HOW TO DEVELOP A PERSONAL GROWTH PLAN THAT WORKS
Personal growth is one of our deepest human needs. When we don’t commit to a personal growth plan, we stay stagnant or become trapped by our limiting beliefs. However, we can’t just say we want to grow and leave it at that. We need to set clear goals so that we can create an effective personal growth plan – and then act on it.
Remember, as Chris says, “Rewards come in action, not in discussion.” You’ll never overcome your personal growth challenges just by thinking about them. Create a personal growth and development plan that consists of actionable items. Then put in the work to tackle any obstacle in the way of your goals. With hard work and dedication, you will become the best version of you possible.
WHAT IS A PERSONAL GROWTH PLAN?
Your personal growth and development plan is a completely customized blueprint for your life. It starts with your purpose: What will bring you the most happiness in life? From there, work backward. Determine the habits you need to develop, the skills and knowledge you must master. Establish the step-by-step goals you need to achieve to get there.
Personal growth isn’t just for those who are feeling stuck or have a major obstacle to overcome. Everyone benefits from working through a personal growth plan. Learning how to continue your personal growth is essential to building confidence, reaching your goals and finding fulfillment. If you’re not evolving, you’re dying – so it’s time to get growing.
DETERMINING YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH CHALLENGES
The first step of setting personal development goals is to decide what is important in your life. What does your personal growth and development plan mean to you? Does it mean becoming a better communicator with your partner? Do you envision professional success? Would you like to adopt a sustainable healthy diet and get into better physical shape? Do you want to become better at handling your finances? No matter your personal growth challenges, there’s a way to achieve your goals.
Growth and success mean something different for everyone, but personal growth plans usually tackle seven areas of life: professional, relationships, intellectual, social, financial, spiritual and physical health. Within these areas, you can tailor your goals to your own life to ensure you continue to grow.
- Professional goals include both short- and long-term aims for your career. They have actionable items and named deadlines. For example, you want a promotion within the year, to reach a certain role within five years and then strike out on your own and start a business within ten years. These goals also include professional development such as certifications and attending conferences.
- Relationship goals can mean finding love if you’re not in a relationship or strengthening your current partnership. If you’re in search of love, you’ll work on defining and finding your ideal partner and overcoming your limiting beliefs. If you’re in a partnership, you may want to reignite the spark or stop arguing.
- Intellectual growth means feeding your mind, gaining new skills and staying inspired to always keep learning. You could decide to tackle a long novel you haven’t gotten around to, learn how to play the piano or commit to doing a crossword every day.
- Physical health is one of the most common areas for improvement in a personal growth plan. On the surface, your goal is to lose weight or build six-pack abs, but dig deeper. Physical health is ultimately about living an overall healthy lifestyle that will give you the energy and vitality you need to go after your other goals.
UNDERSTANDING THE CATEGORIES OF PERSONAL GROWTH PLANS
There are as many personal growth plan examples as there are people, but for our purposes we can break them down into seven categories. These include:
These can be the skills you’re born with – or they can be learned and acquired. To excel in all areas of your life, you must understand which of your skills are the strongest and which ones need more work.
Growth requires evolution. In order to achieve business, relationship, life or physical goals, you must evolve into a different person than you were before. You must deepen your knowledge and remain open to growth.
Personal power applies to the authority you grant to others. If you want to grow, you need to take back some of your personal power. Stop letting other people control you.
To improve your life, you must keep a positive mindset and work hard. Any growth relies on personal improvement. If you aren’t pushing yourself to become a better person, you will never achieve your goals.
What is the unique power that you see within yourself? It has nothing to do with how others see you. Increase your personal empowerment by holding strong to a positive image and find creative outlets that you enjoy.
Personal analysis is when you get serious with your strengths and your weaknesses. No one is good at everything. Be truthful when it comes to analyzing where you come up short and what you can do to make improvements.
Setting personal objectives are essential for creating change and achieving goals. Ambition will get you nowhere without a clear set of outcomes in mind.
HOW TO CREATE A PERSONAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT PLAN
1. IDENTIFY WHAT YOU REALLY WANT FOR YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH
The first step in developing a personal growth plan is thinking about what you really want. Ask yourself these questions: what are the results you crave? What is the ultimate desired outcome for your pursuit? You need to clarify what you want from your personal growth and development plan. Do you want to get promoted at the office? Strengthen your romantic relationship? Feel stronger and healthier? Whatever your personal growth goal is, name it.
Once you have a clear outcome in mind, think about your reasons behind the goal. At first glance, you may think it’s just because you want to feel better about yourself or find ways to build yourself up. These are all important factors, but to really take your growth to the next level, you have to dig a little deeper.
