How to create your personal development plan for 2014 and beyond
Know who you are, and be it. Know what you want, and go out and get it! Carroll Bryant
One of my most important goals in life was to lose weight and get mentally fit. I set out and lost 20kg and soon realised mental fitness is just like regular fitness, you need to work on it as often as possible to stay in shape. The good news is, I’ve kept the weight off. The reality for the mental fitness is that there’s been highs and lows.
I learned a lot about myself during that time and particularly about self-discipline and commitment to my goals and promises to self. My happiness, self-esteem and overall health and fitness has become very important to me since beginning this journey back in 2009.
Honesty and integrity are very important values and I live by both. No matter what – if I say I’ll do something, I will do it – even if I change my mind about wanting to do it… And the main thing that has kept me on track has been working towards goals. And the best time for setting goals? New Years Eve!
So forgetting New Years Resolutions, we’re going to strive for something a little longer term. Today Happiness Weekly looks at how you can create your own personal development plan for 2014 and succeed!
What is a personal development plan?
Everyone has something they want to change about themselves or that they wish could be different. A personal development plan focuses on what you can do to make these changes happen and help you live the life you want to lead. Only you can improve your life circumstances. So if you’re one of those people currently looking for others to boost you up, then this blog is for you.
Your personal development plan will help you learn two things about yourself – what you really want from life, and how what you can do to achieve it. It also enables you to clearly see any obstacles that may trip you up along the way, which will ultimately help you to avoid them and it offers resilient growth and improvement – as opposed to New Years resolutions – because you can refer back to it.
Steps to creating your personal development plan
Step one – work out what you want
a. Make a list of all the things you want in life. This can include career, relationships, home life, health, fitness, emotional wellbeing etc. If it’s something really important to you such as learning a new hobby, then give it its own category. This is your plan so there are no real hard or fast rules here!
b. Once everything is listed, priorities the top four or five key areas. Just enough to challenge you but not enough to overwhelm you.
c. Now rate how satisfied you feel in each of the areas (1 to 10 – 1 being not satisfied at all, 10 being extremely satisfied). Concentrate on your feelings so you’re not distracted by how good you are or how successful you are.
d. Analyse your results – anything you rated a 7 or less could use improvement. Now decide which area you’d like to work to improve first. We will use this as an example from here on in, and repeat the process for the others to finalise your personal development plan.
e. Now ask yourself in an ideal world how you would like that situation to be. Think long-term and imagine it in as much detail as you possibly can. Use your senses – if that’s how you were living, how would it feel to wake up in the morning, what would you do during the day, what kinds of people would you meet, how would you talk to yourself?
f. Get specific. Don’t worry about how you’re going to achieve your goal but focus on eliminating vagueness by concentrating on when it will be achieved and how you know it will be achieved.
Step 2 – find the gap between reality and your goal
a. Consider how your current situation and get set to compare it to the ideal scenario.
What do you spend your time doing during the typical week? (List them and the amount of
time spent on each)
Are you happy with how you spend your time?
How, specifically, will you know that you have achieved your ideal situation?
Where are you now in terms of your goal?
What needs to happen or change in order for you to achieve your goal?
b. Consider what resources you currently have that you can use to achieve your goal.
What skills do you have that could help move you towards your ideal situation?
What relevant knowledge do you have that would be useful?
Who do you know that could help you? (Networking is key!)
What tangible resources do you have that could come in handy?
What skill/knowledge do you need to gain to achieve your goal?
Step 3 – create options to achieve permanent change
a. Brainstorm as many actions you could take that will help you move towards your ideal goal as possible. Try to include taking action you may never have considered before. Start with making a creative, long list – do not narrow it down.
Some things to consider in this step is:
Who could you network with to move in the direction of your goals?
Who will support your quest to move into this chosen area you wish to improve?
What phrases could you search for online to get more ideas?
What would you do if you were completely invincible?
What if money wasn’t an issue?
b. Make a mind map (put your central theme in the middle and draw branching lines off this). Now focus on practical actions. Stay focused until you drill down to specific actionable steps. When you read them, you shouldn’t need to do any more thinking. This literally gives the stepping stones to be where you want to go.
Step 4 – set some goals
a. Pick actions you want to take – this will stop you from procrastinating. Don’t choose too many at once instead pick three – one you can do in the next 24 hours, one for the next 48 hours and one for the next week. Set a deadline a week from now, down to the minute, in which you would have accomplished all these actions/goals.
b. Increase your chances of achieving your goals by considering how great it will be when you succeed verses failing this step, make yourself accountable by making your goals public (you don’t need to go into fine details – just stating the overall plan may be enough), get a buddy who is also looking to make positive changes, keep written goals in a prominent place and take first action immediately – make this a habit to get the momentum going.
Congratulations on making your very own personal development plan for 2014 and all the best for achieving your goals, not only for this coming year but in the future!
Thank you to the following blogs that provided great inspiration:
- How to make a personal development plan – the ultimate guide
- Tips for creating your individual development plan
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