Personal Development

Updated: Mar 9

I've been interested in personal development for some time. I think we all have the opportunity to change a situation if we are unhappy, or rather change

ourselves so that we feel less distress and are more effective.




I joined Growth Day at the end of 2020 as I wanted an opportunity for regular 'coaching' in a group environment and wanted to be able to network with other like-minded individuals. After many years in the field of personal development, Growth Day is Brendon Burchard's new vision to share his experience and insights of being a high performance coach and make it available to the masses. On the first of the month, he goes 'live' from his site and speaks for 90 minutes on a particular topic. And that's just the first of the month. He has loads of other sessions and tools, including a Growth Day Morning Show and several co-hosts that are extremely successful in their own right. He calls it 'A masterclass on personal development'.


On March 1st (my first 'live' viewing of the event), the topic was

'Focus / Discipline / Drive' and it was chock full of great information. Brendon gave us 4 great components important in developing more discipline in our daily lives and to be more fulfilled.


1 Know your outcome or what you are after. Seek clarity. It is also important to determine how you will know that your efforts are working, prompting you to think of things that could be a measure of your success. These might be activities you accomplish during the day that are directed towards that particular goal. Sometimes even taking a small step towards your goal is to be celebrated. You don't have to wait until you are 'ready'.


2 Schedule - there is no discipline without a schedule. Brendon has developed the High Performance Planner and we use this as a daily tool to schedule the day and so much more. I highly recommend it for helping you gain clarity (see above). If you join Growth Day, you will have access to the Growth Day app, coming out this month or next which will have the High Performance Planner built in. I'll probably use both because I do like to write things down in a journal of sorts.


3 Delegate more (or don't load your schedule up with stuff that you don't love or absolutely need to do). Focus on the big 3 projects you want to work on and consider getting help with some of the other things. Also, socially engage with like-minded individuals to get the support you need to accomplish these things.


4 Reward and Reflection. Every day, at the end of the day, think about all that you accomplished, even if they were small things. This sets you up in a positive frame of mind to have a good night's sleep. Often, you can feel satisfied that you lived the day as you hoped you would and made some progress towards a goal, whether that is caring for your children, taking care of your patients, being a good friend, or working on that business plan. Reflecting at night also involves setting those goals when you first wake up (get the planner! It brings you through everything to set you up for a good day).


As I listened to these 4 goals, I was reminded that these are very similar goals we recommend to patients with chronic pain whose pain and symptoms have prevented them from living the life they desire.


These strategies above can apply to any of us but here I will individualize them for the chronic pain patient, adult or adolescent.


1 Know your outcome - acknowledge what is missing in your life and what you want or need to get back to. Here is a list I hear commonly...

- back to school / educational activities

- physical activity / sports

- being a reliable friend (not being ruled by pain which makes them leave social

activities early or prevents them from wanting to go out in the first place)

- personal hygiene (sometimes it's difficult to take a shower, wash your hair,

change out of your pajamas)

- be in charge of their life rather than their life directed by the presence of pain


2 Schedule - this is so important and many patients will say this is one of the most helpful things for them to do. They write this down in a planner; writing it down by hand is important. I think that the action of writing actually engrains it differently into your brain, makes it more personal and brings more ownership to the task.


But also have some flexibility in your schedule as sometimes it needs to change. Prioritize what you need to do but do your best to accomplish what is on your schedule. Which brings me to my next point...


3 Be choosy about what is on your schedule. Moderation is the key. Moderation is choosing what you can (and must) consistently do on a regular basis rather than a crash-and-burn mode of accomplishing (and then missing) things. These are some of the events that we all need to partake in (as adolescents).

- wake up

- eat breakfast

- morning routine (shower? brush teeth. get dressed. )

- get to school / educational time (i.e. distance learning in pandemic)

- eat lunch

- physical exercise

- relaxation time

- eat dinner

- homework time

- social time

- bedtime routine (shower? brush teeth. set stuff out for morning)

- wind-down time for bed

- in bed on time and consistent


What's NOT on this schedule? Naps. Extended digital activity (videogames, 'surfing'

internet, extensive TV or movie-watching). I learned that many of these activities

serve as a 'dopamine-dump' (coined by Dr David Amen). More about that in another

post.


4 Reward and Reflection. Those with chronic pain should keep track of their goals and their successes, even the small successes. Even if the task cannot be completed, the small accomplishments are applauded and consistent progression to full completion is expected in the long term. Moderation allows one to be present consistently. Moderation sometimes gets a bad rap but I think every successful individual moderates and conserves their energy in a way that works for them.


Often it is most difficult for the individual with chronic pain to understand how far they have come. Acknowledging those improvements and their hard work to accomplish this goes a long way and often empowers individuals to feel they can overcome their difficulties.


Do any of these resonate with you? If you treat patients (or are a patient) with chronic pain, what do you think about these recommendations to reach towards goals? I'd love to hear from you and whether you have some additional ideas about this. Reach out in the forum section to comment.