Individual Development Program: Finding that Work-Life Balance

While some businesses strive to create a healthy work-life balance among their employees, others don’t make it a priority, leaving you to start an individual development program that can help you find that balance yourself. If you can focus on work while you’re at work and switch gears at home, you are bound to exert more effort in the office and likewise enjoy home life better as well.

Here’s an example of an individual development plan for more a productive time at work and a more attentive mind-set at home with your family.

Make a List

This part of your individual development program helps you stay organized and gain a sense of accomplishment as you check off tasks from your list throughout the day. Follow this list as much as possible, and minimize distractions in your work area so you can be productive.

Schedule Time to Relax

Your list should include dedicated downtime. Relaxation may seem like a luxury you can’t always fit into your individual development program, but it’s actually an important part of maintaining your sanity. Set aside time for solitude every day, whether it’s in the morning before work, right when you get home, or just before bedtime. Use this time to clear your head and find that work-life balance.

Take Care of You

You’ll accomplish more at work and enjoy family time more if you get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. You can’t take care of business unless you include taking care of yourself in your individual development plan.

Ask for Help

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to implement your individual development program, it seems impossible to strike a healthy work-life balance. If all else fails, ask for help from a colleague, boss, spouse, other family member, or friend. Delegate a task you simply don’t have time for or ask if something about your schedule can change so you can find the balance you need.

Many entrepreneurs don’t balance life and work because work is life. If you love your job, it can become a lifestyle you live all the time while still being social. For the rest of us, there’s definitely a need for the work-life balance. For more information about starting an individual development program to find that balance in your life, please contact us.

Confidence Training: Developing Mental Toughness

Confidence Training

Mental toughness, an attribute that can be developed through confidence training, is the ability to will one’s self through tough situations. This might mean staying positive while battling cancer, keeping a good attitude during military training, or simply staying optimistic despite getting up early to exercise.

Mental toughness is not natural—no baby “toughs it out” if they’re in a less-than-ideal situation; they cry and cry until someone comforts them. Here’s a look at the confidence training needed to develop mental toughness.

 Expand Your Comfort Zone

This is the best self-improvement tip, and it’s one that relates to all other points in confidence training to develop mental toughness. The only way to expand your comfort zone is to step outside of it. It’s also the only way to learn a new skill and gain confidence in your abilities. If you hate giving speeches, develop mental toughness by giving more speeches. You’ll get better at it, and as you do, giving speeches will become a part of your comfort zone.

The same goes for talking to new people, singing in public, giving a presentation at work, waking up early, being out in the cold, and any number of situations. The more you expose yourself to an uncomfortable situation, the tougher you become and the easier the task­ becomes.

Find Self-Motivation

The only way you can become mentally tough is to find motivation from within. Think back to a time of victory and become motivated as you picture recapturing that glory. This tip on self-improvement can help you surpass others who spend much of their time simply relaxing.

Be Realistic

While mental toughness lets you do a lot, it doesn’t let you do everything. Have a positive attitude of pushing your limits, but know your limits. When you find them, focus on your natural strengths to continue expanding your limits.

Develop Self-Control

Depriving yourself of comforts promotes mental toughness. Likewise, when bad things happen in life or your business that you can’t prevent, having self-control will help keep your negative emotions in check. Keep on keeping on and overcome the situation with your mental toughness.

Be Ready for Action

An important part of confidence training is to always be ready for action. Perhaps you are under the weather, but you must give a presentation; a travesty has occurred in your personal life, but you must press forward. Getting over devastation and jumping into action on short notice are characteristics of those with mental toughness. If you can keep going during such hard times, imagine how exceptional you’ll be when you’re at your best.

With this confidence training, you’ll be able to reach new heights in whatever endeavors you seek: sports, music, writing, in business—anything. For more information, please contact us.

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Personal Development Goals: Goals for Entrepreneurs

personal-development-goalsPersonal development goals are as crucial to entrepreneurs as professional goals, as those that grow personally also grow professionally.  However, many entrepreneurs are so focused on growing their businesses they forget how crucial personal development goals are in their success.

