Personal Development

Personal development is equally important as professional development. Learning a new skill to advance your career can seem easily obtainable, yet devoting time to personal growth may seem less important or even a selfish use of time. Personal development has many forms yet is unique to everyone and should never be ‘finished’. Personally, one should strive to discover, evolve, and grow for their entire life.

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself and/or evolve and it should never be ‘finished’.
Discovery and personal development take time, love, growth, and more time. Please be patient while taking action and nourishing your unique process. Set your pace and give yourself permission to dedicate time to your personal growth without feeling guilty. Please set goals with intention and dedicate time to self-care.
You are in control of how you show up for the world. Showing up as your authentic self is just as important as being career-ready.

Skill training actually becomes more effective once you acknowledge your boundless potential and true self-awareness. Confidence is not arrogance. Confidence is knowing what you are capable of and taking action and trusting each decision you make will take you closer to your future self; the self you are capable of being and the ability to continue supporting it.

A form of personal development is self-care. Through self-care, you present the best version of yourself to the world. Evolving into the best version of yourself encourages growth in other areas and gives you the clarity to focus and define the steps needed. Self-evaluation will help you discover where you currently are and where you want to grow.

I encourage you to set goals that help you discover your true authentic self and set a consistent self-care routine that will help you explore your self-discovery. There are several ways to take action toward personal development, here are a few:

  • Journaling
  • Define your core values
  • Create your own personal mission statement (and visualize your future)
  • Explore hobbies
  • Read
  • Attend workshops
  • Network through clubs or your local library (events and small groups)
  • Make time to meditate and spend some time alone
  • Share your efforts and/or goals with a trusted friend

I have written posts to help assist in the goal-setting categories and process including defining your goal, but if you have any specific questions please reach out and ask! Comment here or email me at successencourager@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading & following! Connect with me on Instagram for daily inspirational quotes & tips.

The Enrichment version of my Year in the Life of… goal-setting planner is now available and currently 25% off!! Click on the link to order a copy for yourself and/or get one for a friend. Once ordered please reach out to me and tell me what your current goal focus is!

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Photo via unsplash.com

Nourish inwardly

Self-care and self-love are essential for overall wellbeing. So many goals and resolutions revolve around the self, yet the commitment is simply not made a priority. The most important goals are focused on nourishing inwardly, mental and physical health, expanding skills and learning new ones, and being happy with one’s choices and lifestyle.

Demands from jobs, family, responsibilities, budget, etc. take precedence over goals related to ‘self’. Yet, to truly devote time, focus, care and attention to loved ones, careers, financial and other responsibilities we should first acknowledge the importance of self-care, self-love, and committing to our personalized unique goals.

For example – A goal focused on health that includes dedicating time to walking or other physical exercises, better-eating habits, and meditation is not a selfish goal. Creating blocks of time to exercise and meditate and budgeting for healthier meals will result in a better whole self and actually allow more energy and focus to be dedicated to responsibilities. Better health is a form of self-care that not only results in feeling better but also presents an opportunity to set other goals and be more present at work and/or home.

Another example might be setting a goal to expand your education whether through formal class settings to obtain a degree or certificate or self-paced skill training. The time needed to complete this goal may seem like it takes away from another responsibility, but focusing on the ‘why’ and the results will remind you of the importance of expanding your skills and/or education and learning opportunities. The end result may lead to a promotion, career change or possible entrepreneurial opportunity to start your own business. The self-enrichment gained can result in numerous opportunities. The time dedicated to this goal could result in having more ‘free’ time in the future, more income opportunities or a career you enjoy more than your current one.

Your goal is unique to you, your reasons why is unique, and only you can commit to your personalized goal and set your unique pace.

  • Please pause.
  • Slow down and organize your schedule, your time, and your unique focus.
  • Prioritize tasks and goals to nourish inwardly so you can embrace the calm and growth internally that leads to encouraging others to do the same.

I have written posts to help assist in the goal-setting categories and process including defining your goal, but if you have any specific questions please reach out and ask! Comment here or email me at successencourager@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading & following! Connect with me on Instagram for daily inspirational quotes & tips.

The new Enrichment version of my Year in the Life of… goal-setting planner is now available and currently 25% off!! Click on the link to order a copy for yourself and/or get one for a friend. Once ordered please reach out to me and tell me what your current goal focus is!

