When an individual decides to improve himself or herself in any area it is, many times, something that is a major event in their lives. If it is not, it should be because it amounts to a major shift in attitude and outlook over a period of time. If successful, a personal development program can mean an entirely different life as opposed to not ever having endeavored such a task.
Self improvement can take on many forms and a person should be respected when attempting such a project. Many people will go to school to learn a trade, or a junior college to get general knowledge, or even attend college to get a degree. These are formal ways to develop personal skills, habits and learn procedures that will help them in specific careers or jobs.
Personal development can also be informal, or self directed. Improving the ability to study, or learn how to play the piano, or improve skills in a hobby such as golf, could all be classified as self directed development. This can take a little more effort and determination, because with a formal program most of the organizational elements are already in place and merely have to be followed.
With a self directed plan, personal development has to have more planning and execution by the individual, so meaningful results can be realized. Learning how to plant a garden and harvest the vegetables is an entire learning process that can be done through reading about it or enlisting the help of someone who has planted a garden before.
Learning how to use some of the tools available on the computer is largely self taught. Being able to utilize word processing programs effectively involves many skills that were largely unknown 15 or so years ago. Being able to “copy and paste” is simple when you have learned how to do it, but it can be a complete mystery to someone who has never heard of it.
A more ambitious form of personal development in the informal area would be to learn or acquire skills to literally redesign themselves to be able to operate in a totally different plane of existence. This would involve more motivational skills with which most people would never think of becoming involved. Examples would include learning skills that involve intangibles such as selling, theology, learning how to accomplish more in less time, concepts and efficiency skills.
These types of improvement qualities will usually involve specific goal setting activities. These goals are then broken down into bite sized projects to where specific action steps are taken to slowly and deliberately achieve the larger goal. This is a tremendous confidence builder, because once on area is mastered, that is now a skill that is no longer mysterious. Once all of the skills are mastered, they can be applied and a new person emerges with a new confidence of application.
A person needs to commit writing down in detail the objectives and the steps that need to be taken to accomplish the goals that are stated. A commitment needs to be made as to the time required to achieve all of this and a record of accountability along the way needs to be shared with a mentor or a significant other.