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Factors to consider when planning for personal development March 28, 2018

Factors to consider when planning for personal development

Factors to consider when planning for personal development

What is a Personal Development Plan (PDP)?

A PDP is a structured process that reflects on your current learning and performance which is then developed into a plan for your future personal, educational and career development. By undertaking your own PDP, you will naturally consider your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and enable you to create a plan that identifies how best to meet your development needs through planned formal and informal activities.

Your career is a major part of your life and it therefore follows that you should properly plan and manage this aspect. A PDP helps you to structure your thinking. We constantly plan and think in our head, but very often we miss important details and we don’t create a realistic strategy to realise that plan.

So what are the factors you need to consider when planning a PDP?


If you combine your personal development plan with positive thinking, you'll get a big boost in self-confidence and power to accomplish everything you've included in your master plan.


Because with positive thinking, you'll be training your body and mind to “know for certain” that your outcome will be favorable.

Staying positive throughout this process helps ensure success in your development plan.

  • Vision and Clarity

You must have a clear vision of what you are pursuing.  Can you imagine hitting a target you can’t see?  How about putting together a 3000 piece jigsaw puzzle without seeing the picture on the box?  Can it be done?  Sure it can.  It juat takes a lot longer, is way more frustrating, and completely draining of energy.

By creating a detailed vision of what it is you are after you are more capable of seeing where the pieces belong.  It will still require putting them together in the correct way, some trial and error, but you will not be aiming blind-folded.

Clarity of a plan is just as important as a clear vision.  Once you have the picture you begin to create a structure for completion.  In completing a jigsaw puzzle, you first find all the edges and construct the border of the puzzle.  Then you begin to group the pieces by color or forms from the picture.  So it is with your vision. First create a structure and then identify the steps that will lead to putting all the pieces together.

  • Recognize Opportunities and Threats

Your current behaviors and habits can either support or not support you to achieve your goal.

Which of yours habits or actions are threats to your goal achievement?

These are the things you need to stop doing. For example, if your goal is to live 100 years, then you need to stop smoking, stop buying junk food, stop worrying about things, etc. Write down at least 5 things that you commit you will stop doing.

On the other hand, there are some new actions that are opportunities for you to achieve goals much easier.

What actions can you choose to start doing that will help you to achieve your goal? If you want to save more money, then for example you can start managing your money, you can start writing down your expenses, you can start spending less, etc.

  • How well did you do?

Upon reflection, often reality turns out to be different from your initial expectations and helps you to decide whether the activities met your expectations and requirements as planned. Personal development is on-going and changing so you need to keep reviewing and updating your goals, vision and plan by reflecting on what you have achieved and thought about.

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