Since you’re reading this blog post, I’m sure you’re a personal growth enthusiast like I am. There are things I want to change about myself, and I’m proactive in making it happen. There are also parts of myself that I don’t really want to change but probably should.
The problem is that personal growth isn’t just about learning. It’s easy enough to consume all of the self-help books and resources out there, but actually putting what you learn into action isn’t always fun. And if we don’t implement what we learn, we’re not really growing.
Maybe you want to make changes but never know where to start. Maybe it gets too overwhelming to make all of the changes you want to. Maybe you get excited at first but then lose sight of the goals and changes you want to make.
If you can relate to any of those statements, you need a Personal Growth Plan to keep you on track. In this post, I’m sharing how you can take all of the things you want to change and create an actionable Personal Growth Plan to make it happen.
What personal growth really means
Personal growth is more than reading self-help books and liking quote posts on Instagram. It’s more than just meditating and detoxing your room with palo santo.
At its root, personal growth involves improving your habits, behavior, attitude, and actions. It involves self-discipline and commitment to yourself, even when you don’t really like yourself.
In order to truly grow as a person, you have to actively work at your own growth instead of trying to absorb all of the self-help advice you come across.
The most important part of personal growth is self-awareness. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses in order to change.
You also need a healthy mindset that encourages you to improve as a person, rather than believing that you are fixed and can’t be changed. We can’t change the things that have happened to us, but we can make choices and decisions that help us in the future.
Related Post: How to figure out your vision for the future
How to write a Personal Growth Plan
I’m a firm believer in taking action in order to actually make changes. It takes some serious work to improve the parts of yourself that you often try to avoid. That’s where a Personal Growth Plan comes into play.
The Personal Growth Plan is a tool to help you map out what you want to change so you can actually make it happen. Want to create your own? Keep reading to learn how and grab the free worksheet to help walk you through the process.
Step One: Awareness
The first step to creating your personal growth plan is to identify the areas of your life that need a little TLC.
I’ve shared an exercise on the blog before called the Wellness Wheel or the Wheel of Life which is a coaching tool I use with clients to see where they’re struggling and where they’re thriving.
In order to see which areas might need improvement, ask yourself the following questions and rank each area on a scale of 1-10 based on how satisfied you are with them:
1. Physical Health – the way that you take care of your body
- Do I get enough physical exercise each day?
- Do I eat a balanced diet?
- Do I have a healthy sleep schedule?
2. Mental Health – the quality of your thoughts and attitude
- Am I kind to myself and do I make healthy choices for myself?
- Do I reach out for help when I need it?
- Do I know how to calm myself down when I’m stressed?
3. Spirituality/Personal Growth – how you connect with yourself and learn new skills
- Do I have regular practices that help me connect with myself (journaling, meditation, reading)?
- Do I make time for learning to improve my skills and knowledge?
- Do I have goals that I’m working towards to improve myself?
4. Relationships – the quality of interactions with family, friends, partner, and colleagues
- Do I have reliable friends and people I can count on?
- Do I spend quality time with other people?
- Do I feel that my relationships with others (romantic or non-romantic) are healthy?
5. Recreation – the way you spend your time outside of work
- Do I make time for hobbies and activities outside of work?
- Do I take enough time to simply relax?
- Do I allow myself to have fun without feeling guilty?
6. Finances – how you handle money and wealth
- Do I make smart choices with my money?
- Do I keep track of my finances and know exactly where my money is going?
- Do I have money goals that I actively work towards for the future?
7. Career – your productivity levels and attitude towards work
- Do I feel a sense of purpose with my work?
- Do I feel valued and affirmed at work?
- Am I appropriately compensated for the work I do?
8. Home – your level of comfort with your living space
- Do I feel comfortable and secure at home?
- Do I live in an area that I enjoy living in?
- Am I comfortable with whom I share my home with?
Step Two: Focus
Now that you’ve ranked each area from 1-10, choose 1-2 areas to focus on for your Personal Growth Plan (PGP). These don’t necessarily have to be the areas that you gave the lowest score. Sometimes the things we score low are only temporarily that way. Instead, choose the areas that you feel excited or drawn to work on first. It’s important to only choose a few to work on at a time otherwise it will feel too overwhelming and you’ll lose motivation.
Answer these questions:
- Which areas do I want to work on first?
- Why do I want to work on these specific areas right now?
Step Three: Evaluate
Now that you’ve identified the areas you want to work on, evaluate where you’re at right now so you can brainstorm ways to improve. Repeat this process if you’re focusing on more than 1 area.
Answer these questions:
- What does this area of my life look like right now?
- What is missing or not working for me in this area?
- What would make me feel more fulfilled in this area?
Step Four: Brainstorm
Based on your previous answers, think about what it would take to increase your score by one point (e.g. from a 5 to a 6). Then write down what it would take to get you to a 10. The goal is to take small steps to increase your score.
Answer these questions:
- What would need to change in order to score 1 point higher?
- What would need to change in order to score a 10 in this area?
- What actions can I take in the next 3-6 months to improve my score?
- What habits would support my growth in this area?
Step Five: Create Your Plan
Set a time frame for yourself to work towards. 6-8 weeks is a good amount of time to truly see progress. The main goal here is to increase your satisfaction with the focus area(s) by 1-2 points.
Next, create an outline of your Personal Growth Plan. Here’s what to include:
- Area of Focus
- Current Score
- Goal Score
- Action Steps
- Daily Habits
Step Six: Follow Your Plan
At this point, you have a detailed plan to follow. The trickiest part is, of course, sticking to it.
Here are some tips to help you stay accountable:
- Map out dates in your calendar to keep you on track with your plan.
- Add reminders to your phone of the daily habits you want to stick to.
- Print your Personal Growth Plan and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day.
- Find someone who will hold you accountable. If you have a hard time sticking to your own plans, tell a friend about your goals. You could even have them go through this exercise too so you’re in it together.
- Put a date in your calendar to reevaluate your progress. In 6 weeks, go through the Wellness Wheel exercise again and see how you rank the area of your life that you’ve been working on.
What does personal growth look like to you?
I hope this post has encouraged you to start taking action to improve yourself. Make sure to grab the free worksheet and map out your own personal growth plan.