How to Make a Personal Development Plan

How to make a personal development plan

How to make a personal development plan

Why do I need this?

An ancient wisdom says that if we don’t know where we’re going, we’ll get there. I.e. – nowhere.

The personal development plan used in human resource management is based on the theory of intentional change by Richard Boyachis, professor in the department of organizational behavior and author of several -sold HR books. In his theory, Boyachis prescribed five steps that should help a person not only to correct his behavior, habits and life, but also to consolidate these changes so that they become his way of life.

The plan helps me to understand myself, define what I want to achieve, set goals and determine the steps necessary to achieve them. To anticipate the obstacles that may arise in my path and to think about how to overcome them.

As a result, I will get a kind of road map that tells me where to move and what skills to develop in order to achieve what I want.

How to make a personal development plan

Step 1. We define our true self

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 not?
  • What makes me happy the most in my life and what makes me sad?
  • What am I doing well that I could learn to do even better?
  • Which areas of my life are fine and which do I need to “repair”?
  • What are my good habits and skills worth developing?
  • What are my strengths and my weaknesses?

To make it easier to sort the results, some parameters and skills can be evaluated 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?” rate your personal development from 1 to 10?”.

Step 2. We define our ideal self

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 we should become to get these things.

Usually a person already has such an ideal image in his head.

If we get stuck, we can try one of these exercises:

  • Let’s go back to childhood. Let’s remember what we dreamed about when we were little. How did we see ourselves and our lives in the future, what were we aiming for? Perhaps this image is relevant even now.
  • Let’s imagine what our ideal day would be like in 10, 15 or 20 years. We wake up and… where would we end up? Who would be next to us? Who will be with us? How will we look, 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 reverse the resulting picture, it becomes clear what we really want. For example, if in our worst nightmares we see ourselves working in a huge open space or even in a field, then in our ideal life we should have a small cozy company or even a home office.
  • Let’s write each other a letter from the future. Imagine that we have already retired and decided to send a message to ourselves now. What would we tell about ourselves and our lives, what advice would we give to ourselves as a young person?
  • Let’s invent a metaphor for ourselves. This technique is often used in work with clients by psychotherapists and coaches. We need to think about what the image we want is associated with: for example, with some animal, fantastic creature, fictional character. And then to analyze what qualities this animal or person has and what their life looks like. By the way, the metaphor can also be invented for the present – it will be even clearer: “Now I, like a sprat fish, am helpless, small and fearful, and I cannot withstand the huge 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 self with our ideal, 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 growth zones. 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 by what parameters we will know that the stage is complete and we can move on.

Here’s an example.

“To have that kind of income, I have to get a job in a big international company and occupy a position higher than my current one.” I don’t have enough knowledge of English for that. Now my level is Pre-Intermediate, and in order to work with foreign partners and colleagues, I need 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 per week and listen to at least one adapted podcast. The first step towards the goal: to choose a teacher and learning materials by Tuesday. The second step … “” etc.

In this way, we need to “paint” each goal for each area we want you to improve. By the way, we don’t need to do this with plain text – you can use visual notes, flowcharts, 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 expression “a plan doesn’t work.” Yes it really is. Actions are needed! Let’s follow our plan. But let’s not try to achieve all goals at once. To begin, we choose one, two, or at most three things. When we accomplish the first, we focus our efforts on the next. In order to successfully implement changes in our lives and not “burn out”, this step-by-step method is best. It is not a good decision to throw yourself into “multitasking mode” – in it the quality deteriorates significantly, and the motivation quickly disappears. Some people boast that they successfully multi-task, but this is a utopia and with experience they will realize that they were wrong.

  • Let’s think about the Zone of our immediate 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 build on our current capabilities, set adequate goals and gradually, smoothly and gently expand our list of skills. If our level of English is below average, we will not be able to immediately read adult English literature in the original. First we need to 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 auditioning for a TV show. Etc
  • To recognize our achievements and brag. It is good to keep a journal of your success and to track the acquired and/or changed habits. That’s where 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 nanny sits 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 5. We evaluate the first results and make adjustments to the plan

When it comes to practice, it may turn out that you have taken it 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 foresee.

After the first successes or failures, we analyze our plan and adjust it if necessary. We try out different tools and approaches and find what works best for us.
A few quick tips:

  • Become a leader in your own life, don’t try to live someone else’s. You won’t achieve your goals in the backseat!
  • Don’t be ashamed of your quirks – they can be the key to your creativity and success!
  • Man has no roots. If you are not satisfied with one place, move!
  • Ask and listen to the answers with understanding. Google doesn’t know everything, no matter how hard you believe it. And he’s not always right. Communicate with living people to supplement your knowledge.
  • Read unknown magazines. Turn off the news and watch previously neglected programs. Creativity is outside your routine and 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 unknown.
  • Be honest. Always! This will set you apart from other people and you will be remembered and respected.
  • Keep your promises and be responsible for your words and actions. If in doubt, don’t promise.
  • Sign your every word and action with your name.
  • Learn to spot fake news and manipulative texts and ignore them. It’s easy, but if you can’t – better don’t watch or read the news.
  • Think always and about everything – about your every thought and action. Even (and especially) for those that you might do routinely – crossing the street, riding public transport, driving a car – put yourself in the shoes of others and how you would react in their place to your behavior and words.< /li>
  • Believe in yourself and stand up for your opinion, but if you can prove it with facts – otherwise you give the impression that you are dumb. To be able to do it successfully – read. Read a lot!
  • Beware of the pitfalls of personal development:
    • He doesn’t do it for the sake of personal development or because he has to
    • Don’t do it because you’re unhappy with yourself in pursuit of perfectionism
    • Don’t do it for social approval – do it for yourself
    • Don’t do it just to feel successful faster
    • Don’t try to do it in a way that doesn’t give you pleasure
    • Excessive busyness, constant learning, over-indulgence in the hobby creates an illusion of meaning and success or hides things you want to get rid of, but you don’t, sometimes on your own without knowing why.

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Healthy Nutrition and Active Lifestyle Trainer

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