Without sounding *too* cheesy, I’m all about regularly assessing your own personal development plan and taking action to keep learning and growing. OK, maybe that was too cheesy. But the point still stands.
I’m horrible at goal setting, so instead I like to find new ways to casually develop my interests and skills which are measurable in a more casual way (which basically means I don’t beat myself up if I can’t always find the time for personal development due to life getting in the way). If I set myself hard and fast goals, I’d just beat myself up for not attaining them.
So instead, I try to find little ways to introduce self improvement into my everyday life, and I thought I’d share the steps I take with you! Let’s get crackalackin’, shall we?
Personal Development Plan of Action
Decide what you want
No, I don’t mean the M&S cookies you’ve got stashed in the cupboard.
I mean what you want to develop. Do you have a hobby that you want to improve on, or perhaps you want to brush up on your Excel skills? Maybe you want to learn how to practice mindfulness, idk. But you do, so make a decision and commit to it.
You don’t need a specific end goal in mind such as a certification or to be the absolute greatest at whatever it is you want to learn. Just have a clear enough idea that means you won’t change your mind regularly.
BTW, changing your mind is fine, but it’s easier to develop a skill or mindset if you stick to the one idea.
Take a course
So depending on what you want from your own personal development plan, you may be able to find a course to support it. There are tonnes of blogging courses out there if you want to learn something new about blogging, but if you’re looking for something a little more niche, you may find it on one of the sites below:
Coursera has loads of completely free courses on a range of different topics. They are quite academically led, so if you’re looking for a fair amount of detail, then head here.
I have recently started a course on Udemy by Seth Godin, who I really admire. He’s an American marketer and entrepreneur and really knows his stuff. I paid just over £30 for the course which was on offer, but there are courses with a vast range of prices on Udemy (including free ones) – they even have a whole section dedicated to personal development courses. Hurrah!
Another site filled with free courses, including personal development as well as business skills and even languages too. Much like Coursera, these classes are primarily academic, but with many of them you get a diploma…something nifty to add to the ol’ Linkedin profile!
I love reading articles and blog posts that are actionable and encouraging of personal development (hence my hopefully useful attempt at one myself!). I get inspired by Psychologies magazine, as well as my favourite blogs. Both make me realise that what I want to do is possible if I work towards it.
If you’ve never read Psychologies before, I highly recommend picking it up as it has some fab pieces which have helped push me towards self improvement.
I am an insanely organised person. You should see my Outlook calendar at work – it’s the stuff of legend. In fact, I wrote a cheeky lil post a while ago about how to organise your day, and it’s worth checking out if you struggle to fit everything in. When planning to improve your personal development around your job and social life, being freakishly organised is a huge benefit.
Whether you’re happy to plot your days into your email calendar, or you prefer to jot it down on paper, find a way that works for you and isn’t too time consuming in itself.
I recently bought this desk pad (pictured), and it is perfect for scheduling in time for projects I’m working on, blog posts and personal development time.
Don’t push too hard
It’s easy to become worn out by the sheer volume of stuff you are trying to do with your time – particularly if you work full time and are fitting in personal development and your hobbies around your 30+ hour work week.
The best way around this, I’ve found, is to give myself night’s off. I always make sure I have some time to just relax, where Netflix or an episode or two of Banshee are all I have scheduled in. That way, I’m more energised the following evening to get on with things!
So there we have it, a few tips on starting your own personal development plan and how to maintain it. If you have any extra advice, or try out the tips I’ve shared, let me know in the comments!