 

nourish inward

Setting unique goals

Sometimes it is difficult to set a goal that truly fits into your unique lifestyle and expections. When setting a goal it is essential to ensure the goal aligns with your personal desired outcome. Defining an area of your life you want to enhance or create more time for helps create an action plan that works for you and your pace.

Support from others can encourage success, but please remember your goal is unique to you even if a friend has the same type of goal, most likely your ‘why’ and process are different.

Your goals, and the reasons why you set those goals, are unique to you. You control your process, pace, and dedication toward your goal success. Please do not compare your goals, self-care needs, or process to anyone else. You are uniquely you and your process and accomplishments are part of your own self-discovery.

Goals should encourage growth and even challenge you, but start with what works for you and your current routine then evolve as time passes and after you begin to accomplish certain steps.

Celebrate every decision, every accomplishment, and your unique process as it develops.

What area/goal are you currently focused on?

Thank you so much for reading and following!

Find me on Instagram (successencourager) for daily encouraging tips, quotes, and announcements!

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Defining uniqueness

How do you define or discover your uniqueness? If we are all unique individuals and have our own personal journey then what magic formula can ‘fit us all’?

There is no magic formula for becoming the best version of yourself. You do not need my permission to evolve into your highest self. You simply need your permission and self-love. Love yourself so much you dedicate time to your joys; learn to listen to your inner voice and take action to encourage it.

There are so many learning styles, goals, definitions of happiness and processes to create a future that is unique to each of us. By empowering ourselves to discover our personal uniqueness and encourage others to discover theirs, we define what being valued looks and feels like. We not only respect the differences we embrace and encourage them.

The formula is unique for each of us, yet requires one common thread – – – Time…dedicated time. Acknowledge what completes you, what brings you joy, what burns inside of you and dedicated time to your journey; encourage your uniqueness.

What is your unique process to focus on your goals?

Also, I’m excited to announce that my goal focused journal planner is now complete & available in small batch printing!!! This planner even has a section to record your weekly recap, current read, daily focus (wellbeing, spirit, etc.), and is simply published so you can personalize it for your own unique journey! My excitement about seeing a completed goal in print form is beyond measure and my gratitude to all of those encouraging me and supporting me extends to all visiting my sites! The planner is currently 15% off.

Questions? Comment below or email me – successencourager@gmail.com

How to be you

The simple phrase ‘be you‘ can seem quite complicated. It’s a phrase, mantra, and question that is asked so often and encouraged in daily social media quotes. I am a huge fan of the phrase, it’s simple to say….yet it’s a bit more time consuming to define. I have had several conversations with several personality types that struggle with this ‘simple’ phrase, including myself.

So just how do you ‘be you‘?

  • Goal-setting is unique to you. I have talked about a week-long process for goal defining and setting in past posts and strongly encourage self-discovery through goal-setting. To set a goal means you realize what you want to accomplish and what will bring you joy. Even if you do not have a concrete action plan in place exploring what makes you happy is a huge accomplishment and process. Defining yourself through unique goals brings you closer to being your authentic self.
  • Focus on self-care. I believe goals and self-care go hand and hand. Self-care is acknowledging your mental, emotional, and physical well-being need attention. Overall health and happiness are keys to being yourself.  When you embrace the areas in your life that need your attention, you can ‘be you’ comfortably. Part of self-care that encourages ‘being you’ is meditation and focusing on your thoughts; being mindful.
  • Surround yourself with a supportive circle. Ask yourself – Who balances with me? Who supports me and invites my support? Does this circle embrace and encourage your unique self? Do you encourage uniqueness in return? Find a support circle that is a good balance of a unique group.
  • Learn. Expand your knowledge by researching and learning about what you find of interest. Study and perfect certain hobbies or professional development. I encourage you to reach beyond your comfort zone and learn something new as often as you can. Learning helps you express your uniqueness and builds confidence.

There are several tips shared via articles, blog posts, social media discussion boards, etc. I think the four above sum up the basics and are realistic to incorporate without getting too time-consuming or complicated. I’d love to hear how you focus on being you! Send me an email or comment below!

Also, I’m excited to announce that my goal focused journal planner is now complete & available in small batch printing!!! This planner even has a section to record your weekly recap, current read and daily focus (wellbeing, spirit, etc.)! My excitement about seeing a completed goal in print form is beyond measure and my gratitude to all of those encouraging me and supporting me extends to all visiting my sites! The planner is currently 25% off.

