- I forgot my username
- I forgot my password
- PDP|CPD Template
Personal Development Plan (PDP) and CPD Activity Recording Template
Published on 27 January 2018
Create and maintain your personal development plan
Under the enhanced CPD scheme, dental professionals must hold a personal development plan (PDP), record their CPD activities and submit an annual report. We have created an Excel template to simplify the process. Excel is readily available, with free online and mobile versions, so you can use the template and have it readily available on your desktop or mobile device.
The template guides you through the creation of a realistic PDP, helps you record your CPD activities and complete your annual submission to the GDC. It facilitates reflective practice, guides career development and helps assess the impact of CPD activities on patient care.
The template is compatible with the desktop versions of Microsoft Excel 2016, 2013 and 2010, mobile versions (iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile) and online version. Please note that the mobile and online versions of Excel do not have the full feature set of the desktop versions, but this does not affect the ability to create a PDP, record CPD activities and view the summary.
We recommend storing the document on cloud storage (DropBox, Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive etc so that it is always available across your devices. This will make it simple to keep your PDP and CPD up to date and therefore genuinely useful.
To install and start using the template:
- Download the file (see below; you must also agree to our terms and conditions).
- Copy the file to where you would like to store it. Using your cloud storage (e.g. OneDrive) makes it readily available across devices and it will be backed up.
- Click to open in Excel and follow the guide. If you are using a mobile device use the Excel app which can be downloaded from the respective store.
Training and support
The template is featured in our free course Making the most of The Dental Channel . Watch step-by-step how to use the template to:
- identify your learning needs;
- create your PDP;
- record your CPD activities;
- update your PDP;
- submit your reports to the GDC;
- assess the effectiveness of your CPD.
You may post any questions about using the template in the accompanying community group.
For a broader discussion of personal development planning and CPD please see Personal Development Planning and CPD recording: Making them work for you .
- Login to Download
Please complete the form below to download the document [DOCUMENT_TITLE]
Please login to download document
- +44 (0)20 8299 9742
- Send us an email
Monday-Friday: 9:30am to 5:30pm Bank holidays: Closed
- Terms and conditions
- All Courses
- Live webinars
- Our experts
- Quality-assured CPD
- Disinfection and decontamination
- Materials and equipment
- Medical emergencies
- Radiology and radiography
- Complaints handling
- Legal and ethical issues
- Oral cancer: early detection and prevention
- Safeguarding children and young people
- Safeguarding vulnerable adults
- CPD subscriptions
- Quick start guide
Personal Development Planning
Working in a dental practice can be exciting, invigorating and rewarding. At the same time it can be very demanding as there is always a lot going on. The dental industry is one of continual learning – things are always changing, especially in medical terms – so it is vital to keep up. A dental nurse’s role has advanced more than ever in recent years, a dental nurse carries out a wide range of tasks. These include looking after patients, patient reassurance, safety precautions, being at the dentist’s side and preparing and sterilising equipment, the list goes on . In addition, of course, all of these tasks must be performed to very high standard. This is why it is so important to take time to reflect on your role, your tasks, your progress and then evaluate how you can develop yourself professionally.
Completing and utilising a Personal Development Plan (PDP) effectively can help support you on your road to progression and what you really want to achieve. It can give you, as an individual, structure, focusing on quality and accountability, which are significant considerations in terms of future goals not only for the individual, but for a dental practice too. A PDP is a method for identifying your developmental needs and devising the best solutions to achieve this development.
A PDP is part of Clinical Governance – the government requires that all NHS clinicians have and use a PDP. A PDP involves updating, revisiting, stimulating ideas, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and prioritising and planning for your future career.
Many people find the idea of reflecting, evaluating and making plans daunting and overwhelming. A word of advice, go through the process slowly and break it down. It will hugely benefit you if you make and stick to an effective PDP.
A PDP in other words is a ‘plan.’ This ‘plan’ demonstrates commitment to your professional development. It can be useful to break down what you need to learn and what you want to learn. This will encourage you to focus on what you want to achieve through this learning and it will force you to think specifically about how you are going to get to that point. You can create your own learning objectives and your PDP will therefore stands as a evidence of your learning and objectives.
A Personal Development Plan demonstrates to the General Dental Council (GDC) that you are committed to lifelong learning in your professional field. It also provides guidance and goals, in addition, assisting with continual professional development (CPD). A PDP has been defined as ‘a process by which we identify our educational needs, set ourselves some objectives in relation to these, undertake our educational activities and produce evidence that you have learned something useful.’ (Rughani, Franklin & Dickson. Personal Development Plans for Dentists. The new approach to continuing professional development. Oxon: Radcliffe Medical Press, 2003, p. 27)
Since August 2008, it was determined by the GDC that Dental Care Professionals (DCPs) have to complete 50 hours of verifiable CPD (in recommended subject areas) and 100 hours non-verifiable in a five-year cycle. Furthermore, it is now law for dental professionals to take part in CPD. The GDC introduced the CPD scheme to ensure patients the best possible treatment. CPD was put in place to ensure patients receive high quality care.
A PDP involves identifying your learning needs, it incorporates CPD activity and aims to improve your professional status. This means you can take control of your own learning and future career. The GDC require that you keep CPD records for five-years and you may be selected for audit. The GDC have declared, ‘As a registered dental professional you have a duty to keep our skills and knowledge up to date so you can give patients the best possible treatment and care. Continuing professional development (CPD) is compulsory, but ideally it should just set out a formal framework for what you are already doing.’ (GDC) A PDP is essential for an individual’s professional portfolio as well as requested by the GDC. A PDP will also be useful for job interviews.
Some practical advice
Before you start your PDP it is a good idea to make a spider diagram including the following topics: Learning and educational needs: how you will address these? Outcomes and Evidence: scribble down ideas and many of your first thoughts which surface when thinking about your career and job role. You can refer back to this. It will be useful as a draft and template.
Whilst drawing on your spider diagram it may be useful to reflect on the following:
• What are you good at? • What could you do better? • What do you think you could change to benefit your practice? • Do any patients make you feel uncomfortable or uneasy? • Has a patient asked you something you don’t know the answer to? • Have you ever needed to look anything up? • What issues have been raised in your appraisals? • Does your practice run effectively? The best it can? • What doesn’t run well in practice? • Have there been any significant events in practice? • What are the practice development priorities? How do they affect you?
You might prefer to use a ‘Reflective Model’ which helps you to reflect and focus on something specific using the certain subtitles: Description: what happened? Feelings: what did you think or feel? Evaluation: was it good or bad? Analysis: what sense have you made of today? Conclusions: what else could have been done? Action plan: what will you do now? Gibbs (1988) stated that a Reflective Model will ‘help you reflect and focus on your thoughts today'.
The next stage is to begin your PDP. The key is to construct a simple, clear PDP and this can be achieved through a step by step approach.
SWOT analysis - open a word document, google document or pages document ( or DOWNLOAD one here ) and title it ‘SWOT analysis’. SWOT stands for STRENGHS (for example, team leader, update with CPD, good communication skills, good with elderly patients. This is an opportunity to sell yourself), WEAKNESSES (difficultly finding time for CPD or completing CPD, not recording CPD, lack of knowledge in specific areas. Address your weaknesses to help you overcome them), OPPORTUNITIES ( extended duties , supportive boss and colleagues, taking charge of PDP) and THREATS (new job, limited time, overwhelmed with learning new skills, poor communication with team). This gives you a chance to sit down and analyse your current situation. This can help you to work out your long term goals. You may want to do this with a colleague which may help.
The next part is to open a word document ( or DOWNLOAD one here ) and title it SMARTER GOAL 1, you may have more than one so the following pages you would label SMARTER GOAL 2, SMARTER GOAL 3, etc. This is where you can consider your goals, evaluate them, really think about them and make them smarter. You can identify your goals through appraisal, self-awareness, audit and reflection, etc. An occasion may occur when a patient asks you a question and you do not know the answer to it e.g ’ What are implants made of?' This realisation that you are not sure what to respond might highlight that you need to develop your knowledge on implants. Another example of goal may be to complete a certain number of CPD courses. In you PDP you should specifically state which CPD courses you want to undertake. You do not have to write 50 at once, you can build your PDP gradually.
Once you have determined a goal, you then make it smarter by addressing the following questions:
It is important to break your goals down. How will you achieve your goal? What will mark your success? What resources will you need? Set a date to complete the goal Too. You make these decisions and be as flexible as you want working towards what you want to achieve.
The next section of your PDP needs to be a record of your CPD ( DOWNLOAD Record sheet here ) . This includes both verifiable and non-verifiable CPD. This is just a case of compiling certificates, recording dates and sources.
Now you need to decide on how you are going to present you PDP and formulate your PDP portfolio. This can also include: your CV, references, appraisals.
Some practices have undergone annual appraisals and PDPs are involved in the final part of these appraisals. PDPs set out some of your planned, future learning. In this case, your appraiser will likely sign your PDP as satisfactory. Changes or suggestions may be given. The following year's appraisal will involve a review of the previous year's PDP.
The important thing to remember is that you must update your PDP constantly. You can change, alter and modify your goals and then you can add new needs as the year progresses. It is all about self-awareness and figuring out where your strengths and weaknesses lie. It is personal, so it is yours to do and decide what you want to do with. Its main aim is to help with your own development and this further benefits the practice and patients.
- Forgot Login?
Copyright © 2023 Dental Nurse Network. All Rights Reserved.
Personal development plans (in primary dental care)--getting started
- 1 Peninsula Dental School, UK.
- PMID: 21905356
- DOI: 10.12968/denu.2011.38.6.419
This article reviews how to develop a personal development plan, its benefits and how it may relate to the GDC's proposed revalidation scheme.
Clinical relevance: Revalidation is an essential part of reassuring the public that the profession delivers care to appropriate standards in safe work environments. A personal development plan is a key element in improving performance and quality of care.