2. DISCOVER THE DEEPER “WHY”
To understand how to continue your personal growth, you need to challenge yourself to think of a larger “why.” Do you want a promotion so you can better provide for your family? Will a stronger romantic relationship lead to greater happiness and productivity in your life? Does being in better shape allow you to give back to your community more thoroughly?
By recognizing that you’re driven by factors larger than yourself, you’ll feel more encouraged to take on the task at hand and really commit to your personal growth plan. Your reasons need to be clear and compelling and they need to help you focus on what achieving your personal growth will mean to your way of life. When you do this, you stop pushing yourself toward a goal. Instead, you are pulled toward that goal with passion.
3. PINPOINT OBSTACLES IN YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH PLAN
Now you need to take a look at what’s getting in your way. Many people see challenges as obstacles that are keeping them from following their personal growth plan when they’re actually opportunities. Take a look at what you perceive as roadblocks on your path and see how you can remove them – or reframe and use them to get you closer to your objectives.
It’s easy to believe that not having an advanced degree in your industry is a roadblock, but when you’re really honest with yourself, perhaps there are more insidious obstacles in your way. Maybe you just don’t have passion for your industry. This challenge is actually encouraging you to take a different path and explore a career that means more to you. You don’t have to choose between passion and profitability – when you follow your calling, you can have both.
4. GET THE TOOLS AND COACHING YOU NEED
It’s okay to ask for help. Acknowledging that you can’t create a personal growth plan all on your own is not failure. Many of the world’s most successful people turn to external tools and strategies when they embark on their path to personal growth. Check out the best personal growth books, turn to stories or quotes you find inspiring or find a mentor who empowers you. You can also work with a personal growth coach who can help you clarify your plan and develop the best strategy to achieve it.
If you can’t access a mentor, identify someone you admire and study their choices. Use Chris’ words as a guide: “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.” How did they find success? How do they approach their daily responsibilities? What path did they take to personal growth? Whether this is someone who’s famous or someone close to you, by using tools and tapping into the success of others, you’ll more easily develop your own path to success.
5. MAKE SURE YOU’RE IN ALIGNMENT WITH YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH GOALS
There’s more to personal growth than setting goals and then working hard to achieve them. Many of us suffer from inner conflicts that lead to self-sabotage. We must first unlock these conflicts and get ourselves into alignment before we can take the next step toward our personal growth plan. Abiding by the law of attraction can help to achieve alignment.
Once you are aligned, you will find yourself taking action that leads to success. You’ll focus on what you really want and know, deep down, that you deserve to have the personal growth and successful life you are striving toward.
6. WRITE IT ALL DOWN
Keeping track of your personal growth plan in your head is difficult. It’s easy to make little changes and adjustments that keep you from achieving your goals. When you write it down, you have visual proof of your original plan and you can re-read it as many times as you need to. Writing down your plan and tracking your progress also helps you increase focus and limit distractions.
The world can be a noisy place and it’s very easy for your mind to fill with chatter. Having a written plan turns down that noise and brings you back to center. Some integrative systems like Chris’ Gratitude Journal or the Back on Track Process have tracking built in that helps create purpose, maintain momentum and feel an enormous sense of fulfilment throughout your personal growth adventure.
7. CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES _ SELF TALK PAC
Don’t wait until you accomplish all your goals to celebrate. When you make progress on any part of your personal growth plan, take time to recognize it. You can perform little acts of self-care like getting a massage or treating yourself to some uninterrupted time with your favorite activities. Increase your enjoyment of the celebration by sharing it with someone else who is aware of your personal growth journey. This increases connection and makes your progress that much more rewarding.
Although the road to change feels long at the onset, as you keep track of your personal growth over time, you’ll be inspired to continue. Celebrate small milestones in your personal growth journey, and don’t let yourself become discouraged if you reach a hiccup in your plan. As Chris lays out in THE INNERWEALTH BOOK, “LOVE IT BEFORE YOU LEAVE IT,” it’s crucial to appreciate the work you’ve already put in as you continue on your personal growth journey.
8. FOLLOW THROUGH AND HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
Keep yourself accountable to your personal growth goals by regularly updating a close friend or family member on your progress. You can also work with a health coach or other type of professional accountability partner who can help you stay on track and modify your plan when necessary. It’s often beneficial for those working on personal growth to partner with another person who is working on their own plan. This allows you to go on the journey together and provide support and encouragement.
ESTABLISH YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH GOALS TODAY
Everyone has the power to change their lives for the better. Whether you seek further fulfillment in your personal or professional life, the first step is deciding you’re ready to commit to a personal growth and development plan. With this growth plan, you will never have to compare yourself to others again. This will then lead to clarifying your true reason for wanting to change, seeking out the best tools to get you there and then keeping track of your progress along the way.
As Chris says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Start making changes in your life today, and you’ll soon start seeing the results you’ve always wanted.