by: Remie Longbrake | published: Feb 1, 2021
Anything worth achieving is inevitably going to require some level of commitment, and that commitment is most dependent on you. How you see yourself with the end result is going to have the most impact on your actions and ultimately the results you’ll get.
Personal development is a huge part of your success, and a plan to get there is the driver in the level of success you can achieve in all areas of your life, physical, emotional, relationships, careers, and more.
The fact is, anyone who can be passionate about their personal development will have the edge over someone who goes day-to-day without a plan. Before the plan comes to fruition, it’s important to see the end results and understand why success for whatever it is you want is valuable to you.
The challenges we face are a part of the personal development. You might argue the most important part, as this is where we learn how to overcome and face our adversities so we can in part be successful. Even if you do miss the mark or change your mind regarding results, you are still learning in that process and that in itself is a success.
So use these steps outlined below to educate yourself on best practices in personal development and help you live at your best.
The Fundamentals to Personal Development
Become More Self Aware
Being self-aware allows you to look to yourself, the only person you have any control over, for the change that is needed to reach the success you desire. For example, if you realize that you are prickly around criticism during your self-study do you just say, “Don’t critique me because I cannot handle it!” No, instead you teach yourself with the help of books, courses, classes, counselors or coaches (or all the above) to learn to handle criticism better.
Develop a Better Sense of Direction
When you really know who you are, who you want to be, and you know how to get it you’re going to have a much better idea of where you’re going from here than the average person. Knowing what you want to get out of life is an important aspect of what helps you set your own course. You also learn not to overwhelm yourself trying to do too much at once because you know that when you set your goals right you will achieve them.
Become More Focused & Effective
One of the things that you want most from personal development is clarity. Developing SMART goals for your life in all areas of your life is one way to develop that clarity. Once you have it you can become more and more focused on doing the right steps to get there that you will also become more effective at realizing each success. You’ll be able to toss away roadblocks, obstacles, and threats because you’re doing it with a plan.
Become Highly Motivated
Motivation can be hard to come by for some people. However, with experience and success, comes motivation. Think about how motivated you feel if you earn a few bucks from an affiliate offer you posted about six months ago. Think about how motivated you feel any time you get good news about an action you took that turned out positive. That’s why you will become more motivated. You’ll have more experience with success due to following your personal development plan.
When you are sure of yourself and where you’re going, something happens along the way. You’ll feel good about the things you’re doing, too. You become a much stronger person. One of the first things you may notice is that you can bounce back faster from issues and roadblocks.
When you know how to plan using actionable steps, to get to where you want to go, there seems to be fewer problems, issues, and roadblocks, simply because you know you’re capable and know what to do. You will have tools, crafted from the development of your personal plan, to help you overcome issues that would ordinarily delayed your progress. There is no way to control the negativity around you; however, you will have more control your actions and reactions.
Become a Better Communicator
If you want to get far, you’ll need to be able to share your ideas and goals. The biggest mistake people face through self improvement, is trying to go alone. One of the best reasons to share your ideas and troubles, is you’ll often find that out other people have already been down your path, and they can provide pointers and often even better steps to get where you want to be. You can also pay it forward, by that, meaning that others who where in your shoes just months and years ago, you can help direct them just as others helped you.
Share your trials, fears and even griefs. Find dependable peers who will hear you out. There may not also be a great answer, but often people will lend perspectives and opinions to what may prove useful to you going forward. But do understand, that family and friends may not always be in the best position to help answer these questions, that’s why it’s important to reach out to new people and seek answers from multiple sources, therefore you can make a more informed decision.
Build Better Relationships
One of the great benefits of a self-development plan is how much it can help relationships. When you realize that you only control your own behavior and actions, it starts to get easier to manage relationships. Treating them how you want to be treated is an excellent start but becoming self-aware enough to go farther and realize that not everyone likes what you like so you may need to treat someone the way they like to be treated instead.
When you let others in and share your journey, that in itself is a great way to develop strong relationships. It takes a level of courage and even love to really care and contribute to what’s important to you, and as you share, you’ll find others will share as well, with creates a bond that over time can prove invaluable. So don’t be afraid to share with others and if you find others reluctant, ask and offer your insight if it’s warranted. We all have full control over our actions. Of course there are some things outside our realm that come into play, but ultimately we can set the course, and when we allow others; our spouse, children, friends, co-workers know our direction, others can help lead a greater light that makes it easier for you to see.
Additionally, seek out leaders who have these results that you want. Find out ways to be around them. Ask around, friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc. These days it’s easier then ever to meet people. Social media is a big help in this regard. YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, are all great resources to get connected.
Develop a Winning Attitude
A great way to find success and get those results is to see things in positive light. Of course not everything will go according to plan, but having a good attitude that can roll with the trials will help tremendously. Even better, is to not take things personally, especially things out of your control. You can control your own actions and how you respond to situations. Additionally, don’t have grudges towards others. If you find someone displeasing limit your time around them, this includes family and co-workers. There can be stressful circumstances, but you have to do your best to avoid these people and continue to focus on your plan.
See yourself as the success and essentially act the part, feel it, and your more likely to achieve it. Now this doesn’t mean you can spend the part! There’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself to your wins, but don’t overdo it and don’t spend outside of your means. Plan the rewards to the wins in advance, which will give you something to look forward to. This is a huge booster to morale and help keep you focused.
Steps to Start a Personal Development Plan
When starting a personal development plan, it’s important to get ideas together and assess your skills and qualities so you can end up having the results you want.
The specifics of a personal development plan vary, but the attributes all come down to 3 key areas: They are Physical, Cognitive, and Social-Emotional. Together, these cover all aspects of your life, including health, work, personal growth, spiritual life, finances, and so forth. Working on many aspects simultaneously can be better than focusing only on one, as usually they are intertwined in many ways.
