How To Create A Personal Development Plan To Skyrocket Your Goals
I think of myself as an ambitious person, and like many of you, my ambition has me running in circles around my development. I order books online, sign up for webinars, pay for mini-courses, and even work with my own coach, in order to optimize my life and my development as a human.
Prior to becoming a personal development strategist myself, I had no idea what kind of development to engage in. I needed to get focused. Planning in every other area of my life has always worked for this, so I figured making a personal development plan would do the same, and I was right. I will share a few simple steps that have worked for both me and my clients.
1. Get focused on your goals
Often when we engage in personal development, we choose things that may seem interesting to us or perhaps something that is recommended. What we should really be doing is taking an honest look at our on-going goals and finding development opportunities that serve those pieces of us.
For example, I was the queen of engaging in personal development that was focused on relationship building, authenticity, and building connections with others.
As a natural relationship builder, this was not the personal development (PD) I needed. I need PD focused on building stronger confidence in my professional life and continuing to work through my sensitivity with loved ones. I found these two areas of development for myself by digging deep into areas of my life that cause me difficulty and challenge and found opportunities for development that aligned with me.
2. Limiting what I was consuming
This might seem a little bit counter-intuitive, but I was once given a piece of advice that has really resonated with me and my practice. I was feeling overwhelmed by the number of opportunities there were for learning.
Between podcasts, books, articles, workshops, online seminars, and more, I was having trouble narrowing down the many life hacks that seemed to come from all of my sources.
The advice I was given was to limit myself to learning from 1-2 people at a time. This allows you to take what you need from these people, really dive deep in your learnings, and have enough brain space to implement what you learn in a meaningful way.
Once I have honed in on my goals based on areas of my life that need development, I research who the key leaders in that area are and do a vibe check on them. I watch some of their Instagram stories, do some googling, and look for methods that resonate with how I learn. I am a book person, so I look for a book where I can grab a highlighter and get learning!
After I read one specific opinion on a topic for my development, I will often go for a second resource by a different author or contributor to be able to really see multiple perspectives on whatever I am trying to learn about.
Good personal development resources often lead to other resources that compliment your learning!
3. Tracking your daily contributions towards your goals
Personal development needs to become a habit, just like any other area you are trying to grow in your life. If you do not make time or space for it or do not make it intentional, it will never be effective and help you achieve your larger goals.
A method that I swear by for every single one of my personal development goals is habit tracking. You can use a simple piece of paper, a bullet journal, or go all out and buy a habit tracker, but anyway that you use it, it gives you a clear visualization of your progress.
James Clear, author of the best-selling novel Atomic Habits, raves about the habit tracker because it provides a visual cue that reminds you to act, it is motivating to see the progress you make and there is a level of satisfaction in recording your success in the moment.
Keep your habit tracker somewhere where you have to see it every day and need to check in with yourself. I have a chair I like to read in every morning, and so I keep my habit journal with my iPad or book I am reading, so I fill it out right when I am done reading from my book and want to capture that I did something that contributed to my development.
Of course, the habit tracker is not the only way to do this and you need to test methods that feel aligned for you but tracking your contributions to your goal is crucial for personal development.
Unlike other goals, there can be less progress that you can visibly see immediately and there may never be an end to your goal (I’ll never be 100% confident), so tracking your progress in some way is crucial to you staying motivated with it.
Often when we have personal development goals, we do not treat them like we would other types of goals and they can fall off our plates as quickly as we added them. Being intentional with the personal development you choose will help you keep on track and motivated to make a long-standing change in your life to help you achieve any life goal you have in mind.