Personal Development

Personal development is any activity, habit or course that improves an individuals awareness, identity, wellbeing, health, talents, skills, dreams or aspirations.

The drive for doing it could be a number of different reasons but it has to be something that will cultivate better things for you and you only.

For example, taking a course in statistics could count as personal development, if completing it added to your overall quality of life because it contributed to the realisation of your dreams or facilitated you getting the job you wanted. If it was solely to impress your boss or to complete a specific task, it would not count as personal development.

How to plan for your personal development?

When making a personal development plan, you want to first define what your ideal future is for yourself and why. It can be based on short or long-term ambitions and should outline the obstacles you might face and how you plan to overcome them. You may even want to divide it into what Michael Hyatt calls life domains: intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual, marital, parental, social, financial, vocational and avocational (hobbies and interests).

In order to reach your long-term goal, you must set short-term goals throughout progression to the deadline. That being said, you may find during this time that certain goals do not apply anymore, circumstances change and interest change, the most important thing is that you are gaining clarity on who you are and what direction you want to go in.

Here are some things to consider when making a personal development plan:

  1. Prioritise your ambitions
  2. Set a realistic deadline
  3. Understand your strengths
  4. Recognise opportunities and threats coming your way
  5. Seek out resources to develop necessary skills
  6. Seek out support if needed
  7. Implement system to monitor your progress
  8. Don't hesitate to adapt plan to new circumstances

You can download a personal development plan template at the Chartered Management Institute