In this post, I’m going to show you how to write a Personal Development Plan that doesn’t suck, Set goals that you cannot fail, and massively increase your chances of success.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
Do you ever feel like you're living in a time warp?
You go to work, go to bed, have some spare time on the weekend and then start all over again on Monday?
Life seems like a series of chaotic happenings that you have zero control over.
I know I've certainly felt like this. It sucks!
If this way of life bothers you, you need to change it.
In order to change what you don't want, you first need to figure out what it is you do want instead. What it is that will actually make you happy. Fulfilled. Successful. To live a life of purpose. To create a life that you love and can be proud of.
Personal Development Plans are a great way to gain extreme clarity on what you want, and then use you plan to make changes.
Without one, life may just pass you by leaving you wondering where the hell the time went, and why you're still stuck doing the same old shit you were doing 5 years ago.
I don't want this for you.
Lets make some changes...
What is the purpose of a Personal Development Plan?
Imagine a pathway towards success. A clear map that is guiding you towards your goals and visions and away from whatever it is that is making you unhappy.
Having a clear pathway like this allows you to focus and prioritise on what you need to do in order to succeed.
This is the purpose of a Personal Development Plan.
Think about it - you wouldn't set off on a journey to a destination that you've never been to before without first finding out where you've got to go. So why live your life this way?
Life is going to happen. The time will pass you by no matter what. This is a fact.
And the life you want to live is not going to happen by accident. Its up to you to take charge and live with intention and to make your vision a reality.
My Personal Development Plan Template
To save you the time of creating a template for your Plan, I've already gone ahead and done this for you. Its very basic, but very effective.
Feel free to download this template and follow along with the rest of this post:
- Personal Development Template
Please feel free to print this Personal Development Plan Template and fill it in.
P.S Make sure you're 100% honest with yourself. The more honest you are with yourself and your vision, the more effective this template will be 🙂
Step 1: How To Write A Fail-Proof Personal Development Plan
Generally speaking, there are 8 aspects of your life that you should focus on to improve, if you feel that improvement is required.
These aspects are:
- Personal Development
To figure out if you need to improve upon a certain aspect of your life, you'll need to take Inventory of your current life status.
Assess each area of your life and be completely honest with yourself.
If you're struggling financially, write it down. Do you have a shitty relationship with your parents that you would like to improve upon? Stick that in the box! Is your boss is a dick and do you hate your job? It goes in the box.
It doesn't have to be negative. If your job is awesome and you love what you do for a living, stick that in the box too.
The more honest you are with the status of your life, the better clarity you will have upon the areas of your life that require improvements, and ultimately, the more successful your development plan will be.
Step 2: Your Vision
Where you can see yourself in the future. How do you visualise yourself in 1, 5, 10, 20 years time?
What does this future version of yourself do? What makes you happy? How do you treat people? Where do you live? How much time do you spend doing the things you're passionate about?
But most importantly... WHY are you doing this? What are your true values that are driving you to become this person?
Figuring out your WHY is what is going to drive you when times get tough. It's the powerful reason for why you are doing what you're doing.
If you've read my About Me page, you'll know that I started a very successful business that ultimately failed and left me with nothing, other than crippling debt and feeling anxious.
At the time, I had no idea how or why this had happened to me.
I've later discovered that I had shitty goals, was lacking purpose, a didn't have a clear vision or reason for why I was doing what I was doing, other than to make money.
This is a poor vision as I was using money as a metric for success, and I hadn't set out to seek fulfilment or purpose in what I was doing. Instead, I was making money for the hell of it, which was very much like the day job that I had which also left me unfulfilled and without purpose, because I hated it!
The only good thing about my business was that it created time freedom. Besides this, I generally resented running the business as I wasn't passionate enough about what I was doing.
I certainly didn't have a Personal Development Plan in place, meaning once I had attained my financial goals, I was left without direction of where to go next (other than to make more money - mehh).