Perform a SWOT Analysis on Your Life (& Career)
A well-designed personal development plan will address your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and roadblocks or threats in all areas of your life that you want to improve upon. A SWOT Analysis (available on our website), will help break down each characteristic and quantify these areas according to STRENGTH, WEAKNESS, OPPORTUNITIES and TRIALS. Make separate analysis for work, relationships, fitness, finance, and other areas deemed appropriate.
And good plan will identify these area so that you can understand them and improve them so you know in advance how you can best plan for your personal development plan and get results more easily. Rule of thumb, don’t guess, get people’s opinions and evaluate as you complete this step. Then as you advance, redo the SWOT graph periodically and study this in accordance to the successes or trials you’ve faced so far.
Recognize Areas Needing Improvement
When you perform your SWOT in each area of your life, you will discover internal and external things that are blocking your success. For example, you may hold the belief you’ll never have enough money to save for the future. Because of that, when you do get “extra” money, you tend to blow it right away on all the things you feel you missed out on before. This is a limiting belief about money that a lot of people have because most people think money is a finite resource when it’s not. It’s man-made. Therefore, we can make more and we can have more of it whenever we want, but in order to have it, a plan need’s to be identified.
Identify Your Resources
You may do some work that helps you look at the resource you have available to do a specific task. For example, if you decide you want to start a business, what resources do you have to start it. What things do you need, what things can you live without, what can you do yourself, what does someone else need to do. How much will you need to start. Who do you know. This works in every single aspect of your life. You may realize you already have all the skills inside to do exactly what you wanted to do. However, you may realize that you need to pay for additional resources because your time is valuable as is your money and we only have so much of it.
This is very important to those who don’t handle control well. Many of us want to do everything, but reality is to start this might be the best strategy, but maybe not. Perhaps your skillset isn’t the money person and book keeping, so instead of pulling your hair out trying to figure that out, it will be easier to hire that done. There’s nothing wrong with knowing the mechanics of anything, but we have to pick our battles so to speak in order to make true progress.
Planing Action Steps
As you work through crafting your plan, nothing is done until you’ve set up action steps. Here you will craft specific steps you’ll take to get results. This should include action from the very beginning to the end or what results you’re looking for.
Schedule these steps in advance and put them on your calendar. Break down into specific step and don’t be vague. For instance, if you want to start saving an extra $200 month, budget this in, ideally weekly and track this. If you find yourself a spender, then have $50 week taken out of either your paycheck directly or set up a bank transfer every week (or once month if fees involved) that moves this money to a saving account.
That is only one solution, but same holds true everywhere else. Poor with time management or always late, budget your time and calendar this in. Use google or outlook calendar that syncs to your phone, so you always have it available.
Now don’t let this stress you out to the point you’ll stop. But realize that getting results is going to take effort and some pain to get there, however over time it will get easier and become a new habit that will ultimately help you.
Figure Out Where to Start
It’s easy to get lost, especially when you’ve never be where you’re at now. That’s why it’s easier to do nothing, but that isn’t going to help out in the long run. It’s takes some perspective and proper planning to get moving, but really you just need to start someplace. But with that plan and your SWOT info you’ve developed you’ll have a good idea of what strengths you can lean on. That really is the best plan; don’t try to build weaknesses up from the bottom, start at the top where you can lead and get solid wins that will in turn build up a good, positive attitude that will carry you forward.
For instance, if weight is an issue for you, do easier exercises to start, limit your time doing workouts, but be consistent and keep going. Find a partner or someone who can help guide your and keep your accountable, whether that’s a coach or friend.
If you want a better paying career, see what you’re options are at where you work already. Track your results where your at, your wins you’ve already accomplished, bring these to your management. If that doesn’t go anywhere, then start looking at other options. Possibly you need more training or education. Use the SWOT to help identify these areas and seek out solutions.
Everything you do has steps you can take in order to get the results you want, but first you need to identify those steps and make up a plan to be successful, no matter what it is you want.
Importance of Starting Now
It’s crucial to start now and realize that the time will never be perfect. You’re not further ahead right now because you’ve delayed this long already. Understand that time is the one resource that is limited and we can’t get it back. Inevitably, we feel that more time will be there, until it isn’t. Don’t put off putting in the effort. You need to realize that it’s more then yourself who depends on you, and it’s more then your immediate family. It’s all the people around you, and people you haven't met yet. Our impact is like a sea of change, and possibilities, but it’s up each of us to act and drive forward so we can make improvements, have better things of course, but it’s much more then we can comprehend through our limited vision.
Get a Coach or Catapult Success
As you probably know, any professional in their field didn’t get there overnight, nor did they get there by themselves. You might not be looking to be a pro, but do no that a coach is a way to help get results quicker and more efficiently. You should want a coach who’s in it for you and see you’re win as their win because you are successful. A coach can take years off trial and effort by going alone. Make sure you work with one that has been there and can understand your vision and what you want. Of course, you’ll want a coach who will listen and offer factual advice and provide structure for what you're looking to accomplish.
The thing to remember about personal development is that it’s an ongoing process. You’re never really finished, nor is there a finish line. The real race is within yourself, and for that you need to find your direction and you will to win. For this reason, it’s best to develop tenacity and persistence as you follow the path you’ve created for yourself, adjusting as you go based on facts, and learning about what is really and truly important to you deep in your subconscious. It’s all about knowing who you are and living a life that illustrates who you are to the core.
Whether you want to lose weight, start a business, change jobs, or go back to school – the goal doesn’t matter as much as developing the plan that you need to get where you want to go, which is unique to everyone. Take the steps to better yourself, experience life in new, exciting ways, and be more satisfied with your place in the world as you see fit.
Find the reasons to develop you and you will seek the places you want to go.