Purpose of Goal Setting

Just like professional goals, personal development goals define objectives and help create an action plan that makes goals attainable.  Personal goals may begin as vague thoughts about what you want to achieve in the future, such as having a family or increasing your income.  Although initially vague, in order to achieve success, goals must be focused in order to develop an action plan to achieve them.  One method is to use the SMART System.

SMART System

The SMART System for your self-development plan empowers you to define your goals in order to put processes in place to attain them.  In the SMART System, goals include the following criteria:

  • Specific – Goals cannot be vague.  “I want to make more money” is not specific enough, but “I want to earn 10 percent more this year” is specific enough to be realistic.
  • Measurable – It is important to measure your progress as you work toward your goals.  Reviewing your progress monthly or quarterly is an effective way to monitor whether your action plan is working.
  • Achievable – Although goals may seem unachievable when you look at them as a whole, a true goal must be one that you could possibly achieve by following specific steps.  Setting a goal to earn a million dollars in six months is probably not achievable, but setting a goal to earn a million dollars in ten years may be if you create the proper action plan.
  • Realistic – Setting a realistic goal does not mean setting your sites lower.  You can set long-term goals that seem impossible, but that does not make them unrealistic.  The key is to set goals that, with the proper action plan, are attainable.
  • Timely – For any goal, allowing adequate time for achievement is crucial.  You are not going to increase your income by 10 percent in a week, so setting a goal to do that is not realistic.  If your goal is to increase income by 10 percent over the year, set a goal to achieve 2.5 percent increase each quarter.

Keys to Goal Setting

Once you have used the SMART System to determine your personal and professional development, write them down along with your action plan.  Review your goals and plans regularly to make adjustments as necessary.  Set an appointment with yourself if necessary to be sure you conduct such a review.  Setting sharp, clearly defined goals allows you to measure your progress and build self-esteem as you achieve them.

TSTN has an on-demand personal development goals library that contains over 300 online training programs with the legends of the self-improvement industry.  View our SuccessCast featuring Bob Proctor’s “Paradigm Shift” to get a taste of what we offer.  Also, expand your knowledge more about our personal development planning tips by visiting TSTN’s website, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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Personal Development Program: Defeating Negativity

personal-development-program

One of the most difficult aspects in developing a personal development program is defeating the negativity in our thoughts.  Often, our biggest enemy is ourselves, with constant thoughts of “I can’t do that” or “I will never be successful.”  Negative thoughts often manifest themselves into actual events, which is why addressing our negativity is crucial to creating a successful personal development program.

Negative Thoughts are Often Irrational

Mark Twain once said “I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”  This is true of many of the negative thoughts that swirl around in our heads.  We often focus on the “what ifs” as though they are actually occurring, when, quite often, our thoughts of the worst outcome rarely ever come to fruition.  Once you realize that your negative thoughts are just that— thoughts—and that although there may be some validity to what you think may happen, chances are the worst will not come true, and you will actually succeed at the task at hand.

Negativity Breeds Anxiety

When you constantly focus on negative thoughts, anxiety, inadequacy and uncertainty begin to be a constant in your life.  Begin to recognize how you feel when you have certain thoughts.  Often, negative thoughts cause a physical reaction, such as butterflies in the stomach, nausea and an increased heart rate as one negative thought builds upon another.  For example, let’s say you are asked to present a crucial report to the CEO of your company.  You first reaction may be “I am going to make a complete and total mess of this.”  That thought leads to “What if I don’t get the facts right?” and that could lead to “I am going to lose my job if I mess this up.”  Your hands get sweaty and your heart races.  It is difficult to concentrate on other tasks because of your focus on what may go wrong with this presentation.  As part of your personal growth, instead of focusing on what could go wrong, focus instead on how your presentation could benefit both you and the company, and understand that even if you do make a mistake, the world is not going to end.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

Instead of focusing on the negative, stop and analyze those negative thoughts as part of your personal development program.  Identify the situation that brought on the emotions related to negativity, and then identify your thoughts and beliefs about the situation that caused those emotions.  Replace those thoughts and beliefs with positive statements that are probably more accurate than the negative thoughts.

Surround Yourself with Positives

As you begin to focus on those positive thoughts and beliefs through your personal growth development, you may find that your personality also may undergo some changes.  You may find that you pursue more positive activities or surround yourself with more positive people.  As you begin to focus on the positives, negative thoughts will slowly recede and you will become more confident and successful.

