10 Ways to Begin your Personal Development Journey

Becoming a better person.  That's what we all want to do with our lives, right?  We want to be the best versions of ourselves.  We're now quite far into the year and may have found that our goals haven't shaped out the way we thought they would have.  This could be good or bad...but we don't have to wait until the new year to start bettering ourselves!  In fact I think there are 3 times in the year we can start ourselves anew - January at the new year, March/April at the Aries New Moon, and September when we're used to going back to school.

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September has always had the air of a fresh new start - we've got fresh pencils, notebooks, and sneakers, the leaves are slowing turning and nature moves into a new phase.....its just a very magical time of freshness. Plus we'll have Samhain in October which is known as the Witches' New Year. So the Fall in general can be a time of change - to shed the old and prep for the new!

We don't have to upend our whole lives to work on personal development.  Nor do we have to feel pressured to change our entire beings to be these better, fantasy versions of ourselves.  Personal development is a journey where the only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday.  It's not a journey of comparison or defeat, its a journey of betterment.  So, here are 10 ways to begin your personal development journey:

1. Listen to Audio Books & Podcasts

Make time to listen to personal development books or podcasts.  This may take some trial and error in finding podcasts/books that inspire you but start off with a hobby or something you're interested in.  I wanted to learn to read tarot as a personal development tool so I thumbed through the tarot podcasts I found on iTunes and queued up a few to listen to.  The other part of this is prioritizing time to listen.  I used my 30 minute drive to work in the morning to squeeze in a podcast listen.  You can listen while cooking, cleaning, driving, running, etc.  Those times in between...those are good times to bust out your book or podcast.

2. Practice Mindfulness

This is another simple task that can be done in those times in between.  Mindfulness is just awareness.  Mindfulness is focusing on the moment and on the task at hand.  When making your coffee in the morning instead of going over your to do list and looking at the dishes in the sink take the 5 minutes you're prepping your coffee to just be aware: what does the world around you smell like?  What does the coffee maker sound like?  What does your mug feel like?  What does the sugar entering the mug sound like?  How do you feel in this moment?  You can incorporate even breathing, etc.  Just be aware of your surroundings.  A great place to start a mindfulness practice is in your skincare routine - you'll hopefully be alone in the bathroom for at least a minute and the act is very tactile.  So you can take a moment to just be.

Mindfulness can help fill your cup so that you can show up for yourself and for others more completely.

3. Meditation

Developing a mediation practice can be as simple as using the Breathe app on your Apple Watch (I do this so often!).  Just like mindfulness, you're taking a moment to be present.  You can have a more intentional mindfulness practice with meditation by creating a space for yourself to spend time with yourself.  This can be a room or space in your home or even one of those times in between - like waiting for a friend to meet you for coffee.  Take a moment while you're sitting in the parking lot at work to drift into a relaxed mindset.  You can use something like visualization or even an essential oil you're fond of to help get you into your meditative mindset.

4. Practice Self Reflection

Often this is outlined as journaling.  I'm not a great journaler - I'll blog somethings and maybe include short self reflective tidbits in my memory planner, but all in all I'm not a good journal keeper.  I think it is more important to be self reflective and to examine myself, my life, and my actions often to see where I'm at.  Creative ways to do this aren't limited to journaling but to creating and keeping vision boards so that you can see how far you've come, keeping planner & expressing your creativity, or even blogging!  Self reflection ensures that you're actually growing and developing.  Sometimes those little time hop things on Facebook are very helpful for seeing where we've been compared to where we are now.  And, if you're unhappy with where you are....then you are able to set an intention to change that!

5. Set Small Goals

Speaking of setting intentions to change, try setting small goals.  I used to set 4 simple goals a month because I realized I just wasn't really working towards anything.  I was kinda coasting through life just hanging out and I really wanted to be doing something (anything!).  Setting smaller goals - go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, clean the living room each week, put the dishes away, make sure you moisturize - can help you develop and over all bigger routine.  This routine can enhance your daily life be reducing the emotional burden you have by needing to make decisions that could be left to routine.  Achieving small goals can also build up your confidence & momentum when it comes to accomplishing bigger goals.

6. Try Something New

Break out of your comfort zone.  Trying something new means you're not keeping yourself in a box.  This box could feel restrictive or destructively habitual.  It is best to do something new as soon as you feel the urge.  I signed up for a watercolor class at my local Micheal's as soon as I found out it was happening because I new if I thought about it I'd chicken out!  If you get the urge, and it's feasible, try something new!

7. Invest in Yourself

Much like the one above, if you've been wanting to try something new make that a priority.  The more you invest in your desires the more you'll find personal success.  Want to start a new hobby? Prioritize that in your life.  Want to go back to school?  Prioritize that in your life.  Need a new set of interview clothes? Invest in that!  You are worthy of your desires and you should invest your time & available resources into the things that will create a better you and better your life.

8. Discover your Personal Mantra

Working daily with affirmations can help shift your mindset.  You may find yourself drawn to certain types of quotes, words, or mantras that help you feel inspired.  Take time to develop a personal mantra to live by and make sure it aligns fully with who you are as a person.  Create a Pinterest board or even a wall of sticky notes with words that speak to you.  Recite them daily until you feel their truth!  I highly suggest you reading my post on self-deprecating here

9. Make Small Changes

Small changes in your lifestyle allow you to live more authentically.  For me, I've been attempting to reduce my dependence on single use/disposable items.  Prioritizing using microfiber towels over paper towels, refusing plastic straws, and prioritizing reusable storage over plastic baggies have been small changes that have led to a bigger awareness in my life.  Take the time to make small changes that align with your personal mantra & you will begin to live more authentically.

10. Practice Gratitude

Being thankful for what we have can shift our mindset.  Not only should we be thankful in times of happiness but we should practice gratitude in our down times as well.  If you're frustrated with a situation finding gratitude around the problem can help shift your mindset into a solution.   Take a moment during each day - when you wake up, before bed, at your lunch break, on your drive home - and list three things you're grateful for.  Even the simplest things you can express gratitude for because it allows you to be mindful of what you really have in your life!

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Personal development also isn't extremely linear.  We can have up days and down days, we can have setbacks and comebacks...but overall we just want to be better than the people we were yesterday!  Be sure to sign up for the newsletter above to get creative inspiration for being your best self straight to you inbox.  You'll receive blog updates, essential oil information, creative freebies, and general chit chat.

If you're interested in working towards your personal development goals with a group of creative individuals like yourself, check out the Live & Create group on FacebookThis group focuses on mindfulness & intentional living through productivity, creative planning, & personal growth.  Request to join here!  You can also join the Printable of the Month club over on Patreon for an exclusive planner printable every month.

What small goals do you set for yourself daily?

xoxo, Moe

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