How To Form and Follow Through With a Self Development Plan

Self Development Plan

Creating a self-development plan is your first step to getting your life on track. A self-development plan needs to be well structured and very well planned out. In this article I am going to go through the whole process from beginning to end. I am also including an example and a blank self development plan you can print off and use. This article will start off with some basic questions and answers then go into a full discussion on how to get started.

What is a Self Development Plan?

A self development plan (aka a personal development plan) is an organized strategy for your personal growth. It involves focusing on certain areas of your life you want to improve or skills you want to learn, while putting together a structured plan to achieve your goals. Your plan can be as simple as writing a sentence or as complex as you want to make it. The plan usually contains time planning, growth strategies, strengths, weaknesses, priorities, and a long term goal.

Why do I need a self development plan?

Everyone who is interested in doing anything to improve their life should consider making a self development plan. If you don’t make one you will be missing a golden opportunity to maximize your personal growth potential. Of course you can always just pick up a topic and focus on that, but for a complete life transformation you need to make out a plan and set some long term goals. A self-development plan will give you the structure needed to support your growth. You will also be able to set checkpoints along the way to track your progress. If you go out blindly trying to make some major changes, you will be setting yourself up for an almost certain failure.

Which self development strategy works best?

Everyone will have their own unique strategy for self development. Each person’s strategy will vary from approach, time needed, resources used, strengths, weakness, goals, and amount of overall change needed to satisfy.  There are however some strong points that should be considered when building your own plan. Consider the points that will have strengthen your plan, but it’s always up to you what to include.

 Considerations For Your Self Development Plan

    • Break Down Your Weaknesses
    • Apply Time Management
    • Set Priorities
    • Set Long Term Goals
    • Be Resourceful
    • Be Optimistic
How do I start my self development plan?
First I would start out by getting a few things together.  Things you will need to get started a notebook, pen or pencil, a planner, a computer with internet, long term goals, a strategy, and any other resources you might find useful such as personal development books or this website. Some of the things on my list are very basic, but each item is very important that you have available.


Your notebook or planner is going to be a key to making this whole thing work. If you are serious about making a personal development plan then you are going to need somewhere to keep all of your notes and self development plans. Any simple notebook will do. Preferably a 3 ring binder so you can put all of your development plans together and look back at them in the future. If you don’t want something so big and bulky get a cheap daily planner. Either way find some way to write your plan down and keep up with it. Once you get this taken care of it’s time to look at what you want to get out of your self development by setting goals.


Without a goal there is no reason to even consider a personal development plan. Your goal can be as general or as specific as you want it to be. It’s also important that you set a reasonable time frame for completing your goal. Remember, your not superman (or superwomen) and you need to be as realistic as possible when setting your goals. If set up an unreasonable goal there will be too much pressure to finish by your deadline, and you may end up cutting yourself short or finishing prematurely. If your goals are very long term or it’s a very large goal, you may need to break it down into smaller more manageable goals. Don’t overwhelm yourself with major goals that might not be possible to reach. It’s easier to manage, complete, and track smaller goals. After you figure out what your goal is then you need to develop a strategy.


A strategy is your particular approach to any event or situation that may come up in your life. Your strategy for your self development plan needs to be a combination of your approach, proven techniques, resources, time frame, priorities, focus, and expected results. Strategies can be really simple or as complex as you want to make them. Think of a strategy like an approach to something. Do you want to be aggressive or passive? Do you want to involve others? What resources do you plan on using and which one will be your primary? How much time do you plan on spending and when? Ask yourself these questions and other similar ones. Think really hard about how you want to approach your goal. Everyone’s approach will be different and your strategy will be different for each of your goals. Remember, there will always be more than one way to get the results you want. There are no wrong strategies just ones that didn’t work and ones that do.


Being resourceful is important. They say knowledge is power. The power to change your life. Even if you want to improve your life chances are you are going to need some kind of resource to do this. Some common ones are the internet, books, friends, family, and this site (Personal Development 123). It’s all about knowing  where to find the information you need. Each thing that you try to do for yourself will probably require a different resource or a different combination of resources. Pull them all together for maximum results.


After you get everything together then it’s time to write you plan out. I am going to show you what a simple typed self development plan would look like. My goal here is to learn to write with my left hand as well as I do with my right.Simple Example Plan

Daniel’s Self Development Plan

Long Term Goal: My long term goal is to be able to write with my left hand as well as I do with my right hand withing 6 weeks from today.

Strategy: I plan to start out with first grade guide book to practice writing my alphabet and numbers. Then make my way up to full sentences while maintaining neat handwriting. I will focus on quality first and speed second.

Focus:  My focus for this goal is quality. I want speed, but not at the cost of quality. Speed will come with practice later if necessary.

Note: With something like writing or anything that you can visually see the results, it may be a good idea to do a before and after so you can see how much progress you have made. What I would probably do is write a few sentences with my left hand before and then again after my six weeks just so I could see my improvement.

Week 1: In week one I plan on getting all of my supplies together and setting up a place and time at my house to practice my writing.

Week 2: Starting out in week two I plan on practing my alphabet first. By the end of week two I want to at least have written one page of each letter lower and uppercase as neat as I can.

Week 3: Starting out in week three I want to keep focusing on writing my letters as neat as I can. I also want to start working on my numbers.

Week 4: In week four I need to start practicing writing in complete sentences.

Week 5: In week five I have already had a few weeks of practice and I need to start focusing on picking up a little bit of speed. If I can’t keep my quality up while pushing for speed I will drop the speed focus and go back to making my letters as neat as possible.

Week 6: By the end of week six I need to be able to write in complete sentences with a decent amount of speed. Again if speed is not achieved I will still feel like my goal has been achieved as long as I can write with neat letters.

Expected Results: I expect to be able to write as neat with my left hand as I do with my right. I may require more practice, but I will be satisfied if their is a tremendous improvement.

Actual Results: This is where you will write down where you actually where when you finished. This is optional. I recommend keeping all of your self development plans in a notebook so you can look back later.

Blank Self Development Plan (PDF) – Click Here To Download A Blank Self Development Plan. Print it off and make good use.

Take everything you have read from my article and put it all together to make your self development plan. This site has lots of great resources to help you pick a topic for personal deveopment. There are many great articles and ebooks completely free for you to use and apply to your life. All I ask in return for all of my effort is to share this information. The more we spread the word the more good we do for others. If you need anything feel free to email me and I will try to help the best I can. Good Luck!