Growing companies require their employees to have professional development plans to aid in their career success. If employees succeed in their careers the company will too.
Professional development is important but progressive businesses also encourage each employee to have a personal development plan.
A professional development plan will focus solely on your role within the company and what you can do for that company. A personal development plan, however, will help you be happier, more focused and more productive in all aspects of life – including your job.
A personal development plan can include a plethora of goals and related action steps. It could be so complex that nothing gets accomplished. The key to a personal development plan is making it simple and focused.
Let’s look at the different areas of your life that should be included in a personal development plan. We are multi-dimensional. By that, I mean we have so many aspects of our lives that are interrelated.
If one aspect of your life is out of balance, it will affect the other areas of your life. That’s why it’s so important to have goals (or a plan) for every area of your life.
The Five Areas of a Personal Development Plan
I believe there are five areas of your life to include in your personal development plan. They are as follows:
Being at peace in your spiritual life is the most important aspect of this personal development plan. Without inner peace, which only can come from a close relationship with God, the rest of your life will feel meaningless and unfulfilled.
How can you become at peace with your spiritual side? There are several ways to build that peace. Each takes intention and work. Nothing comes easy.
Here are several actions that will help you:
- Attend church regularly
- Read the Bible regularly
- Pray regularly
- Spend time with those of like faith
- Stand up for your faith
- Help others in need
Besides your spiritual life, your family should be the most important part of your life. You can say and truly believe that you work so hard and so much to support your family. You say your family comes first and you’re providing for them.
Guess what…your family wants you, not what you can provide. I made this mistake in the past.
When I got married, I had been in the workforce for a little over four years. Prior to being married, I could work late into the night, early in the morning and all day in between. No one would care. It was my life.
Once I got married and had children, I still worked like that. I worked all the time. I’d get into the office early, work all day and stay late. My reasoning was that I was doing it for my family. I had to work that hard to keep my job and provide the life I wanted my family to have.
It took me about 14 years to finally realize that I was putting my desire to work in front of my desire to spend time with my family. I even had convinced myself that I had “balance” if I attended major family activities such as kids’ sporting events.
I was fooling myself. But, I wasn’t fooling my family. They knew where my heart really was…with my work.
I had to be intentional about spending time with my family and making it quality time. It took a lot of internal turmoil, tears, talks and “tough” decisions before I finally was able to break away from the workaholic mode.
If you don’t take care of your health, you won’t be able to take care of anything. Too many people, Americans especially, focus too much on everything but their health.
Walk inside about any store and estimate the percentage of patrons who appear to be fit. The percentage is low. Health is not all about weight. I’m not saying it is. There are skinny people who are not healthy too.
You are in control of your health.
You control what you eat. You control how often you exercise. You control just about everything about your health.
Since you control all of that, it is simple to improve or maintain your health.
Don’t be confused. Simple does not equal easy. You’ll see in the personal development plan just how simple living a healthy life can be.
If you have all the other areas covered, maintaining mental clarity should be fairly easy. There are certain practices you can implement to improve that even more.
What does mental clarity mean? It means knowing what you want and why you want it. It means intentionally making choices for everything you do rather than just letting life happen to you.
Your mental capacity deals with how well you are able to learn from what life throws at you, how you will react, what you will think, what you will say.
Being clear and purposeful with your life will lead to more enjoyment, better communication and healthier thoughts.
Do you have daily practices to build your mental muscles? A good personal development plan will help you.
Why does a personal development plan include a piece about your profession or career? Because that is part of your life.
We need to stop looking at life and work as two different things. They are one and the same.
You have to work so you can live. Make it a part of your life and you’ll start recognizing the enjoyment work can bring.
First, you need to realize that you are not your job. You are so much more than just what you do for a living.
But, since working is part of living, we need to include your profession in the personal development plan.
Now that you know the five primary areas of a personal development plan, what do you do next?
Create the plan of course!
In the next article, we will look at all the steps to creating a personal development plan. We’ve covered enough in this article so far.
Until then, though, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I serious enough about my future to take intentional actions to get what I want?
2. Will I make 10 minutes in my daily routine to improve myself?
3 When I improve myself, do I expect my relationships and overall happiness to improve?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you are ready to put together your personal development plan.