Questions? Comment below or email me – successencourager@gmail.com

 

your unique goal

 

Why do you train?

I’m not a runner, I’ve never trained for a marathon, but I have trained for presentations, content for short stories, job interviews, and learning new skills. Although, it’s all different forms of training a decision to accomplish a goal has to still be made. Every runner in a marathon makes the same decision to train and run the best they can. The reason behind that decision varies though. The ‘why’ behind the decision to train for a marathon is similar to the why behind any decision to focus on a goal.

Your ‘why’ is your motivation.

Maybe you want to travel, advance in your career, change careers, move out of state (or the country), spend more time with your family…whatever your ‘why’ is…use that to motivate your action behind focusing on your goal.

A goal to write a book, finish a degree, learn a new program at work, get healthier or accomplish something that will bring you pure joy deserves as much focus and training as one does for an intense marathon.

Once you define the goal you want to focus on you can start to train.

  • Dedicate time to it daily
  • Celebrate accomplishments
  • Accept the fact that you deserve to run your race your own unique way (for your unique reason why)
  • Even when it seems tough, keep going
  • Remind yourself of your ‘why’
  • Remember setbacks are not the same as quitting
  • Keep going, keep training, keep accomplishing

So… how do you train…why are you training?

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Nick Morrison via Unsplash.com

Why Not Wednesday

If you are not sure what a “Why Not Wednesday” means, you can read about it and the rest of the week here. It’s an exciting opportunity to start working toward a goal you want to accomplish!

After several conversations with friends and colleagues, one main topic is a desire for a better morning routine. So let’s focus on some details.

Why Not Wednesday is a perfect day to define what a perfect morning routine would look like. It might look something like one of these:

  • I want to read 10 pages of a book each morning and meditate for 15 minutes without interruption. Why – Because I have a long book list and have not been able to find time to finish a book in a long time and it brings me joy. Meditation will help me decrease my stress. Once my stress is less I can focus on more goals!
  • I want to meditate and do yoga before work each morning. Why? I feel stiff and tired most days. I think meditation will help clear my mind and yoga will help me relax and stretch my muscles.
  • I want to wake up in time to make a healthy breakfast before I leave for work. Why? I don’t eat as healthy as I’d like once I leave my home. Eating at home will be healthier, cheaper and provide a creative outlet since I love to cook!
  • I want to start walking in the mornings with my spouse. Why? We have talked about it for a long time, but never committed to actually doing it. I know we will enjoy the quiet time together and once we feel healthier we can focus on other exercise goals and maybe even train for our first marathon together!
  • I want to write 10 pages of the novel that I have put off for way too long. Why? It’s quiet in the morning and I could easily get up 30 minutes earlier and only write, no edits, just write every day. Once I finish my draft, I can edit and submit it to an agent!
  • I want to paint the sunrises in the mornings. Why? Painting has always relaxed me and mornings are quiet and offer nature in a beautiful light. Once I have a few finished I might try to sell them at a local craft show!

See how each “I want” is followed up with a why? And how some of those lead to other goals. That is how it should be…one goal should inspire others!

Why Not is the first step (it’s that simple!). You don’t have to figure it all at once. Have you defined a goal today? Congratulations! Share it below! I encourage you to start tossing around ideas for Tackle it & Transform Thursday.  

 

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Realistic daily steps for goal setting

I want to share my realistic daily steps for setting & accomplishing goals, it also works for starting a new positive habit, because it’s time to focus on your goals!

Anyone can use this method…

  • If you have a goal you are currently working toward & want to stay focused
  • If you want to start a new goal or positive habit, but unsure how to start
  • Or if you are searching for something meaningful to dedicate time to

The steps I’m sharing with you are ones that you can put into place each day and each week whether just starting a new goal or habit or wanting to stay focused on a current one. Each day allows an opportunity to take a step toward the future you want, the goal you want to accomplish or the new positive habit you want to start. These easy to follow steps make it easy to add to your daily routine and you can use this over and over with any goal or habit!

You can start on any day, but I like utilizing Wednesday as a start day…why? It’s a good mid-week point, but I don’t really have a scientific reason why! There is no right or wrong day to start working toward accomplishing your goals! You can adjust this as needed.

Let’s get started!

