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Personal development can be any skill that you want to develop to improve yourself. But it doesn’t really matter which skills you want to improve, the key to personal development is taking the right steps — steps that help ensure that you reach whatever goal you are pursuing.

“For things to change for you, you have to change”

Jim Rohn

Personal development is a lifelong process. It is a way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider their aims in life and set goals in order to realize and maximize their potential.

Your Personal Development Plan

1. Develop a Vision for Yourself

Personal development can be fun and most of us find it easier to motivate ourselves to learn and improve if we have a purpose and set our intentionality. Developing your personal vision – a clear idea of where you want to be in a few months or years, and why. This is a crucial step when developing your purpose.

This personal vision helps to identifying your personal development needs, so you can then take action to address them.

Success looks different for all of us. We each have different ambitions for our lives and things that we want to achieve. For this reason, it serves no one to compare your achievements to others, or even to think of others as ‘unsuccessful’ because they have not accomplished what you want to.

The first step on your personal development journey is to develop more clarity about where you see yourself over the next few months and years. This will allow you to set some realistic expectations for yourself, both long-term and short term. Start with the long term, and then you can ‘backwards engineer’ a plan from there.

2. Plan Your Personal Development

Once you have clarity about where you want to be, you can start planning the process of how to get there. Writing out a super detailed personal development plan is not absolutely critical, but it does help in making your planning process become more realistic.

You cannot do everything at once so we have to make sure to prioritize. A great way to do this is to list all of the areas of development you need. Personal Development is just that, personal and it also has to be backed with intentionality.

Ask Yourself the Questions:

  • How important is this to me?
  • How crucial is it to develop for what I’m trying to accomplish?

Answering these questions will give you a much better idea of which areas to focus on first.

3. The Improvement Process

Development is about change in the design of who you are. This includes your body, your brain, or your consciousness (gaining self-awareness and/or reprogramming your subconscious).

Just because you make/develop a new habit doesn’t mean you will grow from it. If the habit, changes you over time (however), it does aid in your development.

It’s very easy to believe that you’re developing when, actually, you’re not. Often times we deceive ourselves and there’s plenty of evidence of this all around us.

For example: Reading books in the area you want to grow doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ‘personally developing’.

Personal development books can provide a plan or a guide for development in certain areas, but real personal development comes through practice, repetition, and action based on your learning.

NOTE: It’s, by far, easier for someone else to assess the changes you’re making than for you to try and do it yourself.

Behavior change, new skill sets, and greater capacity/intelligence may be where we can see some signs of change but we also have to back it with a proper mindset.

“It’s not so much your aptitude as it is your attitude that determines your altitude.

Zig Ziglar

4. Measure Your Development

It is often a good idea to keep a record of your personal development. Journal your progress on your learning and development journey, that way you can reflect back on your successes and make changes if need be. This reflection process can help to motivate you to learn more skills in the future.

5. Reflection and Plan Revision.

To have effective learning, it’s important to reflect back on your experiences, and think about and meditate on what you’ve learned. Regular reflection on your development, your plans, and your activities, will help solidify what your learning and continue to learn. It will also ensure that your actions are moving you towards your goals, and that your goals and vision for yourself remain relevant to what you’re currently trying to accomplish.

The personal development process of setting effective personal goals and creating the motivation to achieve them. That’s the core of personal development. A set of skills designed to help you reach your potential, whether in business, a career, or life.