Sample Essay Writing Paper on Personal and Professional Development


My academic, professional, and life experiences thus far have presented the opportunity
for me to develop my study skills through proper time management and critical thinking. Stress
management, goal-setting, and motivation also play great significance in my adaptation of new
practices focused on improving and developing proper goals, sleep, exercise, and diet. My lack
of proper time management for over a year made it challenging to set any clear goals or present
any substantial results in my research and analysis. The semester taught me ways of setting goals
using approaches like the goal-setting theory and the use of assertiveness.
My comprehension of the different sources of stress that include time, encounter,
situational, and anticipatory stressors helped me to categorize all my concerns leading to my
stressful condition. Approaching stress in positive ways while using motivation also assisted in
creating the inner drive to form goals and schedules to meet challenges. Throughout my
experiences, thus far, I learn that I am competent through proper time management, critical
thinking, stress management, goal-setting, and the use of motivation. However, I could improve
on aspects like mediation and conflict resolution skills while sharpening my ability to make
effective decisions.

Self-Development Reflections

Study Skills: Time Management
The teachings on time management stuck with me after the semester since the sector
represented one of my weakest areas. However, upon reflection on time value, I realized that I
required to begin with the essential things first. The challenge that I faced before learning about
time management was that I did not have a comprehension of the essence of any form of

Personal and Professional Development


accomplishment. I would begin activities, tasks, and projects and fail to complete the task. Thus,
I would accomplish only a list of things containing unimportant tasks while completing a portion
of the essential tasks. Zhu et al. (2019: 3824) explain that the goal-setting theory insists on
breaking down tasks into manageable sizes while using effective planning beforehand to
highlight essential parts of a project. The leadership project that my group and I have, for
instance, requires my involvement for at least four times a week. Despite my busy schedule at
the week, I manage to attend all group sessions.
Time management in the experience helped me to highlight the most important tasks
despite the urgency presented in a situation. I also got the chance to develop conscious
prioritization of my study and professional life through time management (Stupple et al. 2017:
94). Since the action is also an essential concept of the goal-setting theory, I used time
management to highlight and plan for various effective activities essential for the
accomplishment of my goals. Thus, I incorporated my exercise and sleep-time to my daily
planner. I also focused on highlighting my objectives of maintaining a healthy diet that I set in
motion through daily practice (Ragan, 2018: 49). Time management also helped me to analyze
the unnecessary interruptions and tasks that promoted procrastination and poor productivity. I
remember that I had a challenge with texting my friends all the time without realizing how much
time I used to spend on the device. I thought socializing was an important aspect until I saw its
effects on my grade. Even though I like to socialize, I realize that I can control it through proper
time management. So, I have a specific time during each day meant for chatting and socializing
while saving some time from my studies and personal growth through reading and exercise.
I also identified that I work better under pressure. Thus, I integrated a flexible time
management approach integrating school, work, and pleasure to offer effective prioritization on

Personal and Professional Development


tasks for me. The balancing act time management style, for instance, helps me to develop an
effective balance from my abilities in and out of my classes (Ragan, 2018: 52). The approach
helps me remain consistent through thoughtful engagement that helps me keep pushing my
boundaries through my experiences (Zhu et al. 2019: 3825). My adoption of effective time
management continues to highlight sectors in my general life that require improvement. My
academics, for instance, continue to record improved results from the continuous challenge I set
on myself during my studies. I set daily reminders on my phone like individual study hour
beginning six in the morning, for instance, to integrate critical research in my analyses. I also
plan on increasing my workout time every two weeks by fifteen minutes to keep challenging
myself and sticking to my goals.
Study Skills: Critical Thinking
Paul and Elder (2019: 16) explain that interpretations and arguments represent some of
the essential aspects of demonstrating critical thinking. I realized that my school studies, for
instance, would benefit from increased use of evidence-based arguments with the help of proper
interpretation effective for developing valid arguments. Thus, the first initiative I took was to
focus on the use of peer-reviewed journals in my presentations and assessments (Stupple et al.
2017: 94). The approach immediately helped me to identify some weaknesses and assumptions,
mainly in some of my previous tasks. My previous work lacked any form of strong arguments
containing specific views that lead to a specific course of action. Thus, I used the learning
experience to continuously use evidence-based critical thinking in my academics and
professional life. Some focus points of my arguments, thus, include proper work quality, the use
of theoretical frameworks from reputable sources to work on my analysis, the use of arguments

