"Personal development is a much used and much maligned term. It is about taking the time and making the commitment to invest in your greatest resource –you. When you put the effort in to developing yourself, the rewards are amazing. Many people are put off by personal development because the results are not always measurable. However, the greatest achievers in life know that the key to success is the ability to manage yourself in a variety of situations. That ability comes through personal development." - Carthage Buckley
As many of you may have noticed, our rules for 2015 changed slightly and one of the new rules included the introduction of a new habit: Personal Growth. You may be wondering what the point is and why we feel it is important to include as one of our habits. I want you to know that this is not a decision that was made lightly and it is something we've been discussing and contemplating for a LONG time now. We noticed during the January challenge that a few of our participants really struggled to earn these daily points and some missed out on them all together. This made us wonder if maybe we weren't clear enough about our vision for this habit and why we feel so strongly that it is essential to a healthy life, as well as the countless ways you could fulfill the requirements and earn those points every single day. I'm hoping to clear this up for you today and inspire you to not just get these points out of obligation, but to get excited about earning them!
First - our why. Why did we decide to include Personal Growth as a habit (a high value habit, in fact)? In a nutshell - We firmly and whole heartedly believe that you cannot change your body or your life without changing your head first. It is the most crucial and difficult aspect of any big change - convincing yourself that you CAN do it. We've tried on multiple occasions to teach this principle through weekly meditation bonuses, but ultimately, we felt like it just wasn't enough. It needed to be something that was addressed every single day. You could compare it to the water habit. Trying to chug a challenge's worth of water (3,584 oz) in one week (512 oz/day) would literally kill you. In order to experience the benefits of water, it has to be done on a daily basis in healthy amounts. Trying to grasp the benefits of personal growth in a week's time may not literally kill you, but it rarely makes a difference in life-long change because it is so short-lived. In order to experience the benefits of personal growth, it has to be done on a daily basis for a reasonable amount of time.
We know that the "emotional" aspect of losing weight or building a life filled with healthy habits is the most challenging. Overcoming the mental and emotional issues that plague each and every one of us in not simple, and it can be a very touchy subject for many. We want to be clear that our vision for this habit DOES NOT include you sitting cross-legged with your fingers pinched together while breathing heavy and muttering, oooooommmmmmm! Personal Growth does not mean meditation. It can - if that's what you're into, but for the majority of us, that's just not appealing. If this is what has kept you from embracing the Personal Growth habit, fear no more - you are free from the horrors of forced meditation.
So what can you count? Ahhh...that's where things get a little more complicated. We REALLY don't want to create a list of do's and don'ts to earn these points. We know that not everyone is the same and some of you will take this opportunity to grow spiritually through prayer, meditation or religious study, while others may use the time to broaden their secular knowledge or develop a talent. We have purposely chosen to leave this habit open to your interpretation. We don't want to tell you what to study or how to spend this time. It should simply be purposeful
The point of the Personal Growth habit is to invest in you and to grow from the knowledge that you gain, and there are many benefits you can gain from investing that time. I think this article gives a fabulous description of the some of these benefits. I would highly encourage you to read it (it's short), especially if you're just not sold on the idea of Personal Growth.
If time is your concern, take a look at your schedule. Do you truly not have the time or are you simply not making the time? If you're stuck on a treadmill or elliptical or in the car or at the doctor's office, that's an easy opportunity to use your smartphone or tablet for something besides Sudoku, Candy Crush or Facebook. Spend that "stuck" time researching and learning about something you're interested in. Or download a motivating pod cast or an inspiring book to your device and listen to it while you fold laundry, drive to/from work or run. We all have 10 minutes sometime during the day that can be reallocated if we choose to make Personal Growth a priority.
If you're just not sure what to do during this time, get creative. We are not limiting you to praying or listening to podcasts. You can work on developing a talent, have "quiet time" with yourself, write in your journal, study something you're interested in. This time is personal and should be spent investing in a better you. Please, don't take this habit lightly or try to cut corners. You really are only cheating yourself.
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