Sample English Essays on Personal and Professional Development

Introduction

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

 

Conclusion

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.

 

 

 

 

References

Armstead, R.T., 2018. The effects of stress management on college students’ performance in internationalization programs, pp. 1-210.

https://desu.dspacedirect.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.12090/308/Armstead_desu_1824E_10030.pdf?sequence=1

Dunn, W., 2019. How Does Student Goal Setting Affect Motivation to Learn?. Studies in Teaching 2019 Research Digest, p.1-68. https://education.wfu.edu/wp-content/uploads/proceedings19.pdf#page=3

Eichorn, L., Bruner, K., Short, T. and Abraham, S.P., 2018. Factors that affect exercise habits of college students. Journal of Education and Development2(1), p.20-30. http://journal.julypress.com/index.php/jed/article/viewFile/327/256

Gutman, E.V., Gilyazova, K.R. and Karakozov, S.D., 2019. The Impact of Student-Centered Learning Technologies on Professional Development. Int J Edu Sci27(1-3), pp.89-96. http://krepublishers.com/02-Journals/IJES/IJES-27-0-000-19-Web/IJES-27-1-3-000-19-Abst-PDF/IJES-27-1-3-089-19-1108-G-E-V/IJES-27-1-3-089-19-1108-G-E-V-Tx[17].pdf

Huber, C.R. and Kuncel, N.R., 2016. Does college teach critical thinking? A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research86(2), pp.431-468.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.3102/0034654315605917

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 Health68(1), pp.89-96. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327937523_Self-leadership_and_stress_among_college_students_Examining_the_moderating_role_of_coping_skills

Mikami, Y., 2017. Relationships Between Goal Setting, Intrinsic Motivation, and Self-Efficacy in Extensive Reading. Jacet journal61, pp.41-56.