Clarify What You Want in Life with a Personal Development Plan

                                             By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC



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Wouldn’t it be great if you had a written plan for everything you want to accomplish in life? A Personal Development Plan is just that—it’s a blueprint for your life based on what’s important to you.


A well-written Personal Development Plan typically reflects your keen sense of personal awareness in terms of what you want to do with your life in areas such as education, relationships, and career.


Having a Personal Development Plan demonstrates you’re conscious of your own wants, needs, and values and that you’ve thought about how you hope your life will progress.


An important aspect of a Personal Development Plan is formulating goals for the future that you would like to achieve.


To get an idea of a Personal Development Plan, think about how your boss evaluates you at your job. Your supervisor will generally give you an annual evaluation which includes an overview of your current progress as well as plans for the following year including goal-setting, tasks, projects, and skills your supervisor hopes you’ll develop over the next 12 months.  


A Personal Development Plan is similar—it’s just developed by you for you and encompasses all aspects of your life—education, relationships, career, and any other areas you’d like to include. 


Time Frames for Your Personal Development Plan with Examples


When you’re first designing a Personal Development Plan, it’s easier if you focus on the next year. Establish goals you want to accomplish over the following 12 months in each of the areas of your life you hope to achieve personal growth.


Take a look at this short example of some points that might be included in a one-year Personal Development Plan:


1.      Relationship goals

a.       Get to know and establish two good friends in the city.

b.      Work on accepting more dates when I’m asked.

2.      Educational goals

a.       Go online to review the art course syllabus and training programs they offer.

b.       Sign up for and complete the Dale Carnegie course.

3.      Career goals

a.       Talk with supervisor about the special projects I want to start this year.

b.      Achieve at least three of the four goals my supervisor set for me early.

c.       Request meeting with supervisor to discuss the job milestones I must achieve to receive a promotion.


Keep in mind that the more specific you are when writing your plans, the more focused your actions can be in working toward accomplishing your goals.


Next, ponder your five-year Personal Development Plan. What’s nice about the five-year plan is that you can accomplish some pretty awesome and life-changing goals in that period of time.


Examine these examples of goals for a five-year Personal Development Plan:


1.      Relationship goals

a.       Improve communication with my partner.

b.       Discuss my wants for the future.

c.        Read one book a year about how to have a healthy romantic relationship.

2.      Educational goals

a.       Research college programs to find the one most compatible with my financial and time requirements.

b.      Complete my last two years of college so I can earn my bachelor’s degree.


3.      Career goals

a.       Get an accounting internship while enrolled in school at a company I like.(I may even be offered a full-time position before I graduate.)

b.      Apply for full-time, entry-level positions in accounting after completing my bachelor’s degree in accounting.

c.        Focus on finding work at a large corporation so more advancement opportunities will be available.


4.      Miscellaneous personal goals

a.       Research three to five major cities where corporations I’d like to work are located.

b.      Narrow cities to two and visit each one to check out the city’s layout and neighborhoods.

c.       Determine which area to first apply for work.


Perhaps it’s time to get your life together by designing a Personal Development Plan. In your plan, include elements related to relationships, education, and career and the goals you wish to strive for in each area.


Discover the incredible personal growth you can achieve all your life through developing a Personal Development Plan.