- Clinical Competence / standards
- Clinical Governance
- Dental Care*
- Dentists / standards*
- Education, Dental, Continuing
- Primary Health Care*
- Self Concept
How to Create a Personal Development Plan: 3 Examples
For successful change, it is vital that the client remains engaged, recognizing and identifying with the goals captured inside and outside sessions. A personal development plan (PDP) creates a focus for development while offering a guide for life and future success (Starr, 2021).
This article introduces and explores the value of personal development plans, offering tools, worksheets, and approaches to boost self-reflection and self-improvement.
Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Goal Achievement Exercises for free . These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your clients create actionable goals and master techniques to create lasting behavior change.
This Article Contains
What is personal development 7 theories, coaching in personal development and growth, how to create a personal development plan, 3 examples of personal development plans, defining goals and objectives: 10 tips and tools, fostering personal development skills, 3 inspiring books to read on the topic, resources from positivepsychology.com, a take-home message, frequently asked questions.
Personal development is a fundamental concept in psychology and encompasses the lifelong process of self-improvement, self-awareness, and personal growth. Crucial to coaching and counseling, it aims to enhance various aspects of clients’ lives, including their emotional wellbeing, relationships, careers, and overall happiness (Cox, 2018; Starr, 2021).
Several psychological models underpin and support transformation. Together, they help us understand personal development in our clients and the mechanisms and approaches available to make positive life changes (Cox, 2018; Passmore, 2021).
The following psychological theories and frameworks underpin and influence the approach a mental health professional adopts.
1. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
As a proponent of the humanistic or person-centered approach to helping people, Abraham Maslow (1970) suggested that individuals have a hierarchy of needs. Simply put, they begin with basic physiological and safety needs and progress through psychological and self-fulfillment needs.
Personal development is often found in or recognized by the pursuit of higher-level needs, such as self-esteem and self-actualization (Cox, 2018).
2. Erikson’s psychosocial development
Erik Erikson (1963) mapped out a series of eight psychosocial development stages that individuals go through across their lifespan.
Each one involves challenges and crises that once successfully navigated, contribute to personal growth and identity development.
3. Piaget’s cognitive development
The biologist and epistemologist Jean Piaget (1959) focused on cognitive development in children and how they construct their understanding of the world.
We can draw on insights from Piaget’s stages of cognitive development, including intellectual growth and adaptability, to inform our own and others’ personal development (Illeris, 2018).
4. Bandura’s social cognitive theory
Albert Bandura’s (1977) theory highlights the role of social learning and self-efficacy in personal development. It emphasizes that individuals can learn and grow through observation, imitation, and belief in their ability to effect change.
5. Self-determination theory
Ryan and Deci’s (2018) motivational self-determination theory recognizes the importance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness in personal development.
Their approach suggests that individuals are more likely to experience growth and wellbeing when such basic psychological needs are met.
6. Positive psychology
Positive psychology , developed by Martin Seligman (2011) and others, focuses on strengths, wellbeing, and the pursuit of happiness.
Seligman’s PERMA model offers a framework for personal development that emphasizes identifying and using our strengths while cultivating positive emotions and experiences (Lomas et al., 2014).
7. Cognitive-Behavioral Theory (CBT)
Developed by Aaron Beck (Beck & Haigh, 2014) and Albert Ellis (2000), CBT explores the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and behavior.
As such, the theory provides practical techniques for personal development, helping individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns and behaviors (Beck, 2011).
Theories like the seven mentioned above offer valuable insights into many of the psychological processes underlying personal development. They provide a sound foundation for coaches and counselors to support their clients and help them better understand themselves, their motivations, and the paths they can take to foster positive change in their lives (Cox, 2018).
The client–coach relationship is significant to successful growth and goal achievement.
Typically, the coach will focus on the following (Cox, 2018):
- Actualizing tendency This supports a “universal human motivation resulting in growth, development and autonomy of the individual” (Cox, 2018, p. 53).
- Building a relationship facilitating change Trust clients to find their own way while displaying empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard . The coach’s “outward responses consistently match their inner feelings towards a client,” and they display a warm acceptance that they are being how they need to be (Passmore, 2021, p. 162).
- Adopting a positive psychological stance Recognize that the client has the potential and wish to become fully functioning (Cox, 2018).
Effective coaching for personal growth involves adopting and committing to a series of beliefs that remind the coach that the “coachee is responsible for the results they create” (Starr, 2021, p. 18) and help them recognize when they may be avoiding this idea.
The following principles are, therefore, helpful for coaching personal development and growth (Starr, 2021).
- Stay committed to supporting the client. While initially strong, you may experience factors that reduce your sense of support for the individual’s challenges.
- Coach nonjudgmentally. Our job is not to adopt a stance based on personal beliefs or judgment of others, but to help our clients form connections between behavior and results.
- Maintain integrity, openness, and trust. The client must feel safe in your company and freely able to express themselves.
- Responsibility does not equal blame. Clients who take on blame rather than responsibility will likely feel worse about something without acknowledging their influence on the situation.
- The client can achieve better results. The client is always capable of doing and achieving more, especially in relation to their goals.
- Focus on clients’ thoughts and experiences. Collaborative coaching is about supporting the growth and development of the client, getting them to where they want to go.
- Clients can arrive at perfect solutions. “As a coach, you win when someone else does” (Starr, 2021, p. 34). The solution needs to be the client’s, not yours.
- Coach as an equal partnership. Explore the way forward together collaboratively rather than from a parental or advisory perspective.
Creating a supportive and nonjudgmental environment helps clients explore their thoughts, feelings, and goals, creating an environment for personal development and flourishing (Passmore, 2021).
Download 3 Free Goals Exercises (PDF)
These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your clients create actionable goals and master techniques for lasting behavior change.
Download 3 Free Goals Pack (PDF)
By filling out your name and email address below.
- Email Address *
- Your Expertise * Your expertise Therapy Coaching Education Counseling Business Healthcare Other
- Comments This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
A personal development plan is a powerful document “to create mutual clarity of the aims and focus of a coaching assignment” (Starr, 2021, p. 291). While it is valuable during coaching, it can also capture a client’s way forward once sessions have ended.
Crucially, it should have the following characteristics (Starr, 2021):
- Short and succinct
- Providing a quick reference or point of discussion
- Current and fresh, regularly revised and updated
Key elements of a personal development plan include the following (Starr, 2021):
- Area of development This is the general skill or competence to be worked on.
- Development objectives or goals What does the client want to do? Examples might include reducing stress levels, improving diet, or managing work–life balance .
- Behaviors to develop These comprise what the client will probably do more of when meeting their objectives, for example, practicing better coping mechanisms, eating more healthily, and better managing their day.
- Actions to create progress What must the client do to action their objectives? For example, arrange a date to meet with their manager, sign up for a fitness class, or meet with a nutritionist.
- Date to complete or review the objective Capture the dates for completing actions, meeting objectives, and checking progress.
Check out Lindsey Cooper’s excellent video for helpful guidance on action planning within personal development.
We can write and complete personal development plans in many ways. Ultimately, they should meet the needs of the client and leave them with a sense of connection to and ownership of their journey ahead (Starr, 2021).
- Personal Development Plan – Areas of Development In this PDP , we draw on guidance from Starr (2021) to capture development opportunities and the behaviors and actions needed to achieve them.
- Personal Development Plan – Opportunities for Development This template combines short- and long-term goal setting with a self-assessment of strengths, weaknesses, and development opportunities.
- Personal Development Plan – Ideal Self In this PDP template , we focus on our vision of how our ideal self looks and setting goals to get there.
“The setting of a goal becomes the catalyst that drives the remainder of the coaching conversation.”
Passmore, 2021, p. 80
Defining goals and objectives is crucial to many coaching conversations and is usually seen as essential for personal development.
Check out this video on how you can design your life with your personal goals in mind.
The following coaching templates are helpful, containing a series of questions to complete Whitmore’s (2009) GROW model :
- G stands for Goal : Where do you want to be?
- R stands for Reality : Where are you right now with this goal?
- O stands for Options : What are some options for reaching your goal?
- W stands for Way forward : What is your first step forward?
Goal setting creates both direction and motivation for clients to work toward achieving something and meeting their objectives (Passmore, 2021).
The SMART goal-setting framework is another popular tool inside coaching and elsewhere.
S = Specific M = Measurable A = Attainable/ or Agreed upon R = Realistic T = Timely – allowing enough time for achievement
The SMART+ Goals Worksheet contains a series of prompts and spaces for answers to define goals and capture the steps toward achieving them.
We can summarize the five principles of goal setting (Passmore, 2021) as follows:
- Goals must be clear and not open to interpretation.
- Goals should be stretching yet achievable.
- Clients must buy in to the goal from the outset.
- Feedback is essential to keep the client on track.
- Goals should be relatively straightforward. We can break down complex ones into manageable subgoals.
The following insightful articles are also helpful for setting and working toward goals.
- What Is Goal Setting and How to Do it Well
- The Science & Psychology of Goal-Setting 101
1. People skills
Improving how we work with others benefits confidence, and with other’s support, we are more likely to achieve our objectives and goals. The following people skills can all be improved upon:
- Developing rapport
- Assertiveness and negotiation
- Giving and receiving constructive criticism
2. Managing tasks and problem-solving
Inevitably, we encounter challenges on our path to development and growth. Managing our activities and time and solving issues as they surface are paramount.
Here are a few guidelines to help you manage:
- Organize time and tasks effectively.
- Learn fundamental problem-solving strategies.
- Select and apply problem-solving strategies to tackle more complex tasks and challenges.
- Develop planning skills, including identifying priorities, setting achievable targets, and finding practical solutions.
- Acquire skills relevant to project management.
- Familiarize yourself with concepts such as performance indicators and benchmarking.
- Conduct self-audits to assess and enhance your personal competitiveness.
3. Cultivate confidence in your creative abilities
Confidence energizes our performance. Knowing we can perform creatively encourages us to develop novel solutions and be motivated to transform.
Consider the following:
- Understand the fundamentals of how the mind works to enhance your thinking skills.
- Explore a variety of activities to sharpen your creative thinking.
- Embrace the belief that creativity is not limited to artists and performers but is crucial for problem-solving and task completion.
- Learn to ignite the spark of creativity that helps generate innovative ideas when needed.
