Why Personal Development is Important

Loyd Mears

Personal development is a lifetime process. It’s how you judge your skills and qualities, examine your aims in life, and choose goals to reach your potential. 

The number one reason why personal development is important is that you can’t succeed in work, relationships, and creating an amazing lifestyle without developing yourself.

But, you may have unique reasons why personal development should be important for you. 

Why is personal development important for you?  

The questions you need to answer are:

  • Do you want to increase your opportunities for success and happiness? Why?
  • Do you want to succeed in your career, relationships, and lifestyle? Why?
  • Do you want to be the one in control of your future? Why?

If you need some ideas and prompts to help you think, keep reading.

Why Personal Development is Important

Here are some general reasons to make a lifelong commitment to personal development.

1. Personal Development Clarifies Your Life

Clarify Your Life Magnifying Glass

You need to think about your life and your dreams for the future to plan for personal development.

All of the thinking and planning clarifies your life and gives you a better understanding of yourself and what’s important to you.

2. Have a Greater Chance to Succeed

With written personal development goals, you have up to a 33 percent greater chance of succeeding.

A 2015 study by psychologist Gail Matthews revealed when subjects had written goals, they were 33 percent more successful than subjects who didn’t have written goals.

3. Gain Emotional and Mental Advantages

You also can expect to have emotional and intellectual benefits from your personal development goals.

Goal setting is associated with self-confidence, motivation, and autonomy (Locke & Lathan, 2006). 

Suppose you have a personal development plan with important goals and commit to them. In that case, you will grow more resilient and persistent.

As you continue working towards your goals, you become more confident and motivated to succeed.

4. Improve Your Chances for Financial Success

Financial Success

One popular area of personal development is financial competence.

Learning important finance lessons to earn, manage, save and invest money improves your ability to achieve financial success.

Personal development in finance means understanding basic accounting, investing, saving, and insurance.

You have a better chance of financial success if you have a personal development plan to improve your professional and financial skills. 

5. Live Longer and Have More Energy

Healthy and Fit Joggers

Personal development includes health and fitness. Being healthy and fit helps you have more energy to pursue your other goals. It also helps you to live longer with fewer illnesses. 

Health and fitness also include learning to handle stress better. Coping with stress well translates to better performance at work and better relationships.

What are the major categories for personal development?

There are many variations of a list for areas of personal development.

Here is a good one:

  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Relationships
  • Work
  • Finances
  • Spiritual Development

Related Article: 39 Subcategories for Personal Development

What is a personal development goal?

Personal development goals are aspirations you set to raise your character and capabilities. Setting goals for personal development involves evaluating yourself and targeting the areas you can improve to maximize your potential. To get going with personal development, create a plan with actionable steps.

If you want to create a personal development plan, here are the basic steps to follow. Break out a notebook or open a document on your digital device and get started.

How to Make a Perfect Personal Development Plan

Personal development is only important if you make a plan and work on it. Follow these basic steps to get started now.

1. Choose Your Main Goals

Personal Development Objectives

Before you can start working toward a better you, choose important and significant goals. Then, prioritize your goals.

Consider that you don’t want to set too many goals at once so that they become overpowering and block you from making any progress. Instead, choose a few personal development goals that are most important to you and start with those.

Related Resources:

Major Areas of Personal Development for Planning

How to Make an Action Plan for Your Goals

2. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Identifying your current strengths does two things. First, it highlights the skills and abilities that you have to help you reach your goals. Second, listing your strengths can also help you see the flaws that might be holding you back.

3. Set Your Key Areas For Development

After you identify your strengths, the next action is to identify the areas you need to develop to achieve your most challenging and important goals. What could keep you from reaching your main goals? If you can completely answer this question, then you’ll know the improvements you need to work on to achieve your ideal life.

4. Research The Skills You Need To Accomplish Your Goals

You need a specific set of abilities, education, or qualifications to attain each goal. Research your goals and find what is required to reach them. Then make a plan and get started making progress toward your goals.

5. Set a Clear Timetable for Each Goal

A goal without a timeframe can endlessly be delayed. It’s hardly a goal at all without a specific measure of completion and a timetable to finish. Set a clear timeframe for each goal, and you’ll be much more motivated.

6. Track Your Progression

The final step in your personal development plan is to track your progress towards reaching your goals. Tracking your progress keeps you motivated by focusing on what you’ve accomplished. Tracking also lets you know when you fall behind your planned timetable.  

Related: Goal Setting Techniques and Goal Setting Tools

Why is personal development important in the workplace?

Why Personal Development Is Important

Personal growth and development enables your employees to deliver better results and consistently reach their goals.

Having development opportunities in your workplace is attractive to prospective employees and keeps your current employees motivated, productive, and positive.

Importance of a Personal Development Plan

Your personal development plan:

  • Gives you a map to work on the steps you need to take to succeed.
  • Provides you with a framework to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • Guides you to maximize your skills and capabilities. 

It is a snapshot of where you stand at the assessment time that lets you reflect on what to do next. Begin with why you want to make a plan.

You need to objectively assess where you stand now and what you need to work on to reach your goals. You’ll need to work on skills and knowledge to get you ready to perform better in your current role and get you ready for your next move.

One purpose of this process is to examine your knowledge, skills, and other qualifications. Your self-evaluation clearly shows you potential development areas. This is a good place to begin.

Then, narrow it down to just the top 3 things you will improve during the next year. It’s best to start with a few and maybe add some more things later as you progress.

Final Word About Why Personal Development is Important

Whenever I think about putting off things that take some effort to do, I remind myself that the next year will pass no matter what I do. If I don’t get going now, another year will pass with little progress. 

Don’t waste any more time. Get started on a plan for personal development, and a year from now, you’ll be very happy you did. 

Best wishes for your future success and happiness!



Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2006). New Directions in Goal-Setting Theory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(5), 265-268. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2006.00449.x

Matthews, G. (2015). Goal Research Summary. Paper presented at the 9th Annual International Conference of the Psychology Research Unit of Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), Athens, Greece.

PDF: http://www.athensjournals.gr/mediterranean/Back-Cover-2015-02mediterranean.pdf

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