What exactly is a personal development plan?
It is not some mysterious secret schedule; it is merely a guide for you to follow to get yourself from where you are right now, to where you want to be in the future. That means that your personal development plan is your roadmap.
If you are going to go on a journey like this, you want to ensure you know where you are starting and where you are going. What better way to get that roadmap than to draw it out yourself! This gives you a custom personal development plan suited perfectly to you and your personality… but where do you begin?
Where am I?
First, make a list that outlines where you are right now in your life. Having this down is critical because you cannot start a journey anywhere if you do not first know exactly where you are at and how many miles you are from the finish. Include whatever aspects of your life that you want your personal development plan to cover…. personally, professionally and even physically.
Long Term List
Then determine exactly where you want to be in the longer period. Go out at least one if not five years. Again, customize as appropriate for you whether your goals may be better relationships, more money, and better health. Someone else may simply need one or two of these, or perhaps something different altogether. This is your life and your individual journey. What you want to improve will fit within your beliefs and core values and no one else’s.
Short Term List
Next, determine what short term achievements will help you en route 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. They are the easily attainable steps that you begin your journey with, to make it possible to find your way to your desired long term outcome.
Now that you have both your short list and long term list compiled, breath for a minute! Then put together a list of actions that will help you to achieve the outcomes on your short term list. Brainstorm lots of options and have a bit of fun with this. It’s great if you can identify some steps you can take that will be easily attainable for you. Then you’ll see daily or weekly progress, and you’ll feel some quick gratification. As you see your steps toward a small goal reaping rewards, you’ll appreciate that your larger goal is achievable. Lather, rinse and then repeat until you have covered the basic short-term goals and you can see you are well on the way to your long term goals.
Do you have all the resources you will need to meet your personal development plan within your allotted time frame? Often there are challenges, obstacles, setbacks and difficulties along the way to your goals. These personal challenges are often some of the reasons you have not yet mastered your goals! While you are developing your personal development plan is the best time to identify what these challenges might be in your case. By planning for them now, you can best prepare to face them and manage.
Choose a mentor, someone who has achieved what you want to achieve. This could be a friend or colleague, but keep in mind that it does not have to be. You can glean a lot of insight and information from famous mentors as well by reading their books or signing up for a seminar.