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5 Steps to Creating Your Personal Development Plan

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Do you feel you’re not really getting anywhere? When you look back over the last year does it seem like you haven’t changed in the directions that you wanted to? Then, in that case, it’s time to consider creating a personal development plan, to give you the purpose, drive, and direction that you’ve been missing.

A personal development plan will help you decide where you want to go and that is not something that should be overlooked. After all, as they say, “If one does not know where one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”

So how do you make a personal development plan? Here are 5 tips to get you started:

1. Brainstorming

The first step is to write down everything that you would like to accomplish in your life. It doesn’t matter how crazy it is, it all goes on the page. Do not let the ‘nos’ in your head dictate what does and doesn’t go on the page. Self-editing can come later. For now, just write and write.

Perhaps think about using an app called “the most dangerous writing app”. Here you choose a time limit and if you stop writing for 5 seconds before that time limit has expired everything will get deleted. In this way you can short circuit your internal editor and actually get on the page that you’re supposed to be on.

“Personal developement is a major time saver. The better you become, the less time it takes you to achieve your goals.” – Brian Tracy

2. Try to create overarching categories

After you’ve written down everything that you want to accomplish, it’s time to group things into different areas of your life. Some might be career oriented, some might be love oriented, others might be in terms of intellectual development. It doesn’t matter what your categories are, as long as you can make some.

The best thing to do is to abstract things a little bit so that things can more easily be fit under several hats. If you spend some time doing this you should find trends emerging.  So if you’ve got, ‘quit my current job and tell my boss to stuff it’, ‘start my own business’ and ‘become rich’ you could abstract those all together into a category called ‘have my own successful business’.  This will be useful for the next stage of the exercise.

If some desire or plan runs contrary to other plans, then you’ve got to prioritize. So, if you’ve got the plan, ‘have my own successful business’ and ‘don’t get up till noon and don’t do more than half an hour of work’ then you’re probably going to have to decide which is more important to you and let the other one go (at least for now).

 

3. Figure out what is needed to get you from here to there

Now that you’ve got your overarching goals, start constructing the sub-goals that lie in between where you are and where you want to be. These are like your stepping stones to get you across the chasm that separates you from what you want.

It’s a good idea to create a detailed, yet flexible plan. The interesting thing is that quite often if you did the abstraction correctly, in the above step, you’ll see that to some extent you actually already have one.

In the above example, the two sub-goals to ‘have my own successful business’ are ‘quit my job’ and ‘start my own business’, which will both first need to be achieved before the final goal can be.

Once you’ve got the sub-goals, you break it down even further. What do you need to accomplish to get those things done? You can only quit your job if you have either enough savings or another source of income to tide you over. Also, be sure to note the big obstacles in your way and find ways to overcome those.

 

4. Remember to be SMART

Your goals need to be SMART:

  • Specific – as in they’re clear and you know what you need to improve.
  • Measurable – there has to be some way that you know that you’ve achieved your goal and can move on to the next one.
  • Achievable – if you can’t achieve them then they’re dreams, not goals.
  • Realistic – You can’t fly unless you have an airplane and if you’re 30 you’re not going to win the Olympic 100 meter dash.
  • Time-related – ‘somewhere in the future’ is not good enough. Put up a time frame for when you want to complete the goal.

Once you’ve done all that, then it’s simply a matter of starting on the first step in your plan in the different fields.  

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma

5. They’re goals, not chains

Remember that as you’re pursuing your goals, you make certain that you allow space for the situation on the ground to weigh in. No, ‘I don’t want to get up today and work on my plan’ is not a good excuse for not pursuing your development goals. If you get sick, however, or your boss promotes you, then you should be willing to adapt.

Note that I said ‘adapt’, not ‘abandon’. Rework your plan to take into consideration the new developments and see what you have to change to get where you want to go.

Finally, make certain that at least once a year you sit down and consider if the goals on paper still reflect the goals in your head. It is important that you do not end up steering yourself down a road that you no longer want to follow.

The best strategy is to begin by brainstorming what you want again and then comparing what you wrote down this time with what you wrote down last time. Then, if you’re finding that your goals are shifting, allow your plan to shift as well.

What does your personal development plan look like? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Life

Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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Life

Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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