Individual Development Plan

How to Create an Effective Personal Development Plan


Take a look back on the previous year of your life. Do you feel like there has been significant progress in your life? Would you confidently admit that you have grown from the person you were a year back? Are you in complete control of your life? If you have answered no to these queries, you probably require a personal development plan.

What is a Personal Development Plan (PDP)?
It is a useful tool that ensures successful personal and career life. A PDP improves the chances of an individual achieving his or her lifetime goals. The plan provides this by analyzing the strengths, weaknesses and past performance, and then creating a structured format of meeting future business, academic and personal goals.

The benefits of having a personal development plan
The benefits of planning are countless. One of them is that for life to be purposeful, it is important for an individual to define what he or she wants to achieve in future. Secondly, realizing your plans requires a strategy on how they will be attained. Thirdly, planning has been backed up by scientific research which has proven that writing goals down increases the possibility of success.

Steps for writing an effective PDP
Planning is not challenging; but rather developing a plan that will get you where you wish to be. Here is how you can create a workable plan:

1. Take inventory
Stocktaking is one of the most difficult parts of creating a PDP. This is because you should be honest with yourself and the situation you are in. Analyzing your current situation is critical in helping you identify the areas that need improvement. At this stage, you also need to evaluate your ambitions and goals.

2. Write a mission statement
Most organizations have a mission statement which helps them evaluate the purpose for their activities and actions. It is important for individuals also to create mission statements that will help them focus on their objectives. Before undertaking a significant activity, refer to your mission statement and determine whether the action conforms to your statement or not.

3. Create short and long term plans
Write all your goals down then group them into short, medium and long-term plans. This will help you design appropriate action plans. Remember to have goals that cover the three sections since if you concentrate on one only, you will neglect the rest.

4. Reassess your plan
It is important to re-evaluate your plan often. Auditing your PDP helps you acknowledge how well you are doing so far and which areas require some improvement. You might have to make some adjustments to your action steps. Thus, reassessing your plan will ensure you make better decisions along the way.

5. Commit and take action
Regardless of how great the idea is, it is of no importance if you do not execute it. Execution requires commitment. Ensure you never forget your plan. Also, exercise dedication in all actions necessary in implementing your personal development plan. You might also consider engaging a trusted friend who will be reminding you of the promises you made in your PDP.

Whats your mission statement?

How to Create a Personal Development Plan

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