Sometimes in life, often without realizing, we can lose focus of our dreams or become too engrossed in the world out there. We find ourselves lost, our identity forgotten until one day we realize how far we have strayed.

It is very easy to let yourself go, lose focus and lose determination.

Days and months and even years pass by before you realize you might not have accomplished the things you were once so passionate about. There are just so many reasons you lost focus:

  • You were getting over a heart break
  • You didn’t have time
  • You didn’t have the finances
  • You had a family to look after
  • You had a very time consuming career
  • You were too busy doing other stuff
  • You were lazy
  • You were grieving the loss of a loved one
  • You make some wrong choices
  • …and so many more reasons

But if you are reading this, it means you have reached that positive point in your life when you are ready to focus on yourself, invest in yourself and take control of your life. You want to make good choices, learn a new skill, and work on yourself. The next stage in this journey is to think things through.

Personal development plan – why do you need one?
Clearing up your mind is important if you want to focus and find your determination.

Think of what you want to do with your life.

It doesn’t need to be a full-blown plan at first. But it needs to be an idea that helps you find your motivation.
Something that you need to do or want to do.

Your challenge can be as big as getting an educational degree or learning a skill or it can be to lose weight or adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Developing your own customized personal development plan will keep you motivated and focused.

Writing the plan

Next you want to understand how to lay out your plan.

You might want to begin with how to write a personal development plan?

This shouldn’t be too difficult, once you decide what you want.

Writing a personal development plan includes the following steps:

1. Write up a list of goals

You can have multiple goals or one goal. It is up to you but I'd strongly suggest that you focus on one goal at a time.
Think, plan and decide on your goals. You need to be clear why you want to achieve a particular goal.

2. Rank them

If you have more than one goal, you might need to list them in order of importance.

Ranking your goals helps you prioritize and act accordingly.

3. Do a SWOT analysis on yourself

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats.

Understanding yourself is important.

Be honest.

If you are overestimating or underestimating yourself, you will be at a loss.

Think realistically.

Strengths

Identify the qualities and good habits that will aid you in following your plan. How can you use your strengths to achieve your goals?

Weaknesses

What are your weaknesses? What factors will deter you from following out on this plan. It can be anything such as being lazy or procrastinating or any other excuse you give to make yourself feel better.

Opportunities

You need to figure out creative ways that you can use to convert threats into opportunities or find out how you can make use of opportunities.

For example if your plan is to lose weight, then every household chore is an additional opportunity to lose calories!

Threats

What factors can cause a hindrance in achieving your goals.
Understanding threats is important to prepare yourself beforehand.

These are life or safety threats. These are threats that will endanger your personal development.

An example of a threat can be a financial hurdle, or injury etc.

4. Getting started

There is no use of planning or writing out a development that you are not willing to follow. Plan out:

  • When you will get started?
  • How you will get started?
  • What will be your strategy?

5. SMART

Is your plan SMART?

  • Specific – goal is clear
  • Measurable – can be measured
  • Attainable – something that is feasible or can be acted upon
  • Realistic – you have the capacity or resources to act on the goal
  • Time-bound – you can track your actions

6. Get support

Will you get in touch with friends and family or people who share common goals? Who will you turn to for support?

Support and encouragement help keep you focused.

7. Measure progress

Make sure you act on your personal development plan and identify how you can measure progress.

Strategically think and write down your plan using this detailed personal plan development guideline. Make sure you don’t skip any of these steps! So why not go ahead and get started?

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If you'd like more help creating your personal development plan, click this link.

And get a free personal development plan here.