How to Write a Personal Development Plan

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How to Write a Personal Development PlanPlease look back on the past year of your life. Do you think you have made significant progress in life? Can you say with confidence that you grew as a person during the last year? Did you achieve your goals? If you are not satisfied with your performance and are very keen to do something about it then writing a personal growth plan is the first thing you should do. In this blog we not only let you know how to write a personal development plan but also discuss the importance of a good personal development plan.

Why do you need a personal development plan?

With a well written personal development plan, you get more focused on what needs to be done, how it is to be done and what do you already have which can be leveraged to catapult you to success. Moreover, all this is done in a time bound manner.

The power of having a precise plan lies in the fact that you are able to focus your resources and energy to carry out all the necessary activities in the right direction. This gives you a better control over your life but and you stop drifting along. You now know your goal post. There is no room for uncertainty or distraction.

The benefits of writing a personal development plan

Many individuals don’t know exactly what they want to achieve in future? They may not be able to answer “where you see yourself in one year—or even in two years?”

This is because most people have no idea where they want to go. They allow circumstances and other people in their life to decide their fate. Therefore, if you want to take charge of your own life and circumstances then you can’t let others dictate you or decide for you.

Finally if you want to kick start development in life, then writing a personal growth plan and taking committed action is the best thing you can do.

How to write a personal development plan?

The contents of a personal growth plan should have the following essential elements:

1. Define and Specify Your Goals

Define and Specify Your GoalsJust think that what is that you want to achieve in life. Alternatively think what you want to be in life.

In case some of you find it difficult to answer these questions then ask yourself if you have any unfulfilled dreams which you are now ready to accomplish? With regards to your career, what is the next stage you want to move to in your career? Is it a better job or more money?

On the personal front, it could be something related to learning a new language, achieving better health, losing weight etc.

Once you have identified your goals, write them down clearly. Of course, they could be more than one and relating to different areas or aspects of your life. It doesn’t matter. However, they should be clear and specific.

Good Examples:

  1. I want to increase my annual earnings to $200,000
  2. I want to shed 5 Kg of extra weight.

Bad Examples:

  1. I want to be a rich person
  2. I want to lose weight

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2. Set a time frame

Set a time frame to achieve goalsYou may have an applaudable goal for yourself but without setting a time frame to achieve it, it may remain meaningless. Instead of defining your goal as “I want to be a millionaire,” it’s better to write a plan to double your income in the next 12 months.

Once you identify your goals, assess that how long will it take you to achieve your goal?

After you set a realistic time frame for each of your goals, it’s important to commit that you will take all actions and achieve it within that time. Of course, you need to be serious and persistent about it.

Good Examples:

  1. I want to increase my annual earnings to $200,000 in next 12 months
  2. I want to shed 5 Kg of extra weight during next 3 months.

Bad Examples:

  1. I want to be a millionaire one day
  2. I want to lose 10 Kilos

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3. Assess requirement of resources

You cannot go from point A to point B merely by wishing. You need to have certain resources to take you there. These resources could be in various forms such as money required to increase the size of business (working capital), new skills required to get a better job, advice of nutritionist and health coach required to help you said extra weight and so on.

Once you have identified these resources for each goal, go through the list carefully. Maybe you already have some available with you while you need to go out and get the rest. For example, you already have enough cash reserves to increase your business but you required the services of a professional to do the digital marketing for your business. So go and hire the digital marketing expert.

Similarly, if you need to become physically fit again you need to become the member of a gym in the neighborhood only, as your spouse is a qualified dietitian.

Also please see: Love Yourself Affirmations

4. Acquire the resources

This point is an extension of the previous point. It emphasizes that you need to acquire the remaining resources so that you can accomplish your target within the set time frame.

For example, if you are working for an IT company in Germany and your mother tongue is English, you may have identified that learning of a new skill – Natural-language processing (NLP) can put you on a faster track of career progress. In addition, you are convinced that to interact better with your seniors and colleagues in the office working knowledge of German language would be an asset. Therefore, you may do well by learning NLP as well as German language.

5. Take Action

The process of writing a personal development plan got over if you successfully completed point 3 – Assess Requirement of Resources. But you need to take it forward if you want to achieve your goals. There will be many actions you will need to take – regularly and persistently.

Always remind yourself that if you do not take your personal development plan seriously, nobody else will either. Please refer to: Positive Thinking Quotes

It would be advisable to begin working with one goal at a time or a maximum of two goals. Once you get success and gain more experience you can increase the number of goals to work on.

6. Regularly Measure Progress

When you are driving a car, your eyes are constantly on the road and the traffic around. Mostly your eyes and ears keep feeding the brain and in turn your brain instructs your hands and feet to take corresponding action of increasing / decreasing the speed, turn the steering wheel to let or right and to stop etc. This continuous process every time takes you to your destination.

Accordingly you have to keep monitoring your progress at regular intervals. Howsoever small, the progress is the best motivator to stay persistent in achieving goals. Even if it is a little progress, it is an indicator that you are proceeding in the right direction.

7. Get Help, Direction or Support from a Professional

Suppose you are not making satisfactory progress or are stuck now. May be you want to achieve your goal faster. In such circumstances, find out who can help you to achieve your goals faster and better?

For example, if you want to move up in your career, you can consider taking help of a career coach; if you want to shed extra weight, you can have a fitness coach; if you want to improve return on your investments, you can consult with a financial adviser etc.

8. Take corrective action

If something is not going right, it means that you need to change (or improve) the methods or strategies you are employing. Therefore, you may need to go back to Step No. 7 and take a corrective course of action. If something is not going so well, check what can you do differently?

But do not drop the idea of achieving your goal.

Moving Towards a new beginning

Once you have written down what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it, you will hugely enhance your chances of becoming the person you want to be. Let me tell you from my own personal experience and of those with whom I have been closely associated that whenever we committed ours self to do thorough planning and acted accordingly, we always managed to achieve our goals.

Thus you too can accomplish !

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