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The 5 Areas Of Personal Development

How familiar are you with personal development? Is it something that you partake in regularly? Or are you wondering what I’m even talking about? Whether you are the former, the latter, or somewhere in between, this post will either help you level up your personal growth, or help you begin your personal development journey.

5 Areas of Personal Development

Let’s first start with what personal development is. It’s a very broad subject. The Business Dictionary defines it as, “The process of improving oneself through such activities as enhancing employment skills, increasing consciousness and building wealth.”

For me, personal development can be anything that helps you go after your best self

There are several different topics within the personal development world, but they all seem to fall under five major categories.

The categories are mental, social, spiritual, emotional, and physical. Today we are going over each of these categories. Stick around to learn how to add personal development into your life, no matter how busy your day is.

1. Mental

The first of the five areas of personal development is all about growing your mind. You can partake in many mental personal development activities.

Some examples are taking a class, reading a book, or watching an informational YouTube video to improve your skills. By setting aside some time each day, or each week, you can see growth in your career, increased productivity, and so much more.

My favorite activities to do in this personal development category are reading books on my industry, listening to podcasts, and taking courses.

Earlier this year I took the Social Media Marketing course, over at HubSpot Academy, and I was able to get a certification from it.

Do you already prioritize mental personal development in your life? If so, what activities do you enjoy doing?

2. Social

This category is all about improving your communication. In my opinion, this category is the most overlooked. However, social personal development is an important activity to practice. 

Learning a new language, practicing your public speaking skills, and committing to doing more active listening are all activities that can help with social personal development.

When was the last time that you did any of these activities? If it has been a while I want to challenge you to pick at least one to do this week.

3. Spiritual

Spiritual personal development can mean something different for each person. The best way that I know how to describe it is anything that brings you peace and helps you connect to your true self.

The activities that fall under this category can be anything from spending time in prayer and reading your Bible, to taking a nature walk or meditating. For more examples check out this article.

During my spiritual personal development time I like to participate in a Bible study or connect with people from my church. Discussing the message from the sermon on Sunday fills my cup up unlike anything else can. 

What activities do you enjoy doing for your spiritual life?

4. Emotional

Emotional personal development can be, well, emotional. Because of this it can be easy to brush it off. I’ve done my share of doing this. I have realized that it wasn’t healthy behavior. The reality is that holding in your emotions, and brushing them off, only makes it worse when they finally do come out. 

Some examples of what you can do here are journaling, tracking your mood, talking to a friend, or even a counselor.

Have you done any activities before? How did they help?

5. Physical

We’ve made it to our last of five categories!

By now I hope you are seeing that personal development, practiced right, is all about the whole self. We aren’t only focusing on one aspect of you here. That will be important to note when it comes time to choose your personal development activities. 

Physical personal development is about a lot more than exercise.

You’ll also want to consider eating and sleeping habits, to name a few, to get the full picture of this category. Some activity examples include working out, getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night, meal prepping, and going to regular checkups at your doctor’s office.

By creating healthier habits around exercise, healthy eating, and sleep you will be on your way to be your best physical self.

What is your favorite physical personal development activity and why is it your favorite?

How To Add Personal Development Into Your Day

Now that you know what personal development is, and what it encompasses, you probably want to know how to fit it into your day, right? 

Here are two ideas ways to incorporate personal growth into your day, but there are many more. I would suggest listing out any activities you can think of for each of the categories and then figure out which ones can fit into your day/week. Experiment and have fun with it. 

Weekly Schedule:

If you feel like trying to work on all five areas of personal development is too much, try separating them into themed days.

Here is an example:

    • Monday: Mental 
    • Tuesday: Social 
    • Wednesday: Your choice/ a mix of different ones
    • Thursday: Emotional 
    • Friday: Physical 
    • Saturday: Your choice/ mix of different ones
    • Sunday: Spiritual 

Busy Day:

If your day is already packed and you have no idea how to add personal development, try this. Each of these either takes minimal time or can be done while doing something you already planned.

    • Mental: Listen to a podcast on your commute to work, shameless plug, the GenTwenty podcast is full of short, but motivational and informational discussions.
    • Social: Instead of going solo on your lunch break, why not ask a co-worker or friend to join you? While at lunch practice actively listening. Positive Psychology has some great tips that you can use.
    • Spiritual: Begin your day with a short devotional or five minutes of meditating before getting ready for work.
    • Emotional: End your day by journaling. You can reflect on your day or use a journal prompt. Whatever comes into your mind is a great place to start.
    • Physical: A common misconception is that working out has to take hours to be effective. Sometimes long workouts can be a good thing. However, it is impossible to do when you have a busy day. Don’t completely skip your workout because of this. Instead find a short workout routine or to incorporate exercise throughout your day. 

Now that you see exactly what personal development entails, and how to make it fit into your life, how are you going to incorporate it into your life? 

About the Author

Kelly Clark

Kelly graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Journalism. Even though it took her a little while to find her career path, she was always meant to be in Communications. She remembers writing poems and songs when she was a little girl and pitching to my parents the reasons why I should have a cell phone when I was a teenager. She currently has a blog ( where she talks about her weight-loss journey, mental health and personal development. Her hope is to encourage and inspire readers and let them know they are not alone. Reading blog posts like that are what helped her in tough times and she wants to pay it forward. She loves dance fitness, listening to music, and creating layouts in her bullet journal. She's a big fan of planning, especially when cute notebooks and pens are involved. Her dream job has changed so much over the years; right now she'd love to co-own a dance studio.