online personal developmentPhoto by Brooke Cagle

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The phrase ‘personal development’ may not mean much to you. Though you’re sure to have heard of its synonym, ‘self-help’.

Whichever term you use, it’s a booming part of the wellness industry. The market is expected to be worth $56.66 billion by 2027.

It’s such a vast industry that it can feel overwhelming. Where exactly do you start if you want to improve yourself and uplevel your life?

Online personal development offers a good starting point for beginners. Read on to learn more.

What Is Personal Development?

Personal development is an umbrella term that covers a range of activities. They all have a general goal in common.

That is to say, they’re all designed to help you become a better version of yourself.

It exists along a spectrum. Psychological work sits at one end, with more spiritual activities at the other. One person might hire a life coach, and another might learn to read tarot cards.

They’re both valid approaches depending on the person’s interests and preferences.

You might decide to undergo personal development in a particular area. That could be upgrading your money mindset or building confidence.

Or you may choose to work more broadly. You could develop different areas like business goals to create a ‘new you’.

Different people have different opinions on personal development. Some see it as essential for everyone. Others think that only those working on improving mental health should do it.

In reality, everyone has something they want to improve about themselves.

The Downside

The problem with personal development is actually the person trying to develop themselves.

No amount of books, courses, or coaching programs can make the difference you want to see. You can only see the result of your development by doing the work.

That’s why self-help books are sometimes nicknamed ‘shelf-help’. People buy these books and they may even read them. Yet they don’t follow the exercises or put the teaching into practice.

That’s like trying to learn to swim by reading about it online. At some point, you need to get into the water.

Why Is Online Personal Development Different?

Online personal development offers a different approach. We’re used to doing things online. That’s things like shopping, tracking our weight loss, or doing research.

This action-based use of the internet makes it a great bedfellow for personal development. Besides, we’re already online. In the US, adults spend up to 3 hours and 30 minutes on their phones every day.

We can start taking courses online. This keeps us accountable to show up for live classes or coaching sessions. Even having regular activities to do alongside online classmates can help us do the work.

Other people use apps and the principle of gamification. This just means you can use the same processes as games to incentivize people.

For example, the SuperBetter app grants points as you ‘level up’ when you complete a task. The app calls this ‘doing a quest’ so you have to do the work to get the reward.

These apps and courses often include ways to build personal development into your daily life.

What Are the Best Personal Development Apps?

As much as you’re looking for specific recommendations, let me start by saying this. The best apps are the ones that make you want to use them.

If you don’t feel enthused to open them regularly and do the activities, you won’t get much personal development done.

Apps appeal to different people depending on what they want help with. Choose your apps based on their content and how easy you find them to use.

We mentioned SuperBetter it earlier, but it’s one of the best ones to try first. You can choose your own goal which affects the kinds of tasks you’re set. You’ll also get quests to complete and ‘bad guys’ to battle.

If you’re looking to master the art of mindfulness, check out Headspace or Calm. They both offer guided meditations, and Calm has a library of masterclasses. These are by experts like Tara Brach, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Ryan Holiday.

How Can I Get Support Online?

The apps are great at helping you to build personal development habits. Yet sometimes, you might need a little more support.

At this point, you could take a course or enroll in a coaching program.

Courses may be self-directed, with weekly videos and workbooks to support your development. Many courses offer a forum or a dedicated Facebook group. These options give you somewhere to ask questions and get support if you need extra help.

Finding Online Courses

You might start with a platform like Udemy that offers many courses in one place. Ask your social media connections if they have any recommendations.

Check what the course contains to make sure you get the most out of it. Schedule blocks of time throughout your week to watch the videos and do the work.

Finding Life Coaches Online

Many life coaches post content on Instagram. Follow the coach for a while and consume their free content. Many of them also offer a mailing list so you can receive resources in your inbox.

Try out any tips they offer or resources they send. If they don’t resonate with you, then the coach may not be a good fit.

Likewise, if you see success with the free resources, find out if the coach offers 1:1 coaching or group programs.

Group programs are often cheaper since they take up less time for the coach. They also give you the benefit of working alongside others. You can make valuable friendships in these groups, and they help you stay accountable.

Yet 1:1 coaching gives you the chance to dive deep into your issues. You’ll get tailored advice specific to your situation.

Next Steps

Hopefully, you can see the benefits of online personal development. Instead of relying on books or in-person workshops, you can work on yourself whenever and wherever you want.

Set the right goals, choose the right apps or coach, and you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make.

I would love to help you as your life coach. Click here to book an appointment with me today and we can figure out how to get you moving again.