Creating a Personal Development Plan: What is It and How to Write It 92

writing a personal development plan

This post is a sneak peek into my book “The 10 Mental Habits That Will Become The Pillars of Your Success”.
It’s a part of the chapter about finding and staying focused on your purpose.

What is a personal development plan?

Basically it’s your road-map to success. Its goal is to take you from where you are and who you are now to where you want to go in life and who you want to become.

It involves planning, setting goals, reflecting on them and getting prepared for action by breaking your dreams down into small and achievable steps.

Who is it for?

Creating such a plan is a great beginning for those who don’t know where to start or think their goal is impossible. Because seeing just the first few steps makes things look pretty possible.

It’s also for the ones that aren’t sure where they’re going, don’t really have a purpose and passion. So now is the time for them to sit down and contemplate on that.

Why make it?

Mainly because you need some clarity in your life.

I believe in going with the flow, but everyone needs to have a picture of what he wants before he gets it. After all, that’s where he’ll start creating his vision and eventually do something about it.

Once you make a detailed personal development plan, you’ll also realize that you can do it.

Getting fit may seem hard now but if you start by just 5 minutes a day, or by reading a book about it or speaking with a personal trainer, you’ll get there and see progress after a few steps.

How to write a personal development plan?

Start with the three most important questions:

1. What do you want?

What is your real purpose and biggest passion, what has always fascinated you?

Listen to your instincts. This is the time to think about your dreams, deepest desires, things you’ve wanted but gave up on, your beliefs and values.

2. Why do you want it?

This will help you with the first question, too.

Make sure the few items you’ve already listed will be worth it. They must bring you happiness, a sense of achievement, satisfaction, peace and freedom, once they become a reality.

Do you want your ‘what’ because you wish to help others, contribute to the world or become rich? Do you want fame, a big family or to be good-looking? A better career, independent life or to move to a tropical island?

Whatever it is, it will be your driving force on your way to achieving your desires. So take your time.

3. What are you willing to sacrifice?

Getting fit will take many weeks of working out and eating clean. Becoming a writer will take countless hours of writing, reading and editing.

So dedication and persistence are a must. Decide now whether you’re ready to give your time and sacrifice some things in order to become successful.

Now that you’ve answered the 3 most important questions properly and are clear about what you want in life, why you want it and how you’re going to get it, turn all these into goals.

By the way, they shouldn’t be many because you won’t be able to focus on each and pay all your attention to them.

So chunk them down into smaller goals. Keep doing that until you have a single action to start with. Make it so easy that you just won’t be able to say no. And do it today!

Later, when things get a bit harder and you feel like giving up, look for support:

  • find mentors;
  • take courses;
  • visit meetups;
  • ask family and friends;
  • find other people with the same goals online and keep in touch;
  • read motivational books;
  • challenge yourself and have rewards after each milestone.

Some more advice:

Try to make time everyday to work on your goals. Usually if someone skips 2 or 3 days, he’s got a bigger chance of losing hope and giving up.

Make it a routine – set some time aside in the morning after you eat your breakfast or late at night when the others have already gone to bed. This way it will soon become a habit.

Also, take notes throughout the whole process and keep track of your progress.

For now, all you need to know is your purpose and be absolutely sure it’s the thing you want. Then you can move on to dreaming more confidently and expand your vision.

See also:

7 steps to turn your self-improvement desires into reality
21-day plan for radical self-improvement [Calendar]
Personal development plan template

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10 Things Uber Successful People Do in the Morning 15

10 Things Uber Successful People Do in the Morning

Who doesn’t want to be successful? Whatever our purpose in life may be, we want to achieve success with it. Although success is usually perceived as career growth, it also encompasses personal growth. These two things go together.

So what can we do to reach the personal and professional growth of uber successful people? Maybe we can imitate some of their habits. Their morning rituals, in particular, set the pace of the day.

Did you know that the way you start your mornings affects your entire day?

You probably felt that, but guess what: science proves it as a fact, too.

