Creating a Personal Development Plan: What is It and How to Write It

This post is a sneak peek into my book “The 10 Mental Habits That Will Become The Pillars of Your Success”.
It’s a part of the chapter about finding and staying focused on your purpose.

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What is a personal development plan?

Basically it’s your road-map to success. Its goal is to take you from where you are and who you are now to where you want to go in life and who you want to become.

It involves planning, setting goals, reflecting on them and getting prepared for action by breaking your dreams down into small and achievable steps.

Who is it for?

Creating such a plan is a great beginning for those who don’t know where to start or think their goal is impossible. Because seeing just the first few steps makes things look pretty possible.

It’s also for the ones that aren’t sure where they’re going, don’t really have a purpose and passion. So now is the time for them to sit down and contemplate on that.

Why make it?

Mainly because you need some clarity in your life.

I believe in going with the flow, but everyone needs to have a picture of what he wants before he gets it. After all, that’s where he’ll start creating his vision and eventually do something about it.

Once you make a detailed personal development plan, you’ll also realize that you can do it.

Getting fit may seem hard now but if you start by just 5 minutes a day, or by reading a book about it or speaking with a personal trainer, you’ll get there and see progress after a few steps.

How to write a personal development plan?

Start with the three most important questions:

1. What do you want?

What is your real purpose and biggest passion, what has always fascinated you?

Listen to your instincts. This is the time to think about your dreams, deepest desires, things you’ve wanted but gave up on, your beliefs and values.

2. Why do you want it?

This will help you with the first question, too.

Make sure the few items you’ve already listed will be worth it. They must bring you happiness, a sense of achievement, satisfaction, peace and freedom, once they become a reality.

Do you want your ‘what’ because you wish to help others, contribute to the world or become rich? Do you want fame, a big family or to be good-looking? A better career, independent life or to move to a tropical island?

Whatever it is, it will be your driving force on your way to achieving your desires. So take your time.

3. What are you willing to sacrifice?

Getting fit will take many weeks of working out and eating clean. Becoming a writer will take countless hours of writing, reading and editing.

So dedication and persistence are a must. Decide now whether you’re ready to give your time and sacrifice some things in order to become successful.

Now that you’ve answered the 3 most important questions properly and are clear about what you want in life, why you want it and how you’re going to get it, turn all these into goals.

By the way, they shouldn’t be many because you won’t be able to focus on each and pay all your attention to them.

So chunk them down into smaller goals. Keep doing that until you have a single action to start with. Make it so easy that you just won’t be able to say no. And do it today!

Later, when things get a bit harder and you feel like giving up, look for support:

  • find mentors;
  • take courses;
  • visit meetups;
  • ask family and friends;
  • find other people with the same goals online and keep in touch;
  • read motivational books;
  • challenge yourself and have rewards after each milestone.

Some more advice:

Try to make time everyday to work on your goals. Usually if someone skips 2 or 3 days, he’s got a bigger chance of losing hope and giving up.

Make it a routine – set some time aside in the morning after you eat your breakfast or late at night when the others have already gone to bed. This way it will soon become a habit.

Also, take notes throughout the whole process and keep track of your progress.

For now, all you need to know is your purpose and be absolutely sure it’s the thing you want. Then you can move on to dreaming more confidently and expand your vision.

See also:

7 steps to turn your self-improvement desires into reality
21-day plan for radical self-improvement [Calendar]
Personal development plan template

Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

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