- Apply creative thinking techniques to enhance your problem-solving and task completion abilities.
- Recognize the role of creative thinking in finding the right ideas at the right time.
To aid you in building your confidence, we have a whole category of articles focused on Optimism and Mindset . Be sure to browse it for confidence-building inspiration.
With new techniques and technology, our understanding of the human brain continues to evolve. Identifying the vital elements involved in learning and connecting with others offers deep insights into how we function and develop as social beings. We handpicked a small but unique selection of books we believe you will enjoy.
1. The Coaching Manual: The Definitive Guide to the Process, Principles and Skills of Personal Coaching – Julie Starr
This insightful book explores and explains the coaching journey from start to finish.
Starr’s book offers a range of free resources and gives clear guidance to support new and existing coaches in providing practical help to their clients.
Find the book on Amazon .
2. The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level – Gay Hendricks
Delving into the “zone of genius” and the “zone of excellence,” Hendricks examines personal growth and our path to personal success.
This valuable book explores how we eliminate the barriers to reaching our goals that arise from false beliefs and fears.
3. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are – Brené Brown
Brown, a leading expert on shame, vulnerability, and authenticity, examines how we can engage with the world from a place of worthiness.
Use this book to learn how to build courage and compassion and realize the behaviors, skills, and mindset that lead to personal development.
We have many resources available for fostering personal development and supporting client transformation and growth.
Our free resources include:
- Goal Planning and Achievement Tracker This is a valuable worksheet for capturing and reflecting on weekly goals while tracking emotions that surface.
- Adopt a Growth Mindset Successful change is often accompanied by replacing a fixed mindset with a growth one .
- FIRST Framework Questions Understanding a client’s developmental stage can help offer the most appropriate support for a career change.
More extensive versions of the following tools are available with a subscription to the Positive Psychology Toolkit© , but they are described briefly below:
- Backward Goal Planning
Setting goals can build confidence and the skills for ongoing personal development.
Backward goal planning helps focus on the end goal, prevent procrastination, and decrease stress by ensuring we have enough time to complete each task.
Try out the following four simple steps:
- Step one – Identify and visualize your end goal.
- Step two – Reflect on and capture the steps required to reach the goal.
- Step three – Focus on each step one by one.
- Step four – Take action and record progress.
- Boosting Motivation by Celebrating Micro Successes
Celebrating the small successes on our journey toward our goals is motivating and confidence building.
Practice the following:
- Step one – Reflect momentarily on the goal you are working toward.
- Step two – Consider each action being taken to reach that goal.
- Step three – Record the completion of each action as a success.
- Step four – Choose how to celebrate each success.
If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others reach their goals, check out this collection of 17 validated motivation & goal achievement tools for practitioners . Use them to help others turn their dreams into reality by applying the latest science-based behavioral change techniques.
Personal development has a rich and long history. It is underpinned by various psychological theories and remains a vital aspect of creating fulfilling lives inside and outside coaching and counseling.
For many of us, self-improvement, self-awareness, and personal growth are vital aspects of who we are. Coaching can provide a vehicle to help clients along their journey, supporting their sense of autonomy and confidence and highlighting their potential (Cox, 2018).
Working with clients, therefore, requires an open, honest, and supportive relationship. The coach or counselor must believe the client can achieve better results and view them nonjudgmentally as equal partners.
Personal development plans become essential to that relationship and the overall coaching process. They capture areas for development, skills and behaviors required, and goals and objectives to work toward.
Use this article to recognize theoretical elements from psychology that underpin the process and use the skills, guidance, and worksheets to support personal development in clients, helping them remove obstacles along the way.
Ultimately, personal development is a lifelong process that boosts wellbeing and flourishing and creates a richer, more engaging environment for the individual and those around them.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Goal Achievement Exercises for free .
Personal development is vital, as it enables individuals to enhance various aspects of their lives, including emotional wellbeing, relationships, careers, and overall happiness.
It promotes self-awareness, self-improvement, and personal growth, helping individuals reach their full potential and lead fulfilling lives (Passmore, 2021; Starr, 2021).
Personal development is the journey we take to improve ourselves through conscious habits and activities and focusing on the goals that are important to us.
Personal development goals are specific objectives individuals set to improve themselves and their lives. Goals can encompass various areas, such as emotional intelligence, skill development, health, and career advancement, providing direction and motivation for personal growth (Cox, 2018; Starr, 2021).
A personal development plan typically comprises defining the area of development, setting development objectives, identifying behaviors to develop, planning actions for progress, and establishing completion dates. These five stages help individuals clarify their goals and track their progress (Starr, 2021).
- Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory . Prentice-Hall.
- Beck, A. T., & Haigh, E. P. (2014). Advances in cognitive therapy and therapy: The generic cognitive model. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology , 10 , 1–24.
- Beck, J. S. (2011). Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond . Guilford Press.
- Cottrell, S. (2015). Skills for success: Personal development and employability . Bloomsbury Academic.
- Cox, E. (2018). The complete handbook of coaching . SAGE.
- Ellis, A. (2000). Can rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) be effectively used with people who have devout beliefs in God and religion? Professional Psychology-Research and Practice , 31 (1), 29–33.
- Erikson, E. H. (1963). Youth: Change and challenge . Basic Books.
- Illeris, K. (2018). An overview of the history of learning theory. European Journal of Education , 53 (1), 86–101.
- Lomas, T., Hefferon, K., & Ivtzan, I. (2014). Applied positive psychology: Integrated positive practice . SAGE.
- Maslow, A. H. (1970). Motivation and personalit y (2nd ed.). Harper & Row.
- Passmore, J. (Ed.). (2021). The coaches’ handbook: The complete practitioner guide for professional coaches . Routledge.
- Piaget, J. (1959): The Psychology of intelligence . Routledge.
- Rose, C. (2018). The personal development group: The students’ guide . Routledge.
- Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2018). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness . Guilford Press.
- Seligman, M. E. (2011). Authentic happiness using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment . Nicholas Brealey.
- Starr, J. (2021). The coaching manual: The definitive guide to the process, principles and skills of personal coaching . Harlow: Pearson Education.
- Whitmore, J. (2009). Coaching for performance . Nicholas Brealey.
Share this article:
Let us know your thoughts cancel reply.
Your email address will not be published.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Training in Lifestyle Coaching: 8 Best Certifications and Courses
What makes the Wizard of Oz storyline so compelling? Maybe it’s that we relate to Dorothy’s struggle and her feelings of being stuck, lost, and [...]
5 Best Wellness & Health Coaching Certification Programs
There is a growing understanding that ‘prevention is better than cure’ and with that insight, the health and wellness coaching industry is expanding with ever [...]
How to Become a Career Coach: 12 Certifications & Courses
Are you someone who wants to help others achieve their professional dreams and fulfill their highest potential? Does helping others who feel stagnant in their [...]
Read other articles by their category
- Body & Brain (40)
- Coaching & Application (56)
- Compassion (26)
- Counseling (50)
- Emotional Intelligence (24)
- Gratitude (17)
- Grief & Bereavement (21)
- Happiness & SWB (38)
- Meaning & Values (25)
- Meditation (20)
- Mindfulness (44)
- Motivation & Goals (43)
- Optimism & Mindset (32)
- Positive CBT (24)
- Positive Communication (20)
- Positive Education (44)
- Positive Emotions (30)
- Positive Leadership (1)
- Positive Psychology (32)
- Positive Workplace (42)
- Productivity (16)
- Relationships (42)
- Resilience & Coping (34)
- Self Awareness (20)
- Self Esteem (37)
- Software & Apps (23)
- Strengths & Virtues (31)
- Stress & Burnout Prevention (32)
- Theory & Books (44)
- Therapy Exercises (33)
- Types of Therapy (58)
- View all journals
- Explore content
- About the journal
- Publish with us
- Sign up for alerts
- Published: 08 September 2017
Preparing a personal development plan for all members of the dental team
- W. Maguire 1 &
- P. Blaylock 2
British Dental Journal volume 223 , pages 402–404 ( 2017 ) Cite this article
- Extended skills training in dentistry
Draws attention to upcoming changes to GDC enhanced CPD requiring a personal development plan (PDP) for all members of the dental team.
Explains how to develop a PDP.
Gives examples of objectives to be included within a PDP.
Personal development plans (PDPs) have been a requirement for NHS hospital staff, Foundation Training and Dental Core Training for some years; however, the General Dental Council (GDC) are changing continuing professional development (CPD) requirements in 2018 (enhanced CPD) making a PDP a requirement for all members of the dental team. A PDP consists of objectives for targeting CPD most relevant to your practice or intended practice to undertake over a defined period to maximise the improvement of your professional development. The aim of this article is to explain how to prepare a PDP ahead of the requirement to utilise its benefits in training and performance for the dental team. This article references a template for all members of the dental team to record their PDP.
The General Dental Council (GDC) are changing contining professional development (CPD) requirements in 2018 (enhanced CPD) making a personal development plan a requirement for all members of the dental team. 1
What is a PDP?
'Personal development is a continuous lifelong process of nurturing, shaping and improving skills and knowledge to ensure maximum effectiveness and ongoing employability.' 2 A personal development plan (PDP) records further training objectives, enabling the entire dentally qualified team to optimise the potential benefits of suitable CPD on an individual level for improving performance. This structured framework for recording learning needs which have been identified can then be prioritised concerning actionable objectives for each CPD cycle, and be updated as necessary with regards to providing safe and high-quality dental care in the UK.
Why is this now a requirement?
Personal development plans have been a requirement for NHS hospital staff, Foundation Training and Dental Core Training for some years; however, the General Dental Council are changing Contining Professional Development (CPD) requirements, called the enhanced CPD scheme, starting in 2018. 1 There are some changes for all members of the dental team, such as including increasing the number of verifiable CPD hours over a five-year cycle, having a minimum number of hours every two years, and having a PDP.