In a study called “Waking up on the wrong side of the bed: start-of-workday mood, work events, employee affect, and performance,” researchers found that whatever the mood of workers was during the morning, they preserved it throughout the entire day.

So if you start off in a good mood, you have greater chances of having a great day. That’s why morning routines are so important.

Let’s learn from the ultra successful people, shall we? How do they start their mornings?

What The Most Successful Do in The Morning

1. Spend Time with the Partner.


As we said, success is not only about professional achievements. It also means having the right person by your side.

Take Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan as an example. They are both crazy successful, and they are definitely happy to have each other.

Waking up next to the person you love makes every morning special. Appreciate that moment. Have a coffee together. Talk. Be glad you’re there for each other.

2. Mindfulness.

Yes; mindfulness is a habit.

Successful people are always busy. Can you imagine a hectic morning with dozens of urgent email messages, business partners calling, and the kids yelling? And they are still in their pajamas! That’s why they practice mindfulness.

Researchers from The University of Sydney found that mindfulness reduces work-related stress and improves the mood at work. That’s why successful people always seem ready to deal with any situation.

So how do you practice mindfulness in the morning?

Just wake up. Take few deep breaths. Be aware of the present moment. Be aware of the responsibilities the day ahead will bring. Relax, and tell yourself that you’re ready.

3. Plan the Day.

A good plan will set you on the right track.

Plan your tasks for the day in the morning. When you have such an outline, it will be easier to handle all responsibilities. You’ll know you’ll have time for all tasks.

If you realize there’s not enough time, you should plan how to outsource. If, for example, you cannot complete a business report, you can hire assignment masters to write or edit it for you.

4. Exercise.

I know; it’s a cliché. However, it’s also an activity that works.

Physical exercise makes you fitter, but it also makes you happierWhen you’re done with your morning exercise ritual, you feel at ease, and things start to clear up.

Most successful people exercise. Hillary Clinton does yoga. Obama works out for 45 minutes six days per week. Mark Cuban does cardio fitness. Follow their example!

5. Practice Patience.

Too many things ahead? If your schedule is busy, you’ll be eager to get things done ASAP. The morning is the period of the day when you should practice patience. Relax.

You already made a plan. There’s time for everything. You’ll get through the day. For now, cherish this precious moment of morning relaxation.

6. Juice Up.

How to Win The 9-to-5 Battle by Staying Healthy at Work

It’s no wonder why so many celebrities are into the latest juice detox trend. Healthy juices give you valuable nutrients and make you feel more energized.

Have a different juice every single morning. Sure, the juicer will take some cleaning after, but the juice will certainly give you enough energy for that.

7. Eat Breakfast.

You saw this coming, didn’t you?

Uber successful people know that the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s even better when it’s healthy.

Yes; the juice can be your breakfast, but it won’t make you feel full for long. If you don’t intend to have a standard breakfast, pack some fruit for work. A banana and an apple are mandatory!

8. Hydrate.

Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Hydration is essential for the way your entire system functions.

9. Be With the Right People.

In Tools of Titans, author Timothy Ferriss refers to a so-called “five chimps theory” in zoology. According to that theory, you can predict the behavior of any chimp if you analyze the five chimps they usually hang out with.

There’s a lot of wisdom in that theory. When you surround with nervous people, you’re nervous, too. When you surround yourself with positive characters, you reflect good vibes, too.

The first people you contact in the morning will set the mood for your day. Choose them carefully.

10. Celebrate Achievements.

When you wake up with a positive mindset, you’ll boost your chances of spending a good day.

Instead of thinking about all obstacles ahead, you should take time to think about all achievements you’ve made towards your current goals. This appreciation will convince you that you’re on the right track.

When we sum things up, all these morning habits of the ultra successful people seem pretty simple, don’t they?

However, it takes tons of persistence and commitment to stay true to them. Start by making small steps. Pick few of these activities and repeat them every day, until they turn into habits.   

Cathy Baylis is a personal growth expert who writes insightful articles that motivate and challenge others. She has worked as a writer for a little over a decade now, and owns several blogs that she updates on her free time.