  1. Why not Wednesday – Define what you want to focus on, something you are passionate about or confirm what you keep thinking about, but have not quite committed to yet. Define it in one or two sentences and include at least one ‘why’. Example – I want to focus on my health and feel better. Why? – So, I can be more active with my family or participate in more outdoor activities, run a marathon or travel more. Once committed you can move forward with steps and actions toward it. Even if it’s a year or five year goal, defining your goal or habit is the most important step. You can set aside time in the morning, over lunch or in the evening to focus, but don’t overthink this definition, most likely you have a main goal in mind. If you find yourself unable to focus on just one, write down a few and then be honest with which one you are most excited about and focus on that one this week. If you need help focusing please contact me and I can help with some tips!
  2. Tackle it & Transform Thursday – How will this goal or new habit transform me or my future? What is my expected outcome? Envision your goal or habit in motion (tackling it), how do you want it to transform you personally? Example – When I’m healthier I can train for that marathon my sister and I always wanted to run together. When I’m healthier I can spend more active time with my spouse, children, grandchildren, friends…When I’m healthier I can travel more and go hiking. When I’m healthier I can feel better and start another new goal or habit.
  3. Focus on it Friday – Research tools and resources needed to accomplish your goal or start your new habit. Do you need to study or complete certification to accomplish it or using the health example above – I plan on exchanging my fast food breakfast each morning with a smoothie so I’m going to buy a blender or get mine out of storage. I plan on incorporating more steps into my day and want new shoes or a step tracker. Maybe you want to join a gym or find a walking partner. Discover what you need to start your goal, again don’t overthink it, just what you need to get started then adjust as needed as you grow and succeed. Keep the list short for now.
  4. Celebrate successes on Saturday and Sunday – I encourage you to spend some weekend time celebrating successes on Saturday and Sunday! Review what you have already accomplished; confirm your mindset toward your goal, envision how your future will look with the goal or new habit in place, seek out at least one resource and get ready for Make it Monday!
  5. Make it Monday – Create a list of a few steps that will get you started. I suggest a to-do list with about three steps, but no more than five to start. Example – Purchase groceries to take for lunch instead of eating out. Walk each morning or evening for 30 minutes. Make a smoothie for breakfast each morning and be more conscious of meals and snacks. Cook at home at least 3 nights a week. The steps you choose are ones that are simple to incorporate into your personal unique lifestyle. Make these steps realistic for you and don’t make all the changes at once. Add in other steps once you are comfortable with these; once the to do list becomes a comfortable part of your routine.
  6. Try it Tuesday – Try the to-do list you created. Put action behind your goal defining and research! Start turning your goal or new habit into reality. Celebrate the week of work you have already put in and keep going! Add your to-do list to your daily routine! Don’t get upset if you miss a day or something comes up, just pick up where you left off, just don’t quit!

You can use this same method to track your success, stay focused and motivated by adjusting as follows –

  • Why not – confirm your goal instead of defining it, confirm why you are focused on this particular goal/habit
  • Tackle it – How is this goal or new habit transforming me? What outcome am I experiencing?
  • Focus on it –  Are the tools and resources I’m using working for me? Do I need other tools or resources, what would make this more productive?
  • Successful Saturday and Sunday – Continue celebrating accomplishments, fitting in additional time for your goal or habit as time allows. Share successes with friends or track online or in a journal. Confirm your mindset toward your goal and accomplishments.
  • Make it – Keep creating a weekly list of what you need to accomplish your goals. Once that list is a comfortable routine, add to it. I suggest each weekend creating your weekly list to stay focused.
  • Try it – Stay focused on your to-do steps and incorporate new ones as you feel comfortable. Stay active toward your goal or habit! Remember, celebrate those successes!!!

I suggest keeping a weekly calendar or journal to record your steps and celebrate your accomplishments! Join me in the daily journey with doable steps, tips & encouragement! Share your progress below or email me at successencourager@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading! For more details about services, tips and professional experience check out my ABOUT ME page!

Categorize your goal

Goals are easier to focus on when you can categorize them and have a ‘why’. The ‘why’ is what you envision your future being once the goal is accomplished. I have listed some categories below.

For example learning to decorate cakes could fit into the Spirit category as a hobby or creative outlet. The ‘why’ could be to personalize a celebration cake for a birthday, shower, special anniversary or as a positive outlet since you already enjoy baking and want to expand that skill. This goal could even turn into a new full-time or part-time career.