The GDC have published work they commissioned regarding how PDPs have the potential to provide a good evidence source in order to support the formative aims of continuing assurance – provided they have clear objectives which are relevant to practice, include an action plan and are focused on professional development. 3 Reliance upon PDP use for a summative process such as revalidation was regarded less positively, due to the reliance on self-reflection and the risk of selecting only positive evidence for inclusion. 3
The GDC have stated registrants will identify their CPD needs using a PDP, which will help to plan learning objectives in accordance with their scope of practice either individually or along with colleagues or indeed employers such as through an appraisal, and taking into account elements of clinical governance such as patient feedback, audit or significant event analysis. 1 The GDC has provided a helpful tool to explain the CPD requirements for individual cycles which can be used online. 4
Developing a PDP
When starting a PDP, dentally qualified professionals should reflect on their learning and current performance to help identify areas for further development, taking into consideration how aspirations of future jobs or clinical roles may require training which could take place sooner as well as their current role within the team. After undertaking a range of planned learning activities, this professional should be able to demonstrate they have achieved this objective with a certificate and reflect on how this training has benefited themselves as well as others. 5 The PDP cycle, shown in Figure 1 , illustrates how this is a continual process of refinement and improvement.
The PDP Cycle
When setting goals, it is important that these use the SMART framework: being specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. 6 Failing to achieve goals may be due to poor quality planning within a PDP: while there may be some obstacles to overcome the objective should be achievable to the individual. 7 When choosing goals, the dental professional could look at a range of sources to identify strengths and development areas which could include the following:
The GDC's Standards for the dental team document outlines the nine principles dental professionals must keep to at all times 8
Those colleagues in a training programme, such as Foundation Training, should refer to the curriculum in their e-portfolio or guidance documents from Health Education England or Postgraduate Deanery elsewhere in the UK
Qualitative feedback from patients including relevant compliments or complaints, colleagues using tools such as 360-degree feedback assessment and any previous appraisal from employers or educational supervisors
Aspects of practice which are non-clinical such as research, teaching, audits, quality improvement projects, management and leadership. For leadership skills, the dental professional can review the clinical leadership competency framework which is published on behalf of the NHS Leadership Academy and applies to every dental professional at all stages of their professional journey. 9
Each dental professional should organise their goals in order of priority, with essential learning needs being prioritised. The exact number of goals is dependent on the individual's choice, their needs and any resources available. However, more guidance on this from the GDC may be given in due course. It is critical to balance goals which are easy to achieve and those which drive an ambitious dental professional with further aspirations.
Example of objectives
To be able to restore a dental implant following its placement before my next review with my clinical supervisor . I aim to achieve this through attending a certified clinical course, observing experienced colleagues and getting an experienced colleague to supervise me restoring a dental implant with a subsequent workplace based assessment. I will be able to prove this through the certificate of attendance as well as reflections and the workplace based assessment results
To update my knowledge regarding decontamination requirements in dental practice within the next six months . I will undertake a certified training course within that timescale with defined learning objectives, and complete the questionnaire upon completion to obtain a certificate. Reflection on the course outcomes will be included within my PDP to ensure this event is best suited for my clinical practice and if or when a refresher course should be undertaken.
These objectives are explicit to meet defined criteria, with a measurable outcome to identify when the goal has been achieved. These are also achievable for specific dental professionals, with both examples relevant a suitably qualified dentist, however, could be adapted for nursing or other colleagues. A template to follow for recording your PDP has been provided by Health Education England. 10
Carrying out an assortment of CPD activities to achieve specific learning objectives is likely to be more successful than one-off occasions. 11 However, study leave from training or clinical practice is limited in nature due to contractual restrictions, clinical work requirements and the financial considerations involved with attending various events, so dental professionals should examine what they will acquire through attending the event or course which gives verifiable CPD. Each Royal College and dental faculty produce guidance on what courses or activities are suitable for dental specialities and primary dental care.
The various methods of achieving learning objectives include the following:
Attending conferences which can be regional, national or international
Attending suitable courses or events
Completing online learning or in-person training
Completing workplace-based assessments or other forms of clinical assessment
Learning from colleagues through observation, shadowing
Completing log books of clinical work carried out.
To demonstrate that the learning objectives have been achieved, certificates provided by course or training attendance, or other assessment documents as proof of completion should be kept. Once the dental professional has completed the goals set out in their PDP, these should be reflected upon to ascertain how useful the new knowledge or training was, how it can be applied to current or future practice, and to identify potential areas for future development or learning needs. The individual would ideally also reflect upon the method used to achieve these objectives so that it aids future learning decisions. This strategic thinking ensures that time and energy is directed towards learning activities that address the goals or objectives which need to be challenged.
Applying the knowledge obtained from these CPD events can bring positives to the individual such as job satisfaction, boosting self-confidence and potentially appreciation from other dental colleagues and patients. Starting to think about other educational opportunities should be driven by the dental professional motivated to continually improve. PDPs are continuously updated documents, going in the cycle process as described above. The dental profession is constantly advancing regarding new technology, materials and legislation, and it is every dental professional's responsibility to update themselves in areas of new development and avoid becoming complacent. 12 Through gaining more competencies, the individual should also consider whether they would like to progress along another career pathway which is open to them, such as teaching or providing more specialised clinical care.
Every dental professional will need to be aware of the updated requirements from the GDC, which includes having a PDP from 2018. Using this article, each dental professional should start to develop their PDP, encouraging all members of the team to take a proactive approach, and ultimately reminding each other that this document will need to be continuously updated.
The PDP framework will continue to be improved, and dental professionals should be eagerly looking forward to further guidance from the GDC on how this will continue to be developed uniquely for our profession.
General Dental Council. Enhanced CPD. 2017. Available at: https://www.gdc-uk.org/professionals/cpd/enhanced-cpd (accessed July 2017).
Chartered Management Institute. Personal development planning. 2017. Available at: http://www.managers.org.uk/knowledge-bank/personal-development-planning (accessed July 2017).
Prescott-Clements L, Driessen E, van der Vleuten C et al. Evaluation of potential supporting evidence for continuing assurance of practice in dental regulation. 2015. Available at: https://www.gdc-uk.org/api/files/Evaluation%20of%20Potential%20Supporting %20Evidence%20for%20Continuing%20Assurance%20of %20Practice%20in%20Dental%20Regulation.pdf (accessed July 2017).
General Dental Council. Enhanced CPD transition tool. 2017. Available at: https://gdc.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/ecpdtool (accessed July 2017).
Bryson D. The personal development planning cycle. J Vis Commun Med 2011; 34 : 177–182.
Article Google Scholar
Doran G T. There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management's goals and objectives. Management Rev 1981 ; 70 : 35–36.
Etherington C, Smith C, Wadhera M. Top tips on developing your personal development plan. 2012. Available at: http://learning.bmj.com/learning/module-intro/tips-personal-development-plan-pdp.html?locale=en_GB&moduleId=10037199 (accessed July 2017).
General Dental Council. Standards for the dental team. 2013. Online information available at https://www.gdc-uk.org/api/files/NEW%20Standards%20for%20the%20Dental%20Team.pdf (accessed July 2017).
NHS Leadership Academy. Clinical leadership competency framework. Coventry: NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, 2011. Available at: http://www.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/NHSLeadership-Leadership-Framework-Clinical-Leadership-Competency-Framework-CLCF.pdf (accessed July 2017).
Smith M. A guide to personal and professional development planning. Newcastle upon Tyne: Health Education North East, 2014. Available at: https://madeinheene.hee.nhs.uk/Portals/13/PDPguidanceApril14inctemplate.pdf (accessed July 2017).
Pyatt R S, Caldwell S C, Moore D E. Improving outcomes through an innovative continuing medical education partnership. J Contin Educ Health Prof 1997; 17 : 239–244.
Ireland B, Cure R, Hopkins L. Perfecting your personal development plan. Vital 2009; 6 : 40–41.
Authors and affiliations.
Restorative Department, GPT, Dentist, Newcastle Dental Hospital,
Dental Foundation Training Programme Director, Health Education England, working across North East and North Cumbria,
You can also search for this author in PubMed Google Scholar
Correspondence to W. Maguire .
Rights and permissions
Reprints and Permissions
About this article
Cite this article.
Maguire, W., Blaylock, P. Preparing a personal development plan for all members of the dental team. Br Dent J 223 , 402–404 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.730
Accepted : 28 July 2017
Published : 08 September 2017
Issue Date : 22 September 2017
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.730
Share this article
Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:
Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.
Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative
This article is cited by
Top tips for keeping dentistry stimulating.
- R. J. R. Smith
- G. E. Bryce
British Dental Journal (2023)
Mind the 'GAPP': a pre-graduation assessment of preparedness for practice amid a pandemic
- Christopher C. Donnell
- Luke R. Thomas
- Jennifer I. Foley
British Dental Journal (2022)
- Explore articles by subject
- Guide to authors
- Editorial policies
404 Not found
Knowledge and Science Bulletin Board System
Exploring the World of Knowledge and Understanding
How to Create Your Personal Development Plan Using a Blank Template from GDC
Are you looking to improve your personal and professional life? Well, you’re in luck! Creating a personal development plan is key to your success. A personal development plan can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and ultimately achieve your dreams. But where do you start? That’s where GDC comes in. With their blank template, you can easily create your own personalized development plan.
So, how do you create your personal development plan using the blank template from GDC? First, start by identifying your goals. What do you want to achieve? Is it a promotion at work? Starting your own business? Improving your skills? Once you’ve identified your goals, break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. Set deadlines for each step and hold yourself accountable.
Next, identify your strengths and weaknesses. What are you good at? What skills do you need to improve? This will help you focus your efforts on areas that need improvement while also building on your strengths.
Now it’s time to take action. Create an action plan for each step you identified earlier. This will help you stay organized and keep track of your progress.
Don’t forget to measure your success. How will you know if you’ve achieved your goals? Set metrics and track your progress regularly. Celebrate your successes along the way!
In addition to the blank template from GDC, there are other resources you can use to help you create your personal development plan. Consider hiring a life coach or mentor, attending workshops or conferences, and reading self-help books.
In conclusion, creating a personal development plan is key to achieving your goals in both your personal and professional life. With the help of the blank template from GDC and other resources, you can create a plan that is customized to your unique needs and goals. Remember to stay focused, hold yourself accountable, and celebrate your successes along the way.
