How to Train Self-Development: 7 Exercises
01 juni 2022 
10 min. read

How to Train Self-Development: 7 Exercises

There are tremendous benefits to training self-development. Improving yourself is easier than improving others. It gives you pleasure and satisfaction. It brings you everything you want in life. All you need is the drive to want to grow. How? In this article we help you on your way with 7 exercises for training self-development. 

On to sustainable (financial) success!

What is self-development? 

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Self-development refers to the conscious process of improving yourself in the various aspects of life: personal, professional,  social, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It means looking inward and assessing what needs some improvement. 

Self-development includes all the activities that promote self-realization, achievement, or well-being. 

This is not easy. It requires radical honesty with yourself. Acknowledging what facets you are less good at is not easy. And sometimes we can't even do it ourselves. This is why a 360 degree feedback (at work) is very helpful on the one hand but very confronting on the other. Nobody likes to hear that he or she is less good at something. 

How do you deal with this? Below we give 7 exercises for self-development. In the base you need a growth mindset for this. Do not see feedback and/or self-reflection as punishment, but as an opportunity to improve. You are capable of achieving anything you want. Believe in yourself.  

Why self-development is the best investment you can make

As a Happy Investor, we invest for a happier life. We invest for financial freedom, in fulfillment, in our relationships, and in fun. But the goal is to be happy. And for this, you will also want to be fully satisfied with yourself.

We could change most of the problems we have in life if we change ourselves. When we go through a constant process of self-development, we can start to feel satisfied with life and ourselves.

Self-development allows you to keep moving forward

Have you ever felt stagnant? Maybe you wanted to achieve something but had no motivation to do it, or you had it but didn't know what to do. 

The training of self-development gives us all of the skills that we need to keep growing. It allows you to see what you need to change and what you need to do to get where you want to be. When life seems confusing and we don't know what to do, we need to start looking inward. 

This is the source for personal development.

Self-development brings you fulfillment 

Why is there people that have money, friends, family, and health but still feel empty inside? So many famous millionaires have committed suicide. They had all they wanted, but what was missing?

Self-development is holistic. When you go through a process of self-development, you begin to understand that happiness and self-realization do not come from external circumstances. They have to originate from the inside.

Self-development makes you find balance

Self-development involves all aspects of your life. For example, you can't be completely okay if your body is ill. Or you could be fine in terms of physical health, but you are mentally exhausted. Self-development involves assessing each aspect of our lives and seeing what needs some improvement and where we have to put more work. This brings balance.

Self-development helps you to achieve your goals

The biggest obstacle between you and your dreams is yourself. 

It may be hard to examine ourselves and discover things about ourselves that we don't like. We all have negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, emotional dependence, bad habits, and toxic patterns. Nevertheless, when we train our self-development skills, we can change.

And when you change what you need to change, nothing interferes between you and where you want to be.

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7 exercises to train self-development

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We know that training self-development is important. But how do you train it in a fun and effective way? Below we offer 7 exercises for training self-development.

1. Be honest with yourself

To train self-development involves assessing what we need to change in our life. And If we think we are already perfect, how can we become better? Or if we find excuses to change, how could we have a happier life? 

Examine yourself. Observe your thoughts and emotions. Try to understand the hidden reasons behind why you act a certain way. We all have subconscious patterns that manifest through our thoughts and actions. 

Try this exercise to train self-development:

Make a list of all the things about yourself that you could improve. Choose the three most important ones and plan 30 minutes each day to work on them.

2. Nourish your body

The foundation of self-development is your body. How could you do anything if your body is not working? That's always the place to start.

Are you eating healthy, natural, balanced food? How are your kidneys? And your liver? Are they working as they should? Are you exercising? Are you sleeping enough? Are you resting? 

Always consider your body. No matter how important that goal is, never sacrifice your health because of it. It is not worth it. 

Try this exercise to train self-development:

Try to spend a week eating a healthy diet, exercising and getting enough rest, and see how you feel.

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3. Become a great communicator

Social skills are one of the most important self-development skills. Building meaningful relationships involves engaging in meaningful conversations. 

For that, you need to be able to communicate yourself. Most problems between people happen because of a lack of good communication. Not saying what you need (or not doing it properly), blaming the other person, or talking about problems instead of solutions are some of the problems you may experience.

And, of course, sometimes we forget about truly and intentionally listening to the other person. We listen only to respond, and we filter everything the other person says and compare it to our experiences.

For example, let's say someone is telling you they had a problem, and you answer: "wow, the same thing happened to me a few months ago, I will tell you what to have to do." Sounds familiar?

If we want to become great communicators, we need to become great listeners.

Try this exercise to train self-development:

Next time you talk to someone, make sure you sincerely listen to them. While they are talking, don't think about anything, listen. Once it's your time to answer, try to be fully conscious of what you say. Don't answer mechanically. And try to avoid talking about yourself unless the other person asks you to.   

4. Be clear about your goals

How could you achieve anything if you don't know what you want? Vague goals won't take you far. Be clear on what you want and how you will do it. 

Try this exercise to train self-development:

Make a list of all the things you want to achieve. Now, break down each goal into smaller goals that you could achieve monthly, weekly, and daily. Finally, schedule time to work on each goal every day and commit to that schedule. 

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5. Organize yourself

Imagine that someone is walking and starts throwing stones on the road. A few steps later, they trip over those same stones.

We do the same thing when we want to achieve anything, but we are not organized. We create obstacles for ourselves that won’t take us far.

Many of those obstacles have to do with organization. For example, when we don't organize our time, we never have room for self-development. Or when we don't organize our resources, and we never have money. It also includes things as simple as having a messy bedroom. 

Try this exercise to train self-development:

At the beginning of each day, think about what aspects of your life need some organization. Maybe your thoughts, emotions, relationships, time, money, or living space. If you can, try to organize it before you do anything else.

6. Spend time alone

We all need time alone to reflect, understand aspects of ourselves that we couldn't if we were in company, or simply let our minds rest. 

Alone time is great for creativity or when you feel lost in life. It is an essential part of self-development.

Try this exercise to train self-development:

Spend some time alone each day. Avoid all distractions. Turn off your cell phone, go to a silent place, and don't do anything. Use the time to reflect, rest or enjoy the present.

7. Train your mental muscles

It is very illustrative to think about your mind as a muscle you have to train. "Mental fitness" requires you to have control over your mind. You can achieve this through practices such as meditation and mindfulness.

In addition, you want to literally train the brain. Several psychological studies have shown that our brains are plastic. This means that you can develop them. Thanks to dedication and training, you can make certain brain areas grow. This happens, for example, when you read an enormous amount of knowledge books. Or when you do balance exercises (like yoga) every day. And also when you make 100 cold calls every day. 

Personal growth can literally be trained. 

Try this exercise to train self-development:

Go to a museum, a park, or a beach and try to be as present as possible. Let yourself immerse in the present. Allow your mind to pause the internal monologue for some minutes. Apply active meditation and learn to focus on the present.

Also, try to read a book every day. It’s surprising how much you can learn.

About the author
Happy Investors is all about your long-term growth, both financially and in personal development. We write about long-term investing: stocks, real estate, crypto, and alternative investments. Grow your life. Become a Happy Investor!
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