Once you have a category and a ‘why’ it is easier to prioritize and focus on the steps. Using the example above, decorating cakes, the first step might be to research cake decorating classes, estimating cost, timeframe and what supplies might be needed. Another step could be saving for the training, purchasing supplies and organizing your home so you can hone your skills after the training. A future step might be researching the requirements for starting a small business or working for a baker.

Prioritizing and accomplishing a goal can encourage you to explore more and offer endless possibilities.

Well-beingMental and physical health; stretching, walking, meditation, conscious eating, plenty of water. Ask yourself – What are my health goals, what are my limits?

SpiritSelf-care, gratitude journaling, positive affirmations, create, hobbies. Ask yourself – What brings joy and peace? What nourishes me?

Circle – Mutual relationships that allow you to give and receive support; family, friends, work friendships, recovery groups, clubs or hobby groups. Ask yourself – Who balances with me? Who supports me and invites my support?

ProductivityDaily routine; work, volunteering, care giver, budgeting, learning. Ask yourself – What is my current daily schedule (define it). What do I want my future schedule or routine to look like and consist of?

ENDED – The May giveaway announcementI’m offering a FREE goal categorizing session to the first five people to contact me that are interested in creating a beginner’s goal priority. We will work through a few questions via email focusing on a goal you’d like to make a priority with suggested first steps. Email me if interested! successencourager@gmail.com 

Thank you so much for reading! What goal category is your focus right now?

 

Professional Development Value

Professional development is key to not only successfully performing your career choice but also for enjoying the position! Continuing to learn new skills and enhance the ones you have helps you be more productive but it also brings about a sense of pride and creativity. There are several professional development opportunities available through articles, books, webinars, online courses, conferences and peer to peer communication and sharing resources.

Some resources are free or very low costs while conferences or online training can seem costly and require justification. When talking with other assistants, from a variety of industries, the cost is always a concern.

A simple justification is that the best way to find relevant resources is by attending a conference. Last year, when I attend the Accelerated Assistant conference by Office Dynamics I learned so many great tips over those four short days from the professional speakers and during the team activities. Joan Burge shared her experience and resources with the group daily. The learning did not stop there though! After returning to work, I followed up with subscribing to a few of the newsletters from the speakers and read their blog posts, which offered time-saving and organizational tips and highlighted apps and programs. I shared those sites and posts with my coworkers which offered several additional communication and learning opportunities.

So, how do you justify travel and conference fees? I did a lot of research before attending the conference including costs, speaker topics, and experience, balanced with team and networking opportunities and chose the best conference for my needs and learning expectations. I typed up a justification form to present to my manager. I highlighted several topics of interests and the speaker’s credentials and experience, relating the topics to several of my yearly performance goals.

I also detailed the costs; hotel, registration, and flight. Breaking down the total cost of an average conference which is about $2600.

  • $217 a month
  • $50 a week
  • $7.12 a day

That is a bargain for continued education that would provide resources for me to be even more productive!

Luckily, I have a professional and respected working relationship with my manager. When we met and went over the document and talked more about the conference and what was offered his only additional request was that I present my experience with coworkers after I returned. About two months after the conference I completed a presentation to about 20 of my coworkers. I shared my experience, discussed the temporary support team I had worked with daily at table 28, shared websites of the speakers, newsletter links, and books that were suggested.

Most conferences detail the agenda and speaker information while providing justification letter templates or suggested content for meeting with managers to help you through the process. Office Dynamics offers this information as well. I highly recommend attending a conference to open resource doors, to continue your education about your industry and position and to learn time-saving tips that will benefit you long after you return to work!

Almost six months after attending the conference I still utilize resources and relationships I formed during that training. I continue to share tips with my team that I receive via weekly newsletter subscriptions, blog post readings, etc. I’m also looking forward to attending this year’s conference – The Stellar Assistant. With all new speakers, additional content, learning labs and unlimited online access to the videos, participant guide, and bonus materials. I’m anxious to share even more reading suggestions, tips and speaker websites with my team!

What are some of your favorite professional development resources? What books do you suggest?

A few of my favorite reads are; Tribes by Seth Godin, just about anything from Wallace Wattles, Permission to live the Big Life by Joan Burge, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, A Beautiful Questions by Frank Wilczek, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, there are too many to name!

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions about a sample justification letter or how to talk with your manager about professional development opportunities please contact me and I’d be happy to share more of my experience!

 

Read more about me and the professional services I offer on the ABOUT ME Page.