A personal development plan is a map of your personal growth journey. It is basically a goal setting practice with specific focus on the area of personal development. Among other things, it involves identifying the skills you need to learn, the aspects of yourself that needs to be improved, abilities that are you lacking and areas which needs to be given focus for improvement.
Although it is in essence a goal setting plan, however due to the nature of personal development, a slightly different approach would be more suitable and effective as opposed to following a usual goal setting practice. That is why a personal development plan is needed.
For many people who are serious about success, goal setting is a must. However, many do not set goals for the area of their personal development. People normally have financial goals, health goals, career/professional goals, spiritual goals and relationship goals. However, they do not have goals for their personal development.
The danger in this is because as you get more and more caught up in the process of achieving goals, you will unconsciously neglect learning and improving further. Another thing is, when people start seeing success, many tend to become complacent and stop their development. It is this complacency that usually causes many successful individuals to consequently lose focus and fail.
Having a personal development plan helps us ensure that we stay focused and continually improve ourselves to prevent this complacency. The basic premise of a personal development plan involves 3 steps ;
1. Identify your current situation – What are your strengths, weaknesses, skills, abilities etc
2. Identify where you want or need to be – What needs to be worked on for you to get to the next level. What are your weaknesses need to be addressed. What area is to be given priority for improvement?
3. Coming up with a plan to fill that gap – The final step is to identify a plan on how to fill the gap between where we currently are and where we desire to be. This includes planning for; resources that needs to be obtained, who/where to learn from, scheduling the action items and setting a timeline.
The basic premise is pretty simple, however it is important that you spend some time on it and come up with a good plan so you’ll be headed the right way immediately and that no time and effort is wasted.
Having a personal development plan helps you make sure that your knowledge, skills and abilities are constantly upgraded. Because at the end of the day, it is your knowledge that will ultimately affect the quality of your life and the success you achieve.