(Note: Do you have knowledge or insights to share? Unlock new opportunities and expand your reach by joining our authors team. Click Registration to join us and share your expertise with our readers.)
Discovery new post:.
- Design Your Future: How to Create a 5-Year Personal Development Plan with Our Template
- Achieve Your Leadership Goals with a Personal Development Plan: Free Template Included
- 5 Simple Steps to Building a Strong Personal Development Plan with a Downloadable Template
- Top 5 Free Personal Development Plan Templates for Word – Download Now!
Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.
How to create a cohesive personal branding mood board, why you need to make personal branding a priority: insights from personal branding magazine, 5 creative ways to use personal branding mockup for your business, leave a reply cancel reply.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
Explore the Colors and Traditions of Global Cultural Festivals
5 simple strategies for learning english faster and more effectively, 5 common great dane health issues you need to know about, 2023 food business trends: from sustainability to automation.
- Personal Development
- Sales Training
- Business Training
- Time Management
- Leadership Training
- Book Writing
- Public Speaking
- Live Speaker Training With Brian
- See Brian Speak
- Coaching Programs
- Become a Coach
- Personal Success
- Sales Success
- Business Success
- Leadership Success
Personal Development Plan Examples & Templates for Success
Did you know you can make your dreams and aspirations a reality by focusing on your own individual personal development plan ?
Your potential is limitless, and investing in personal development is a way to harness your many talents.
Establishing goals for what you want to achieve — where you would like to go in the short term or long term — can improve your personal development.
In this guide, I’ll help you understand what personal development means and its importance, what a personal development plan is and why you should make one, and how to write a personal development plan.
I’ll also share with you my personal development plan template to get you started on your path to reach your personal development goals, complete with helpful examples and resources to support you.
Table of Contents
- What is a Personal Development Plan (PDP)
The 7 Categories of Personal Development
- Why Make a Personal Development Plan
How to Set Personal Development Goals
Personal development plan template, personal development courses and programs, what is a personal development plan (pdp).
A personal development plan is a guideline for your life and your future success.
Personal development is the process of improving oneself through conscious habits and activities. It is the pursuit of personal growth to enhance your quality of life and to achieve your dreams and aspirations.
When you create a personal development plan, you start to define the kind of person you want to be, skills you want to have, and accomplishments you want to achieve. And then you map out your long-term and short-term goals to realize these aspirations and set timelines for when you want to reach them.
Many people underachieve in their careers because they do not realize the areas of personal development that can help achieve mastery in any field.
Effective leaders focus on continual self-improvement and know there is no substitute for hard work.
When you practice self-discipline by setting a goal, making a plan, and working on it every day, you will see personal development and progress within your career.
The Importance of Personal Development
Most of the time, what you think about is what you become. From the moment you wake until the moment you close your eyes at the end of the day, everything you experience plays a factor in your development.
When you take greater control over your experiences, you are able to guide your personal development and accelerate toward what you want to become instead of leaving it to chance.
Setting, striving for, and meeting personal development goals opens up a world of new possibilities for you to increase your quality of life.
For example, as a result of creating and following your personal development plan, you may gain more responsibility for work and open up opportunities for higher pay. This growth could qualify you for a better career trajectory to increase your overall happiness, job satisfaction, and ability to provide for the life you want for you and your family.
Focusing on your personal development also gives you better decision-making abilities so you can avoid problems that may have plagued you in the past or are holding you back now.
At the end of the day, personal development helps you create more positivity and harness the power of positive thoughts , which can transform your life.
When you give time to yourself by focusing on your professional and personal growth, you are better able to achieve your version of success because of personal development.
Personal Development vs Self-Improvement
Recognizing the difference between self-improvement and personal development can be a little tricky.
While they are similar in that they are both very instrumental in achieving your goals and improving yourself, there are key differences between a self-improvement plan and a personal development plan.
Personal development is the work you are putting in to transform yourself on a daily basis. It’s the efforts you’re making to advance in your work, lifestyle, attitude, physique, and sociability.
Setting personal development goals and creating a plan helps you take full advantage of any opportunity that may come your way and make the most of your potential.
Self-improvement is an inner transformation. It is a self-motivated study to improve one’s character, status, or knowledge by their own efforts.
Self-improvement is a lifelong process of constantly searching for ways to change your habits so you can reach your fullest potential.
The specific efforts you put into personal development lead to self-improvement.
Start Achieving All of Your Goals Today! Download my FREE Personal Development Plan Template
Focusing on personal development categories such as personal skills, personal growth, and personal power can create habits for personal improvement.
Personal growth is founded on education and skill. Through education and experience, you increase your skill level and your ability to succeed in your field.
There are seven main categories of personal development.
Personal skills can be ones you were born with as well as skills gained through deliberate practice. They’re often referred to as soft skills.
Examples of personal skills are decision-making, teamwork, organization, and communication.
If you’re interested in growing your skills at work, try working on your personal skills. The highest-paid, top individuals in their field are the ones that focus on growing their personal skills.
Knowing what areas you excel in and which need development is very useful in your personal and professional life.
Having a personal growth plan is one of the first steps toward bettering yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone.
Humans and the human mind are constantly evolving. Think about it: you are not the same person you were a year ago. You’ve learned more, grown in many different ways, and have experienced more life events to further shape your personality, beliefs, and world outlook.
In order to experience personal development and growth, strive to be a better version of yourself today than you were yesterday.
Personal power is the authority others believe you to have in certain situations and is fueled by your contacts, knowledge, and financial status.
Developing an ever-widening circle of contacts, seeking to learn more, and growing financially increases the number of doors that others will leave open for you to step into.
Expanding your network, knowledge base and financial status will also allow you to help others do the same, further increasing your personal power and opportunities for personal development and growth.
Personal improvement stems from good work habits and having a positive mental attitude.
Thinking before you act is critical to developing a strong amount of personal improvement. To help you think first, try to set priorities on a list and consider the likely consequences before beginning.
Working on personal improvement and generating a positive mental attitude will also reduce the amount of time that it takes you to achieve your goals.
Personal empowerment is similar to Personal Power, except empowerment is the power you see within yourself, instead of how others view you.
Promoting a positive image and adopting creativity within your daily life can speed up the time it takes to achieve personal empowerment and your goals.
To help you increase your personal empowerment, consider looking for new, creative ways to finish a project in a faster, easier or cheaper way without compromising the end result.
It is very important to be conscious of areas in which you are naturally gifted as well as analyze areas in which you need improvement. This is called personal analysis.
Being truthful about where you currently stand is the first step to moving forward. You should be constantly evaluating where you are in relation to achieving your goals and ambitions.
Ambition goes to waste when there are no clear goals in sight. Developing short-term and long-term goals is a pivotal step in actually accomplishing them and growing as a person.
Having a set plan will help you have a clear understanding of which strategies are necessary in order to reach your desired destination.
Why Make a Personal Development Plan?
The reason you need a personal development plan is that making a plan will help guide you to better decision-making and remind yourself of where you want to go.
In other words, good preparation increases the probability of success and decreases the risk of things going wrong along the way.
Creating a plan for personal development helps you get a better sense of control over your life and will make you better prepared for whatever comes your way.
Consider these benefits to having a personal development plan:
- It brings your vision to reality.
- It ensures you take appropriate and logically planned action.
- It helps you improve your time management skills so you can achieve your goals.
- It’s a plan to keep track of progress, which serves to motivate you when you want to give up.
- It’s been proven to reduce stress, improve balance in life, and increase self-confidence.
Developing personal development goals for work can make the difference between success and failure. Creating a self-growth plan for your personal life can mean the difference between life-long happiness and regret.
Skills & Objectives
The objectives of personal development are continuous personal growth, increased potential for success, and capitalizing on potential opportunities.
You can practice your personal development skills by setting aside time for the important people in your life, performing action exercises that force you to perform at the highest level, and studying growth performances to help ensure you continue to climb the ladder of success.
An action plan has to include measurable objectives so you know the exact steps it will take to reach your goals. Objectives break your larger personal developments goals into bite-sized pieces so you are able to know where you are headed and check off your progress along the way.
There are no limits except for the limits you place on yourself with your thinking.
Commit yourself to a life of constant learning. Even if you are at the top of your field, there is always something to learn.
Once you have mastered a new skill, move on to learning another one. Constantly learning new skills keeps your mind fresh and active and opens doors that would otherwise be closed to you.
You will become unstoppable and you will see your entire future open up in front of you if you live a goal and growth-oriented life.
Before you can set up a plan, you need to do some self-reflecting and answer personal goal questions.
A few questions you should develop before laying out a specific plan of action are:
- What do I want to make out of my life?
- What are my goals and ambitions?
- What is currently standing in my way of achieving these goals?
After answering those questions, you can create a personal plan that contains a few key components.
The key components you should focus on are having a specific outcome that you are constantly working towards, planning and paving a path towards achieving it, being mindful of the obstacles, and understanding the bigger motivation behind your actions.
When developing a personal development plan for work, you should focus on SMART goals. SMART stands for “Specific”, “Measurable”, “Achievable”, “Relevant”, and “Time-Bound.”
By following this easy-to-remember acronym when goal setting , you can improve both your personal and professional life:
- Specific: Write goals that are detailed and clear instead of broad and general.
- Measurable: Set milestones that will let you know you are achieving your goal.
- Achievable: Make goals that are challenging yet can realistically be achieved.
- Relevant: Align your goals with your personal self-improvement plan.
- Time-Bound: Pick an end date by which you want to achieve your goal.
Set Goals for Professional Life
In order to make progress that you can see and track in your professional life, you need to document a detailed plan of action for your personal development.
Some personal development plan examples for work include answering the following questions:
- What do I want to learn?
- What do I have to do?
- What support and resources will I need?
- How will I measure success?
Be as specific with your answers as possible. The more precise, the easier it is to track your progress.
Seeing how far you have come and how your hard work is paying off will give you a boost of confidence and provide a sense of accomplishment.
