You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight. Jim RohnWhen talking to people about personal development, I come across tons of misconceptions. So let me clear up a major one right away. Specifically, you do NOT need to know exactly what you want. You d be surprised by how many clients come to me for when they don t know what they want from life they just know that whatever they have at the moment is not it. (Though if you keep reading on below, you will learn a way to find out what you really want. )As long as you satisfy the two conditions above, making a personal development plan is for you! Making a personal development plan comes down to two main things.

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Helping you figure out: You could certainly achieve personal development without a plan. A lot of people have. But a plan vastly increases your chances to move towards a life that you find fulfilling and satisfying every day. Having a plan gives you: Below, I share the personal development planning method I use with my life coaching clients. It s based on something called The GROW Model and might seem fairly straightforward, but it s insanely powerful. There s a lot of clear structure underneath the surface, and if you follow the plan step-by-step as outlined, you will blast through any obstacles in your way. You will find a clear vision of what you want from life, as well as a specific action plan on how to get there. Say goodbye, procrastination! Say hello, fulfilling life full of growth and opportunities! Speaking of action I give you several exercises in the following guide. Now, you could certainly just read through it and learn a few things. But if you actually grab a pen and paper (or open up your favourite word processor) and go through the exercises as you read, you will benefit far more than if you just passively read this article. After all, you came here to change your life, and change requires taking action. Or, in other words, you wouldn t read the ultimate guide to baking a mean cake and then sit around and hope for it to appear, would you? You would go ahead and follow the instructions and make it appear! One quick note this is a long article. Over 9,555 words. So if you don t have the time or energy to read through all of it right now, bookmark it for later. That way, you can read it when you re able to give it your full attention.

(Go ahead, grab a pen and paper before you continue. I will still be here when you get back. )This first step of making a personal development plan will help you figure out which parts of your life you re happy with, and which could use some change. Then you can pick an area to work on where there s room for improvement and growth. First, I d like you to make a list of the main areas of your life which you have been focusing your time and energy on lately. This might include: And anything else you can think of. I won t give you too many examples, because I want you to think about this for yourself. For example, one of your main areas might end up guitar playing, if it s really that important to you that it deserves its own category. Note that if there s an area of your life you haven t been focusing on but would really like to, that belongs on the list as well. Once you have this list, I d like you to narrow it down to 9-8 of the main areas. You don t want to overwhelm yourself with options before we even begin. 6. 7 Rate each of those areas from 6-65 based on how satisfied you are with itNext, I d like you to give it some thought, and rate each of those areas on a scale from 6 to 65, ten being the highest, based on how satisfied you are with your current situation. Note, it s not how good you are, or how successful, but how satisfied you are with the current situation. For example, if you have almost no social life because you spend all your days working, but you re okay with that for the next couple of months because it s a very important stage of your business, then you might give yourself a 65 on your social life. Chances are, some of your areas did better than others. If you scored a 9 or a 65, you re doing fine. An 8 is iffy, and anything from 7 below can definitely be improved. I d like you to take a good long look at the areas you re not very satisfied with, and pick which one you would like to begin improving first. Because that s what you ll be working with throughout the rest of this article.

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Once you have gone through this guide, you can make a full-fledged personal development plan by applying the exercises to the other areas of your life. But for now, we will focus on one main area, because it s better if you truly grasp the concepts well with a clear example in mind, instead of mucking things up by focusing on too much at once. Have you got an area of your life in mind yet? Because we ll be working with that now. Just start daydreaming, and imagine what the ideal situation would be, in the long-term (many years from now). To give you some clear examples instead of vague generalities, I will show you what I got when I was making my own personal development plan a while ago. At the time, I was studying at university. People who I could call up to hang out in the park when the weather was nice, or to go rock-climbing, or cook up some mean Indian food together with. And meeting up with someone often, nearly every day of the week, to do various fun stuff, or just nothing at all. Go ahead, daydream about how your chosen part of your life would ideally look, if you could do anything you wanted Now let s pull a bit closer to the present. Pick a medium-term future. Say, somewhere between 8 months and 6 year from now. Imagine how you would like your ideal situation to be then. In my example, this doesn t really change anything. But if you re focusing on the business side of your life, for example, it s a good idea to pull closer to the present with a 6-year dream, and even 8-month dream. This helps you move from vague daydreaming (as pleasant as it is) towards making those dreams a reality. Once you have it, start imagining it in great detail. How you would feel when you wake up in the morning. What you would do during the day. The people you would meet. The things you would say to yourself.

Do NOT neglect this step. It might sound small and simple, but it s incredibly powerful. Firstly, it gets you excited and motivated, bye the. Secondly, it sets up cognitive dissonance in your mind. That s where your brain holds two conflicting thoughts, gets uncomfortable, and tries to resolve the conflict by changing one of the thoughts. In the case of imagining your ideal situation, your brain will start looking for opportunities to start moving towards it. And trust me, those opportunities are all around you. You just haven t been noticing them until now. To clarify, imagine you re at a cocktail party, engrossed in an interesting conversation. What do you think are the chances that you will notice? Very, very good! There s a region in your brain called the amygdala which is responsible for filtering all the hundreds of sensory inputs you get every second, and choosing which select few to let through to your conscious mind, because they might be important to you. So despite the general noise and several other conversations you and the one where your name was mentioned, you will notice. Similarly, once you start visualising your ideal situation, your amygdala will catch on that this is important to you and start filtering for opportunities that might move your closer to your goal. So take your time to imagine it, in full detail. This little time investment of 5 minutes is extremely worth it. One big difference between a dream and a goal is being specific about what you want. A dream is a vague fuzzy thing you like to think about to make yourself happy. A goal is a specific prospect, and by gosh, you re going to make it happen! One word of warning for now, don t worry about how you will achieve your goal. That will come in steps 8 Generating options, and 9 Goalsetting.

For now, we simply figure out what it is you want! (There s a reason this solid structure works. Trust me. )For now, just eliminate any vagueness and make it specific. Exactly when is your middle-term goal? How will you know when you have achieved it? Also eliminate any vague words. I wanted to have at least 6 close friends, with whom I would hang out weekly, and I wanted to do fun stuff five days of the week. Whether it s going out swing dancing or tossing a frisbee in a park, or anything else. Recap your goal, and make sure to get rid of any vagueness. You can even talk to a friend about it, and let them help you, if you want. (It always helps to get an outsider s perspective. )If you missed out any of those steps, go back now and do the exercises before reading on. This guide will still be here when you get back. Now that you know what your ideal situation would be, it s time to compare it to your present situation. That way, you ll know how big a chasm stands between your reality and your dream situation, which will later help you build just the right bridge to cross that chasm. After that we ll have a good hard look at everything you already possess that will help you move towards your ideal situation! For this section, I will mainly just ask you a bunch of questions. And I d like you to take your time and answer them thoroughly. I won t be telling you how to change your life for the better, because you know best what works for your particular situation. Hey, it s your personal development plan, not mine!

Make a list of the biggest categories you spend your time on, like work, sleep, commute, cooking, watching TV, social, and anything else you want to ad. And figure out how much time you spend on each of them, during a typical week. For this second part, we will find out what assets you currently have that could help you move towards your ideal goal.

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