How to Complete a Personal Development Plan

by Yvonne Van Damme; Updated September 26, 2017

A personal development plan is a way to set goals, gain insight into yourself and your skills, and determine a career or life change. The objective is to set short-term and long-term goals, and to create a path to achieve them. When you are trying to decide where to steer your life, it can be tough to gather the motivation and think positively. Mapping out a plan, with actual steps and timelines, will be beneficial.

Step 1

Ask yourself about the areas in which you have been successful. What do you enjoy doing? On the flip side, consider the things that you have not done well or have not enjoyed.

Step 2

Think of the areas about which you receive complaints or compliments. For example, have you received criticism from friends or family members about not being a good listener? An example of a compliment might be your boss telling you that you are stellar at time management.

Step 3

Prioritize the areas that you want to work on in your personal development plan. Start with one to three focus areas. If you focus on too many at one time, you won't be as likely to meet the goals.

Step 4

Write down the ultimate objective for each focus area. Be specific and ambitious. In addition, include an initial action for each item. For example, if one focus involves improving your public-speaking skills, an action might be to give a 15-minute speech in public.

Step 5

Create a timeline. First, set the deadline for each of your short-term goals. Then set a deadline for your long-term goals. When setting the deadlines, be ambitious but also consider the time that you have available.

Tips

  • Consider hiring a life coach to help you complete a personal development plan.

About the Author

Yvonne Van Damme is a freelance writer based in Seattle. She has been writing for several years with a focus on criminal justice and legal topics. In addition to various websites, she has been published in several academic journals. Van Damme holds a Bachelor of Arts in law, society and justice and sociology from the University of Washington.