If you want to turn your life around and make major changes and improvements, you got to have a personal development plan. It will be your roadmap. It helps you set your destination and provide you with the action steps to get there.
Writing a personal growth plan is not an easy task. It takes time, a lot of thinking and reflecting, and the need to be honest with yourself.
But it will pay off, especially if you develop the discipline to follow through with action.
4 Steps to Creating a Personal Development Plan.
1. Do a Self-Assessment
a) Where were you 5 years ago?
b) Where are you now?
c) How do you see yourself 5 years from now? Think of what you want or expect to achieve in 5 years.
Look at every area of your life. Include your physical, mental and emotional health, career, relationship, financial, spiritual and your contribution.
Give a score from a scale of 0 to 10 for each area to assess how your life was like then and how it is now. 0 will indicate nothing or no progress while a 10 would mean that you have grown and achieved success.
2. Set and Write Your Goals
After you’ve taken stock, it’s time to set your goals. Take a piece of paper and begin writing a long list of things you want to have, do, learn and become.
These questions may help you create your list.
a) What do you want to accomplish in your life?
b) Where do you want to go that you haven’t gone?
c) What do you want to see that you haven’t seen?
d) What do you want to do that you haven’t done?
e) What do you want to try that you haven’t tried?
f) How much do you want to consistently earn each year?
g) At what age do you want to retire from your job and achieve financial independence?
h) What type of house do you want to live in?
i) Who among the famous people or celebrities would you like to meet?
j) How do you plan to contribute to society? Will you join a volunteer group?
k) What do you want to learn and master?
l) What do you plan to do to maintain a loving and healthy relationship with your spouse?
m) How much savings will you make towards your kids’ education?
Let’s just say you want to become a millionaire in 5 years, break down your action plan so that you will avoid feeling overwhelmed. Think of how much you want to achieve by the end of your 4th year, 3rd year down to the 1st year.
3. Do a Personal Inventory
Before writing down your step by step action plan, get to know yourself better.
a) What kind of person do you have to become in order to achieve your dreams and goals?
b) What are your strengths and skills? Are you fully utilizing your capabilities? How can you make use of them to reach your goals? What other skills do you need to develop? How are you going to acquire them?
c) What have been stopping you to reach your goals? What are the possible reasons that you may sabotage your personal growth plan? Are some of your core beliefs stopping you from moving forward? What are some of the habits and attitudes that you must drop and what are some new ones that you want to develop?
d) How will you measure your progress? How do you know that you have reached your sub goals which will lead to your major goal?
e) How much time do you have and how much time are you willing to allocate to work on your personal development plan? Are you willing to do what it takes?
f) Where can you find assistance, help and support?
4. Write Your Action Plan
Write a list of things that you will do each day. It helps you stay focused and keeps you moving. Whatever positive action you do today and repeat every day for the next 5 years will help you reach your dream.
Include things such as:
a) Doing a daily action list to help you prioritize, manage time and improve your efficiency. It helps you avoid neglecting the important people in your life such as your spouse and children.
b) Spending at least half an hour each day to read, listen to or watch something that will broaden your knowledge and inspire you to continue taking positive action.
c) Honing your skills. Skills that will help you advance in every area of your life include communication skills, leadership skills, money management skills and emotional intelligence.
d) Scheduling time for daily reflection so that you can monitor your growth, activities and thoughts and notice if you are heading in the right direction towards your long term goal. It helps you make corrective action fast or decide if you want to make adjustments.
e) Allocating time for physical exercise. The easiest form of physical activity is brisk walking. If you can’t put aside time for it, then walk to your office or take the stairs.
f) Practicing relaxation and visualization exercises. You can do these exercises in bed before you fall asleep.
g) Putting aside several hours at the end of your week for recreation with your family and friends. You can make use of your leisure time to expand your circle of friends and network with other people. Don’t neglect your family and social life because relationships and bonding help maintain your emotional health.
h) Regularly attend seminars or workshops and short courses relating to the area that you want to improve. And read a lot of self improvement or personal development books.
As you can see, planning your life isn’t an easy task. It requires a lot of thinking. And this is something that most of us don’t like to do.
Once you have set out your personal growth plan, use what you have and take action daily. Don’t wait for the right time to implement it and don’t expect things to be perfect.
Learn as you grow.
If you make a mistake, learn from it. But to reduce mistakes, apply strategies that have already shown to produce positive results. Along the way, you may have to make changes. Don’t be afraid to do so. Be flexible but stay focused on your main goal.