By adding a more optimistic attitude as part of your personal development program, you can achieve more and attain the goals you set for yourself.  With an on-demand personal development training library of over 300 programs, TSTN features some of the top motivational experts in the self-improvement industry.  The Success Training Network provides information on personal development plans at your convenience, so watch Charlie “Tremendous” Jones’ “Personal Development Training” to get a taste of what we offer.  Also, learn more about us at TSTN’s website, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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Tips on Self-Improvement: Give Yourself Reminders

tips-on-self-improvementMotivation can be a fleeting thing, which is why many tips on self-improvement include ways to stay motivated.  In any endeavor, we begin with an air of excitement, full of anticipation and the motivation to get the job done.  As time goes on, however, our motivation tends to wane as day-to-day duties and the mundane requirements of every project begin to take a toll.  Whether you are trying to lose weight, complete an important project, or build a business, one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated is to give yourself reminders.

Remember Your Best Moments

There are many ways to give yourself reminders that can keep you motivated.  One of the best tips on self-improvement is to write down a time when you felt you were at your best.  These moments of triumphs, according to some personal development books, remind you of who you are, what you are about, and why you are chasing the goals you are seeking during your self-improvement journey.

Motivational Quotes

Another of the tips for self-improvement found in personal development books includes surrounding yourself with motivational quotes, images and photos.  Although you can find many motivational quotes in books and online, you can also create your own with positive thinking.  When you see a quote that you find motivating, make a note of it, and post it where you can see it often.  If your goal is weight loss, find an image of yourself when you feel you felt and looked the best, and put it in a prominent location.

Use Simple Tips to Keep Motivated

There are many simple ways to stay motivated using routine reminders.  When you feel yourself losing motivation, pull out your list of long- and short-term goals to be reminded of what you are working toward.  Another tip for self-improvement is to write your “To Do” list the night before and prioritize each task in order of importance.  Many personal development books suggest that the act of crossing things off a list creates motivation to move on to the next thing on the list.  If you are tackling a huge project, break it down into smaller tasks to avoid being overwhelmed.  Overestimate how long it will take you to do a task.  Self-improvement experts say that when you overestimate and complete the job earlier than the time you allotted, you pick up momentum as you feel as if you are ahead of the game.  Surround yourself with positive, motivated people in order to feel motivated yourself.

The Success Training Network, TSTN, has an on-demand library that contains over 300 online training programs with the legends of the self-improvement industry, including tips on self-improvement.  View our SuccessCast featuring Bob Proctor and his “Paradigm Shift” to get a taste of what we offer.  Learn more about our personal development planning tips by signing up now for one of our subscription packages to enhance your professional training!   To learn more, click here to view our Part 1 Blog on successful training tips and tricks. Then, learn more about us by visiting TSTN’s website, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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Individual Development Plan: Taking a Break

individual-development-planIn today’s busy, hectic, technology-driven world, it is sometimes difficult to take those breaks we need, but as part of your individual development plan, including downtime is critical to avoiding burnout.  As many companies continue to implement budget cuts, employees are working longer hours and handling more responsibilities.  In a study released in April 2012 by Opinion Matters, 85 percent of respondents said that their job intruded on their personal life, and 42 percent said lost sleep over work-related matters. These statistics clearly show why taking a break is critical to avoiding the stress that comes with the lack of downtime.

Weekly Days Off

If you are one of those people who works seven days a week, it is time to stop doing that.  As part of an individual development program, choose to work no more than six, and preferably five, days each week.  Any individual development plan example will not have you working every day of the week. However, it is important to truly take those days off, doing things you enjoy and completely avoiding anything related to work.  On those days, do not read reports, organize your desk, answer emails or take work calls on your mobile phone.  Instead, do those chores around the house you have been unable to complete, go for a walk, spend time with your family, go to a movie, or simply curl up with a good book.  The work will be there after you take those days off—count on it.

Mini-Vacations Help Recharge

People often believe that a vacation must be a week or two in order to provide beneficial downtime.  The fact is that even a short vacation provides rest and relaxation.  If you are unable to take time off during the week, leave Friday after work, spending Saturday and Sunday away from home.  Do not work at all while you are on your vacation, and enjoy the sights in the area you choose to visit as part of your individual development plan.

