When you invest in your personal development you take responsibility for your life, your circumstances and your happiness. You become the agent, the doer, and the affecter.

If, on the other hand, you sit back and don’t make the effort to take charge of your life you set yourself up for events to affect you. If you’re unprepared and not proactive you will end up reacting to, rather than affecting what is going on around you.

It would be like being on a boat that springs a leak. If you haven’t prepared for the possibility, you’ll be scrambling around bailing out water, panicking, and hoping you don’t sink. If, however, you had anticipated this could happen, you have the proper tools handy, you fix the leak, secure your vessel and proceed with your journey.

Two very different responses to the same obstacle.

So it is with life. Nothing is guaranteed or always goes smoothly as planned. Not your job, your relationships, your health or anything else. Given that uncertainty, in order to make your life work, you have to plan, prepare and bring your best game (the best you).

Where do you start?

Once again you start with yourself . You invest in your personal development and work on being the best that you can be.

When you do, everything else comes together in seemingly effortless fashion - your relationships, your work, your home life, and your over-all sense of well-being. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges and obstacles. There always are. It just means that you are better equipped to handle them.

How do you go about it?

Devise an action plan or checklist for your personal development. It can be flexible and serve as a guide or outline for what you want to accomplish. Write it in journal or chart format so you can monitor your progress.

For example:

Under Health
*Will incorporate a new exercise into routine. (If you don’t have a routine this is a good time to start one.)
*Will cut down on fat/food intake and try eating a new fruit or vegetable each month.
*Will drink an extra glass of water each day.
*Will go to bed a half hour earlier.
*Will cut down on junk food.

Under Intellectual Development
*Will read a new book each week (biweekly or monthly).
*Will go to the art gallery, theatre or symphony/concert once a month.
*Will listen to a new musical genre or artist.
*Will read about a different philosopher or literary figure once a month.

Under Emotional and Spiritual
*Will learn to meditate, or learn a relaxation or deep breathing technique.
*Will take time for myself to rejuvenate, contemplate and connect.
*Will make a point of spending some quality time for family and friends.
*Will visualize and use affirmations to get into the positive thinking habit.

You can devise any kind of plan or schedule that suits your tastes and needs. The important part is to make a conscious decision to actively engage in personal development. Always be willing to stretch yourself, keep an open mind and learn new things.

Benefits of Investing in Your Personal Development

You will:

* Be proactive and affect change rather than merely react to or be at the mercy of it.
* Enjoy a sense of mastery and accomplishment.
* Be better able to maintain control of your reactions and emotions.
* Better clarify and define your goals.
* Live life more consciously, purposefully and deliberately.
* Be more focused and centered.
* Acquire more self-awareness, self-trust and self-confidence.
* Be more genuine and true to yourself .

Take the time to invest in yourself by developing all aspects of your
being – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
To be the best you can be is to live life to the fullest!

Author's Bio: 

Z.Hereford is the author of '9 Essential Life Skills - A Guide For Personal Development and Self-Realization.' Vist her website at www.essentiallifeskills.net
where you will find many helpful articles, tips and inspiring quotes on personal development.