Some examples of personal development goals for work include the Golden Hour and the 21-Day Mental Diet.
The Golden Hour Rule
The Golden Hour Rule steers the trajectory of your day.
Beginning your day early and investing your first hour in yourself will make a tremendous difference in the way you feel, and you will begin to see positive results in your day.
You will begin to see yourself in a more positive light and improve on your personal development.
The 21-Day Mental Diet
The 21-Day Mental Diet personal leadership plan example means waking up early and investing at least the first two hours of your day in yourself.
With this extra time, set clear goals you can work to achieve in the workplace. This can be improving your productivity and efficiency to help you get that promotion or earn a raise.
Your goals may also include education. You need to learn more to earn more.
Try setting a goal to read something educational, motivational, or inspirational every day before you go to work.
Set Goals in Your Daily Life
Outside of the workspace, it is important to be focusing on some personal goals as well. Similar to the work plan, the personal plan requires you to focus on key points in order to achieve your goals.
Here is a personal development plan example:
- What are the important goals that you want to achieve?
- When is your set deadline?
- What are your biggest strengths?
- Who or what are your biggest threats?
There are several aspects of personal development disciplines that will make achieving success possible if developed correctly.
A few of these disciplines include goal setting, planning and organizing, and concentrating on your high-value activities.
Goal setting can be done in the early morning and take only a few minutes of your day.
It can be as simple as purchasing a spiral notebook and writing out your ten goals at the beginning of each day. This will program them deep into your subconscious mind and help you actually follow through on accomplishing them.
Planning Your Day
Planning and organizing at the end of the day can help you better prepare for the coming day.
When you plan out your day, putting it down on paper, you can begin to visualize your important tasks and make sure you are working to complete them throughout the day.
Concentrating On Your High-Value Activities
High-value activities are the things you choose to do throughout the day that will give you the biggest return on your efforts to get you closer to your goals.
Concentrating on your high-value activities will help keep you focused and contribute to your success as much as any other discipline you can develop.
Promoting the highest value activities will make a powerful difference in how quickly you achieve them and the goals they relate to.
Creating a plan for personal development will help you get a better sense of control over your life and your goals…and it doesn’t have to be a daunting task!
Follow this template for writing a personal development plan to get started in achieving your goals.
There are six core steps in this template that will help you take action and measure your progress.
Step 1: Set Your Goals
Write a list of the top 10 most important goals you would like to achieve. I encourage you to really write them down somewhere — on paper or on your computer — instead of just keeping them in your head.
People who write their goals and have a clear plan are 30% more likely to achieve their goals.
Search deep within yourself and identify the things you really want out of life. Do not be hindered by thoughts of roadblocks that may get in your way. Open yourself up to all the possibilities that would make you truly happy in life.
These are life goals. Life goals are meant to be challenging, so they may seem huge, overwhelming, or even scary. But that’s why they will be broken down into digestible and manageable smaller goals.
For example, providing for your family is an important long-term goal, but figuring out the steps to get there is the challenge. Your smaller personal development plan objectives will help you identify those steps so you have a clear road map to follow.
With each of the 10 goals you identify, also define your “why:” Why do you want to achieve this goal? What will it mean for your personal life, your career, your health, your loved ones?
Knowing your why will help set you up for success. It will keep you motivated to continue progressing forward until you have achieved what you want to.
Step 2: Prioritize Your Goals
Once you have identified your top 10 goals, write which of those 10 is the most important to you and why.
Starting with your highest priority goal, identify the short-term goals and steps that are needed to achieve your long-term goals.
What needs to happen today so you can move on to tomorrow?
This may require some research on your part, depending on your goal.
For example, say your goal is to become a leader in your field. Some of the short-term goals you will prioritize to reach this personal leadership plan example may include the following:
- Choose a topic or niche in your industry that you want to specialize in.
- Learn everything you can about the issue by talking to people in your industry, reading about your topic, attending seminars and webinars, and so on.
- Educate others by writing regular blog posts.
- Start a podcast and offer valuable information.
- Give interviews on podcasts, local radio and TV stations, and news outlets.
- Write a book and get it published.
- Become a public speaker at industry conferences or hold your own conference.
Step 3: Create a Timeline for Achieving Your Goals
Setting deadlines in your personal development plan template is crucial. Without them, your goals can get lost in the everyday chaos of life or forgotten completely.
Write down a specific timeline for achieving each of your goals, but be realistic in your timing and know the likelihood ahead of time of achieving your goal within a certain timeline to avoid discouragement.
While you may want to become debt-free by next year, you will first need to do what is necessary to earn more income or reduce your expenses. This could involve getting more education, finding a better job, or making major life changes, which could take more than 365 days.
Once you assign a due date to each of your short-term goals, tackle the hardest goal first . This will help you realize you can actually achieve your goals faster and give you the motivation you need to propel yourself forward.
If you’re unsure of the timeline you should set for accomplishing your goals, speaking to other people who have achieved the goal you are striving for will help you set a realistic deadline.
Conducting online research could also help in defining a timeline to accomplish your goals.
Knowing that it takes four to five years to earn a Ph.D. in business lets you know how long it will likely take you. If you can only attend school part-time, you know it will take longer, perhaps twice as long.
Step 4: Analyze Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Write down your strengths and weakness. Remember that skills like perseverance, positive attitude, and creativity are strengths and weaknesses as much as educational level, experience, and having a strong network of professional contacts.
Focus on the attributes that are needed to achieve your goal. Then, write how your strengths can help you achieve this goal and how you plan to overcome those weaknesses.
Use a SWOT analysis to organize your thoughts and develop a strong strategy for achieving your goal. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Ask yourself questions similar to these to help you develop each part of a SWOT analysis:
- What sets you apart from your peers?
- What is your competitive advantage?
- What do others regularly praise you for?
- What do people ask you to help them with?
- What parts of yourself are you confident about?
- What values are important to you?
- What do you usually avoid doing because you don’t think you can?
- What kind of tasks do you procrastinate?
- Where are you lacking in skills, experience, or education?
- What resources do you lack?
- What areas do you feel you need improvement?
- What gets in the way of your work performance or relationships with others?
- What technology can help you achieve your goal?
- What promotions or financial incentives are available at work?
- Who can help you reach your goal?
- What changes are happening or are projected to happen in your industry or personal life?
- What conferences, classes, or networking events are available to you?
- What are your competitors failing at that you can learn from and improve on?
- What obstacles do you face that may hinder your progress?
- Which of your weaknesses could lead to threats?
- Who is trying to achieve the same goal that may get in your way?
Step 5: Write an Action Plan
Write actions that you need to take in order to achieve your goal. These can be things you need to add to your daily routine as well as things you need to eliminate from it in order to achieve the success in life that you are looking for.
Doing this will help you to achieve each goal faster.
Whether you use a notebook or your computer, just make sure you’re also physically writing down your plan so you can see it every day and hold yourself accountable.
Step 6: Measure Your Progress
The final step in your personal development plan template is to mark your progress.
Write down what has been working well, what you have accomplished, what you still need to improve, and what skills or knowledge you have gained along the way.
People who set up a system to report on their goals weekly achieve 40% more than people who do not.
To help you in this final step, consider using a tracker to take notes, measure progress, and be analytical about what works and what does not.
Sometimes it is necessary to change courses midstream or add a step that you were not initially aware of. That doesn’t mean you should abandon your goal out of discouragement. It just means you need to adapt, and this is where a tracker can help you determine if it’s time to pivot.
Remember it’s okay to be flexible. Doing so will allow you to make changes when needed that will propel you toward your goal more efficiently.
This could be a good opportunity to use another piece of data about how people who write things down/journal are much more likely to be successful.
Personal development courses, coaches, and programs can also help you hit your goals.
A personal development program accompanied by a personal development coach helps to keep you disciplined and moving forward.
If you are looking to transform your life, check out these courses and programs that include all of my knowledge, distilled into powerful lessons to help you achieve immediate success in your own life. They will teach you how to stop worrying and stressing out and how to take control of your life, forever.
Power of Personal Achievement
Learn the right way to visualize your ideal future. This course will teach you how to set your goals and methodically achieve them with more efficiency than ever before.
This program will teach you how to ditch the negative emotions that have been hindering your success as well as how to redirect your energy and resources towards your personal mission.
The Science of Self Confidence
In this course, you’ll learn just about everything I’ve learned about self-confidence during the past four decades.
I reveal the secret of the four Cs that teach you how to escape the endless loop of failure. You will find your true self and, as a result, finally feel truly confident.
This course will equip you with the skills to discover your special calling. You will learn everything you need in order to know how to take the shortest, fastest route possible to your destination.
Ultimate success is achievable when you know how to dramatically improve your productivity.
Create Your Personal Development Plan Today
Don’t wait to start improving your life.
Follow a personal development plan for work and your personal life or use a template to start accomplishing your goals and improving your life.
For the easiest way to get started, download my free Personal Development Plan Template to organize your goals over the next few months and years and optimize your success.
« Previous Post 10 Leadership Qualities & Characteristics of Good Leaders Next Post » Making Black Friday About YOU Again – a letter from Brian Tracy
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter , Facebook , Pinterest , Linkedin and Youtube .
- Most Recent
- Public Speaking Courses: Everything To Know & How to Find the Best One
- How to Sell and Become a Master Salesperson
- How to Set Professional Long Term Goals...And Actually, Achieve Them
- Mastering Time Management Skills: Your Path to Peak Productivity
- Brian Tracy AI
- Free Webinar: How To Write a Book and Become a Published Author
- Free Video Series: 3-Part Sales Mastery Training Series
- Free Assessment: The Confidence Factor
- Free Assessment: Discovering Your Talents
- Financial Success
Follow Brian & Join the Discussion
- Free Resources
- Best Sellers
- Knowledge Base
- Shipping & Returns
- About Brian
- Brian Recommends
Your Privacy is Guaranteed. We will never give, lease or sell your personal information. Period!
© Copyright 2001-2023 Brian Tracy International. All Rights Reserved.
