A Guide to Creating Your Personal Development Plan

A personal development plan is a tool recommended by life coaches for noting down and monitoring your goals, areas of improvement and other important details that impact our self growth and success. Some experts recommend creating a unique plan for each facet of our lives. For example, there should be a separate plan for our career goals, another one for our physical makeover goals, and then one more for our intellectual pursuits.

However, not all of us have the luxury of creating multiple and detailed plans, so the next best thing to do is to create a general plan that will serve as a one-stop resource. Below are five things that are normally included in such a plan:

1. Your personal objectives. In this section of your personal development plan, you will write down your goals that are of a personal nature – such as achieving spiritual enlightenment, letting go of past traumas and frustrations, improving physical health and emotional well-being, taking up a new hobby, learning a new skill, and anything else that concerns your self growth. It’s okay to list as many as you want; there is no reason to limit yourself! Besides, life is about variety, so enjoy the many opportunities available to you.

2. Your career objectives. List down what you want to achieve in the “career page” of your personal development plan. You may wish to get promoted in your company, move to a competitor’s or to a completely different industry, meet your sales quota each month or establish your own business. Start with the goal that has the “earliest deadline” in your mind — the one you think you should accomplish first before you move on to bigger things. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself by including right away in the list all your greatest dreams. Start with baby steps!

3. The possible actions you will undertake. A personal development plan should always include the “action part” of your goals. What methods will you carry out to achieve your objectives? For instance, your goal is to master the French language. So you need to determine if you would like to learn French in a traditional classroom setup by enrolling in a school or learn it via long distance, online courses.

4. Your deadlines. All goals have deadlines. You simply can’t continue to work on, let’s say, your physical fitness goals without seeing actual results! Having a deadline pushes us into completing each phase of a goal and discourages us from slacking off. Such motivation is good for our self growth so make it a point to indicate in your personal development plan a deadline for each stage (if applicable) of your goal. For example, your goal is to lose 50 pounds. Indicate the deadline on when to achieve the first five-pound loss, then the next five, and then subsequent increments.

5. Your current situation. How are things in the domestic and professional aspects of your life? Would you consider yourself basically happy or unsatisfied? Is there something worrying you or is everything fine and dandy? The reason for including this in your personal development plan is you need to reflect on areas of improvement you may need to fix or certain loose ends that need to be tied up first before you proceed with your goals. For instance, you can’t work on your career goal of landing a job in another country if you’re in the process of getting a divorce. Make sure you leave no stones unturned before you begin a new chapter in your life.

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