What is a personal development plan and why do you need one?

There is no guaranteed way to success. What works for one person may not work for another.

However, you stand a much greater chance of achieving your goals if you can identify what they are and plan how you intend to reach them.

So What is a Personal Development Plan?

what is a personal development plan

Creating an individual plan of action means you can make sure your personal development plan is right for you.

Whether you choose to call it personal development planning, action planning or goal setting could be relevant. There are subtle differences.

For example if you have a specific career in mind, you should consider using a plan that is targeted to that profession.

On the other hand, using NLP in conjunction with your personal development plan can introduce you to NLP techniques such as Modelling and Matching.

4 Important Points About A Personal Development Plan (PDP)

These 4 points will explain just what a personal development plan is and how you can make your own plan.

1. What is a Personal Development Plan or (PDP)?

People often make plans, but seldom write them down.  A personal development plan is a written plan of action specifically designed to help you get the best results from yourself in desired areas. 

By constructing a pdp you can set your own goals and discover the best way to realize them.

2. Why should I have one?


The simple answer is that it will help you to think about what you want to achieve and how to achieve it.

Whether you are using your plan for personal or professional career development, the process of creating your personal development plan will help you become aware of the skills you possess.

It will also help you identify and acquire the skills you need to progress towards your goals. Your personal development plan is a record of what you are doing and what needs to be done.

Keep track of your achievements. Any changes should be amended to reflect new goals.

An effective Personal Development Plan must be an active document that is reviewed regularly to ensure that it is current, relevant and realistic.

3. How can I construct my own Personal Development Plan?

There are many different personal development plan templates. You can use our personal development planner to address the following three questions:

1. Where am I now?
2. Where do I want to be?
3. How can I get there?

These questions are designed to encourage thought and consideration of the direction that you want to go in and the process that you would like to use.

They also let you take account of your own personal situation before you decide on a course of action.

4. How do I make my Personal Development Plan Succeed?

Once you have answered the questions above and decided what you need to do in order to achieve your goals, you should regularly review and update your progress in line with your plan of action.

Remember your PDP is a living document that needs constant updating. If you have completed a task, then your action plan should reflect this.

Always try to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Making unrealistic goals sets us up for failure and can have a negative effect when we don’t meet them.

If you keep an eye on your plan, then each small success will get you closer to your goal.

Get Your Free Personal Development Plan Report

If you need further help, you can read more helpful personal development articles explaining personal development planning that you can use to help you achieve your goals.

Once you are ready to start making your own personal development plan, you can download our free personal development plan report.

Reading your report should give you all that you need to create your own personal development plan.

If you have any questions about making a personal development plan, want to share your experiences or pass on your knowledge regarding your personal development plan to help others, use our comments form below.

All comments will be reviewed and then posted as soon as possible.