How to Write a Good Personal Development Plan
Why do I need a Personal Development Plan?
If you want to change your life and make your dreams a reality, you need a good personal development plan. Your plan will help you get clear on what you need to feel happy and fulfilled. It will also provide you with the blueprint fpr how to get there.
What is a Personal Development Plan?
A personal development plan is a document that defines:
- Your life’s vision/purpose
- 6-month goals (that align with your vision/purpose)
- A weekly routine (that you use every week for 6 months to ensure you move toward or arrive at your vision/purpose)
A good personal development plan will:
- Be fun and be easy to follow
- Store all the important, conscious choices you have made about what you ideally want to happen in all areas of your life
- Serve as an action plan of how to get where you want to be
- Help you stay focused
- Motivate you to move forward every week
Most PDP’s Suck
Unfortunately, most personal development plans are a waste of time and space. Most plans are incomplete and uninspiring because they aim for the story you think you should have – not what truely makes you happy and fulfilled.
These uninspiring plans sit in a drawer and collect dust, while your dreams stay on hold.
But personal development planning does not need to be this way, it can and should be fun and above all motivating.
Personal Development Planning That Works
Over the years, I have discovered the secret to creating personal development plans that are inspiring and that work! It is a 3 step process that anyone can do.
If you are serious about changing your life, steal 2 hours from your busy day; grab a pen, a notebook and a coffee; and follow the three step process outlined below.
Step 1 – Vision Statements
Step 1 is the most important step because you can only reach your dreams when you know what your dreams are!
How to Write Vision Statements
Sample Vision Statements
Vision Statement for “Physical Environment”
I live in a perfectly comfortable house with a huge grassy garden for my family. The house feels open and spacious. There is easy access to water for swimming and a beautiful view of the sunset from the porch. The area is safe and quiet with easy access to amazing motorbike riding experiences. We live close enough to civilization to be convenient and far enough away to have a sense of space. The area attracts like-minded people so we have a handful of intimate friends within walking/biking distance.
Vision Statement for “Career/Business”
I am a global thought leader in an area that I m passionate and curious about. Every week, I inspire people to be even more than they already are and to follow their dreams.
Step 2 – 6-month Goals
Before you do this step you must have written a compelling vision statement for yourself in each of the 8 life areas (see step 1). Once you have done that, you are ready to set 6-month goals that link with each vision statement.
You may be surprised at how quickly you can achieve a vision statement. For example, a 6-month goal such as “move house”, “get new job”, “start a business” can get you a long way toward realizing a vision.
How to Write 6-month Goals
Sample 6-month Goals
Goals for “Physical Environment Vision Statement” (above)
Goals for “Career/Business Vision Statement” (above)
Step 3 – Weekly Routine
Before you do this step you must have written clear goals for each of your vision statements (see step 2). Once you have done that, you are ready to develop a weekly routine for yourself.
Your weekly routine should include time each week to work on each of your 6-month goals.
Let’s say that one of your 6-month goals is to develop a new blog. Your weekly routine might say, “Work on blog Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00-11:00 am”.
TIP: If you want to have a separate project plan, which lists all of the detailed things you need to do to get the blog built, that is fine. In that case, you would simply work through your project plan during the allotted time in your weekly schedule. Don’t clutter up your schedule with details – keep it simple and consistent because that is the key to making it work!
It is essential to keep your weekly routine the same for 6 months because we learn through repetition. By repeating the same schedule over and over for a log period of time you learn it so well that it eventually becomes second nature and easier to stick to!
This heightened conscious awareness of how you spend your time each week helps you to see how smart your time spending choices really are. Is most of your week spent in aligment with your vision statements?
How to Write A Weekly Routine
Sample Weekly Routines
Weekly routine for “Career/Business”
Weekly routine “Physical Environment”
Is My Personal Development Plan Any Good?
If you have done the exercises (above) you will know if you’ve got it right if you feel inspired to implement you new weekly schedule right away. If the motivation is not there, you may have some incongruencies with what you think you want and what you really desire deep down.
If you like these concepts and want to learn even more about how to write a kick-ass personal development plan you may want to check out my eBook, How to Wake Up Inspired and Motivated. You’ll love it – it expands all of this out into about 50 pages of wholesome goodness including diagrams, lots of tables (for easy reading) and exercises!