4 Simple Ways to Achieve your Personal Development Goals

Formal Education is no longer enough to meet the challenges of today’s workplace. Young people feel that they lack adequate skills to compete for a few available jobs. societal problems, on the other hand, raise the performance bar for new businesses.  whether one seeks a job in already established firms or wants to grow a business, the task can be quite daunting. Either way, the road to success begins with setting Personal Development Goals.

Personal Development Goals are some concrete achievements a person aims for. They could include virtually anything from increasing study hours, socializing more or building certain skills. This article brings to you four (4) simple ways to achieve your Personal Development Goals.

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1. Focus on You

The first step begins with the individual. The uniqueness each person expresses implies that we have very different sets of abilities that may be known or unknown to us. Some skills come easily to us because we are naturally inclined to them. Other skills may take an effort to acquire. Either way, your natural skills can be found in the things that make you light up naturally. It is normal for people to live within default zones. A Default Zone is a state of life inspired by pressures of socialization or life’s circumstances. People just find themselves acting in certain ways because it’s alright in their immediate background. it is common for parents to program their children into certain lifestyles or careers.  Default Zones differ significantly from comfort zones because it’s just how things are. People are often not in any comfort and may not foresee any exit routes.

To focus on oneself, one needs to know what drives them. There is a vision in every person. An ideal situation they would rather be in. This is not a time for reality checks. The basic questions here are: “Are you satisfied with the life you have now?” “Is there a thing you would rather be doing now?” It may not always be a new fulltime job or business or habit. It could be an improvement or a little extra something. The answers you find should put a vision of the new you in your mind. Think about the new life you could have if you achieved this vision.

All that is left is to create goals that reflect what you need to do to become the new you. This could be to learn a new skill or to make some accomplishments related to personal life or work. articulate specific things you need to do in simple terms. Examples could be:

  • Contribute 20 dollars towards a cause from January till June 2018
  • Learn to drive a truck and gain all required certifications
  • Train to become a prolific public speaker

Once your personal development goals are clear, then you are ready for the next step.

2. Expose yourself to online learning resources

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Thank goodness we live in this time of information freedom. There are resources online that can help you to learn a new skill. The good news is that these resources are mostly free. Without much ado, find below 25 platforms where you can learn new skills online:

