What Are the Different Types of Personal Development Activities?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Attending a seminar can help with personal development.
Attending a seminar can help with personal development.

Personal development activities are focused on helping an individual improve his or her life in some way. Such activities can be tailored to improve one's personal life and relationships, or one's professional life and relationships. Personal development activities can be done individually or as a group; sometimes the activities are focused on one particular type of personal development, while others are broader and allow improvement of more than one area of a person's life. Generally speaking, personal development can improve both one's personal life and professional life, though the two are usually separated.

Some employers actively promote personal development and encourage their staff members to seek education through seminars, workshops, and trainings.
Some employers actively promote personal development and encourage their staff members to seek education through seminars, workshops, and trainings.

The specific goals of any personal development activities will vary according to the needs of the individual. A person might, for example, need to take part in activities that focus on improving communication methods, while another person may need personal development activities that work on self-esteem. Surprisingly, exercise can be a personal development activity as well, as it tends to improve one's life by making the person healthier, more energetic, and even more social in some settings. All personal development activities should start with an analysis of the participant's current habits, attitudes, feelings, and practices.

Personal development activities may focus on specific areas, such as fitness.
Personal development activities may focus on specific areas, such as fitness.

Self-analysis can be difficult for many individuals, so it sometimes helps to do this step as part of a group. The participant must analyze his or her life to identify both successes and failures, as well as strengths and weaknesses, so the personal development activities can be tailored to this specific person. For some people, the biggest goal may be improving time management; for others, developing a more positive outlook on a job, career, relationship, or family life may be the overall improvement. These goals are set forth by the individual through the self-analysis activity and accomplished by taking part in a variety of activities.

Cleaning out clutter can help a person develop and have less stress.
Cleaning out clutter can help a person develop and have less stress.

If the participant works in an office that offers opportunities for personal development, seminars or courses may be made available. In other cases, a person seeking personal development may find online courses or seminars as well as offerings at a local community college. Such activities can be accomplished with no guidance at all if the participant is diligent and savvy. People who have more difficult issues to contend with may want to consider seeking professional help, however; a person with financial difficulties, for example, may want to consider consulting a financial advisor who can help set goals, get the person out of debt, or even start developing a savings plan for college or retirement.

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Discussion Comments

browncoat

@pastanaga - I think a combination of both strategies works the best for me. I had to quit smoking cold-turkey, because just reducing never seemed to work in the long term. I had to completely forbid myself from ever touching a cigarette again before it would stick. If I gave myself an out, I would use it every time.

But gradually changing my approach works for most things. I find that usually if I try to become a new person overnight it never lasts for more than a day or so. It's easier to just change small things and wait until they become a habit and then move onto the next small thing.

Little steps soon add up to big changes. They also work when you're learning something new. You don't have to write a bestseller in a month. a few hundred words per day is better than nothing.

pastanaga

@clintflint - That might work for you but I have seen other people change overnight and stick to it. I think it depends on what their reasons are for the change.

My sister, for example, was a drug user and a smoker who happened to get pregnant and kicked both habits overnight. She's not necessarily a particularly strong willed person, but she just couldn't imagine doing harm to her child and that was stronger than her habits.

clintflint

I'm quite suspicious of those major personal development systems, where people are encouraged to go to huge meetings and listen to super-star speakers and get carried along with the sentiment of the crowd.

I can see why people would get excited about them, but in my opinion an overnight transformation is always going to be a sham to some extent. Real change happens gradually, or it won't stick. It can come just as easily as it will go.

When I work on personal development activities they are almost always small and easily achievable, because otherwise I will do them once and then never want to do them again.

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    • Attending a seminar can help with personal development.
      By: Dmitry Goygel-Sokol
      Attending a seminar can help with personal development.
    • Some employers actively promote personal development and encourage their staff members to seek education through seminars, workshops, and trainings.
      By: Halfpoint
      Some employers actively promote personal development and encourage their staff members to seek education through seminars, workshops, and trainings.
    • Personal development activities may focus on specific areas, such as fitness.
      By: CandyBox Images
      Personal development activities may focus on specific areas, such as fitness.
    • Cleaning out clutter can help a person develop and have less stress.
      By: Gang
      Cleaning out clutter can help a person develop and have less stress.
    • Personal development goals might focus on learning new life skills.
      By: llhedgehogll
      Personal development goals might focus on learning new life skills.
    • Someone might take on personal development activities as a way to work toward larger life goals.
      By: JackF
      Someone might take on personal development activities as a way to work toward larger life goals.
    • Children can develop valuable skills through participation in sports and other activities.
      By: cfarmer
      Children can develop valuable skills through participation in sports and other activities.