Self development planning

Let’s get this right.  Self-development does not mean there is something wrong.  It simply means making the best of your potential.  In most cases, it’s pushing yourself beyond what you think is possible and achieving great things.

This post is designed to help you create your very own self development plan.

Without a goal, life can quite quickly become mundane.

It doesn’t need to be the end of a calendar year to create goals and set self development plans in place.  Self development planning can be actioned whenever you feel things could be a little better.

For this exercise you will need a pen.

You will also need to download this free PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN which I put together for you.


Put the timer on and give yourself 15 minutes.

For the purpose of this exercise I will call anything you want to do a dream until it becomes a goal.

Write down 50 dreams that you would like to do, dreams that you possibly haven’t yet got around to doing, those dreams that might seem unreachable – put them all down.  You’re looking at writing down 50 dreams.

These are dreams that make you smile thinking about doing them, dreams that make you slightly nervous, those that test your confidence levels, or make you squirm. Even those dreams that you currently believe are unreachable.

Don’t feel embarrassed, don’t ever feel you can’t do something.  Just write down all the dreams that you’d like to tick off (call it a bucket list if you like).  Even the mundane tasks like decluttering the house, or sorting out the photographs.  Yet also those big dreams involving money, ownership or major life changes.

If you prefer you can put the list to one side and return the next day.  Or get straight on to Step Two.


Give yourself five minutes.  Set the timer again.

Now go through the list, and this is the hard bit, and select ten dreams that really resonate.  Ten dreams that you want to achieve in the next year.  Again, keep that positive hat on.  Don’t listen to the negative voice.  Just go through and select ten that you’d love to do however big or small they are.  You’ll find your original list of 50 will become a mess of scribbles and circles and notes, and that’s all perfectly fine.  It means you’re really thinking about what you want to focus on for you.

Make sure that the dreams are as specific as possible.  For example:

‘I need a new job’ could become: ‘I want to move into a management role where I am learning something new and using my languages.

Or even more specific:

‘I want to work for ‘x’ company within their management team focussing on the Asia market, where I am learning something new and where I can use my language skills’.


Now you need to select the three most important dreams from your list.  Write them down.  Make sure to write the sentence properly, crazy as it might seem.  For example:  ‘I want to declutter my wardrobes and get rid of everything that doesn’t fit’, instead of ‘declutter wardrobes’.  Just including the ‘I’ makes the goal even more real.

Next, give yourself realistic deadlines.  For example:

I want to be promoted to Senior Account Director before the next Easter holiday.  I know my appraisal is next month, my exams will be completed by February and I will have been in my current role for over a year.  That date is definitely doable.

I want to declutter my wardrobes by March 30′ (because I know that I just won’t have time beforehand and decluttering wardrobes is not easy on so many levels!)

Losing weight by September 30 sounds right to me too – it’s just before the holiday, it gives me enough time to healthily get rid of the extra kilos.  Yes that’s good.

Goal Two










Taking each of the top three dreams in turn, consider what you need to do to achieve it.  Again, another list.  But it will be worth it. When you get a mind blank, think about what other tasks you can do, what your friend might suggest, your mentor, think about what you would suggest to a friend if they were in the same predicament.  This often helps to prompt ideas.

Then remembering your specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely goal, choose what one thing you can action TODAY to work toward your goal.

This one action, however big or small, will take you from thinking about doing something to actually doing it.  This could be a very simple thing like making a phone call, setting aside half an hour to assess your clothes in the wardrobe and gauge how much shelf space you have.


Book yourself on with my Accountability package.  You will be able to explore alternative ideas, solutions, and evaluate options and make decisions.  You could also finalise your action plan and have an accountability buddy to keep you on track.

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