5 Good Habits For Self-Development

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When things are going well, we have a tendency to get complacent. But we should keep in mind that it is important that we continue developing and improving ourselves.

In the words of Walt Disney,

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

Walt Disney

Admittedly though, self-development does not come easy. But building these habits for self-development will certainly make it easier.

  • Healthy living
  • Reading
  • Learning new skills
  • Gratitude
  • Kindness

What is self-development

Self-development, defined loosely, is the process of learning new things for your own personal benefit. It is the conscious effort to improve yourself for professional advancement. Or for personal happiness and satisfaction.

According to Maslow, there is a hierarchy to people’s needs. And that, in order to advance, you first have to meet the needs of one level, and so on.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs are in the following order:

  • Physiological needs
  • Safety and security
  • Love and belonging
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-actualization

Although it does not seem to apply, because there are levels that can overlap. What remains true is that there has to be a form of self-development in order to advance. Certainly, you cannot expect to have good self-esteem without having first met your basic needs.

The process of self-development

The process of self-development starts with self-awareness. It’s knowing where you are in life. What you lack, what you need to improve upon. And then knowing what it is you want to do or the person you want to become.

Just like in a map, you first pinpoint where you are and where you want to go. And then draw out the route you are going to take in order to get to your destination.

Again, as in every road trip, before you start, you have to check your gear. What are the things you already have and what are the things you can leave behind? What are the skills and capabilities you have? Are there bad habits you need to give up?

So now that you have your gear checked, it’s time to get moving. Get that road map out and keep your eyes on the road. Focus on your path, know that it may deviate. But so long as you know your destination, you’re bound to get there.

Making self-development easier

Although often used interchangeably, self-improvement and development are distinguishable. Self-development is the process of learning or adding something new. On the other hand, self-improvement is the act of bettering that which you already know or have.

In any case, both self-development and self-improvement rely heavily on learning. Which is certainly not always easy for a person. Especially if they are past school age.

Learning becomes difficult because of the following factors:

  • Busy with work,
  • Personal stuff- relationships, starting a family, raising a family, building wealth, etcetera,
  • You think you already know stuff,
  • There is no reason for you to learn something new,
  • You lack motivation.

So with all these, how then can you make the learning process easier? Make it a habit.

Create a habit where developing and improving yourself becomes automatic. Routine. Something that you don’t have to consciously decide. You just do.

5 habits for self-development

As previously mentioned, self-development is a process. A lifelong process. And there is no time limit; as long as you are alive, you should continue to grow and improve.

Here are 5 habits you need to build to have a life of happiness and fulfillment.

Healthy living

Of course, we all know the benefits of living a healthy life. In case you didn’t, here are some benefits for you: fit physique, better mood, less chance of contracting diseases.

A healthy body and mind lead to improvement in terms of your career or business. It will provide you with optimal performance. When you perform at your best, you have a good chance of advancing in your career or expanding your business.

Healthy living includes

  • drinking more water,
  • increasing intake of fruits and vegetables,
  • getting enough sleep,
  • regular exercise, and
  • clearing the mind.


In addition to healthy living, you can also make progress by developing the habit of reading. Reading, as a matter of fact, can provide tremendous benefit to your professional and personal life.

Benefits of reading

  • Insight- reading can provide you with insight into what motivates people. And having this knowledge can help you understand and deal with different people and personalities.
  • Problem solving skills- we can learn and apply solutions to our problems. Or we can learn to avoid mistakes through the books or articles that we read.
  • Creativity and imagination- reading keeps the mind involved and brings wonder to your world. It enhances the creativity and imagination that you can contribute to your work or personal life.
  • Improves vocabulary- a skill that can be useful in communication as you work your way up the success ladder.
  • Stress relief- reading can help you relieve some of your stress. It draws your attention away from your worries or concerns. And it has the ability to calm you, which can lead to a lower blood pressure.
  • Improves empathy- empathy is the ability to feel what other people feel. It is putting yourself in their shoes. So with reading, you enhance this ability to empathize with others. And establish that connection, which will benefit both your professional and personal life.
  • Provides a different perspective- it helps to see things from a different angle. Certainly, seeing things from another point of view allows for better understanding and clarity. As a result, it will lead to effective communication and enhanced problem-solving skills. And these can be achieved through the habit of reading.

Therefore, no matter the material- books, magazines, blog articles, and so on- and whatever mode of reading you prefer- physical books or audiobooks– you can never go wrong with a reading habit.

Learning new skills

Learning new skills is important, especially in the world we live in today. A world that is highly complex, with rapidly advancing technology, full of uncertainties. And constantly changing.

In order to stay competitive and relevant, you need to add and improve your skills, technical and soft skills. And to do this, you have to make learning a daily habit. Plan and schedule a time for your learning.

For example, you may set a goal to learn something new each month or each quarter. Once you’ve decided on a schedule, break down the learning into daily chunks. And set aside time each day to work on it.

An additional tip for your learning habit to stick to is to carefully pick the new information you add. Structure it in such a way that they build on each other.

The idea is to not just force any new learning into your brain. But rather get insights that can connect to what you already know so the information gets retained. And also spur you to apply the new learning.

Another tip you can apply is to switch between learning soft and hard skills. This is to balance your learning and strengthen your curiosity muscles. Making you more adaptable and capable of learning.

Finally, you can also experiment with your learning. Find the best way that your brain absorbs and retains information. For example, you may find that you can absorb more information when learning with your peers. Or that you learn more by watching a step-by-step video tutorial rather than simply reading it.


Gratitude is the ability to recognize and be thankful for the things or circumstances in your life right now. This attitude of gratitude allows for positivity in your life. Which is an important character for self-development.

A positive attitude allows the brain to function optimally, resulting in increased energy and alertness. Resulting to increase productivity, clarity, and focus.

Here are some other reasons for you to start developing the habit of gratitude:

  • Improves mental health
  • Reduce stress
  • Boosts immune system
  • Better sleep
  • Better relationships


Kindness, undoubtedly, creates a ripple effect that will benefit your career and personal life. So by all means, be kind.

It may seem a foreign concept in an office setting but kindness involves treating your coworkers with respect. Being compassionate, understanding, and tolerant can provide numerous advantages. Not only to the recipient but also to you.

Here are some ways that being kind can help you succeed in your life and career.

  • Improves your network connection,
  • Promotes effective collaboration,
  • Promotes an environment of goodwill and decency,
  • Increases productivity and efficiency,
  • Builds better working relationships.


To summarize, self-development is the process of adding and improving skills for your own benefit. It is a process that involves knowing yourself and your abilities, identifying where you want to be. And then planning and taking steps to get there.

Although there are a number of reasons that make self-development difficult, making it a habit will decidedly make it easier.

So, for self-development here are the habits that you need to build:

  • Healthy living
  • Reading
  • Learning new skills
  • Gratitude
  • Kindness

Please share your thoughts or ideas about 5 Good Habits For Self-Development in the comments below. If you liked this article, you might be interested in these articles about habits:

9 Effective Habits For A Happy Life
How To Kick Bad Habits And Start Good Ones
Simple Formula To An Effective Habit
12 Small Habits That Can Lead To Big Changes
35 Quotes To Build A Good Habit

Outside reference:

Self Development
How To Make Learning A Habit You Enjoy
Surprising Ways Kindness Can Boost Your Career

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