Self-improvement is about taking the time and making a commitment to invest in your future to become the best version of yourself.
It requires you to reflect on your skills and capabilities while considering how they relate to your life goals. Self-improvement supports honing new skills and helps you identify ways to build the strengths you need to survive. It stands to reason that the best teachers and educators are those who practice self-improvement skills and habits on a regular basis.
There are self-improvement support careers, which are intimately linked to education. Occupational therapists, life coaches, personal finance teachers, career planning counselors are just a few. Much like learning, while some self-improvement skills can be self-taught, they almost always benefit from the (right) help of coaches and individuals. They can offer quick help, provide experience or healthy perspectives. With the rise in remote learning, the support of these experts is within the reach of more people than ever before.
Of course, there are many courses available, each one likely to claim they are the best. How to choose? This article lists a few key steps you might want to take to get yourself on the right track towards self-improvement.
Step №1: Decide your goals
By engaging in self-improvement courses, you can develop new skills: Digital leadership, mental mastery, creative thinking, listening, speaking, coaching, personal financial stability, communication, problem-solving; I could go on. But before you start up, you need to decide: What do you want to get out of the course?
- Are you learning the course to pass the time, have fun, or other casual reasons?
- Are you finding deeper answers related to your career, calling or life’s work?
- Are you looking for something more tangible and actionable in the short term?
- Also, what specific skills are you looking to develop? What areas in your life, knowledge and competencies might make you feeling stalled or stagnated?
Of course, a coach-like help might help you figure out some of these questions. But an important first message is that they cannot do all the work for you. Get some answer sketches ready before someone comes in to help you trace them out.
Step №2: Spend some time exploring
With a clearer idea of your self-improvement skill gaps, it’s time to check out what the online educational offering has in store for you.
Take some time browsing and searching online for programs related to what you want. Many sites are offering online courses such as Udemy, Alison, LinkedIn Learning, and Coursera. Look for courses from reputable and accredited institutes on topics of self-improvement, but keep in mind that related topics could be useful as well:
- “Self exploration”
- “Personal development” or even “Personality development”
- “Learning to learn” or “Learning how to learn”
- “Self efficacy”
For the latter term, it is likely that the offer focuses more on self-paced —you might call them “isolated”— learning. Make sure if this is something you are okay with, or if you prefer more interactive or communal experiences. Even in the online realm they are available.
For each course, read descriptions and objectives thoroughly, keeping in mind the goals you set previously and whether or not they align.
Research the course instructor. Look at his/her expertise. It is possible they offer introductory workshops, open activities or even one-on-one sessions prior to the whole course.
Do not leave any questions unanswered: Price, methodology, or even small details. Some programs offer different levels, ranging from beginner to experts, for those already working in the field. You would not want to waste your time and money on a course that is either too advanced for you to follow or too basic for you to benefit from.
Step №3: Cost, duration, schedules: Decide if it’s right for you
After you have familiarized yourself with the different courses and their instructors, you need to check them against the criteria you set out. Decide which one best meets your self-improvement needs. If you find a course that meets your criteria, decide whether you have the time to join and keep up with all of them.
It is best to select the top two or three crucial courses to guide you on the road to self-improvement. If you do not think you can handle it all for the moment, you can always bookmark them to start later. An upgrade is also possible, enabling you to gain ongoing access to it.
Note, however, that every course comes with a double cost: The price, and your own time. The benefit of online learning lies in the additional flexibility, but you still need to answer: How much time and commitment will you dedicate to the course? How long can you spend learning every week? Make a reality check with your schedules and pressing deadlines. Do the calculation for how you will manage your daily activities with the studies.
Step №4: Start learning!
After researching and finding out the perfect(ish) course, you now have everything lined up. All you have to do now is getting started!
Self-improvement is not an easy task. You might feel confronted or confused at times. But you can handle it. The ability to finish a course once it is started also amounts to growth.
Do not forget to try implementing the newly acquired habits in your life, and see the differences over time. Take your homework seriously. Writing tasks have time and again shown to be beneficial to process emotions, organize thoughts and increase the effectiveness of executed plans of action. Professional service providers, like Online Writers Rating and Writing Judge and others can help with your writing projects, to turn your heart-poured words into cohesive and effective communication pieces.
To sum up
With the right kind of effort, you will be surprised by the positive results you can get, and how it transcends across the many aspects of your life. Results can be transformative if you are ready to learn and adapt into more savvy strategies as you go. But keep in mind that benefits are not always tangible, at least not right away.
In the long run, self-improvement has been known to positively effect career development, as the increased productivity, confidence, social, and communication skills learned have a clear impact in your workplace and daily living.