Ooooo, the power of a good personal development plan!
Once I learned how to seriously put one of these together, I started being able to make changes that stuck and moved me closer to my goals. I got focused, started saving time, worked more efficiently towards my goals, and better supported myself on my goals.
My lifestyle got more in alignment with my goals making them easier to stick to. My discipline improved. I was able to determine what habits I should work on establishing. What I should do more or less of. And what to prioritize when making decisions.
A personal development plan has been a powerful tool I’ve come back to when reviewing my progress, making decisions, prioritizing my time, and staying on track. Having one is worth the research, introspect, and planning it takes to create it.
This post will take you through the steps I’ve used to create a personal development plan that led to these types of results. You don’t have to have your personal development plan totally figured out to get started either. You’ll be making adjustments while on your journey. This is to get you started with a plan.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Full disclosure.
When to create a personal development plan on your journey to goal achieved
If you have already gotten started on your lifestyle, level up journey, but have been finding it challenging to stick to your goals and follow-through, it is time to take a step back and create a personal development plan. This can help you find out what you need to be on track and increase your chances of staying on track.
Definitely create one if you’re just starting our (or restarting) on your goals. You might not know everything you need to be doing, and will likely be making revisions, but at least you’ll have your first steps mapped out.
Come back to this personal development plan regularly to keep yourself on track. Use it as part of your contingency plan when you get off track or think you might. It can keep you motivated and inspired especially during those times when you find yourself struggling with discipline and old habits.
Personal development plan template
- Step 1: Define what you’d prefer. Start on your vision.
- Step 2: Set value-based goals
- Step 3: List your goals and put them where you’ll see them REGULARLY
- Step 4: Define the current strengths, tools, and resources you have that’ll help you achieve your goals
- Step 5: Define what you’ll need to work on to achieve your goals
- Step 6: Turn your goals into an action plan
- Step 7: Break down your action plan into monthly and weekly tasks
- Step 8: Create routines for any daily action steps you need to take
- Step 9: Schedule daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, and yearly reviews and planning
- Step 10: Store personal development plans and resources in one place
- Step 11: Move on your action plan
- Step 12: Make sure to review your personal development plan regularly and adjust where needed
How to create a personal development plan
The first step to creating a personal development plan for your level up, transformation, and lifestyle goals is to get honest with what areas of your life you’d like to work on. Yea, you want to lose 50 pounds, but what areas in your life need a bit of work to achieve that? It’s likely not just diet and exercise.
The best way I’ve become more aware of what I want to change in my life is to make a list of those things I don’t like. Another way is to rate larger areas of your life on a scale from 1 to 10.
Rank below how you feel about these areas of your life. I’ve listed a few questions to ask.
Spirituality and growth – Your skills and your relationship with you
- Are you checking in with yourself and recentering? What are your truths that keep you grounded and motivated?
- What goals do you have set to work on your skills? Any plans to develop your skills?
Mental health – Thoughts, attitude, and moods
- Are your thoughts encouraging, inspiring, and motivating you or are they telling you to give it up?
- Do you have truths and, or affirmations you can tap into when you have doubts creeping in?
- How is your dominant mood and do you really need to feel that way?
- Are you asking for help when you need it?
Physical health – What your body needs
- What does your diet look like? Are there better things you could be eating?
- Are you getting enough sleep, managing stress in a healthy way, and making sure to manage your stress regularly?
- Getting healthy exercise and enough sun?
Personal finances – Your relationship with money
- Do you like what’s going on with your money? Do you know exactly what’s going on with your money?
- Do you talk good about money or bad about money? Do you have negative or positive thoughts about money?
- Are you tracking money responsibly and working towards money goals?
Relationships – Family, friends, romance, work, etc.
- Do you like your friends or tolerate them just to say you have them? Are they heading where you want to go? Are they of quality to your life?
- Are your relationships healthy?
- Do you spend quality time with people you want to spend quality time with? Or are you forcing time with friends because you think that’s what you need to do to be “normal”?
