Creating Your Personal & Professional Development Practice

You’re a leader in many areas of your life – at home, within your family, at work and probably in a volunteer capacity. You’ve got a lot to keep up with and you wear a lot of hats. You prioritize with others in mind – making sure you deliver for others, meet deadlines, accommodate special requests and more. So when you see a headline like “creating your  personal and professional development practice” you probably think “I don’t have time for that!”

And while you may believe that, and have some evidence to back that up, nothing could be further from the truth. Here are 3 ways to kick-start a personal and professional development practice you will MAKE time for and that EVERYONE will benefit from.

What is a Practice?

A practice is something different than an item on your schedule or your to-do list. A practice is something you honor, appreciate and respect. A practice is something you do regularly.  A practice is focused on progress, not perfection.  A practice becomes your default.  A practice doesn’t tend to spark resistance or find its way to the bottom of your to do list in the same way as items on your to-do list can tend to.

How do you begin the shift from “to-do” to practice? One step at a time. With intention. With appreciation. With respect. Choosing a word of the year, reading and writing daily and taking a break from the digital world have been elevated to practice status in my life.

3 Ways to Kick-Start Your Personal & Professional Development Practice

1. Choose a WORD OF THE YEAR to call you up and out and into the best version of yourself. My personal favorites are Ali Edwards’ One Little Word and my coach and mentor, Christine Kane’s Word of the Year Tool. This year, my word is PRESENCE, and it serves as a focal point for my growth and development. As a result of this focus, I have moved my office, been more deliberate about where I network and which organizations I belong to.  I have focused on being PRESENT in ways that matter most.  I have it posted in lots of places. Keeping my word visible helps me to make better decisions, ask better questions and move closer to what I’m committed to accomplishing and who I’m committed to becoming.

2. Read THE MIRACLE MORNING by Hal Elrod. Carve out 20 minutes a day – either early in the morning, sometime throughout the day or at the end of your day. This book rocked my world when I first read it 3 years ago. It continues to be a practice I can take with me wherever I go. Even when I drift from it, it’s there, waiting for me to return to it, and always with great benefit! It will change the way you think about what’s possible for your morning routine (or anytime you choose). He has since authored many more for specific industries. Check them all out here.

3. UNPLUG to RECHARGE. Commit to a digital detox. Create something that makes sense for you. I recently unplugged over a weekend. I was amazed at how much time and space I enjoyed as the result of not being tethered and distracted by my phone, my ipad or my inbox. I slept better. I was more engaged and present for people in my life. I was creative. I got a lot of little things accomplished that had been lurking around on my to-do list for months. And, when I checked in on Sunday evening, as part of my weekly practice of preparing for the week ahead, I felt more refreshed and more focused. Even if you just committed to getting clear about how much time you actually spend with a screen in front of you and worked to reduce it by 25%, you’d enjoy a benefit. Here’s one woman’s declaration – it’s inspiring! UNPLUG to RECHARGE.

THE BIG QUESTION – What are you willing to do to BECOME the person, the leader you want to be?

Take Action. Be more deliberate about where, when and how you show up in the world.

Leave a comment and let me know how I can help. Need a little help with this for yourself? Within your organization? Let’s talk.

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About Whitney Bishop

Whitney Bishop is a Change Agent who creates transformative experiences for leaders who are committed to making a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. She has designed a proven process to help leaders and their teams elevate their questions, create new possibilities and take deliberate action. Are you ready to discover the power of possibility and experience breakthroughs that will help you have greater impact and influence in the world? Let’s talk.