  1. Academic Earth curates online courses from the world’s top colleges and universities such as Stanford, Princeton, Yale, and Carnegie Mellon since 2009. Their mission is to make high-quality education accessible to people all over the globe, despite economic burdens.
  2. Alison is a free online learning site offering over 750 courses leading to either certification or a diploma.
  3. BBC Podcasts is an online learning website that offers free educational programming for pre-school students, primary school students, secondary school students, and adult learners.
  4. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative currently offers 27 courses, including titles such as Anatomy & Physiology, Arabic for Global Exchange, Introduction to Visual Design, and Probability & Statistics.
  5. Code.org is a targeted free education site offering full courses in computer science at no charge to the learner.
  6. Codecademy offers thousands of computer science classes free of charge. Some course titles include HTML & CSS, jQuery, Python, and JavaScript.
  7. edX was founded in 2012 through a collaboration between Harvard University and MIT. The courses offered on this premiere online learning site are curated from the top universities and organizations in the world, including UC Berkeley, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the Smithsonian, for example. Some popular programs available from edX include Cybersecurity, Marketing in a Digital World, Solar Energy Engineering, and Artificial Intelligence.
  8. The Open University on iTunes U has physical locations in the UK and delivers educational content in several formats, but one of the best ways for individuals around the world to access Open University content is through iTunesU. Courses contain a mix of audio and visuals and cover a wide variety of topics.
  9. Khan Academy is an online learning website that serves a diverse community of millions of learners by offering a wide selection of courses ranging from kindergarten to college.
  10. Open Culture finds free courses from other sources and organizes them into a list. Currently, the website lists about 1,200 free online courses from respected universities such as Oxford, MIT, and Yale.
  11. Udemy is an online learning website that allows experts to sell lessons and learners to buy them. Udemy is more focused on developing skills such as programming, animation, and Microsoft Office, as well as more unusual skills such as ethical hacking.
  12. Stanford Online is a prestigious online learning website that offers online courses in both academics and professional development.
  13. Harvard Extension is an online learning website that hosts several educational opportunities, including full degrees and graduate certificates. However, the offerings that most people will be interested in are the open enrollment courses and professional development programs.
  14. Open Yale Courses is an online learning website that hosts free recordings of lectures and other materials from Yale introductory courses. Courses are available on a wide variety of subjects, including Environmental Studies, Economics, and Music.
  15. UC Berkeley Class Central is a free education website that offers several free online courses across nine different subject areas.
  16. MIT Open CourseWare’s online learning website is part of an effort to publish all of MIT’s course materials online so that they are available to more people.
  17. University of London Podcasts The University of London’s online learning website links to podcasts and videos recorded by its affiliated colleges and institutes.
  18. University of Oxford Podcasts This is the University of Oxford’s free education website that runs several regularly-updated podcasts that cover many different topics.
  19. TED Ed is TED’s youth and education initiative that creates original educational videos and allows teachers around the world to create and share their own lessons. Lessons from this free online learning site are typically short videos followed by questions and supplemental materials.
  20. Lesson Paths is an online learning website that grants access to a series of academic and recreational such as educational videos, readings, games, and quizzes on a particular subject.
  21. Memrise is an online learning website that offers several courses on vocabulary, and the most popular courses are language courses. But there are courses on other subjects as well. Most contents are free.
  22. Hubspot Academy is an online learning website where you can learn about marketing and sales training.
  23. Moose: On this platform, you can learn SEO and Search Marketing at no cost. Free learning is only available at basic levels. Advanced courses are sold.
  24. Saylor Academy is a nonprofit online learning website that offers about 100 flexible, self-paced professional, and college-level courses.
  25. FutureLearn is a platform for learning 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts. You can develop your career, learn a new skill, or pursue your hobbies with flexible online courses.

Besides these, a platform like YouTube has become a formidable tool for learning and sharing. Though the contents are not organized into courses, using the search and filter functions will give a great crop of videos. Learning has never been as easy.

3. Learn from Great Achievers in your vision-line

There are people who have succeeded in all fields of life. These persons serve as mentors and have ample knowledge, skills, and experience on the ground. They can help you make sense of all you have learned and teach you how to put them to use. This is an important step for every person because of the reality of how things work is often different from what theoretical knowledge states.

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The world is dynamic and most times, the clever and dynamic perform better than others. Every business is affected by various forces and it takes the relevant experience to master them all. With a good mentor, one can grow faster and achieve their goals. So here are a few tips to help you choose a great mentor:

  • Find someone who is available to share their business experiences with you
  • The Mentor must be well advanced in their field and have made some significant success.
  • The Mentor has to be aware that you consider him/her as a prospective mentor and accept you as a mentee
  • There have to be agreed timelines for mentorship sessions
  • The Mentor does not have to be the best in his line of business or work.

4. Begin Already

Little steps should be how to begin. If one plans to become a Public Speaker, start speaking with friends in little groups. Take every little opportunity to deliver a short speech. Skills could never stop growing and that is why refusing to exercise a skill will not help anyone. Constant practice will help you improve significantly.

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Fear is the biggest factor in starting new ventures where all other factors viz knowledge, skills, experience exist. One must learn to avoid taking up too much at a time. Deal with fear by making well-calculated moves. Do not be afraid to ask your Mentor for advice. Research will always come in handy when the unprecedented events happen.

When small successes are recorded, do not fail to celebrate them. These small successes will become strong motivations for future action. There will be ups and downs along the way. Whatever happens, you must learn to forge on and continue to work on your personal development goals. This may be a lifelong process but you will emerge a better person at the end.

Michael Ukwuma

Michael Ukwuma

Michael is a Project Manager with years of experience in nonprofits and managing startups. He shares what he has learnt over time with like-minded persons. He gives classes to persons who plan a future in the nonprofits sector or as entrepreneurs.

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