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How To Write A Personal Development Plan


Perhaps you have come out of lockdown somewhat confused about how you see the rest of your life? Or, has it has seen you reassess your working and personal life balance. Whatever your reason, if you are looking at self-improvement, creating your personal development plan will help you gain clarity and motivation to make changes, maximise your potential and improve life.

If you don’t develop, you will be left behind in the changing environment that we now live in and your impact on the environment and self-fulfilment will quickly diminish.

Writing personal development plans gives you visible goals and a plan to achieve them. You can focus on your professional or personal life or choose a holistic approach that achieves the best for your career and offers you the chance to develop the ideal work-life balance.

How to write your Personal Development Plan

Your plan must contain specifics, be measurable, assignable, realistic and time-related. In other words, smart! A smart plan will identify definite targets, ways to recognise achievement and see how they benefit you.

Steps should include:

Ask yourself: What do I like about my life/work? What am I unhappy with?

Brainstorm: Where would I like to be in 6months, one year and five years? What would I want to improve on and get better at? What skills would help me improve?

Recognise threats and obstacles: What is or has stopped me? How can I remove barriers to change?

Prioritise: Once you have identified goals and aspirations, you should prioritise those most essential to building your personal development plan, see if you can break down the more significant challenges into smaller, more achievable steps.

Create a timeline: Now, add a timeline to your prioritised list. It should be realistic and seek to set a pace that keeps you motivated and achieving results so that you stick to it.

Use your support network: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Engage professional personal development coaching services. You are investing in your future and a tailored plan created with experts in personal development coaching will ensure that you are on the right track.

Develop your skills: Where you have identified skill gaps, include plans and strategies to fill them. Take that course or make the spiritual or physical change.

Monitor your progress: Regularly review how far you have come. Celebrate your victories and take a closer look at why you have missed any targets; if indeed you have!

The better your personal development plan, the less likely you will give up. If you can see yourself regularly reaching targets and benefiting from small changes along the way, the more you will feel motivated to reach the end and achieve the successes that were just a dream at the beginning.

A worthwhile contribution to your personal development journey

Whether you have set off on the process to improve your time management, learn new employable skills, achieve a more suitable work life balance, give your more time for family and friends, or pursue a new interest or you may want to increase your personal resilience or emotional intelligence, which can undoubtedly be achieved as you work your way through your developmental journey. You should certainly reach the end of the process, feeling better about yourself and gaining valuable life and work skills to improve your future.

Avoiding failure

The number one reason most personal development plans fail as being down to the lack of passion, not recognising strengths and competencies or focussing goals too heavily around organisational needs. Your development plan must be driven by your personal requirement, identifying your passions and talents if you are to give it your all and make it happen, after all, you don’t want to be stuck with yet more goals that don’t inspire you to reach them.  To make it happen, you must want more than need it.