Personal and Professional Development


to present strength in points, and integration of interpretations for critical thought and the focus
on various points of views from different reputable parties.
Bloom's taxonomy also helped me to integrate critical thinking through its distinct approaches
(Miami, 2017: 48). Knowledge, for example, continues to help me to discover concepts like
effective leadership skills adopted through my course or the integration of effective
communication skills whenever necessary. Paul and Elder (2019: 43) note that comprehension
through the taxonomy helped me to translate, summarize, and understand various concepts while
demonstrating the most effective presentable approach for the concepts. Ragan (2018: 46)
explains that active listening, for instance, is a leadership trait that helps me to understand
challenges while pro motive effective communication throughout my surroundings. The purpose
of active listening remains to provide an engaging audience while highlighting essential points.
My comprehension of the approach arose from the increased ability to summarize and
translate necessary concepts like active listening and communication in my group participation.
Application in the context of the Blooms Taxonomy involves the use and application of
knowledge in designs like problem-solving models or through the use of experiments (Stupple et
al. 2017: 96). My role of leadership at the group, for instance, offered me the chance to apply
active listening to the entire group with the intentions of achieving complete group engagement
and participation. The analysis stage of the taxonomy analyzes and identifies trends and
problems through the application of knowledge. One analysis I realized through the group work
was that various group members had different communication patterns that required the use of
various leadership traits.
The synthesis stage of the taxonomy involves the development of new ideas through old
concepts (Zhu et al. 2019: 3825). The group member who experienced problems with

Personal and Professional Development


comprehension, for instance, benefited from the synthesis of problem-solving leadership traits.
At the same time, the one who felt isolated remained involved in the group work through the
integration of the relationship-building leadership trait I learned the benefit of diversity and
open-mindedness in demonstrating leadership. The Blooms Taxonomy also taught me how to
evaluate my work through the use of existent theories or by the evaluation of outcomes (Miami,
2017: 54). Through the approach, I can manage to make recommendations like the need for
feedback to promote group participation or the inclusion of theories to create substantial
arguments through critical thinking.

Stress Management, Goal-Setting, and Motivation.

Some of my greatest concerns are the loss of control over my life, work overload,
unpleasant expectations, and fear. Mayoralty and Houghton (2020: 92) note that the loss of
direction of a project's analysis, for instance, from the lack of proper thought and use of proper
sources constantly tampered with my performance in the analysis. Once I set goals through
proper instruction and breaking down of tasks, however, I no longer had any burdens concerning
work over-loads.
Setting goals also helps me to deal with any unpleasant expectations by maintaining
readiness through analysis (Huber and Kuncel, 2016: 452). As the leader of my group, I realized
that different members might require various communicative and interactive skills. Thus, I
integrated all essential styles to fit the needs of all group members to remain in control of any
unpleasant expectations during the process. Gutman et al. (2019: 95) insists that proper analysis
backed up by sound references also promoted my motivation that reduced fear of failure
promoting stress. During the beginning of my exercise program, for instance, I set small
attainable goals that combated stress emotions upon the slow process of body transformation

Personal and Professional Development


(Bighorn et al. 2018: 24). Progress achieved after attaining small goals also promoted my
motivation to continue my process of personal and professional development.

Skills Reflection

Achieved Skills
The first skill that I have acquired in my academic, personal, and professional life is the
attainment of effective interaction among groups and individuals through the use of interpersonal
skills. My active listening skills during the group analysis helped me to interpret non-verbal and
verbal messages from other group members effectively. I also learned to analyze the tone of
some of my group members to comprehend non-verbal communication (Dunn, 2019: 42). My
communication skills also helped with my stress management by realizing my main stressors,
that included time and anticipatory stressors. I was concerned with losing control or work
overload for a while and did not know how to communicate my concerns. Amstead (2018: 44)
highlights, however, through the integration of communication skills, emotional intelligence, and
mediation, I can work with other parties in setting goals, resolving conflicts, and adopting the
best courses of action.
Goal setting is another skill I adopted through my experiences (Bighorn et al.: 2018: 24).
I realized, however, that I needed to manage my time effectively. Time management helped lay a
foundation for my goal setting as it offered insight into my daily time planning. I remember I had
challenges with sleeping or exercising since I could not find enough time for any other sector but
by academics. The concept, however, brought about chronic stress since I did not eat right or
exercise at all. Once I decided to set goals, some of the first few goals included to get back in
shape, to use critical thought in my academic structure, strive to implement the theory
professionally, eat right, and get enough sleep (Dunn, 2019: 15). I invested time to lay out all my