Maximize Your Potential With a Personal Development Plan
Personal development fosters individual growth while enhancing skills and self-awareness. It can facilitate adaptability to life’s changes, maximize your potential and contribute to fulfilling your personal and professional aspirations. The result can lead to a more enriched and purposeful life. But maximizing your potential requires a sound and strategic approach, which is where creating a solid personal development plan and template can assist you.
What is a personal development plan?
A personal development plan (PDP) provides a structured and strategic approach to reaching your personal goals. It provides you with an opportunity for self-assessment, making the planning process itself an opportunity to better understand your drives, goals and needs.
Moreover, PDPs are actionable. By setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (that is, SMART goals), you develop a proactive means toward personal growth. And paying careful attention to your plan throughout the process gives you the opportunity to assess your success.
Here are eight aspects of personal development to keep in mind while creating your individualized plan:
- Self-awareness and reflection: Discover your true self with greater understanding of your strengths and weaknesses as well as values, drives and goals.
- Skill acquisition and knowledge: Commit to lifelong learning to gain new knowledge and develop new skills and enhance existing ones for greater empowerment and satisfaction.
- Emotional and mental health: Build resilience while managing stress and developing emotional intelligence .
- Physical health: Emphasis on improving health, including a better diet, proper sleep, exercise and other self-care regimens to enhance overall well-being.
- Relationships: Build and expand your personal network through development and better communication skills and empathy.
- Financial literacy : Relieve unnecessary stress and burdens with a personalized money management plan.
- Time management and productivity : The best time management strategies will increase your productivity while freeing up personal time.
- Spiritual growth: Noted speaker Jim Rohn considered spiritual growth key to personal development , whether that’s through religion, meditation or a connection to nature and the universe.
By identifying these aspects of overall well-being, you can embark on a personal development plan suited to your individual goals and needs.
What are the benefits of a personal development plan?
The decision to create a PDP is your first step toward achieving your goals. It shows a commitment to inner growth and a desire to lead a happier and more fulfilling life. As you dive in, you will develop a clearer understanding of yourself. This clarity fosters self-awareness through introspection. Your plan is not a “wish list” but rather a process of designing a more purposeful existence.
Your plan also provides clarity in making decisions that align with your values and goals. This calibration of your inner and outer worlds enhances personal motivation with a renewed sense of purpose. Monitoring your growth in desired areas of personal development likewise builds resilience as you see yourself more confidently clearing hurdles and navigating setbacks.
Furthermore, a professional development plan emphasizes continuous learning. This augments your adaptability skills so that perceived threats seem more like opportunities. You develop a growth mindset that builds your character and makes you more attractive to others, both personally and professionally. Every task becomes easier as you build a more enriched, empowered and purposeful life.
How do I create a personal development plan?
Crafting a PDP requires commitment. You must be willing to devote quiet time to deep introspection of who you are and who you want to become. With this understanding, you can set specific goals tailored to your personal growth. Each goal should be paired with strategic actions that are stepping stones toward your self-actualization.
It sounds like a lot to take on—but embarking on this journey does not need to be difficult. A personal development plan template provides structure, acting as a roadmap to guide you one step at a time on your lifelong journey.
Use this personal development plan template to get started.
Let’s begin with a personal development plan example to use as your own template.
1. Create a vision statement
Think deeply about what you aspire to and what inspires you. Make a list in multiple columns that addresses where you want to go and what truly motivates you on a daily basis. Then, narrow that list down, crossing off items where desire and motivation don’t align. Start from what remains to develop your personal growth vision statement.
2. Commit to a deep self-assessment
Now that you have brought into alignment what you want to achieve and what motivates you to get there, assess yourself. Identify your personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats—that is, perform a personal SWOT analysis . Just as these analyses help businesses assess their standing, they also help individuals in developing a plan for personal development.
3. Set SMART goals
Next, set personal development goals for yourself. But remember: Goals are not wishes or dreams. Setting goals for personal development is simple, but it requires discipline. Set your personal goals with the SMART goal strategy in mind—determine goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. To facilitate the ease and success of this stage, consider using a goal-setting worksheet .
4. Determine action steps
Now that you know where you want to go, the challenge lies in getting there. Determine the course of action to achieve what you desire. Some personal development goals may only need a few action steps. Others may require more. The point here is to map out the actions you need to take to achieve your personal goals. Set realistic deadlines that help keep you on track, adhere to them and adjust only when necessary.
5. Use all available resources
Putting step 4 of your personal development plan into action may be the most difficult. Thankfully, you do not need to attempt it without guidance. Experts can assist you. Take time to use available resources such as personal development courses and personal growth books . These proven experts will do more than guide you with tools and strategies; they will inspire you during your growth journey.
6. Track your progress
Tracking your personal development progress is vital to your plan. If you used a SMART goal worksheet to set deadlines, review the tasks regularly to ensure you are staying on track while also setting future goals. You may consider keeping a daily journal. If you choose this method, consider expressing gratitude in your journal, which can provide personal development benefits.
7. Review and adjust
Tracking your daily progress also offers you the opportunity to review and adjust your personal development plan. Go back and look at your worksheet and journal each week with time set aside for a monthly review. If you did not meet your goals, don’t be hard on yourself. You may simply have aimed too high starting out. Adjust your goals and timelines accordingly. And when goals are met, set new ones in incremental steps that adhere to the SMART goal-setting approach.
Ready to maximize your potential but still want help creating your personal development plan? The Win the Day Accelerator, hosted by James Whittaker, can help! The 8-part program is designed to unlock your full potential and help you achieve extraordinary results, personally and professionally.
Photo by mimagephotography/Shutterstock.com
Bryan enjoys the digital space where arts and technology meet. As a writer, he has worked in education, health and wellbeing, and manufacturing. He also assists smaller businesses in web development including accessibility and content development. In his free time, he hikes trails in central Florida.
- Bryan Lindenberger https://www.success.com/author/bryan-lindenberger/ How to Craft Your Professional Development Plan in Just 5 Steps
- Bryan Lindenberger https://www.success.com/author/bryan-lindenberger/ What Are Soft Skills? 12 Examples to Benefit You Personally & Professionally
- Bryan Lindenberger https://www.success.com/author/bryan-lindenberger/ How to Establish Professional Development Goals to Help Build Your Dream Career
- Bryan Lindenberger https://www.success.com/author/bryan-lindenberger/ What Is Professional Development? We Unpack the Essentials
- Bryan Lindenberger https://www.success.com/author/bryan-lindenberger/ Meeting Your True Potential: What Is Personal Development?
Leave a Comment Cancel Reply
11 Personal Development Plan Templates & Printables for 2023
There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.
Looking for a personal development plan template to jumpstart your goals?
In life, you can almost guarantee that you’ll eventually come up against challenges that test how well you can cope.
Having a personal development plan makes you better equipped to handle the pressure in all aspects of your life.
But what exactly is a personal development plan?
This self-improvement tool helps you identify what you need to work on to achieve what you want and face the challenges that life throws your way . What you want could be related to improving the quality of your life, becoming a better version of who you are, or reaching greater heights in your chosen profession or your personal relationships.
Writing down your personal development plan conditions your mind to be receptive to opportunities that help manifest your goals. Neuroscience explains how this works.
In this article, we'll review 11 great personal development plan templates and printables.
First, let's start with a simple definition.
Table of Contents
Three Reasons Why You Need a Personal Development Plan
Working on personal development offers the following benefits:
1. Raises self-awareness – Working on your personal development is an opportunity to do some self-evaluation. It calls your attention to the aspects of yourself that need improvement. Through this exercise, you develop a clearer picture of your core values and get in touch with your authentic self. ( Check out this core values quizzes to help identify what matters most to you. )
2 . Gives you a confidence boost – As you see the positive results of improving yourself , you gain more confidence. And when you work on areas you’ve identified as your weaknesses, you transform them into personal strengths, making you even more confident in your abilities.
3. Strengthens you – As you continue to work on self-improvement, you will naturally work on improving your key strengths. You will learn how to utilize what you’re good at in order to get closer to your goals.
Now, if you're serious about personal development, then check out the Self Planner, which is designed to help you optimize your day, tackle your goals, and live a more fulfilled life .
The Components of a Personal Development Plan
An effective personal development plan follows a certain structure to help you achieve your goals of improving yourself. The process includes:
- Stating your goals
- Setting priorities
- Setting a deadline
- Identifying your strengths/skills that will help you achieve your goals
- Taking action
- Measuring progress
Below, we’ve rounded up a number of template samples to help you on your journey of self-growth.
11 Best Personal Development Plan Templates and Printables
1. personal development plan for self-improvement.
Download the PDF
If you’re looking for a self-improvement plan template, here’s something we designed to help you reach your goals. Featuring a red, white, and blue color scheme, this template, in landscape orientation, has three major sections where you identify:
- Activities/practices that promote general self-improvement
- Activities/practices that are good for the body
- Activities/practices that are good for the soul
Each section has three designated columns for writing down your daily, monthly, and year-end goals relevant to each of the major activities/practices that promote personal development.
2. Personal Development Plan (Areas of Life)
Perhaps you’re working on personal growth in different areas of your life and would like to organize your plans accordingly. If so, this template can help you. We designed it to have spaces where you can write down personal development goals in different areas of your life, such as:
Each box has sufficient space for writing the specific goals you’re working on, as well as additional details. With this template, you can access your self-improvement plans at a glance.
3. PDP Presentation Template
This template is specifically designed to help you flesh out your personal development plan.
In this presentation template, you’ll get to know yourself more deeply. You’ll have the opportunity to identify areas in your life that need improvement.
It allows you to pinpoint skills that you currently possess, and that you can utilize to achieve your goals. The slide template also helps you recognize areas where new skills are needed so that you can acquire them accordingly.
This template is available for PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Apple Keynote.
4. Simple Excel Template
Does it feel like you lack direction when it comes to your personal progress? Do you sometimes feel that your efforts are being wasted?
This simple template helps you find the deeper meaning in what you’re doing. It anchors you to what matters most—to the areas that are key to your happiness.
Each person has a unique source of inspiration. In this example, in order for the creator to find personal success , the following aspects need to be addressed:
What drives you to go the extra mile?
