When you set out to develop a personal development plan, you want to take a few factors into consideration. Here are ten easy steps that give you a good start:

STEP ONE – TAKE INVENTORY OF YOUR LIFE NOW:  First thing to do when setting out to make change is to evaluate where you are right now. So, for at least one week (but doing it for two weeks would be better), notice how and where you spend your time. Also, notice if things take longer than you “think” they should take you. Don’t place any judgment on how and where you spend time, just notice. Be sure to include weekends so you have a variety between work days and non-work days. Keep this step simple. Don’t try to change anything. Just notice your time commitments.

STEP TWO – CATEGORIZE HOW YOU SPEND YOUR TIME:  Now let’s categorize each area of your life where time is currently spent. A personal development plan sample that I like has the following categories:

1. Dreams
2. Career/Financial
3. Purpose/Goals
4. Love/Family
5. Health

STEP THREE – DREAM ABOUT YOUR PERFECT LIFE:  Give yourself permission to take a few moments to dream about your perfect life. While this is only imagination, this exercise opens a portal of inner knowledge that can lead you to your perfect life. Don’t judge any of your dreams. These are your true feelings and ones that will guide you in your own proper direction.
STEP FOUR – MATCH UP YOUR IDEAL LIFE WITH YOUR CURRENT LIFE:  After visualizing where you would like to take your life, compare it with your current life. Be prepared for this step to cause some pain if there is a big difference between the two. But, this step gives you a “starting point” and an “ending point,” both of which are necessary to set out plans to get from one to the other.

STEP FIVE – ASK, “WHAT SMALL CHANGE CAN I MAKE NOW THAT WILL ALTER MY OVERALL LIFE TRAJECTORY?”  Many times making a small change in your current circumstances has stronger ramifications as your life unfolds because it changes your focus. For example, if you decide to take a 15 minute daily walk just to “percolate” how to take the next step for your life, this small action will move your current mindset from “I’m stuck now” to “What’s next and how do I get there?” Over time, this will gain momentum as your trajectory of life broadens because your “rocket” is now pointed to a new planet – the planet of hope!

STEP SIX – FIND A GOOD PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN TEMPLATE FOR DETAILED PLANNING:  There are many personal development plan samples, examples and templates available today. Look for one that keeps it simple because one of the things I have found that is a hinderance when people develop a personal development plan is that they make it too complicated – which, of course, leads to overwhelm and failure.

STEP SEVEN – GET PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN COACHING:  When you are planning out a major event such as your life, it’s a good time to get an objective view of yourself, which is one of the best things about using a coach. Strategizing with someone in this manner can rapidly increase your success rate when you want to develop a personal development plan. Often times, a coach will also have a good example personal development plan.

STEP EIGHT – GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO MAKE THE CHANGES:  Often times what stops people from success when they develop a personal development plan is underestimating the time it takes to set goals and make changes. When this happens, it’s easy to get discouraged and give up. So, one of the best things you can do is to give yourself plenty of time to make change.

STEP NINE – VISUALIZE YOUR DESIRED RESULTS:  Visualization is very powerful, but there is one important component to doing visualization that many people miss. That component is to actually feel the scenario that you are visualizing. This one portion makes the difference between success and failure.

STEP TEN – HAVE FUN:  Many times we get overly serious when trying to make changes in our lives. This serious point of view takes all the joy out of the endeavor and joy is also a critical factor when seeking goal achievement.

By using these ten steps when you start to develop a personal development plan, you are setting yourself up for success, one step at a time.

To download a free copy of Suzanne Glover’s “Create Your Own Life – Personal Development Plan, Life Plan Workbook,” visit her Personal Development Plan article at Effective-Positive-Thinking.com where she gives more free tips and advice.
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