Take a Walk

There are times in every person’s life when getting away—for a weekend, or taking an extra day off—is impossible, such as when a big deadline looms or a huge project requires an “all hands on deck” approach.  Even during these hectic times, it is possible to get some downtime as part of an individual development plan.  Never work through lunch, even during busy times.  Take at least one-half hour to get up from your desk, walk around the block or simply around the office, to recharge mentally.  If you regularly pack your lunch, do not eat it at your desk, but take it to a quiet location away from work.  Bring a book or magazine to enjoy, or simply watch people walk by while you eat.  Even if you can only spare 15 minutes from your desk, that downtime will allow you to recharge your brain and help you avoid burnout.

To create your own individual development plan, visit TSTN with their on-demand personal development training library with over 300 online training programs.  These training programs, featuring the legends of self-improvement, can help you create a self-development plan that will lead you to a more fulfilling life.  To learn more, view our SuccessCast featuring David Cook’s “The Mindset of a Champion.”  In addition, learn more about us by visiting TSTN’s website, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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Personal Development Goals: Practice Makes Perfect Part 2

personal-development-goalsOne key error many people make when working toward personal development goals is not realizing that achieving goals requires action, not just discussion about those goals.  Simply talking about personal and professional development does not actually achieve goals—action on those goals is what achieves them.  Therefore, it is important to put your action plan into practice in order to achieve any results.

Subconscious Mind

Although people follow all the rules for creating a self-development plan, along with goals to achieve them, often it’s common that their subconscious mind prevents them from actually implementing the plan.  You must be willing to change in order to be successful.  There is an old saying: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  This is especially true when it comes to personal and professional development.  You must retrain your mind that something must change in order for you to grow.

Law of Attraction

One method used to help people achieve personal development goals is the Law of Attraction.  This philosophy uses the premise that you can achieve great things through the power of your own conscious and subconscious mind, as long as you are physically able to do so.  There are many who believe that the mind controls your life destiny, and that once you overcome the negatives in your mind, you can achieve anything.  Positive thoughts and positive affirmations replace negative thoughts in this practice, providing a better outlook on life and a belief that you will succeed.

Take Care of Yourself

Once you understand that you must change yourself to reach those personal development goals, remember that taking care of yourself is also critical.  Your personal and professional goals should include healthy eating and exercise, as good health will also provide a positive outlook on life.  In addition to providing you with more energy and a more positive outlook, you will save the costs of medical expenses from a nonhealthy, stress-laden life.

For more information on personal development goals, visit The Success Training Network, which provides personal development training at your convenience 24 hours a day.  View our SuccessCast featuring Jerry Clark’s “Personal Development Training:  Think Like a Giant” to get a taste of what we offer.  Then, learn more about us by visiting TSTN’s website, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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Personal Development Goals: Practice Makes Perfect Part 1

personal-development-goalsCreating personal development goals is the easy part, but reaching those goals will be difficult if you don’t work on them.  Unfortunately, reaching goals does not come naturally to all people, but with practice, anyone’s self-development plan can be successful.

Turn Personal Development into a Habit

Just as you go to the gym regularly, or brush your teeth each morning, the steps that will help you reach your personal development goals can also become habits.  Any self-development plan requires discipline in order to reach the desired goals.  If you set a goal of better organization, create habits that lead toward organizing your life, such as filing documents as soon as you finish with them, or opening and dealing with mail as soon as it arrives.  Experts say it takes doing something ten times regularly to make it a habit, so focus on each step of your personal development goal, performing each task regularly ten times, and it will become a habit.

Be Selfless

It is very easy when working toward personal development goals to focus solely on your needs, neglecting those around you.  However, doing things for others and expecting nothing in return builds character and enhances your life, helping you lead a well-rounded and fulfilled life.

Take Risks

There is no point in creating a safe personal development goal, as that sort of goal doesn’t require you to step outside of the box.  Goals are meant to challenge, and if you always set goals that are easily attainable and don’t require significant work, they won’t help you grow as a person.  Challenge yourself and take risks as part of your self-development plan.

