By Preston Roach
Be honest. Is this the 10th time you’ve read an article about personal development? Maybe you’ve read some of the classics like “Think and Grow Rich” or “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” You have these aspirations to move on to the next step of your journey, but you bounce around from blog post to Youtube video and end up back where you started and not knowing where to start. Do you start with finances? Work? Family? Ahhh why is it so hard!
A personal development doesn’t have to be so hard. Developing a personal development plan is not some mysterious difficult thing. Let me walk you through the 6 key areas of personal development that you need to focus on, and where to start.
Find your Whys
This is always going to be step number 1. You can’t truly put your all into anything unless you know why you’re doing it. Forget about personal development for a minute. Just think about the last time you got out of bed and felt a real purpose to do something. You had a reason to feel that way. There was a why behind it. Then you took that purpose, and you owned it. You got more done in a few hours than you normally get done in an entire day. That is how you should feel all the time, and that is the reason behind finding your why. It will help you feel passionate about what you are doing.
It will keep you from comparing yourself to others, and instead just compare yourself to who you were yesterday.
Finding your whys will take time. Some of them may come right to mind, but some may take days or weeks to iron out. They will change over time as well. You will notice that I used the plural form of why. Well that’s because you should have a why for the 6 major categories in your life.
There are times in your life when one of these will be more important than the others, but it’s key to your success and development to have a why for all 6 categories.
Your whys will help you when you fail. Your whys will teach you about yourself. But most importantly, your whys will get you out of bed in the morning with that passion to build yourself into who you aspire to be.
Build your Personal Development Plan
After you understand your whys, you can move on to building your plan.
You will have your daily progress plan, monthly progress plan, and annual progress plan. It’s that simple. Three things to keep in mind. That’s it.
- What will you do each day to progress in your journey with the 6 categories?
- What will you do this month to progress in your journey with the 6 categories?
- What will you do this year to progress in your journey with the 6 categories?
Your plan will align with your whys, that’s why it was the first step. You now know what is most important to you. For help with a starting point on your plan, you can check out my post on personal development plan templates for beginners.
The plan itself is just a reference for you. It’s not even the most important piece of the puzzle. The plan is there to help you push your limits. It’s there to help you become who you aspire to be. You know that you should be doing something every day to make yourself better, but you just haven’t known what to do or where to start. You know your time here is short. You can feel each week moving faster than the last. That’s why it’s so important to break your plan down into daily progress. If you want a template to start with, you can visit my website for a free copy of the one that I use every day.
Track Your Performance
One of the most overlooked pieces of a personal development plan is to keep track of where you’ve been. It feels like you’ve been working your butt off, but you don’t have anything to show for it. That’s not true. You have a lot to show for it. You are healthier than ever. You are more focused than ever. You have more passion than ever. You just haven’t been tracking your progress. The easiest and most effective way to keep track of your progress is to journal.
Hands down, daily journaling is the one habit that has had the most impact on my life. I can go back and read about what was going through my mind in January of 2018 and compare it to how I’m thinking now. It’s amazing to see how far you’ve come.
The Remaining Steps
The purpose of this article is to help you find where to start. There is so much more to your personal development than what we talked about.
- You have a network to build.
- You need to make sure that you have a growth mindset instead of a fixed one.
- You need to work on managing your time. How many hours are you really wasting scrolling through instagram or snapchatting your friends?
- You will need to learn how to deal with stress and anxiety. If you’re really progressing and pushing yourself every day, then you will have stress if you don’t learn how to manage it.
- You will have to become more disciplined. What’s the point of going through all of the trouble of finding your why and building your plan if you don’t follow through?
I’m not saying all of these things to scare or overwhelm you. I just want you to remind you that this article is just meant as a starting point. Take the time to really develop your whys for each of the 6 categories. Go to www.progressninja.com to check out 25 personal development goals to keep in mind when you’re going through your day.
Building your personal development plan doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be confusing. You just need to know where to start. Starting with your whys will catapult you to a new level of success and personal growth.
Some people will try to tell you that you need to set a bunch of goals to be successful, but without knowing the passion behind those goals then it’s just a bunch of wasted time.
Learning to compare yourself to who you were yesterday rather than the people around you is critical to your mental health and well being. By keeping track of your progress, you will be able to stop focusing on the people around you, and start focusing on YOU.
Remember that there are a lot of steps to this personal development journey. Just think about the first one. Don’t get overwhelmed. Eat the elephant one bite at a time.
Preston is a personal finance, self improvement, and mental health blogger. His passion is to help others make choices that will help them be more fulfilled, happier, healthier, and educated about money. He strives to write with honesty and integrity. His hobbies include reading, writing, traveling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and spending time with his wife and dogs.
Contact Preston at FIMillennials.com or progressninja.com