We all have personal growth areas where we want to improve; health, work, family, you name it. But reality sets in along with a busy schedule that doesn’t leave any space for quiet time, let alone individual development. We also rarely have the willpower we need to see it through. Or maybe we just don’t know where or how to start.
Not being able to define your own long-term goals will end up in a life that’s devoid of meaning or direction. You start losing that spark, and the motivation to get up each morning wanes.
Experts define a personal growth plan as “the process of creating an action plan based on awareness, values, reflection, goal-setting, and planning for personal development within the context of a career, education, relationship or for self-improvement.”
An individualized growth plan can help you achieve the vision you have of yourself. It’s something we need to think about and strive toward consciously. If you don’t plan your development and growth, no one else will.
Here are 4 personal growth steps you can take for a well-developed, easy-to-implement, personalized plan.
1. Know Thyself
To plan for the future, you have to reflect on your past experiences, weaknesses, and strengths; they’ve made you who you are today. You also have to clarify your unique values, such as integrity, respect for others, leadership, honesty. Your values define your stance, whether at the workplace, with family and friends, and in your romantic relationships. Moreover, there are several essential questions you have to ask yourself:
- What do I want to become in life?
- What are my achievements up until now?
- What are my personal goals?
- What are my career ambitions?
- What steps have I taken to pursue these goals and ambitions?
2. Develop your personal growth vision
Once you’ve asked and answered these questions, you’ll have a clear vision of who you are and what you want out of life. This takes us to the second step; developing your vision. A smart tip is to provide yourself with several options to reach your next goal.
That way, if something goes wrong or you face an obstacle, you can switch to another path. Be flexible in your planning because usually, people tend to underestimate how long a specific project will take.
Another point people tend to not pay attention to is what they don’t want to do. If you’re at work, you can make a list of what-not-to-do, for example:
- Check emails as soon as they come in
- Keep too many tabs open at once
- Keep a cell phone on your desk
- Check social media while you’re working
3. Assess your present-day situation
Implementing your plan can be difficult at first. But with dedication and an eye on the prize, you’ll soon find that it becomes a daily habit. It was Jim Ryun who said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
Putting your strengths to good use will harness your energy levels so that it’s utilized efficiently. You can set up milestones along the way because smaller goals give you the motivation and drive you to get to the big ones. And each time you reach a milestone or achieve one of the small goals, reward yourself for your hard work.
4. Review your progress toward personal growth
Each project needs to be reviewed and assess, and your complete personal growth plan is no different. You can do it monthly or every couple of months, whatever feels comfortable for you. But you must take a step back and look at all the hard work you’ve accomplished.
Check to see if you’ve left anything out or missed any deadlines. Or maybe the mini-goals you set up last time don’t fit your criteria any longer. They need tweaking or readjusting. Reflect on your experience and consider everything you’ve learned. This will ensure that you keep moving forward according to your long-term plan and the vision you’ve set up for yourself.
On a final note, you can draw up the perfect plan, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t follow through. Everyone needs the practice to develop and grow, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone. Having something to strive toward can renew your self-confidence and passion for life.