Did you make any significant progress in your life recently? Did you grow as a person last year? Or, did you find yourself wasting time on a mindless activities that led you nowhere?
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Tony Robbins
So if you are ready to stop drifting along doing whatever comes to your attention, and you are ready to have more control over your life – then you need a precise plan.
The power of a precise plan lies in the fact that, if you plan, you are able to focus all of your activities in the right direction. The result – more control over your life!
A Personal Development plan is a detailed coordination of a complex operation where you develop strategies and implement tactics that result in a prosperous future. Think of it as an attack plan for your life!
The importance of writing a personal development plan
Have you written out just exactly where you see yourself in five years – how about one year?
There are a couple of reasons (and benefits) for planning ahead; You have to answer these questions;
- Where do you want to be in five years? If you have no idea where you want to be – then it doesn’t matter where you go. And, then you might as well take it easy and quit pushing towards a goal that doesn’t exist.
- What do you want to achieve? Once you start writing down the answers to this question – you drastically increase your chances of becoming the person you want to be. The importance of planning is further highlighted by scientific research, which has shown that writing down goals increases your chances of success.
Take a look at this research summary by Dr. Gail Matthews, Strategies for Achieving Goals
Why should you write a personal development plan?
There are big advantages to writing a personal development plan, including:
- Having a destination – Personal knowledge of knowing exactly where you want to go.
- Planning the path to reach that destination – You will develop strategies to reach that destination
- Knowing the obstacles – You’ll begin to learn how to avoid obstacles that can lead to failure
- Understanding the greater picture – You will know exactly why you are doing what needs to be done – even when the going gets tough
How to write a personal development plan
“Personal development planning is the process of creating an action plan based on awareness, values, reflection, goal-setting and planning for personal development within the context of a career, education, relationship or for self-improvement.” Courtesy of wikipedia.org
The contents of a personal growth plan
- What you want (or where you want to be)
- Why you want it
- How you plan to accomplish this plan
- The potential obstacles, risks and dangers
- How you plan to overcome the difficulties
Answer the following questions, before developing the plan:
- What do I really want to make out of my life?
- What kind of person do I really want to be?
- Do I have a vision that I want to see implemented in this world?
- What are my goals and ambitions?
- What are my dreams?
- Are my current decisions leading me exactly where I want to be?
As a side note, it’s a good idea to refer back to the SMART Goals:
- Specific – target a specific area in your life that you want to improve
- Measurable – specify how you want to measure progress
- Assignable – decide who will have to do it
- Realistic – sets goals that can realistically be achieved
- Time-related – specify when you want to accomplish the goal
6 Components of the personal development plan
Take an inventory. You have to be honest with yourself and the situation you find yourself today. Once you analyze your current situation – you can identify areas to work on in the future. This stage requires that you re-evaluate your existing goals and ambitions.
Writing a mission statement. There are four key elements found in effective statements:
In a couple of short sentences, you need to convey the value of your company or why your brand exists, inspire and encourage your employees, sound completely reasonable and plausible, and be as specific and relevant as possible. Find a key theme for your business activity, and make sure each of these components revolve around it.
Short and long-term planning. Write a list of your goals, then separate those goals into short, medium and long-term sections. If you are only planning for the long-term you likely get lost in the process of getting to those goals, don’t neglect the importance of planning short-term actions.
Reassessing your plan. It is important to continually reassess your plan, this process will allow you to develop to recent developments and help you make better decisions in the present moment.
Get the necessary education (or coaching) to move forward with the plan. Consider the following learning opportunities:
- Training on the job
Committing and taking action. Document the action steps you are going to take to execute your plan. Be committed to taking the action steps that are necessary to implement your plan.
The details of the plan (and examples)
A personal growth plan can be broken down into the following areas:
1. What do I want to accomplish in life?
What’s the true purpose of my life?
All of us were born with God-given gifts and knowing what you were born to do should not be underestimated. Discovering your life’s purpose is important and it takes time. For more information: How to Discover Your Purpose in Life.
Example: It is my vision to help create a better world by helping people achieve health and financial freedom.
What are my dreams?
All of us grew up with the most ambitious dreams, only to lose sight of them once life got in the way. Don’t make the mistake of rationalizing the very dreams away that inspire and motivate you.
2. What kind of person do I really want to be?
What are my beliefs and values?
Ask yourself what it is that you stand for—the beliefs you hold and the values you appreciate.
Who am I now and who do I want to be in the future?
The analysis of who you are at this present moment and the person you want to be in the future helps you identify areas to work on.
Example: I believe that I am really good at sales, however I don’t want to be an employee for the rest of my life, I want to be an entrepreneur.
3. What are my goals?
Don’t forget that your goal have to be inspiring and realistic. They should also be written out in short, medium and long-term goals. underestimate the importance of having realistic but inspiring goals. A short-term goal has at times been of approximately half a year. Medium-term goals approximately 1 to 3 years and long-term goals 5 years or more.
Example: Short term I would like to be earning an extra $300/mo. In the next 1 – 3 years I would like to be earning half of my current salary. In 5 years I want to be able to quit my job and enjoy a freedom based lifestyle.
4. What are the necessary milestones?
Ambitious goals are great – however it is a good idea to break down a specific goal into several sub-goals. This will allow you to maintain the necessary motivation to keep moving forward working on the long-term goal.
Example: During the next year I need to be making 10 contacts a week and coaching at least 1 new client every 2 weeks. Within 6 months I need to show be making $400/mo. After a year I should be making at least $1000/mo.
Tracking your progress
After you have finalized your personal development plan it is important to regularly track your own progress. Having a plan is important, but it is useless if you are not documenting your progress. Make sure that you write down the dates of your progress, and analyze the areas that need more attention.
Celebrating your successes
It is a good idea to celebrate each and every success, shout it to the world and reward yourself. If you start out with an excellent reward in mind that you can only have once you have accomplished an important milestone, the reward will increase your motivation to go on to meet the next goal.