This goal-setting and planning are based on reflection, values, achievements, performances, learning, and awareness within the context of personal relationships, educational development, and career growth.
Meaning of personal development plan
The personal development plan is about investing in the most critical resource, and that is yourself so that you can manage life in the best possible manner irrespective of obstacles and hurdles along the way. It is a comprehensive strategy that allows the planner to be proactive and instead of waiting for things to happen, he takes the initiative by himself so that he can make then happen.
Yes, it is a fact that everyone will not always be able to achieve their objective, but another hard truth is that the experience and the effort will prove rewarding in the days to come. In actual words, personal development is a commitment towards yourself to find personal fulfillment.
The personal development plan is also known as
- Individual development plan or IDP
- Personal Enterprise Plan or PEP
Understanding the personal development plan
A personal development plan is a step in the right direction because it helps a person to find answers to some critical questions so that he can plan and move forward. This framework works as a roadmap and often helps in self-reflection.
Every person has some goals in life, and it is the role of a personal development plan to develop an effective strategy that will help in accomplishing it with a minimum of fuss. A person thinks about his interests, abilities, creating skills, capabilities and market opportunities and analyses his core competencies.
He puts his onus on his strengths and weakness and tries to find ways to optimize the power and overcome the gap to be more productive. He then thinks about the available resources at his fingertips and the ones that he can obtain.
It is then he develops a personal development plan to attain the desired objective and conquer his set goals.
Characteristics of a personal development plan
The characteristics of a personal development plan are as follows-
1. The personal development plan should be written down
Thinking about is not enough because if a person keeps on making plans and thinking about them, they will tend to vanish into thin air. The best way to give a framework to your thoughts is by writing it down. Once this happens, the imagination will turn into reality and force you to take concrete steps to achieve them.
2. The personal development plan should be realistic and feasible
The unattainable has now become reachable and now is the time to be both feasible and practical.
3. The personal development plan should reflect both long-term and short-term perspective
Do not aim for too high or too low. Prioritize your goals into long-term ones and then divide them into small and achievable ones so that it becomes easy to take one step after another
4. The personal development plan should be based on essential values
There should be a purpose behind the goal so that it keeps on motivating a person to keep going and achieving his dream
Implementing a personal development plan
The various stages necessary in implementing a personal development plan are as follows-
How can you set goals until and unless you know about them? The process of personal development plan begins with self-awareness, and it assists the person in identifying his core values, beliefs, and purpose in life.
Life is not about following in the footsteps of others but finding your path. It is imperative to your wishes and dreams before you make a concrete plan to achieve them. The journey should be as rewarding as the goal because only then will you be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour. The benefit of a personal development plan is that it helps in self-realization, which is the first step in the process of a personal development plan. Life continuously gives us signs and signals, but we let them slip by.
It is no doubt an opportunity lost, but one cannot do anything about it. The first step in personal development planning is to open yourself so that you can look into your inner self and become aware of things that seemed unimportant until now. Remember it is only when a person becomes self-aware, then he can see, identify and understand the message that life wants to convey.
If you are wondering how life sends these messages, signs, and signals, then the answer is via our feelings and intuition. There are instances in daily life when you can ask questions, I like this thing but why am I not able to connect with it and then why, how the situation would look like if I made this change, is change possible, can I make the change, etc.
There are numerous questions which when answered will nudge you towards the right path.
2. Sense of direction
Once you have opened the doors of your mind, it becomes easy to look at your inner being and also outside in your surroundings and start connecting small dots. With time and self-awareness, things start getting more precise and you begin recognizing your goals, wants and desires. The first step in attaining something is to know what you want to obtain.
Figure out the goals that are important to you and whether it is related to career, personal or education. Now put a timeline on each of the goals because it is not feasible to continue without set targets. The deadline will make them realistic expectations and nudge you to achieve them within the time frame.
A vital tip at this point is not to do everything at once nor is it feasible to do things at a plodding pace thinking that you will catch rhythm later on. Maintain a chart and make sure to stick to it no matter the distractions. As you now are aware of your goal, the next step involves finding a rhythm that will give you a sense of direction.
