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Mar 13, 2019 in Review

Personal Development Plan

Personal development plans implies a number of activities that help to develop one’s talents, improve identity and self-awareness, enhance the quality of life, and determine one’s principal goals and ways of their achievement. Personal development is a constant process. Principles of personal development are usually set in early life and depend on the environment of a child, relationships in a family and with friends, methods of upbringing, and other factors. Later in life, personal development is boosted by a number of educational institutions, conditions of employment, and so on. 

Personal development planning includes reflection on one’s achievements, opportunities, and goals. It is vital for planning of the future career as well as educational and spiritual development.  Thus, this paper is highly useful to me as a student since it will enable me to set consistent and clear goals, determine strong and weak points of my personality, and analyze my present accomplishments. Personal development plan is also an important tool for correct self-assessment and formation of a clear idea about my abilities and possibilities. 

According to Jungian typology, I belong to the Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging type (ISTJ). This type has the most numerous representatives. I am an introverted person tending to self-reflection and rarely seeking external stimulation. Like the majority of individuals of this type, I am reserved and introspective and care much for personal security and stability. Dominance of the sensing way of cognition means that I mainly receive information from the external world and rely less on intuition or imagination. Factual information plays an important role since individuals of the ISTJ type tend to rely on facts that they internalize. Their decisions are normally based on logic. The ISTJs have a keen sense of duty and responsibility; this is why, they usually try to complete all tasks and achieve all goals. The ISTJs often take pride in the work they are doing. They always try to perform all the tasks as well as possible. They display considerable patience, accuracy, and diligence. They care about their personal integrity and strive for complete independence since any dependency is viewed as a flaw by them. 

For the ISTJs, it is not easy to display emotions and they have to employ effort to show their affection to people who are close to them. The ISTJs are disciplined and can properly manage their time. These traits are accounted for by their inclination to judging and analysis rather than to making assumptions. They consider various possibilities and examine their surroundings. 

My productivity level is high enough. I can cope with necessary tasks and achieve positive results, although sometimes I cannot objectively assess the situation. For instance, I tend to overestimate my abilities and undertake tasks that are too complicated and require too much effort. Sometimes, on the contrary, I underestimate my talents and lose opportunities to achieve a goal by performing a certain task. In most cases, self-discipline and assiduity help me to stay productive. However, I can still improve my productivity by a more thorough planning of tasks I have to perform and a more reasonable time management. Planning is extremely important for maintenance of high productivity level since it allows forming a clear idea of tasks one must complete and enables to identify possible difficulties and ways to overcome them. Procrastination is another problem that decreases my productivity.  I need to improve my time management skills since procrastination and inability to determine priorities sometimes lead to undesirable consequences. The quality of work deteriorates and the productivity level is lowered. Motivation is also a vital issue. Strong motivation significantly increases the productivity of work. However, sometimes motivation is not enough to complete the task.  This is why, I should also develop my will-power and learn to manage stress.  Integration of information is vital for me as a student. The ability to treat information critically and selectively and at once determine main ideas increases productivity since less time is spent on processing material that later turns out to be irrelevant.

 
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I have both external and internal locuses of control. Strong internal locus of control is characteristic of the ISTJs who usually attempt to rely on their own talents and abilities and depend on external factors as little as possible. Personal efforts and decisions are for me key means of reaching goals. However, I also have external locus of control though it is significantly weaker than the internal one. I admit that some situations fall out of my personal control and depend rather on external factors such as actions of other people, environment, or even luck. External locus of control dominates in case of failures. When I cannot attain a goal, I often tend to ascribe the failure to the negative influence of external factors. Sometimes, this results in the feeling of helplessness because of the lack of personal control over the situation.  

Emotional burnout syndrome is an important issue that can have significant influence on personal development. I am not experiencing a serious burnout now. However, I have some symptoms of emotional exhaustion that signal of the burnout threat in the future. These symptoms can be divided into two basic categories: signs of physical exhaustion and signs of psychological exhaustion. The first category includes such problems as fatigue, impaired attention and concentration, and decreased productivity. To the second category belong such symptoms as pessimistic nervousness and increased tendency towards detachment. These problems are early signs of emotional burnout and serious consequences can still be avoided. The reason for my risk of burnout lies mainly in the peculiarities of student life. Studying is sometimes rather stressful and requires much psychological strain. High emotional tension that is inevitable during exams and tests, busy schedule, deadlines, and other inseparable problems encountered by students can trigger a gradual psychological exhaustion. Surroundings also have a strong influence on the level of emotional burnout. Some of my burnout symptoms are evidently caused by peculiarities of my environment. As an international student, I have to adapt to a new culture and a new style of living. Social and cultural adaptation is a stressful process that is likely to result in depression, feelings of loneliness or homesickness, and lack of self-confidence and trust.  However, this does not mean that I am actually experiencing a burnout because a certain degree of cultural shock is normal when one moves to a foreign country and, in most cases, it does not become incapacitating. 

Stress is an inevitable part of everyday life. It is caused by various factors. When stress becomes too intense, it can interfere with normal life and trigger a number of problems. Students belong to stress risk groups since studies inevitably result in problematic situations, which require nervous strain.  

According to the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, I have a moderate chance of having a depression in the future. However, this risk is not very serious now. My stress scale is 178 points. This stress rate is conditioned mostly by my social environment. Interpersonal relations are one of the main reasons for stress. Being an international student from China, I have to adapt to new patterns of interpersonal relations in academic environment. Social integration is a rather lengthy process and the stress risk is increased because of this. Adjustment to life in different cultural and social surroundings requires mental effort and is sometimes difficult to deal with. Pressure in the relations with teachers and fellow students is likely to aggravate inevitable academic anxiety.

Academic anxiety is the principal stressful factor. Increased responsibility and constant preoccupation with academic success result in stress. Task-generated stress is another problem that most students encounter. A large number of tasks to perform, nearing deadlines, and little spare time are principal reasons for this type of stress. Another reason for frequent stress is study skill deficit. Since sometimes I tend to procrastinate with fulfilling tasks, I have to cram and finish tasks in an extreme hurry. This has a negative influence both on my psychological state and my academic performance. 

Although the level of stress caused by each of these everyday issues is not extremely high, regular stressful situations and combined influence of all these factors may lead to depressive states. 

Stress should be reduced as much as possible in order to avoid undesirable consequences. For this purpose, I need to stay organized and plan my time ahead as well as develop a positive outlook and sufficient motivation.

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