How to create an effective personal development plan

Personal development in the workplace takes time and commitment. It is necessary if you want to improve your skills, advance in your career and develop your knowledge.

It can be difficult to know where to start, and this is where having a personal development plan can really help. In this article, we’ll show you how to put together a business plan, what to include in it, and how to keep it on track.

Why you should have a personal development plan

Photograph of person writing in notebook, page titled

You might already know what to expect from your job and what to do, but keeping it in mind can actually do you a disservice. When you create something physical and write down your goals, you are more likely to achieve it.

This is called the “generation effect”, and it means that you have improved memory and retention of things that you have generated yourself, rather than something that you have thought about or read. . This happens because it allows your brain to process it in more detail and it creates a lasting impression on you.

When you have a personal development plan that you can plan and come back to, you basically tell yourself that you are serious about it. This leads to better results and allows you to build a richer plan.


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It’s also something you can bring to your one-on-one meetings with your manager and make it part of the conversation. It shows proactivity and dedication, and may very well present you with tangible opportunities for you to seize.

Start with a plan

Screenshot of the goals page of the Remente app

Writing your business plan is useful in any format, but a good structure goes a long way in making it successful. At a minimum, your plan should include the following sections:

  • What is your specific goal?

  • What resources do you need to achieve the goal?

  • What practical steps you can take to achieve the goal.

It is important to structure it like this so that you can focus on the details and refine them. You can use it to design your own working document in Microsoft Word or Excel, or you can choose from the hundreds of tracking templates in Word and Excel and just change the wording.

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Alternatively, if you want an app to do the structuring for you, Remente is a fantastic personal development app that breaks everything down for you. It has a wide selection of goals for you to choose from, ranging from entertainment and hobbies to career and education, and you can even create your own unique goals.

Remente will break down these big goals and offer you daily or weekly tasks to accomplish. It also includes a Life Assessment and Mood Tracker, where you can assess every area of ​​your life and keep track of things.

When you create a free account, just click on the More in the left toolbar and select what you want to do from the drop-down list. It’s incredibly user-friendly and has a premium version where you can access additional goal plans, resources, stats on your progress, and more.

Assess your values ​​and set goals

Drawing Board of Stickman Walking Up the Steps, wording

Now that you have the basics of writing your business plan, you will need to personally decide what you want to work on. It can be difficult to decide what’s most important to you, but there is an easy way to do it.

Values-based thinking is where you seek to identify your core values ​​and determine whether these are being met by your current skill level and professional role. For example, if one of your values ​​is innovation, you might wonder if you’ve had many opportunities to use it at work, or if you want to do more.

You can identify as many values ​​as you want, but three or four is more than enough. Once you have your values, you can start to delve deeper into your motivations, what they look like in practical terms, and create realistic goals.

Related: How to Create and Edit Goals in Google Calendar

Using SMART goals is a useful way to contextualize your goals and reach your potential. SMART stands for:

  • Specific: Be specific about what you want to do.
  • Measurable: To track and measure your progress.
  • Feasible: Something that is close at hand and achievable.
  • Realistic: This is something you can work on with the resources you have.
  • Time: A deadline or time frame within which you will reach the goal.

For each area of ​​development you want to pursue, you need to write a SMART goal and break it down into small steps that become weekly or monthly tasks. For example, if you want to improve your data analysis skills and knowledge, smaller steps might include completing a training course and observing colleagues.

Make your plan work

Your plan is a working document that you can go back to, track your progress and complete at any time. It is something that is personal to you and you should devote time to it in your daily schedule for maximum efficiency.

Each week, aim to achieve one of your goals and make sure you save it on your calendar so you have time to do it. Look for opportunities to apply your personal development, such as in meetings, projects, and other real-life situations at work.

Related: How to Live in Your Calendar for Managing Tasks

You should also regularly review your personal development plan once a month or every two months, to check on the goals you have achieved and keep it relevant. This will keep you disciplined and focused on your original intentions.

Personal development in progress

Wanting to change and taking action are two separate things, and a personal development plan is a solid tool for making things happen. Whether you’re aiming high or just want to tweak some things, having a plan organizes your thoughts into concrete solutions.

Investing in your personal development can have far-reaching results and allows you to get the most out of your career. Try to create one and see what you can achieve.

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