With personal change in mind as a step to personal growth, one has to prepare a personal growth development plan. Here is how to do it.
- Begin with the end in mind. When aiming for personal growth and development, determine what aspect of your life you want to improve. It is usually best to start with the area you spend most of your time with—family, career or business. The reason is that self-improvement in one area will positively affect all other areas, so there is no need to develop a program for each area in the beginning.
- Once you have determined which area you want to focus on, find out where you are right now. How do you see yourself now? Then fast forward the tape of your life and look at the future. Where will you want to be in the next few months or years? Once you have determined your goal, then you can set a plan on how to get there. This may involve goals for your spiritual growth and other goals that will lead you to true happiness.
- Make a list of what you are and what you have today. List your current strengths and weaknesses. This may include how you manage your temper, how you handle pressure, whether you procrastinate and how often. It is advisable to seek other people’s feedback about you—what they think your strengths and weaknesses are. Make sure you ask a friend you trust or a family member that is not too critical—someone who can keep an objective approach. There are times that you ignore or deny some of your strengths or weaknesses because you think you are not worthy of it, or you are better than what you really are. Getting other people’s points of view will give you some perspective on how you are as a person, and they can even provide tips on how you can improve.
- Make a list of your personal growth goals. Whether it is to be more patient or be on time for meetings, write them down. Some of these items may even be suggested by your friend. It is a good thing to clearly state your goals, and avoid being too vague. An example would be: “I want to be more patient with my children when they play and make some noise during play time, by not yelling at them”. It should be specific so you can determine your course of action.
- List what needs to be done to reach your goals. This is filling in the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. These should be as specific as your goals. So if you talk about being more patient with the kids during play time, you can write down: “when I feel like yelling at them, I will breathe slowly and tell them to tone down in a kind and loving way”.
- Set a timeline. It is good to set deadlines or timelines for your goals, so you know whether you have achieved them already. It also motivates you to work on your self-development program consistently.
- Use available tools. You can read self-help books and attend personal development seminars to give you more information and insight on your journey to self-improvement. Write a journal and jot down inspirational quotes that can motivate you everyday.