For more information on personal development goals, visit The Success Training Network, which provides personal development training at your convenience, 24 hours a day.  View our SuccessCast featuring Jerry Clark’s “Personal Development Training:  Think Like a Giant” to get a taste of what we offer.  Then, learn more about us by visiting TSTN’s website, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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Self-Improvement Tips: When You Don’t Have a Mentor

self-improvement-tipsAlthough having a mentor is a great way to get self-improvement tips, suggestions for your life plan or simply someone that you can bounce ideas off, for those that do not have a mentor self-growth is still possible.  Although mentors can provide information based on life experiences, every person has different needs that lead to success. Quite often, information is available from other resources, such as online videos, self-help books and self-improvement blogs.

Clearing the Path

One of the benefits of a mentor is that a mentor can clear the path for you, making it easier to follow.  However, it is possible for you to clear your own path if necessary.  One of the most important self-improvement tips is to prepare yourself for what obstacle may appear on the path in front of you, and learn ways to go around, cut down or push through those obstacles.  Focus, knowledge and perseverance will go a long way to clearing the path to self-growth.

Know Your Potential

Our minds are full of negative thoughts, especially when it comes to judging ourselves.  It is rare to find someone who always thinks “I can do this” or “I will succeed.”  Even the most successful person has doubts at some point in their career.  One crucial self-improvement tip is to know your potential for greatness.  Focus on where you may be struggling, as well as where you are succeeding, to see where you need to go.  More than what those outside our heads say about us is the voice inside our heads telling us whether we can or cannot succeed.  If you need motivation to see your potential, read a self-improvement blog or two to get some perspective on your current state.

Ask Hard Questions

One self-improvement tip that many mentors offer is asking hard questions.  A mentor points out when you are not focusing on your goal, or you are making decisions that don’t fit within your life plan.  Without a mentor, ask yourself those same hard questions.  If you have decided that Sunday is family time, but you sit down at the computer to “just check” your email, this is not fitting with your action plan to create more family time.  Ask yourself if you truly need to check that email on a day you said is dedicated to family.

For more information on self-improvement tips, visit The Success Training Network, which provides personal development training at your convenience, 24 hours a day.  View our SuccessCast featuring Jerry Clark’s “Personal Development Training:  Think Like a Giant” to get a taste of what we offer.  Then, learn more about us by visiting TSTN’s website, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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Tips on Self-Improvement: Overcoming Fear

tips-on-self-improvementFear is a normal part of our lives, and there are many tips on self-improvement that address ways to overcome those fears.  Whether you fear change, failure, or disapproval from those around you, some of the best self-improvement advice includes ways to conquer those fears as a means to helping you grow.  Fear keeps us stagnant and settled in safe comfort zones. For anyone who wants to grow and achieve, staying comfortable is not the way to accomplish things.

A Little at a Time

One of the best tips on self-improvement is to make all changes a little at a time.  Take baby steps toward facing the fear that is holding you back.  If you are afraid of heights, climbing a water tower is probably not the best way to conquer that fear.  Instead, start with a ladder, and then try climbing onto your roof, adding a little height each time until your fears are conquered.  It may take years before you are able to climb that water tower, but by taking small steps you at least begin to face your fear.

Positive Motivation

In confidence training, one of the tips on self-improvement offered is to find positive motivation.  Develop a list of reasons why making a change will improve your life.  If you are considering returning to school to enhance your employment opportunities, for example, one of the best self-improvement tips is to list all the reasons returning to school might improve your life.  Do not list the negatives, such as cost or time, but focus instead on the reasons why this is the answer to changing your life.  This empowers you to use positive reinforcement to face the financial and logistical fears many experience when they return to school.

Do Not Live in the Past

For many, fears develop due to things that have occurred in the past, whether it’s failure, injury or something that was traumatic to them.  One of the tips for self-improvement is to remember that what happened in the past does not necessarily mean it will happen this time.  Confidence training teaches us to look forward, not backward.

TSTN has an on-demand personal development training library that contains over 300 online training programs with the legends of the self-improvement industry, including tips on self-improvement.  View our SuccessCast featuring Victory Principle:  Donna Krech to get a sense of what we offer.  Then, stay in touch with us by visiting  TSTN’s website, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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