversation, you are ready to talk to her. Finally, you did and you realize that saying “Hi” doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
Before you know it, your self-esteem improves a lot and you get more friends and acquaintances. And now, you feel good about yourself!
3. Personal development allows you to understand who you are as a person.
Personal development allows you to dig deep and find out more about yourself. You’d learn what you want for your life; you will get to understand what gets you angry and why; how your mind functions and how you can improve any situation you find yourself in.
4. Personal development automatically transforms you into a leader.
Due to your increasing maturity, you’d find that people begin to come to you for advice and guidance which automatically transforms you into a leader, improves your authority among people, and even increases your social circles and finances.
5. Personal development makes you feel good about yourself.
Personal development makes you feel that boost of confidence you didn’t know you needed. Exercising, healthy eating, and practicing healthy habits have an insane impact on the mind, soul, and body. It makes you glow from within because you project what you feel about yourself outwards that others feel the same about you.
Ways you can start working on your personal development as your new year resolution
1. Read educative books.
2. Interact with intelligent people with mature minds.
3. Get over your fears and limitations and believe you can do it.
4. Learn something new by watching talk shows, reading newspapers, books, magazines, and information channels.
5. Network and socialize with people with similar values.
6. Choose a valuable skill and master it. It goes a long way in improving your image.
7. Get along with others and learn to always put yourself in their shoes.
8. Meet that diet coach and trainer and start exercising and eating right.
9. Ask for feedback from people.
10. Learn to take constructive criticism well.
Writing out a new year resolution list can be quite exhausting to even try, but thinking of it in a very subtle way such as personal development, can go a long way into improving our attitudes towards the new year and instead of using the new year as an excuse to not improve now until then, why not take on personal development right now as a habit and let it change your life in the way you desire?
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Writer: Tomisin Shalewa