Fun times and hobbies – How you get your groove back
- Making time for fun, hobbies, playtime?
- Do you recharge regularly?
- Doing what you want to do?
- Can you be doing more where you’re at?
- How do you feel about your career?
- Are you living where you want to live?
- Is your home organized and decorated how you want it?
Step 1: Define what you’d prefer. Start on your vision.
Now, after making a list of all the things you want to change in your life, or ranking the areas above, type up or write out how you’d like your ideal life to look. You can make a list or write out a story of how you’d be living if you have what you want.
You’re going to be revisiting this story or list and rewriting it regularly on your journey. It keeps you focused and lowers your self-sabotage because it helps get your subconscious locked in on your vision.
Getting clearer on your vision, working at making it clearer, and revisiting it regularly also helps you be receptive to different types of ideas that you might have not been aware of.
Step 2: Set value-based goals
I know I said write out a vision for your life above, but now you’re going to run that vision through your actual values to ensure you set goals you’ll actually stick to. Learning to do this has helped me stop questioning my goals and find motivation unique to me so I can stick with them.
Sometimes we set goals because they look good on others, but then wonder why we can’t muster up the self-discipline to stick with them. And sometimes we set goals thinking that’s what we’ve got to do to achieve our end result when really there’s a much better, more personally aligned way to do it.
There’s a book called Values-Based Goal Setting that goes over why we need to set value-based goals instead of SMART goals. It’ll teach you how to set effective goals. Worth the read.
(You can listen to this title + 1 other for free on Audible by signing up for their free trial. You can also read it for free by signing up for a free trial of Kindle Unlimited. Both beneficial memberships on your personal development journey.)
After reading this book, I got rid of goals I thought I wanted to pursue and was able to understand why I really wanted the ones I kept. This book will help you identify the values important to you.
Knowing your values helps you better personalize your goals and motivation. It’s a helpful step that can improve discipline and help you dig deep when needed.
Other good personal-development books on my shelf: 7 Self-improvement books that helped me lose weight, earn more money, and have the guts to do what I love
Step 3: List your goals and put them where you’ll see them REGULARLY
You’ve got a list of goals and now you need to put them where you’ll see them regularly. Also make sure you LOOK AT THEM regularly.
It helps when the excitement of setting new goals, creating new commitments, and planning them wears off.
This also gets your subconscious on board and your mind in alignment with what you’ve got going on. Keep your goals where you can see them and make sure to take a look as often as you need to. And then some.
Tend to struggle with self-discipline? This post can help: Build self-discipline to lose weight; 6 unusual methods
Step 4: Define the current strengths, tools, and resources you have that’ll help you achieve your goals
This is a good mindset trick that has helped tremendously, so I am passing it on to you. You can skip it and move on to the next step, but I had to share.
Knowing what goodies you’ve already got up your sleeves helps you have a more positive mindset when things seem overwhelming. It can help you remember who the heck you are when things get tough. And it can be a source of truth for you when you’re in doubt.
You don’t have to write down this list. You can also just think about it for mental reference. But if you do want to really reflect, analyze and pull something up that’ll really anchor you, I suggest taking time to write it out.
Step 5: Define what you’ll need to work on to achieve your goals
You might know everything you need to achieve your goals, but that’ll be one of the things you’ll need: to know what you need.
Make a list of what you need to know, who you should ask for what you need to know, and where you should start looking to figure out what you need to know. And as you’re doing your research, get more detailed about your needs.
This might be a long list, this might be a short list, but the juice is in the fact that you’ve got a list of actions you need to take to make your goals happen.
Make a list of all the things you know you’ll need to work on to achieve your goals. Do you need a course? Books to start reading? Coaching? Consulting? Help with sticking to your habits? A meal plan? You can come back to this list as you learn more.
Step 6: Turn your goals into an action plan
So now that you’ve got your value-based goals and an idea of what you’ll need to work on and put into place to achieve those goals, you can start putting together an action plan.
