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A personal development plan is critically important in today’s world. Mine helped set the course for where I am today.
If you have read my home page here on this site, you pretty well know just how I feel about personal development. It is the reason why I built this website. And, I never would have come to this point without a plan. You will have one, too.
It is important to have a road map for planning your career, finances, lifestyle… and your overall future. A personal development plan does just that. It is basically an action plan put in writing that records and tracks your personal development progress within your career, finances or any desired context. In other words, it helps you get from where you are now - in a given area - to where you want to be.
Why Such a Plan?
If you are saying to yourself, 'Why do I need a personal development plan?" The answer is simple. Many of us get lost in the shuffle of our lives, especially in today's fast- paced environment.
Perhaps you are working a full time job that satisfies your basic financial needs at the moment, yet you still have other financial goals you would like to accomplish. Or, perhaps you are lacking something spiritually in your life and you want to work toward filling that gap. You can set your personal plan around those things…and more.
Why put off reaching your success goals? Time passes in the blink of an eye, so creating a personal development plan will help you stick to your goals no matter what.
What Needs Fixing- Developing?
What do you need to fix in your life… right now? Do you procrastinate when it comes to working toward your long term goals? If your answer is “yes,” then you are definitely a good candidate for a personal development plan. Or, have you set a long term goal around something that is critical to your success…you’ve tried working toward it, but life just seems to get in the way? A plan may be just what you need!
Take a good look at your current situation and determine exactly what needs to be improved or developed in your life. You can start by asking yourself…”What do I wish to achieve in the near future?”
That achievement wish may center on your finances. Or, let’s say you wish to purchase a new home… or maybe you want to achieve something creative, such as completing a screenplay or novel. Whatever the case may be, a personal development plan will help you get there.
Where Are you Now, Where Do you Want to Be?
Take a good look at where you are right now. In relation to that place where you are right now…where do you want to be? What would you like for yourself?
Recognizing exactly where you are now and where you want to be helps in creating your solid plan to get from point A to Point B. This is essential when it comes to plotting your long term personal development goals.
This is not about being discouraged at your present situation. As a matter of fact, it is crucial that you not get discouraged with your current situation. Take any discouragement out of this equation. Hold on to encouragement.
Long term goals take time, and just about everyone experiences setbacks. I know I did. There were many setbacks, but I grew from all of them. If those situations ever show up again, I know how to handle them quickly… and move on.
By looking at where you are now, you will have a great starting point for moving forward - whether it’s with your finances, career, or lifestyle achievements.
Bridge the Gap Between the Two
Once you are clear on where you are now and where you want to be, you’ll begin bridging the gap between the two places. Your bridge will most likely be constructed of resources you have right now and additional ones you will need to get. No matter which…start building that bridge!
Just like an architect or engineer, you can use a chart to guide your steps. With your chart in hand, and by following it…you will be amazed at how easy it is to track your progress and stay on the right path.
Now Create Your Plan
Creating your personal development plan can be done in a few simple steps. The first step is to create that chart that you will use to track each and every step of your path. Next, you will want to prioritize your objectives. This can be on a scale of 1-10. You determine your measuring stick…
Next, you will document the resources you already have that will help you meet your goal. Now, list any additional resources you will need in order to get to your goal. Some examples of resources you might need are – better skills, more education, better paying job, exercise, a spiritual routine…the list is yours to decide. Keep your goals doable and realistic.
Document all activities involved in the steps to your overall goal. Finally, you will list the target date that you plan to reach your goal. It’s also a good idea to note your actual date of achievement, if it differs from your target date. That is good information for you to have about yourself.
Review and keep track of your progress on a regular basis. Make any necessary adjustments as you go along. Review your plan often to make sure you are staying on track. If I do not look at my plan on a regular basis, I have a tendency to veer off and lose focus of the actual plan. You will too, when you fail to keep an eye on your plan. You don’t want the bridge to begin crumbling!