Why do I need this??
An ancient wisdom says that if we don’t know where we’re headed, we’il get right there. I mean, nowhere.
The personal development plan used in human resources management is based on the theory of intentional changes by Richard Boyachis, a professor in the Department of Organizational Behavior and author of several best-selling HR books. In his theory, Boyachis prescribed five steps that should help a person not only correct his behavior, habits and life, but also to strengthen these changes so that they become his way of life.
The plan helps me understand myself, determine what I am striving for, set goals, and determine the steps needed to achieve them. To anticipate the obstacles that may arise in my path and think about how to overcome them.
As a result, I will get something like a road map that tells me where to go and what skills to develop to achieve what I want.
How to make a plan for my personal development?
Step 1. Define my true “myself”.
This is the starting point of the “journey”. At this stage I analyze my current life and answer the questions:
- Am I happy with the way I live?
- What do I like about myself and what I don’t?
- What makes me most happy in my life and what makes me sad?
- What am I doing well, but I could learn to do even better?
- Which areas of my life are in order and which should I “repair”?
- What are my good habits and skills worth developing?
- What are my strengths and my weaknesses?
To facilitate the ranking of the results, some parameters and skills can be assessed on a ten-point scale: “How satisfied am I with life from 0 to 10?”, “How would I rate my career from 1 to 10? rated his personal development from 1 to 10?”.
Step 2. Define your ideal “myself”
Let’s dream a little and try to imagine what kind of life we would like to live, what we would like to achieve and what or what to become in order to get these things.
Usually a person already has such an ideal image in his head.
If we have difficulty, we can try one of these exercises:
- Let’s go back to childhood. Let’s remember what we dreamed of when we were little. How did we see ourselves and our lives in the future, what did we strive for? Maybe this image is relevant now.
- Let’s imagine what our ideal day would be in 10, 15 or 20 years. We wake up and… where would we end up? Who would be with us? Who will be with us? What will we look like, how will we behave, what will our day be filled with and what emotions will it bring us?
- Let’s imagine the worst-case scenario. How would we never want to live, what kind of person would we never want to be, what would we never want to do? If we turn the resulting picture, it becomes clear what we really want. For example, if in the worst nightmares we see ourselves working in a huge open space or even in the field, then in our ideal life we should have a small cozy company or even a home office.
- Let’s write a letter from the future. Imagine that we have already retired and decided to send a message to ourselves now. What would you tell about yourself and your life, what advice would you give yourself as a young person?
- Let’s come up with a metaphor for ourselves. This technique is often used in working with clients by psychotherapists and coaches. We need to think about what the image we want is related to: for example, an animal, a fantastic creature, a fictional character. And then to analyze what qualities this animal or person has and what his life looks like. By the way, the metaphor can be invented for the present – it will be even clearer: “Now I, like a sprawling fish, am helpless, small and cowardly and cannot withstand the enormous pressure of the water. But I want to be a big, strong and calm whale for whom there are no obstacles in the ocean.”
Step 3. We set specific goals
Let’s compare our true selves with our ideal, to write down the qualities we need to work on, the habits, knowledge and skills we lack. Let’s think about how we can overcome all these areas of growth. We set a specific, measurable and achievable goal for everyone. We break down big goals into short stages, tie them to a specific date and decide on what parameters we will know that the stage is complete and we can move forward.
Here is an example.
“In order to have such income, I have to get a job in a large international company and take a position higher than mine now. I don’t have enough knowledge of English for that. Now my level is Pre-Intermediate, and to work with foreign partners and colleagues, I have to raise it to at least Intermediate in six months.
To achieve this, I will find a teacher and practice for an hour twice a week. I will also read at least one professional article a week and listen to at least one adapted podcast. The first step towards the goal: to choose a teacher and teaching materials by Tuesday. The second step … “etc.
In this way, we need to “draw” each goal for each area we want to improve. By the way, it is not necessary to do this with plain text – you can use visual notes, step diagrams, various specialized applications. Thus, our “road map” to our ideal self will be even clearer.
Step 4. Let’s get started!
We’ve all heard the phrase “plan doesn’t work.” Yes it really is. Action is needed! Let’s follow our plan. But let’s not try to achieve all the goals at once. To begin, we choose one, two or at most three things. When we do the first, we focus our efforts on the next. In order to successfully implement the changes in our lives and not to “burn out”, this step-by-step method is the best. It is not a good decision to throw ourselves into a “multitasking mode” – with it the quality deteriorates significantly and the motivation quickly disappears. Some people boast that they successfully work on several tasks at once, but this is a utopia and with their experience they will understand that they were wrong.
- To think about the Zone of our closest development. The term was first introduced by the Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky when he wrote about the development and education of children, but this concept can also be applied to adults. Initially, we upgrade our current capabilities, set adequate goals and gradually, smoothly and gently expand our list of skills. If our level of English is below average, you will not be able to immediately read original English adult literature. We must first choose children’s books, adapted literature or simple educational stories. If we have never sung before, we should start with basic vocal exercises and training, not with a casting in a TV show. Etc.
- To acknowledge our achievements and to brag. It is good to keep a diary of your success and to keep track of acquired and / or changed habits. There we celebrate our achievements. We find a support group in thematic communities and / or register in a platform or club where we can publicly announce our goals and report on their achievement.
- To create the necessary conditions for ourselves. It will be easier to find time for sports if a babysitter is sitting with the child or there are programs for children in your fitness club. Reading books in the original is more convenient with a good e-book with a built-in dictionary.
Step five. We evaluate the first results and make adjustments to the plan
When it comes to practice, it may be that you have taken over too quickly or, conversely, too slowly, that the goal is not very suitable, that you need other tools to achieve it. There may be obstacles that you did not anticipate.
After the first successes or failures, we analyze our plan and adjust it if necessary. We try different tools and approaches and look for the best that works for us.
A few quick tips:
- Become a leader in your own life, don’t try to live a stranger. In the back seat, you won’t achieve your goals!
- Don’t be ashamed of your quirks – they can be key to your creativity and success!
- The man has no roots. If you don’t get the best, move!
- Ask and listen to answers with understanding. Google doesn’t know everything; however, you don’t believe it. And he’s not always right. Communicate with living people to complete your knowledge.
- Read unfamiliar magazines. Turn off the news and watch previously ignored programs. Creativity is beyond your routine and your comfort zone.
- You can waste, use or invest your time. Invest it! Even when you use it (for relaxation), do something that moves your brain or you learn something unfamiliar.
- Be honest. Always! This will stand you out from other people and they will remember and respect you.
- Fulfill your promises and be responsible for your words and actions. If in doubt, don’t promise.
- “Sign” for every word and action with your name.
- Learn to discover fake news and manipulative texts and ignore them. It’s easy, but if you can’t – you better not look and read no news.
- Think always and about everything — every thought and action. Even (and especially) for those who could do routinely – crossing the street, riding on public transport, driving a car – put yourself in the place of others and how you would react in their place to your behavior and words.
- Believe in yourself and keep your opinion, but if you can prove it with facts – otherwise you give the impression that you are stupid. So, you can do it successfully – read. Read a lot!
- Beware of the traps of personal development:
- Don’t do it for the sake of personal development itself or because it’s the right
- Don’t do it because you’re dissatisfied with yourself in pursuit of perfectionism
- Don’t do it for social approval – do it for yourself
- Don’t just make you feel successful faster
- Don’t try to do it in a way that doesn’t please you
- Excessive employment, constant learning, over-indulging the hobby creates an illusion of meaning and success or masks things you want to get rid of, but you don’t, sometimes alone without knowing why.
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