It is quite easy to talk about personal development, but it is very hard to actually act upon it. Most people are aware of the fact that they need to incorporate some positive changes in their lives in order to become better and more efficient individuals. The problem arises when people are asked to come up with a specific plan on how they are going to make those changes. Everyone loves to talk, until talk becomes cheap and actions are needed to make a real difference. You can attend hundreds of talks on personal development, read numerous books on this topic and go through countless articles on the internet that deals with self help and self improvement. However, you will never quite be successful in your personal development endeavour unless you have selected a certain approach or method by which you are going to become a more useful and impressive individual in the society.
Any good personal development plan should include a minimum of four steps. All of these steps are crucial to say the least. These steps will serve as a guide for you to take action when necessary. The words will keep you informed on personal development, but it is the actions that will push you closer towards that personal goal of becoming an improved individual by the end of a certain period of time. Talking of time, the turn of the year is a great occasion for you to focus your mind on personal development. If you can create a strategy by the end of the year and follow it religiously the year after, you will be in a very good position to augment your skills, change your lifestyle and boost your confidence.
Without further ado, here are the four key steps that must go into your personal development planning:
1) Identify Your Goals
This is perhaps the most important part of personal development planning. When you do not have a goal in sight, you lose track of your ambitions and eventually end up disposing the idea of going through a personal development program altogether. Identifying your goals is all about making your mind believe that there is something out there for you to achieve. This is how you tell your brain to get you focused on doing all that is necessary to reach that goal. When identifying your goals, take your limitations and weaknesses into account. You do not need to possess all the skills in the world to successfully develop your personality. Identify goals that are relevant to your social, academic or professional life.
2) Prioritize Your Chosen Goals
Once you have a set of goals you want to achieve, you need to sit down with the information in hand and think very carefully about where you are going to place each goal in the order of importance. In other words, you are strongly encouraged to rank your chosen goals on the basis of their significance. Some goals are obviously more important than others and you need to pay more attention to those instead of focusing on equal distribution.
For example, if you are a soccer player who plays in the centre forward position, you may assign yourself the goals (no pun intended) of improving your strength and polishing up your finishing by the end of the season. With increased strength, you will be able to win the aerial duels with the defenders more easily. With better finishing, you will be able to score more goals than you do already. Are these two goals equally important? No, they are not. Since you are a player in the centre forward position, your chief responsibility is to put the ball at the back of the net. Therefore, you need to pay more attention to accurate shooting than strength conditioning in the training ground.
3) Divide Each Goal into Action Steps
This is the step of the personal development planning where an incredible number of people go wrong. Dividing each goal into action steps is like breaking down one major task into a number of smaller jobs. For example, if you are a writer who is looking to improve his knowledge on inbound marketing, then you cannot accomplish that improvement within a day and through one particular activity. You need a series of days and activities to make sure that you are enhancing your knowledge of inbound marketing steadily and effectively. The action steps in this case could be reading articles written by experts on inbound marketing and writing articles of your own based on what you have learned from the experts.
4) Assign Yourself a Time Line for Each Action
This is mainly done to avoid procrastination, which happens to be one of the biggest enemies of personal development. In order to stay on track and make considerable progress, you need to set yourself daily, weekly and monthly goals. Whenever you are assigning a time line for yourself, make sure that you keep it as realistic as you possibly can. You are your own boss here. Give yourself a time frame that is challenging, but not unachievable.