Where do you see yourself in 5-10-15 years?
Where and with whom you would be living?
What kind of work would you like to be doing?
What kind of skills, education you will need?
Where you want to travel?
If we don’t plan our future ahead, we will face uncertainty, similar as a ship sailing through the sea without a navigator. More often or not we end up settling for job we dislike, working from 9-5, go home and watch TV or browse aimlessly on the internet. We take off our thinking hats and tolerate the hardships and the unfair life we experience each and every day. So, if you are finally fed up and ready to start living the life you always wanted, first thing we need to make is our own personal development plan.
Personal development plan is a process, or an action plan based on our ambitions, expectations, values and goals. It promotes growth, happiness and a sense of meaning. You will identify, and build skills necessary for your job, health, wealth, relationships and genuinely love your life.
First thing you will notice when making your own personal development plan is a boost of self-esteem and motivation. You will experience a sense of control, and truly feel that you can live on your own terms, and stop compromising for anything less.
Start making your own personal development plan
Personal development plan can consist of many areas of your life. We don’t want to complicate things as we will focus on the main areas such as:
- Social Relationship
- Self improvement
You can add more if you like
Step 1: Set a goal for each part of your personal development plan
First thing we need is to set a goal. A clear goal so we know where are we going. Goals gives us a sense of direction, a purpose, clearer our goals are more likely we are to achieve them. If you don’t set goals you will fall under someone else’s goal. And you don’t know what they have planned for you.
Instead of writing down 5 goals we will put 10 goals, or even 20 goals. If you have problems thinking what you want to achieve see the questions below to help writing down new goals.
- What are my personal goals?
- What are my social goals?
- What are my career goals?
- Where do I want to travel?
- What kind of car I want to drive?
- Where do I want to live?
Write your goals in present as you already have them with a timetable. Write long-term and short-term goals, think big, always have a goal in mind.
Example: “I’m fit to run a half marathon by 2. February 2021”
Tip: If you have problems finding goals in your life, start small and ask yourself these questions
How can I improve my health?
How can I improve my relationship with my loved ones?
What new skills would be a great benefit to me in my work, my life?
Is this the best way to spend my time?
You will find out that you already know what you have to do. Repeating these questions will create guilt and discomfort if we don’t do the task, that we know we should do. It will push us away from pain, from not doing the work toward pleasure of actually doing and completing the task. Sometimes writing down tasks on paper is enough to get started, other time we need some external motivation, support words from a friend or community.
Perhaps running a marathon is a daunting goal, but instead of that we put a smaller goal, let’s say running or walking 10-30 min a day. Smaller goals bring a small boost of self-esteem, but done each and every day in a time period builds motivation and most importantly a habit. And also we can develop a habit of achieving goals. After some time as your self-esteem rises, we won’t be satisfied with short walks but we will aim bigger, longer and more challenging goals. So perhaps after a year we will have enough confidence, and certainty that running a marathon is a possibility.
Underline your five top goals, which would have the most impact on your life when you achieve them.
Step 2: Assess your strength and weaknesses
Take inventory of your skills, what do you need improve, what is holding you back. Be honest, and remember that you are accountable for your life.
What are you good at ?
What comes easier/harder for you ?
What do you need to get better at ?
What part of your work you most/least enjoy?
Step 3: Find resources and support
You cannot do everything alone, people around have valuable skills and knowledge. Sometimes even a good compliment or supporting words can help your mindset.
What kind of books do I need?
What new skills do I need to learn?
Who can help me?
After putting your goals in order of importance you now have a list of goals and priorities. You know your strengths, weaknesses, no we need to put a timeline to each of our goals. Keep deadlines reasonable, underestimating how long we need to achieve our goal, will crush your motivation, overestimate and you will slack off.
Join Facebook groups, online forums for added motivation and support.
Step 4: Measuring your progress and adapt
Keep a journal or an excel sheet, do a weekly review of your progress. Soon you will recognize how fast are you moving and if is it possible to move faster. Like a character in a video games, we see how much progress we made, how much we leveled up. And once we leveled up enough, we can take tougher assignments and goals. But one difference between real life and a video game is that our level doesn’t cap we can keep getting better and better.
Be prepare to change, we cannot control and predict everything. If some goals don’t make sense or your interest changes, change them or get rid of them completely.
Step 5: Stop wasting time
Stop postponing your work, I know it may look scary but once you start you will look back and say to yourself, “This isn’t scary, why haven’t I started earlier”. Its hard to start, so once you start keep going, it is better to move slowly than stopping and starting again.