If I'd had a vision to provide the best possible product in that market, whilst simultaneously providing the best customer experience, that would have been a far greater driving force, and would have given me a much higher purpose for WHY I was in business.
So write out your Visions for each area of your life. Be as specific as you want to be.
Once you have figured out your vision, you can then Plan how you are going to get there.
Step 3: Your Plan
Your plan is HOW are you going to achieve your vision.
What goals are you going to set in order to achieve success in the relevant areas of your life?
Often people have trouble creating new goals, because of the uncomfortable nature of them.
They designed to move you from a place of familiarity and comfort, and into unknown territory and discomfort.
But this area of discomfort is where the growth happens. Where the magic begins and where you start to improve your circumstances or situations.
This discomfort can be tough, and you may want to retreat back to your comfort zone.
So in order to increase your chances of success, and to persevere when times get tough, you'll need to map out, IN WRITING, your goals in the correct, ultra-specific way.
You may have seen this popular goal setting acronym before:
Your goals should follow the SMART method, which is:
Its important not to set too many goals to begin with, this is where overwhelm can kick in and the whole process is likely to fail.
So be super specific about which areas of your life require the greatest improvement, and set out to achieve them first.
Here's a quick break down of the S.M.A.R.T method.
What EXACTLY do you want to achieve?
How? Why? Where? When? With who?
Having a goal of becoming a Millionaire is too vague. It's not SPECIFIC enough.
But if you were to set a goal of selling a $500 online Yoga course to 55 people per month, for 3 years. That would get you pretty darn close to your goal of becoming a Millionaire.
In fact, that would leave you just $10k short of $1M (not taking taxes or overheads into account).
But you get the gist.
Breaking your goals down into laser focused, granular tasks makes them far more attainable.
How will you know when you've achieved your goal? What evidence will you have?
What will you be, hear, feel, smell?
Writing down - 'I will be happier', isn't enough. How do you measure happiness?
However, if you said 'I've changed from my sucky job to a job that I love, which allows me more time freedom to spend with my kids, and I get longer paid holidays'. Thats good enough evidence that you've achieved what you set out to achieve.
This section is relative to the goal setter.
I'm a big fan of setting over inflated goals that may seem unrealistic, so long as Im willing to put in the time and effort required to achieve them.
Grant Cardone, the writer of 10X Rule is a true advocate of Taking your goals and increasing them 10X.
His argument is that he would rather fall short on a goal at 10X, than achieve a goal that was tiny in comparison.
However, before you decide whether or not your goal is actually possible, first you'll have to consider the extra time, money, effort, resources that you'll have to pump into your new goals, and figure out whether or not this is a sacrifice that you are willing to make.
Is this goal relevant to your vision? Will it truly allow you to achieve success and improve upon the certain areas of your life?
When will you achieve this goal?
Set a date and put it in your calendar and remind yourself of it regularly.
Step 4: Do The Work!
I'm a night owl.
Late evenings are when I'm at my most productive and can focus entirely upon a task without distraction.
I've got two young sons aged 1 and 3, so once they're asleep, its 'go time'. This works for me. It's when I find myself in my 'flame' state, and not in my 'wax', and this is when I'm most likely to create my best quality work. Plus, I don't have to miss out on any quality time with my kiddies!
Whatever works for you though. Figure out when you're most efficient, set that time aside and allow zero distractions.
If you're feeling unmotivated to work on your goals, I find the best way to get your head back in the game is to start just one small task. Something that is easily achievable in just 15 minutes.
Even if its proof reading a blog post you've written. Or checked out someone else blog post.
Try an avoid social media because this can send you down a long rabbit hold of kitten videos...
If after this 15 minute task I still feel unmotivated, I'll stop working on my goals and do something else.
However, 95% of the time, I find that once I have achieved this small task, my head is back in the game and I want to carry on working towards my vision.
Go get it!
- Download my Free Development Plan Template
- Take Inventory of your current status in all areas of your life.
- Write your Vision.
- Make a Plan to Fulfil on your Vision.
- Do the work
- Live your best life!