Clients often ask me to outline a plan for them to reach their goals. In order to be successful, a PDP – personal development plan – should be created. A PDP will contain specific information that helps shape your actions in attaining your goals. Here’s how to start…
What Should Your Plan For Success Look Like?
Setting, and reaching, your goals – no matter what they are – require a kind of blueprint for success. First, you have to know exactly what your destination is and then map out a strategy to reach it. The following is the basic foundation of creating your own Personal Development Plan (PDP).
On a piece of paper, write the five areas listed below: Goals, Strengths, Weaknesses, Activities Needed, Timetable. Next to each of the five areas, fill in what is necessary in each area specific to your goal. As an example, I’ve used starting a fishing business, but, remember, you can use a PDP for any goal you have.
1. Goals. You have to know where you want to go before you get into your car and start driving, right? So, setting a clear goal is important. Do you want to start a business? Learn a language? Improve your physical fitness/health?
Whatever it is you want to do, get your goal fixed in your mind. Write it down in clear terms. For example: Start my own fishing shop, fishing tours, in my hometown (or wherever).
2. Strengths. Here you would list all the things that you already have/know to support your goal. For example: I have a lot of experiencing fishing; I know a lot about all types of fishing equipment; I know the best places on Lake Hometown to go fishing; I have a great boat I could use to take people out on fishing expeditions. I have enough money to buy the necessary start up equipment I need. I have a place picked out to locate the business.
3. Weaknesses. Here you would list all the things you don’t have/know that would be necessary to support your goal. For example: I don’t know anything about running a business. I don’t yet have enough money to buy fishing equipment to start business with. I don’t know where I’m going to put the business – I haven’t found a place.
4. Activities Needed. Here you would list all the things you need to do to remedy your weaknesses and how to accomplish. The key is to develop a remedy/solution activity for every weakness that you listed. For example: Take a class in running a small business. Seek out a mentor who can guide me in setting up my business. Call local community college, or high school Adult Education Program, for class offerings/schedule in how to start a small business. Call the local chapter of the Small Business Administration for information and/or set up appointment to go and talk to someone. Find out about small business startup loans at SBA, my bank or credit union, to buy the necessary fishing equipment/inventory I need to get business started.
5. Timetable. Select a realistic date that you would like to meet your goal. Obviously, if you have a lot of weaknesses, you’re going to need more time for activities to remedy those. If you have zero to 1 weaknesses, you can estimate your goals-met date much sooner. Give yourself at least 6 months to meet your goal, unless you have all the necessary strengths already in place.
Achieving your goals and the happiness and sense of accomplishment that goes with it is not hard. Putting your goals and methods to achieve them down on paper in black and white, following it, and updating it periodically, will help you move faster towards achieving your goals.
Dale Brown, B.S., M.A., C.E.C.
Certified Empowerment Coach