Around this time of year, we often create plans that will enhance the quality of our lives and careers. However, as the year progresses, it is easy for us to lose sight of our personal goals, and flounder through yet another year, being unhappy with ourselves and others. Even so, we can’t seem to come up with a plan to address the inner gremlin impeding our success.
Success begins with intention and purpose, and planning is a critical component to achieving this. People who hold the view that their lives can be enhanced through personal development planning (PDP) tend to achieve more and are better able to attain their aspirations through habitual practice. Still, it is not enough to have a plan in your head as it will likely remain a mere dream.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development defines PDP as “a combination of approaches, ideas, and techniques that will help you manage your own learning and growth.” In essence, it is your written plan for self-improvement with short- and long-term objectives.
One of the best gifts we can give to ourself is an investment in our personal development and fostering a growth mindset. This requires proper planning, hard work, commitment, and being receptive to receiving feedback from others. As a 2022 objective, challenge yourself to create and execute a successful PDP using this simple 10-step guide:
1. Objectively assess what about you can use some improvement. Conduct your own SWOT analysis and, where necessary, solicit the views of family, friends, and colleagues or seek help from a professional.
2. Select at least one of the areas identified and set your goals for improvement. Remember your goals could be as simple as becoming an early riser, exercising, eating healthier, or more complex such as getting in front of your past, becoming more resilient, or removing self-limiting thoughts.
3. Ensure that your goals are life changing, but achievable.
4. Increase your knowledge in the subject area pertaining to your goals so that you can develop a more realistic plan.
5. Identify characteristics and values that reflect development and use these to create milestones.
6. Write out an action plan which details how you will go about achieving the goals and includes strategies, resources, timelines, and milestones.
7. Prioritize the execution of your plan. Each day carry out at least one action towards the achievement of your goals.
8. Recognize threats and opportunities as you carry out your plan and manage these situations.
9. Use your support network to help you stay on course and be open to constructive feedback.
10. Measure your progress and reward yourself for each milestone accomplished.
As you commit your plan to paper, don’t be constrained by format and style of writing. Simply write your plan in a way that is easy for you to follow and track progress.
I enjoy reading the history of Benjamin Franklin, a man who epitomized self-improvement. As he so aptly guided, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” So let’s plan to make 2022 a year of success through personal development planning and adopting a growth mindset.
By Stacy-Lee Abrahams
Personal and Professional Development Consultant
With over 20 years’ experience in Human Resource Management and in manpower planning, people engagement, strategic compensation, training and development, and performance management, Stacy-Lee Abrahams worked with some well-established companies and as a freelance consultant to help others streamline their HR systems and processes in furtherance of people development. Stacy-Lee serves as the Personal and Professional Development Consultant for Victorious By Design.