What exactly is a personal development plan? It’s not some arcane mystery schedule; it’s just a guide for you to follow to get from where you are now to where you want to be in the future. This basically means that your personal development plan is your roadmap.
If you’re going on a trip like this, you need to make sure you know where you’re starting and where you’re going. What better way to get that roadmap than to draw it yourself! It gives you a customized personal development plan that fits you and your personality perfectly… but where do you start?
Where am I?
First, make your list and make a list that outlines where you are in your life right now. This is crucial because you can’t start a journey anywhere unless you first know exactly where you are and how many miles there are to your destination. Include all aspects of your life that you want your personal development plan to cover…personally, professionally and even physically.
For example: If you are single and lonely and want to develop more fulfilling relationships, put single and loner on your list.
Then determine exactly where you want to be in the long term. Go out for at least one if not five years. Again, adjust as you see fit if your goals are better relationships, more money, and better health. Someone else may just need one or two of these, or maybe something else entirely. This is your life and your individual journey. What you want to improve will match your beliefs and core values and no one else’s.
Continuing with the best example of being single and lonely, you could set a long-term goal of five years to be married to a wonderful partner.
Then determine which short-term achievements will help you on your way to your personally important long-term goals. What progress would you like to make on all these fronts in say six months. Short-term goals are what you will focus on day to day. These are easy-to-reach steps to start your journey so you can find your way to your desired long-term outcome.
Continuing with the Single and lonely example, your short-term goals might include something like ‘meet 3 new potential partners this month’.
Now that you’ve compiled your short list and your long list, take a moment to breathe! Next, make a list of actions that will help you achieve the results on your short-term list. Think of many options and have fun with this. It’s great if you can identify some steps you can take that will be easily achievable for you. Then you will see daily or weekly progress and you will quickly feel satisfaction. As you see your steps toward your small goal reaping, you will appreciate that your larger goal is attainable. Lather, rinse, and then repeat until you’ve covered the basic short-term goals and you can see that you’re well on your way to your long-term goals.
Again, continuing with the single and lonely example, your list of options for achieving your short-term goal (ie meeting 3 new potential partners this month) might include things like: join an online dating site; ask friends if they know someone they could introduce you to; search for singles events in your area and sign up to attend.
Do you have all the resources you will need to complete your personal development plan within the allotted time frame? There are often challenges, obstacles, setbacks and difficulties on the way to your goals. These personal challenges are often some of the reasons why you haven’t achieved your goals yet! While developing your personal development plan is the best time to determine what these challenges might be in your case. By planning for them now, you can best prepare to face and manage them.
Using the Single and Loner example, if you’re a very shy person who doesn’t like talking to new people, this would be a challenge given your goal. Resources for you may include; self-confidence books; joining a public speaking group that will help you develop skills for more enjoyable socializing; life coaching to increase self-esteem and self-empowerment.
Choose a mentor, someone who has achieved what you want to achieve. This can be a friend or colleague, but keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be. You can also gather a lot of insight and information from famous mentors by reading their books or signing up for a seminar.
The bottom line is that once you’ve created your personal development plan, you have your own roadmap to get you where you want to go. Respect your heart’s desire and the direction you want to take in your life. Act on your plan and develop your most fulfilled life!