We have an amazing team of leaders at Grace Community Church. Part of my role and how God has wired me is to constantly be in development mode, therefore, I continually encourage our staff to develop themselves personally. I realize that as they mature and grow individually; in their careers and personal lives, that the strength of our staff and church will only increase. I put out this encouragement again at a recent staff meeting. Apparently, I said the right words this time, because in the past week almost half our staff mentioned they want to improve their plans for personal development.
Recently one staff member asked me to help them get started writing their personal development plan. Here’s what I shared with him. Perhaps you need this as well.
Take a break from your daily routine, grab a cup of coffee, a pen and some paper, and ask yourself three questions as a guideline to if you want to improve personally. Keep in mind, I can’t write your plan for you, so these are just tools to fuel your thoughts.
Where am I now?
Be honest with yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you most need to improve? Consider each aspect of your life. Where are you in your career, family, social, financial, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being? Which of these areas are most neglected? In which areas do you excel?
Where do I want to be?
Think in terms of each of the categories above. Think through six months, one year and five years. What areas do you most need to improve? In what areas are improvement most critical? What areas would improve your overall satisfaction with life?
How can I get there?
For every goal you say you want to achieve, write some concrete action steps/a plan to get you there. This is the hardest part, but simply write one or two action steps for each broad goal. You will need to update this plan periodically and you can continually add to and refine these action steps. The key is that you take action to move forward in the direction you want your life to develop. Ask yourself: Where do I need more training? Do I need a mentor? Could I use more practice?
Now work the plans; take action. A piece of paper with plans of them, or an idea in your head, is worth very little until you take steps to achieve them. Get started today!
This sounds simple, but if you will spend a few hours thinking through your individual plan for personal development, the time could make the difference in achieving or not the goals you have for your life. When you finish this plan, you won’t necessarily have a professional looking document you could turn into your college professor and there are certainly methods more complex for writing a personal development plan, but for me the end goal is progress towards my goals, and we are more likely to do something easy and less time consuming. This is a method I can and do use frequently.
Do you need to do this?