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How to: Create a Perfect Personal Plan For the New Year

How To January 02, 2019

“Five days a week, I read my goals before I go to sleep and when I wake up. There are 10 goals around health, family, business, etc., with expiration dates, and I update them every 6 months.” — Daymond John, Founder, and CEO of FUBU

January always makes you reflect on the previous year. Did it come out as you had expected? Did you have a perfect work-life balance across your health, relationships, financial and other important areas? If not, you probably need to set goals for the areas in your life you want to improve and plan the year accordingly.

A personal development plan helps you to structure your thinking. Creating the plan is a process that consists of defining what is important to you, what you want to achieve, what strengths you already have that help to achieve your goals, and what you need to improve and develop with time. To make things easier, it’s a good idea to have a personal development plan template (like this one) to help you structure your thinking and create a strategic plan for achieving your goals. Here are 9 steps that can help you:

Define Your Goals

The first step is to define goals that are really important to you. It can be something related to your career, but also something that will enrich or improve your personal life (like lose weight, start a new hobby/activity or learn a new language).
Step 1: Write down 5-10 goals which are important for you to achieve.

Prioritize

Out of all the goals you wrote down, which one is the most important? This is your key goal which will be your focus.
Step 2: Take a good look at your list and select one goal which is the most important to you and that you will work on first.

Set a Deadline

If you have a goal but don’t know when you want to achieve it, chances are it will never happen. When planning, you need to be realistic, specific and make good assumptions time-wise. Once you have a realistic timeframe for your goal, it’s important to commit that you will really do it. Be serious about it. If you are not the one who is taking your plan seriously, nobody else will either.
Step 3: Set a deadline.

Understand Your Strengths

Everyone in the world is good at something and has above average skills/strengths in some specific areas. If you are not sure what your strengths are, then ask your friends and family. Maybe you will be surprised with their answers!
Step 4: Write down which of your strengths can help you to achieve your goal.

Recognize Opportunities and Threats

Which of your habits or actions are threats to your goal achievement? For example, if your goal is to live for 100 years, then you need to stop smoking and stressing out about things. What actions can you start doing that will help you to achieve your goal? If you want to save more money, you can start by spending less.
Step 5: Write down 5 things you commit to start doing and stop doing.

Develop New Skills

If you want to get something, you will need to give something in return and learn something new. Which skills or knowledge will help you to achieve your goal?
Step 6: Write down the list of the skills you need to develop in order to achieve your goal.

Take Action

If you want to achieve a big goal, there will be many actions you will need to take.
Step 7: Write down at least 3-5 most important actions you will need to take within your defined timeframe.

Get Support

Who can help you to achieve your goals faster? For example, if you want to change your career, you can consider talking with a career adviser; if you want to lose weight, you can have a fitness coach… Well, you get the idea.
Step 8: List anyone who you can think of who would be able to help you to achieve your goal.

Measure Progress

The best motivator to stay persistent in achieving goals is your own progress. Even if it is a little progress, it is still something. It is important to recognize that you are moving forward and to write down things that you are doing well. And vice versa, if something is not going well, that means that you need to change (or improve) the strategies you are using. By doing the same things, you will be getting the same results.

“Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is? Insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over again, expecting things to change.”
Step 9: Write down things that you need to improve and define new strategies which you will try. Your responsibility is to make things work for you.

A personal development plan is a very powerful method to assess your life, define what is really important for you, and to start working on things that matter the most. Create a new plan now and see how that works for you in a year!