A self-development plan is your guide to a better you.
There is a pretty common misconception that it is only useful for those who are not happy with their lives or choices. This is completely not so.
Look at it this way. If you were a CEO of an enormous and extremely successful company, shouldn’t you still have a strategy?
Probably, yes. So, why a more or less successful person should stop where he or she is?
Improve yourself and be persistent. Here are the best ways to make your self-development plan work.
How to Write Your Self-Development Plan
1. Declutter Your Mind
There are tips on how to write self-development plans in numerous sources. However, people keep failing with their plans, which, among other factors, contributes 5% to the self-help industry growth each year.
The most common difficulties in writing any plan (from the one described here to a simple to-do list for a day) are caused by the fact that one has too much on his or her mind.
Sounds familiar? There are chores, and tasks, and dreams.
Eventually, it is impossible to start doing at least something because the pressure is too intense.
Besides, a lot slips your mind. Of course, you will be reminded of tasks connected with other people, like appointments and work assignments. But how about yourself?
Everything you plan to become happier, calmer, brighter, or more professional is lost in the clutter of everyday activities.
If you can’t find any time for self-development, the plan won’t save you unless you make some space for it in your life and your mind.
Decluttering should take two stages.
The first one is working with your inbox.
Write down all of your to-do’s on a sheet of paper. Everything.
At this stage, don’t think about self-development separately. Don’t evaluate yourself or your tasks.
Remember that perfectionism is an enemy of everyone productive. So, don’t even start trying to polish your list.
Just ‘throw’ everything out on the paper. Then, organize your tasks by categories, and some of them will be considered irrelevant, others can be postponed, and some can be delegated.
One way or another, this will give you a full picture which is a great basis for your self-development plan.
Another stage of mind decluttering is to try and focus on the present moment from which you are going to act.
Meditation is one of the best ways to do this. You can choose from a number of meditation techniques.
Anyway, after some time practicing it, you will see a clear difference.
2. Choose Goals
A self-development plan presupposes some actions. But you will never do anything before you know why you should do it.
Of course, you may know what people are to do for developing themselves spiritually in general. Such things as reading to get some knowledge about yourself and the world, meditating, and communicating with interesting people, seem to be a must.
But if you think ‘I MUST’ (or at least, ‘I have to’) do it, you may never even start.
So, forget about have-to’s and remember about why’s.
Why is it important? Why do you think it can change your life, your relationship with the world? Why is it worth trying? Why is it critical to achieve your goals?
To answer the latter, you have to word your goals.
They have to be very real, almost physical. Once you understand why you do it, you’ll have no choice but to keep doing it until your goal is achieved.
3. Set Priorities
While organizing your inbox task, you have probably noticed that there are too many task groups. To escape choosing between meditating and doing the dishes, create a daily routine from the tasks you need to do for a maintained home.
They are not your priorities. But making them a habit will allow not even to notice how you complete them.
After you have separated everything and selected the self-development tasks, you have to prioritize them.
This way, you find time for them easier. Besides, completing some tasks leads to more even tasks. And you have to see the consequences clearly.
This brings us to our next point.
4. Strategize The ‘Next’ Actions
You know that learning something new is a part of any productive day, so it really should be included in your self-development plan.
And it seems so easy. At first.
You have heard about a great book. Its author knows what s/he is talking about. So, reading it can really help you in your way.
But even reading a book can seem too time-consuming. Besides, you have to find it and buy it? Where – in a shop with the fastest delivery or with the lowest prices? And maybe, it is not that good at all – shouldn’t you read more reviews first? Maybe, tomorrow?
Don’t you see how your mind is making something simple unbearably hard in your head? There can be two reasons for it:
- It seems that a task will take you too much time or effort.
- You don’t know where to start.
Both of these reasons are rooted in poor planning.
If you need to include anything in your self-development plan, you have to describe everything you have to do step by step.
Your goal is your project. For example,
Project: Learn the basics of GTD from David Allen’s book
- Find the best offer to buy the book
- Order the book
- Read wiki articles about GTD and David Allen to have the gist before you get it
- Find some five reviews about the book (limit yourself; otherwise it will take you ages) to find out what people think
- Watch these or those video reviews (be specific)
- Think over a reading routine: for how long every day, when, where (at home, on the bus, etc.)
- Start reading once you have got it (as you planned, not 8 hours in a row even if it is VERY interesting!)
- Collect your notes and organize them.
- Start implementing principles that suit your plan.
This seems weird to plan things like this, but you can seriously reduce procrastination with a ‘next step’ system.
Plus, remember that this is not about reading, watching videos, meditating, or whatever else for fun. This is what you want to do to be more successful as a person.
5. Create a Habit Tracker
A habit tracker is an indelible part of any productive personal strategy. When you form a routine not to let your household chores interfere with your self-development plan, it is the most powerful tool to succeed.
There are also great ways how you can use tracking your habits for the plan itself. The most obvious things to include in a self-development habit tracker are meditating and reading.
Alright. But there are more, like spending time outside, sleeping well (which is crucial for every type of personal planning), etc.
Moreover, include planning! People like to make plans, but they forget to revise them.
One day you forget to fill in your habit tracker leads to another. And somehow all the time spent on planning turns out to be in vain. If you track your success in planning, you will be much more productive. Is this what you want?
About The Author
Jake Lester is an experienced essay writer that is currently writing for edubirdies.org. The most recurring themes he covers are education, writing and marketing. He has his own writing style and this is why he is appreciated by readers.