There are a multitude of reasons why you might not make learning and personal development a part of your plan for success. You have so many things to do now, between family, your kids, your aging parents and your spouse, your career or business, maybe volunteer work, who has time for even your own personal care?

As difficult as it may be, taking time for your own personal growth is as important as all of the above. May be even more so. Then there is the cost. There is no denying that training costs money. If you look at the return on the investment however, you will see that it far outweighs the costs.

Consider the results of being more effective in just one area of your life: to set priorities effectively. How much smoother would your life be if your ability to make a decision quickly about whether to do something or not do something that is presented to you, how would being able to do that reduce the stress you currently experience in your day to day life?

Now guilt may come into play here as you think about the time and money you could be spending on other things. However when you make learning a priority, you increase your value to yourself and others. You are able to increase your income and then hire out some of the tasks you now do yourself.

  1. Set goals: As with anything we want in life, the clearer we are about what it is that we want, the more likely we are to attain it. People who set goals, and better still, write them down have a huge advantage over those who don’t they will be more specific. Setting goals and creating a plan to reach them is fundamental to success. Vague goals create vague results.
  2. Identify obstacles: The best laid plans so often go astray. But that doesn’t mean that we have to let them stop us altogether. Knowing and expecting there to be problems and having a prepared plan “B” can keep our plans from going off the rails completely and causing us to give up.
  3. Start small: Personal growth does not have to be an arduous, all-encompassing experience. Taking one course each yearly quarter, something that only takes an hour a week can begin the growth process. Remember, it is a process. You did not grow from grade one to grade eight in one leap.
  4. Make it a habit: Experience is not the best teacher, evaluated experience is. Taking the time each day to reflect on the day just past and plan for the next is a great way to begin the habit of learning and growing. Add to that a few minutes every day to read something new (other than Facebook and newspapers) expands our awareness the world around us and exposes us to new ways of thinking.
  5. Collaborate: I learn from your questions and you learn from my questions. Together we learn so much more. This is the whole premise behind masterminds and roundtables. We each have a different perspective. We each see things differently. By sharing ideas, we all come away with more ideas. We hold each other accountable and support each other in our growth.

Lifelong learning is a must if you want to keep up with this increasing pace of change. Start small, commit to making it a daily habit and collaborate for greater learning impact.

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