How To Reinforce Personal Development | Alyssa J Cori: How To Reinforce Personal Development

February 24, 2021

How To Reinforce Personal Development

I didn't write last week because I got my wisdom teeth out last Monday and was still in recovery mode. It was a smooth and easy process for me, though I do still have some pain and soreness with one tooth. Hoping I'll be fully back to normal soon!
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Here are the best tips to reinforce what you learn and make sure you are implementing personal development techniques

A focus of this blog has always been personal development, but I haven't shared anything new on that front in quite some time. What I've realized is that while there are always new skills to be learned, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is reinforcement. Today I want to share how I reinforce and incorporate the knowledge and skills I work so hard to obtain and how you can too. 

How are you learning and saving information

There are a few key ways that I learn new skills: books, podcasts, and courses (check out my favorites for salespeople here). First it's important to think about how you are learning so that you can set yourself up for success with retention. Let's look at how you can capture the information you are learning in each of these categories.
  • Books. Highlighting, underlining, and writing notes in the margin/on your Kindle are all great ways to save the information you are learning from books. I also like to jot down notes in a running notebook I have to save what I learn. 
  • Podcasts. My favorite way to save information from podcasts is to create playlists to revisit. You can also write down your key takeaway and the episode you heard to revisit later. 
  • Courses. For courses I have the tendency to save notes digitally and have a Google Drive folder for all of the screenshots and notes I take. 
Once you figure out the best way to record what you learn, it's time to think about putting it into action. 

Consider the skill and how you can use it in your daily life

There are two broad categories that I focus my development on: personal and professional. For either of these areas of life, when I learn a new skill or technique I try to think of examples where I could have used it in the past and where I could use it in the future. For example, if I learn a new objection handling technique for my sales career I'll think about when I'd encountered a similar objection previously and how this new method could have produced a different outcome. Then I'll think about how I could try this new technique in the future and be on the lookout for triggers that will let me know it's an opportunity to experiment. 

The same goes for learnings for your personal life. Maybe you learned a mindfulness trick that can be used in stressful situations. Think about the past and the triggers that will help you identify the chance to try it out in the future and see what happens. 

Let people know what you're working on and ask them to call you out

This is the old accountability technique. By asking a trusted colleague or friend to be on the lookout for new behavior you are working on, you can get another set of eyes and ears helping you. It's as simple as saying, "Hey Sam, I'm working on articulating clear next steps at the ends of meetings so that we can take action on important tasks more efficiently. Can you let me know if you notice that I am not doing this?"

Have scheduled personal development review days

Since you will have a few centralized places where you are saving the information you want to reinforce (notebooks, playlists, folders), you will be able to easily review it on a regular basis. I schedule an hour the first Sunday of the month to revisit the most important skills that are applicable to my life and work. For me, that's looking over my notes from How to Win Friends and Influence People and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. I consider how good I've been at using the techniques (where it's worked and where I've missed opportunities) and where I can implement these methods in the future. 

Another great method is to create a habit tracker if there are daily or weekly skills you want to be part of your life. For example, I aim to meditate, journal, and move my body each day. There are more specific skills within those categories that I am driving at (i.e. when I journal I am trying to implement self reflection techniques and when I meditate I am trying to cut down on worry), but having a reminder on a daily basis for what you want to focus on is a great practice.

My sales professor in college said something that really stuck with me. He said that there are so many different versions of advice and personal development resources, but if you've made any study of the genre, you know what you should be doing. Now you need to act on it. This review process is what helps me ensure that I am acting on what I know. It's great to learn new approaches, especially if you're delving into a new profession or subject area, but more likely than not, you already know what you should be doing. 

How do you make the most of what you learn?

-Alyssa J

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