Personal and Professional Development


activities in a day to make sense of my goals. Eventually, I found enough time in the day to
participate in all activities, including co-curricular activities like sports. My participation in the
group work proved fruitful due to effective goal setting and time management. The adherence to
the set deadline of two weeks with maximum participation from all members through time
management promoted the growth of teamwork through mutual agreements.
Future Development
First, I would like to work on my mediation and conflict resolution skills. Conflicts in
group settings remain highly likely to arise from concepts like lack of proper communication
platforms or in differences concerning individual perceptions (Miami, 2017: 49). Thus,
developing effective skills that can resolve any form of interpersonal disagreements and conflicts
for positive outcomes is essential. Strupple et al. (2017: 95) notes that the approach can also
promote proper communication as a lot of mediation involves communications skills.
My decision-making skills, especially in solving problems, also require increased focus. Taking
the most effective action course may sometimes challenge me from the consideration of the
impacts on both parties (Zhu et al. 2019: 3824). However, the integration of approaches like the
Blooms Taxonomy in mediation and conflict resolution can assist with proper decision-making.
Structuring and identifying problems, for example, can help me break down challenges into
small manageable portions.
Investigating solutions and ideas concerning the problem can also offer practical and
applicable insight through existent principles and techniques containing solutions to the
challenge. My group participation, for instance, included a lot of peer-reviewed references
focused on offering the best solutions and ideas to the group's task. The implementation of

Personal and Professional Development


similar approaches in reducing my stress levels, for instance, can offer effective solutions like the
integration of proper diet and exercise in my life.


Throughout my experiences, thus far, I learn that I am competent through proper time
management, critical thinking, stress management, goal-setting, and the use of motivation.
However, I could improve on aspects like mediation and conflict resolution skills while
sharpening my ability to make effective decisions. I have learned that goal setting and effective
time management help me to achieve most of my activities in academic, professional, and
personal life. I also managed my stress by learning to view stress as a positive motivator in
various circumstances, especially dealing with failure as one of my weaknesses. I also learned
that the use of critical thinking takes effort and steps that include evaluation, application, and
assessment. My decision-making process, thus, may benefit from the use of critical thought in
reaching valid points. The use of peer-reviewed sources for my studies, for instance, currently
represents a personal necessity from the integrated critical thought and analysis implemented in
such studies. I also strive to develop more skills, like problem solving, persuasion, influencing,
and negotiation skills. The development of proper ways of managing to work with other parties
through mutual agreements by proper conflict resolutions remains effective in promoting
emotional intelligence, communication skills, and productive teamwork.

Personal and Professional Development


Armstead, R.T., 2018. The effects of stress management on college students’ performance in
internationalization programs, pp. 1-210.
Dunn, W., 2019. How Does Student Goal Setting Affect Motivation to Learn?. Studies in
Teaching 2019 Research Digest, p.1-68.
Eichorn, L., Bruner, K., Short, T. and Abraham, S.P., 2018. Factors that affect exercise habits of
college students. Journal of Education and Development, 2(1), p.20-30.
Gutman, E.V., Gilyazova, K.R. and Karakozov, S.D., 2019. The Impact of Student-Centered
Learning Technologies on Professional Development. Int J Edu Sci, 27(1-3), pp.89-96.
Huber, C.R. and Kuncel, N.R., 2016. Does college teach critical thinking? A meta-
analysis. Review of Educational Research, 86(2), pp.431-468.
Maykrantz, S.A. and Houghton, J.D., 2020. Self-leadership and stress among college students:
Examining the moderating role of coping skills. Journal of American College Health, 68(1),

Personal and Professional Development


Mikami, Y., 2017. Relationships Between Goal Setting, Intrinsic Motivation, and Self-Efficacy
in Extensive Reading. Jacet journal, 61, pp.41-56.
Paul, R. and Elder, L., 2019. The nature and functions of critical & creative thinking. Rowman
& Littlefield, pp. 1-52.
Ragan, D.D., 2018. A Structured Course for Personal and Professional Development. Honors in
Practice, 14, pp.43-57.
Stupple, E.J., Maratos, F.A., Elander, J., Hunt, T.E., Cheung, K.Y. and Aubeeluck, A.V., 2017.
Development of the Critical Thinking Toolkit (CriTT): A measure of student attitudes and
beliefs about critical thinking. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 23, pp.91-100.
Zhu, H., Chen, J., Wang, H., Almoaiqel, S., Materia, F., Wang, X., Cope, N. and Carroll, J.,
2019, January. Day Re-construction: Understanding How College Students Manage Their Time
Through Self-monitoring. In Proceedings of the 52nd Hawaii International Conference on
System Sciences, pp. 3820-3829.