An organized way to do this is to write your goal at the top of a paper and then list out underneath, in order, what actions you’ll need to take to achieve that goal.
Use this action plan as a “master plan” for you to refer back to when planning and analyzing your progress. Even if the action for that goal is to Google how to achieve that goal, list it and come back with another action once you find out what that is.
Step 7: Break down your action plan into monthly and weekly action plans
Using the “master plan” you’ve created in the step above, determine what you’ll need to be doing weekly and monthly to make your goals happen.
This could mean meal planning weekly, budgeting your finances twice a month, making sure you complete an online business course once a week.
Whatever tasks you need to take weekly and monthly to keep you on track. Make note of them so you’ll schedule them each week and month.
Step 8: Create routines for any daily action steps you need to take
The cool thing about having a solid routine is being able to automate working on several goals in one routine.
Create a list of daily action steps you’d like to take in the morning, afternoon, and evening to achieve your goals. These actions usually involve tasks like meditation, working out, completing an intermittent fasting schedule, reading or visualization.
You can also create routines for work. This is especially helpful when you are your own boss and wear many hats. It keeps you organized and more aware of what needs to get done when.
Create a routine you’ll actually stick to: How to create a self-care routine that’ll make healthy habits easy to stick to
Here is a list of habits I’ve used for weight loss: 15 Healthy habits that make weight loss super simple
What my morning routine looks like: My early morning routine for transformation
Step 9: Schedule daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly reviews and planning
Review and plan your day, week, month, quarter, and year to stay on track. Sounds like a lot of work, but it’ll save you a lot of work in the long run. It’ll save you time too because you’ll be less likely to fall completely off your goals and revert back to old ways.
Really helpful for those that tend to fall off of their level up and, or transformation goals. If you have an off day, you can use the end of the day to reconnect with your goals and your visions. Plan getting back to it the next day.
Unless you fail to plan and review. In that case, planning and reviewing your time regularly won’t help.
Make sure to add daily, weekly, and monthly review and planning to your schedule. You don’t have to plan daily if you have a solid weekly planning session. You can do shorter daily planning by just listing out your to-dos for the day if this all gets a bit time-consuming.
More tips for planning health and wellness: Tips for keeping a health and wellness planner
Step 10: Store personal development plans and resources in one place
Keep your personal development plan and resources in a place where you can refer back to it regularly. Keeping your goals and plans on top of your mind is not only to keep you on track, but to help your mind be on track too.
The coolest things happen when your goals and plans seep into your subconscious. Your mind helps you figure out challenges without needing you to consciously do so. You can get inspiration at the best times. The right people show up at the right time. Sounds woo, woo, but this really does work.
Step 11: Move on your action plan
Your action plan won’t do anything for you unless it’s actually put into action. Well, I take part of that back.
Your action plan, if you’re just looking at it, can help you be motivated to take action and build the excitement you need to actually work at it.
But just having the action plan won’t make things change. You’ve got to work that bad boy and work it as often as you need to do so to achieve your goals.
Step 12: Make sure to review regularly and adjust where needed
Review your plan, give yourself kudos for what you’re getting done, remove what you’re no longer feeling, add new steps as you figure them out.
I like to review my personal development plan monthly to plan my month, but if I need the boost in motivation and inspiration, I’ll look at it whenever I need it. Sometimes that’s daily. Sometimes that’s much less. It’s up to you and your needs.
Take your time on this plan, but not so much time that you end up without one to get to working on sooner than later. You don’t need to know everything you need to do, you just need to know what you can get started on now.
Part of your personal development plan might be to get a weight loss plan or find a course. Schedule it and get to it. And remember to review your plans regularly and schedule your action steps.
If you need accountability, get you some. Join groups and, or tell someone you know will keep you accountable in a way that’s comfortable to you.
I know there’s like this thing to keep your level up journey private so if you feel this is your best bet, do that, but get support where you can when you for sure need it