There are several paths in front of you and most of the time, so many choices prove confusing. Pick a clear way by eliminating irrelevant things. Now identify the main objective and find the best path that will take you there.
The personal development planning process provides a sense of direction, meaning, and purpose that can assist in shifting the onus from quantity to quality, which is one of the most important messages that life has to offer.
3. Improved focus
There is now a purpose in your steps because you have found a sense of direction. This has given you clarity of thoughts that is enabling in seeing things from a different perspective. There are still multiple tasks that are vying for your attention; it is time to set things right by prioritizing the goals so that it becomes easy to keep track of them.
Be clear on your objectives and goals and identify the tasks that will give the best results with the available resources. An essential fact at this point is to know about your strengths and weakness. Everyone is good at something hence while creating your development planning process to identify and highlight your strengths. Be confident, find ways to use your strengths and determine the areas that need improvement by working on your weaknesses.
This will improve your effectiveness and focus so that you can now eliminate distractions from your life. The process of a personal development plan is a continuous journey that will remove unnecessary stress and distractions and maintain your focus so that you can ultimately see the actual value of every activity.
4. Improved motivation
When an individual has gained the clarity of his thoughts and has found his focus the advantage of taking viable action becomes clear. The tasks might not be enjoyable or comfortable but the ultimate benefit will act as a motivating factor and nudge him to take necessary action.
A personal development plan reinforces your commitment to the journey by developing strong willpower. You can now see how this is going to enrich your life and this is from where your motivation will come. Remember all your actions whether small or big, are taking you towards your endgame and it is essential that you maintain your focus on the desired objective.
One step at a time should be your mantra so that you can face every difficulty with aplomb and still move forward.
5. Greater resilience
The journey is never going to be easy, but the personal development plan can help you in dealing with them to a great extent. It will encourage an individual to acquire the required attributes, skill and know-how so that he can develop higher resilience power.
Tough times, unfortunate circumstances and difficulties beyond your control are part of being human and facing life. The personal development plan cannot make everything smooth and right in your life but can boost your confidence and resilience so that you are calm and in control in the face of adversity.
Remember the best way to deal with negativity is via positivity and this is what a personal development plan is all about.
6. Building a support system
Walking alone is never easy; hence if possible, find your support systems so that there are well-wishers in your corner to support you during good and bad times. Remember relationship can uplift you as well as drag you down.
Make your choices wisely and decide with a calm head about the ones that are worth investing in and the ones that you should cut loose. Choose optimistic and happy people that will prove a positive influence in your life. Relationship survives when they are mutually beneficial hence give before you take.
The personal development plan helps in self-development so that you can manage yourself in every situation with ease.
Benefits of a personal development plan
The numerous benefits of a personal development plan are as follows-
- Personal development plan aids in identifying relevant areas of self-improvement so that you can benefit from it in both personal and professional life.
- It gives clarity to a personal vision
- The on-going personal development plan aids in learning about your aspirations and abilities
- It becomes easier to figure out what you want in your life and where do your values and beliefs lie
- Gives your talent the necessary room to shine and develop
- The personal development plan aids in setting well-informed and clear goals
- It boosts a person’s motivation and helps in making his decision-making process
- The personal development plan improves work-life balance.
- It encourages the process of learning and development that improves knowledge, skill, morale and confidence. This assist in making valuable changes in personal and professional life
- Improves effectiveness
- The process helps to know about your strengths and how to utilize them to remove your weaknesses
- It becomes easier to keep track of your progress
- The personal development plan identifies the problem areas that need to be developed in your behavior and personality
- It helps in evaluating your progress and becoming aware of your potential
- A personal development plan prepares a person for various situations that he may face when he enters the professional world
Disadvantages of a personal development plan
The various disadvantages of a personal development plan are as follows
- The individual who steps into the path of personal development program becomes focussed on learning new knowledge and skills. The person becomes so much consumed with this so-called excessive knowledge that he starts forgetting his actual goal for which he had started the process
- The process of the personal development plan is so time-consuming and introspective that after some time a person begins feeling isolated because he is no longer able to relate with others in a relaxed manner