Personal Development Plan

Personal Development Plan #1 for GE 361

One of the most important mission statement that I created is to always strive to be mindful of my actions, words and thoughts. I feel that that mission statement is important because nobody, including myself, can turn back the time. I do not want to live my life with regrets, all because I do something without thinking or act rashly. A couple of years ago, one of my uncles passed away from alcohol poisoning and stroke. Nobody was around when he died and his death was so sudden that it made me contemplate my own mortality. If I were to die unexpectedly someday, I want to clear out any regret I have in my life. The best scenario is to live without having regret itself. In order to do so, I feel that I have to be mindful of what I do, feel, say and act to myself and to others. This aspect ties in with one of the skills of emotional intelligence, which is self-awareness. The more I am in tuned with my emotions and state of mind, I will be able to regulate my behaviors, rather than to react rashly to any stimulus. Therefore, I create the following three goals and their respective plan of actions, in order to fulfill my mission statement.

The first goal is to practice mindfulness walking for at least 15 minutes per day. The way I learned to be mindful from my Zen teachers is to be aware of my internal and external state while I walk. Mindfulness is a state of being present in the moment, instead of ruminating on the past or being lost in the future. This goal is important because mindfulness is a tool that will help me understand my feelings and thoughts, before they manifest into stress or bad decisions. My plan of action for this goal is to carve out 15 minutes to walk mindfully each day. It is vital that I do practice mindfulness everyday because it is the best strategy to becoming more mindfulness of myself. While I am walking, I will try to be aware of any internal changes such as the thoughts or feelings that arise in my mind, such as thoughts about the homework, family, friends, etc. I will also observe the external changes such as the rhythms of my feet and my surrounding. Instead of day dreaming, I will come back to my physical sensations and continue walking. The location of the walking mindfulness can be in my room, around my apartment or at the running track. I will time myself for 15 minute, using my stop watch and track down my daily record on my online journal.

The second goal is to meditate everyday for 15 minutes. Meditation is necessary tool to complement mindfulness practice. Meditation gives me the peacefulness and the energy to stay mindful of my actions and thoughts. Without meditation, my mind will remain cluttered with incessant thoughts and I would not have enough concentration to remain focus on the present.  Thus, it is crucial that I meditate, in addition to mindful walking. My plan of action is to meditate for 15 minutes daily. During that time, I will be focus on the rise and fall of my breath. I have a few meditation app on my phone, such as Breathe, which provide guided meditation for 10 to 15 minutes. In addition to recording my progress on a journal, the app tracks down my progress automatically. For instance, they will record the weekly performance as well as the total time I spend meditating. My goal duration of this PDP is to practice mindfulness and meditation throughout this semester. Since there are 80 days left till the last day of Spring 201, I should have earned around 1,200 minutes of walking mindfulness and 1,200 of meditation by the end of this semester.

The last goal is to be appreciative for the fortunate experiences and things I encounter in my life. In my life, I will have to navigate through a rough storm or experience something emotionally difficult. Even though my life will not constantly be filled with roses and sunshine, I still want to be grateful for the wonderful things that happen to me. I feel that being grateful allows me to be mindful of my surroundings and my interactions with others because I have to be conscious of that I am receiving these blessings in life. If I were to day dream throughout the day, I would not be aware of the kind greetings from the bus driver or the fact that the temperature at Grainger is adjusted to be perfect for studying. Thus, my plan of action is to write down five things I am grateful for each day. I feel that writing these things down will let me reflect back on my day. It will also provide a nice and happy ending each night, so that I can fall asleep without feeling negative about my day. I will record the five things down on my online journal. At the end of the semester, I would be able to graduate with 400 things that made my last semester joyful and awesome.

In conclusion, I will walk mindfully and meditate for a total of 30 minutes, as well as keep a record of the 5 things I am grateful each day. These actions will become part of my habit as I graduate from U of I and fulfill my mission statement of being mindful of my actions, thoughts and feelings. At the end of the semester, I should have 1,200 minutes each for walking mindfulness and meditation, along with 400 things I am grateful for. The success of these goals will be measured qualitatively, which will simply be if I harbor any regret from my last semester. If I am able to receive my diploma and graduate with content and happiness on May 14, I would testify that these goals are successful and effective.

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