A personal development plan (or PDP) isn’t primarily something your boss expects you to submit before your annual review; it’s also the rock that keeps your hopes and ambitions in sight.
A strong plan gives you direction, helps you sketch out a road to your version of success, helps you make better decisions, and keeps you from going backward. When things go wrong, a sound plan allows you to strategize and get back on track.
A clear strategy is also good for your mental health since it gives you a feeling of purpose, which can help you feel less stressed and anxious.
So, whether you haven’t thought about where you want to go or if you’ve ever contemplated a five-year plan, now is the time should begin thinking about who you want to be and how you want to go in the future.
How to write a personal development plan
A Personal Development Plan can be written in seven steps:
- Make a list of your ambitions.
- Set Priorities for Your Objectives.
- Establish Deadlines for Yourself.
- Recognize the threats and possibilities that exist.
- Grow as a person
- Make use of your support system
- Track your improvement.
1. Make a List of your ambitions.
Look for the things in life that you desire; they are your long-term goals. As a twenty-something, you’re in one of life’s most risky stages. Everything appears to be in disarray, and there are several frustrations. Not only is figuring out what you want the first and most difficult phase in planning, but it’s also the most difficult.
Once you’ve decided what you want to do with your life, your dream serves as an emotional anchor, providing stability and order amid turbulence. Your life goals, by the way, should be challenging; they should seem vast, scary, and completely overwhelming.
You’ll break them down into small baby steps, which will make them feel more doable and achievable, and you’ll succeed. Ultimately, your goals SHOULD overcome you first and foremost. This is because you are contemplating and making plans for your future. It’s reasonable to be scared; after all, it’s your life you’re planning, and that’s a big thing.
2. Set Priorities for Your Objectives.
The very next step is to evaluate all of the tiny steps that will assist you in achieving your ultimate professional ambition. You’ll also need to identify these short-term objectives. Keep in mind that you can’t do everything at once, and attempting to do so will failing failure.
Contemplate what needs to be done right now. Set modest goals in your PDP to help you achieve the major ones. Assume you wish to work in academia as a senior lecturer and eventually a professor. To begin, you’ll need a Ph.D. order to do so. So now that you have a big goal, break it down into steps like this:
Learn about how to apply for a Ph.D.
- For a Ph.D., choose a good university and supervisor.
- Examine your financial options.
- Look for studentships to apply for or apply to your preferred university.
- Make a Ph.D. application and submit it.
3. Establish Deadlines for Yourself
It’s crucial to know when you want to achieve a goal, and picturing your future may be a powerful motivator and source of inspiration. You should use daydreaming to establish a deadline for your goals because it is a great motivator.
- When you buy your first home, how old do you predict you’ll be?
- When are you aiming to get your doctorate and cross the stage at graduation?
Dreams, on the other hand, cannot be used to set deadlines; you must turn your dreams into reality. If you don’t, you might become discouraged.
Interact with others about their experiences and investigate the process so you know what to expect to see whether you have a good chance of achieving your goals.
Considerations are crucial because they prevent you from being frustrated when you run into roadblocks, they also help you learn more about what you want to do, and they can even help you predict future problems and prepare for them!
4. Recognize the Threats and Possibilities that exist.
There will be certain factors – external or internal – that, if you let them, will prohibit you from attaining your goals or cause you to be delayed in your progress.
These are the dangers you face.
A lack of motivation, for example, could make it difficult to apply for that Ph.D. You can employ tactics to keep you focused on your goals than when you’ve identified your predisposition for procrastination or losing focus.
There will be things you can do and links you can establish to assist you along your way. These are the things you should commit to; these are your chances.
For example, if a conference is coming up. Take advantage of the circumstance. Come up and network, stay up to date on the newest information, and perhaps give a presentation!
5. Grow as a Person
Once you’ve figured out what’s going to hurt you and what’s going to benefit you, you may seize the possibilities you’ve identified. Make a strategy for how you’ll achieve your goals.
Whatever else is preventing you from achieving your goals, there is a strategy to fix it, and making a plan is just the first step in staying motivated. So, why not look into upskilling, developing transferrable skills, or perhaps finding an online learning opportunity in today’s fast-changing employment market?
6. Make Use of your Support System
You should be aware of the following: You are not compelled to accomplish anything on your own.
Neither should you. Use and don’t undervalue the resources available to you in your support network. Create a list of persons who can help you with your growth strategy.
A financial advisor, a friend, or a colleague could be the person in question You should be informed that you are not obligated to complete many tasks on your own.
7. Track your Improvement.
Take some time after you’ve achieved some progress, no matter how modest, to reflect on how far you’ve come.
Recognize what has gone well to maintain your motivation and commitment.
This is also a great moment to evaluate your condition following a disappointment.
Wallowing is an excellent approach to feeling what you need to feel without holding on to it for too long. On the other side, clinging to despair, anger, or frustration will only serve to discourage you. These emotions will get you nowhere and will just slow you down.
You can devote some time to determining what did go wrong. Are you able to identify a knowledge or skill gap? If you can, get back on track by focusing on your next modest step; this will help you revive your sense of purpose and gain control, both of which are necessary for growth.