My Thoughts on Personal Development (Bonus- 10 Free Resources)


A peek at my bookshelf
The term "personal development" was not part of my regular vocabulary until about 2 years ago. 

When I started down the path towards a career in holistic health and wellness I was like a sponge, absorbing all of the information I could get my hands on. This meant reading books and blogs, watching videos, and seeking out other wellness practitioners who shared my values. One thing that kept coming up was this idea of personal development and self-improvement.

Simply put, personal development is about investing in yourself to maximize your potential and become the best human being you can be.  This is, of course, going to look different for everyone. I love learning new skills and abilities so for me, personal development is about being a lifelong learner. I'd love to learn a few languages, learn how to code apps and websites, and continue developing my coaching and nutrition skills. In my personal experience, PD never feels like a chore or extra work. I am always excited when I get to read a new self improvement book or take advantage of a free online course.

Sometimes money can be a barrier to getting started so I've curated the following list of websites and apps that offer a wide variety of personal development opportunities. I hope that there is something here that sparks your interest!

Code Academy- Learn to code for free! Includes courses on HTML, CSS, Java, and Python, to name a few.

Khan Academy- Provides free courses on academic subjects. Great for brushing up on the basics. Their mission is to provide "a free, world class education for anyone, anywhere."

Coursera- Over 2,000 free courses from colleges and other higher level learning institutions around the world.

Palouse Mindfulness - A mindfulness based stress reduction program with videos, articles, and weekly exercises.

Living Well and Wild's 7 Free Physical Fitness Resources- A few months ago I put together a list of online resources for anyone wanting to take their physical fitness to the next level without breaking the budget.

edX- Free online courses and classes from some of the world's best universities, including MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley. 

Open Yale Courses- Lectures from selected Yale College courses

Duolingo- Learn a new language for free with this incredible app. Right now Duolingo has 19 languages available with 2 more in the beta stage and 6 more in development, including Klingon for my fellow Star Trek fans.

Alison- An e-learning provider and academy with over 800 free courses in categories that include IT, languages, the humanities, business, and marketing to name a few.

Don't forget to also check your local library's self-improvement section!

(It wasn't until I put together this list that I realized just how many free resources are available. You can pretty much learn the basics of anything!)

"So Alexis, what is it that YOU are working on?" Besides reading, (Currently: Awaken the Giant Within" by Tony Robbins) there are two main things I am working on at the moment. I am studying French and Swedish on Duolingo and learning some basic coding skills through the Code Academy website. (I'm loving the lessons on HTML and CSS!) I think it is incredibly important to learn and know another language and proficiency has been one of my goals for years. I can't say enough good things about the app! I'm learning to code because I have a goal of creating an app some day. I also think that coding in general would be a great skill to have as technology advances and becomes even more omnipresent.

**I do also want to recognize that personal development is a privilege. If you are familiar with "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs" it makes sense that our basic needs for survival (i.e. food and water) and safety usually need to be met before one can focus on things like self-actualization.