5. 3 Steps to a 5-Year Plan
This template was designed to help you identify your five-year plan , as well as your life and daily goals.
The creator of this template pinpointed five categories for your goals: personal, family/social, financial/equity, bucket list, and career.
There is a designated space where you can write your goals in relation to their groupings.
When using this template, you need to write down your life plans first. This part represents your long-term goals .
Dream as big as you can!
Next, the five-year plan contains the baby steps you need to take in order to reach your life goals. This might mean, for example, enrolling in a course that equips you for your dream career.
In goal-setting parlance, the five-year plan is equivalent to your short-term goals. ( You might want to check out this post for examples of short-term goals .)
Finally, the daily plan features all the actions you need to do to help you reach your five-year plan.
Want to become conversant in French? Then daily practice is in order. You might want to use an app to help you master a foreign language .
Aspiring to make a major purchase in five years’ time? Tracking your expenses could be the first step toward achieving this goal.
6. Minimalist PDP
If you’re looking for a minimalist template for your personal development plan, you might want to try this one from Myrko Thum.
In this plan, you will be able to identify areas in your life you want to develop. Myrko Thum lists at least seven areas:
- Juice (fun stuff, such as traveling and celebrations)
There is also a column for the goals you want to achieve, and another for setting deadlines for achieving them.
As with most templates, this one also has a column for success criteria, so you can measure if and when you’ve achieved your goal.
Lastly, a column is assigned for each of your action plans and some notes. This template is unnumbered, so you are free to list as many goals as you want.
7. Personal Growth Plan
Looking for something that helps track all your personal growth goals on a single page?
This template has every detail you need to plot out and track your personal growth. It helps you achieve goals, develop good habits, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Best of all, all the information you need is laid out on a single page, such as:
- Focus for the week
- Important reminders
- Goals (with start dates and deadline)
- Health and fitness (meal and workout tracker)
- Mood tracker
- Habit tracker
8. Weekly Self-Reflection Worksheet
This worksheet is helpful if you’re working on being mindful of your well-being.
It features self-assessment questions that allow you to get into touch with your emotions and mental health.
The template also has dedicated spaces for keeping track of habits, routines, and activities that promote self-growth and personal development. It is downloadable in A4 size and comes in white, blue, gray, purple, and pink colors.
9. Positive Experiences Worksheet
People sometimes get stuck in negative mental loops. If this becomes a habit, it often leads to low self-esteem and an overall negative outlook on life.
Here’s a worksheet that provides several key words as writing prompts to help people who are stuck in negative thinking. It encourages them to reflect on their actions so they can recognize and affirm positive things they’ve done or experienced in their daily lives.
10. Wellness Journal
With everything that’s happening in our lives and all that’s vying for our attention, it’s challenging to find time for ourselves. This template makes sure that you have time to focus on yourself so you can be recharge and be grounded. That way, you can take on more next time life throws challenges your way.
There are spaces allocated for the following:
- Today’s positive thoughts
- Trackers for water, fruit, and vegetable intake
- Exercise [time and activity]
- Vitamins and supplements
- Just for me [a reward or something special that you might enjoy]
At the bottom of the page there is space for you to write your reflections on the day.
11. Becoming a Better You
This template compartmentalizes your personal development goals into pre-set subjects. This makes it easier to focus on specific areas of your life that you want to work on improving.
Some of these areas include:
For every subject, there are spaces allocated for writing up to three goals, as well as the due date and check boxes for when you’ve accomplished each of the goals.
Final Thoughts About PDPs
Having a written plan for your goals, especially those related to personal development, makes it easier to achieve them.
We hope that the personal development plan template samples we featured today will give you focus and inspiration to finally achieve your goal of becoming a better version of yourself.
Meanwhile, for further resources, you might want to check out this post for our book recommendations on the topic of personal development and our top choices for the best personal development podcasts .
Next, if you want to be more productive, overcome decision fatigue, and focus on what matters most, then check out the Self Planner, which is designed to help you optimize your day and live a more fulfilled life .
And, if you’re looking for examples of personal development goals for work and life, this post is worth checking out .
Never stop improving!
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals .
Personal Development: 9 Skills, Tips, and Examples
Why personal development is so important and how to improve yourself..
Posted June 7, 2020 | Reviewed by Gary Drevitch
I am obsessed with personal development because it's helped me completely change my life. Only 10 years ago, I had no connections, no money, and worked a minimum wage retail job. Now, I have a Ph.D. from Berkeley, am the author of a book on how to generate happiness in the technology age , and have created a variety of well-being-boosting programs . And it's all because I worked on developing myself. So how do you make personal development work for you?
Personal development can include any skill that you build to improve yourself—your emotions, thoughts, or behaviors. It doesn't really matter which skills you want to improve; the key to personal development is taking the right steps—steps that help ensure that you reach whatever goal you are pursuing.
Learn more from the video below:
What are the most important personal development skills? It really depends on what you're trying to achieve. But here are 9 that I have found to be important to successful personal development.
1. Start by figuring out which personal development skills you need to build. The first step in any personal development strategy is to figure out how to best use your time. It makes little sense to learn how to code if you don't plan to be a coder or to bench press 400 pounds if you don't plan to be a weight lifter. These can be hobbies, but personal development is more about building skills to reach your personal goals . So it's good to take some time to self-reflect. (If well-being is a goal of yours, take this well-being quiz to see which skills you need to build.)
2. Develop entrepreneurial thinking. Everyone can benefit from learning how to think like an entrepreneur, regardless of whether or not you are one. Why? Because entrepreneurs are innovative, good at planning for all possible outcomes, and skilled at getting others to buy into their vision or dream. And perhaps more importantly for personal development, they tend to be adaptable to all sorts of situations.
By developing entrepreneurial thinking, you better adapt to whatever your circumstances are so you can more easily achieve your goals, whether those goals are to start a business that makes a positive impact in the world , to set yourself up for an early retirement , or climb Mount Everest.
3. Develop a growth mindset . If we have a “fixed mindset,” we may shy away from challenges that could help us grow. But this can be problematic because our fear of making mistakes can lead us to avoid challenges and new experiences—experiences which would help us grow, improve ourselves in important ways, and create the life we desire.
If we have a “ growth mindset ” we seek out challenges because we value learning and growth more than we value feeling smart or knowing what we’re doing. That's why those with a growth mindset often build new skills more easily: They believe they can and so they really work at it.
4. Develop your self-soothing mechanism. High levels of stress are not only bad for our health and well-being, they can prevent us from effectively pursuing and achieving our self-development goals. By learning effective, long-lasting relaxation techniques , your body and mind will be more equipped to handle the inevitable challenges that arise when you're trying to develop yourself.
5. Develop resilience . Resilience is that super-important skill that helps you bounce back quickly after being knocked down. This is one of the most important skills for success because none of us will achieve anything if we don't keep trying when we fail. We can build resilience by improving skills like emotion-regulation , mindfulness , and positivity.
6. Develop your value compass. It's not always easy to live by our core values . But when we go through life without following our personal values, we can easily get lost. We may suddenly "wake up" and realize that we are not who we want to be or where we want to be. This is why it's so important to stay in alignment with our personal values.
What are your values? Perhaps: kindness, curiosity, creativity , hard work, or personal relationships. Define your personal values so you know which actions are in alignment with those values.
7. Create a personal development plan. A good personal development plan takes all these factors into consideration—the WHAT, the HOW, the WHY, and the WHEN. And it focuses on long-term goals . So ask yourself:
- What skills will you build?
- How will you build them?
- Why will you build them?
- And when will you build them?
It can be helpful to create a 10-year plan to map out how you'll reach these goals.
8. Record your progress towards personal development. Keeping track of our progress as we move toward our personal development goals is key to making sure we're on the right track. Then we can pause and take a different direction if we've gone off course. By maintaining self-awareness and frequently checking in with ourselves, we can identify things that we need to devote more attention to. As a result, we can make better progress toward our personal development.
9. Keep developing yourself in new ways. The science is clear: The more ways we develop ourselves, the broader our skillset, and the more success we tend to have. So try learning some new emotional skills or do some activities to build new skills. You just might learn something that changes your life.
Facebook /LinkedIn images: GaudiLab/Shutterstock
Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. , is a consultant, writer, and expert on well-being technology.
- Find a Therapist
- Find a Treatment Center
- Find a Psychiatrist
- Find a Support Group
- Find Teletherapy
- United States
- Brooklyn, NY
- Chicago, IL
- Houston, TX
- Los Angeles, CA
- New York, NY
- Portland, OR
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Washington, DC
- Bipolar Disorder
- Chronic Pain
- Eating Disorders
- Passive Aggression
- Goal Setting
- Positive Psychology
- Stopping Smoking
- Low Sexual Desire
- Child Development
- Therapy Center NEW
- Diagnosis Dictionary
- Types of Therapy
As the lines between real and fake blur, Americans increasingly chase the idea of authenticity. The first step may be to consider self-knowledge, truthfulness, and other building blocks on the road to personal growth.
- Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Affective Forecasting
How To Create Personal Development Plan (PDP) & Examples
We all have goals in life that we want to achieve, but sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re on the right path.
If you’ve been working towards personal goals for some time and feel like things are not progressing as quickly as they should be, then it might be time to reevaluate your development plan.
A Personal Development Plan is will help you create a roadmap for success by identifying where your strengths lie and what needs improvement.
It also provides tools and resources so that you can work towards achieving your goals faster than ever before.
Let’s dive deep into all you need to know when it comes to personal development planning.
What is a Personal Development Plan? Definition
Personal development is a never-ending series of steps we must take to improve ourselves.
Personal Development Plans (PDPs) are what keep you on track and motivated to achieve your desired results quickly.
A PDP can consist of things such as Goals, dreams, aspirations, career path, material wealth, etc.
It’s important to have a clear understanding of what your goals in life are so that you can set realistic expectations for yourself and work towards achieving them more efficiently.
Setting goals also allows us to identify our personal strengths and weaknesses so that we can turn them into positive attributes – this could also form part of the professional goals that one has.
In the end, this will result in higher self – confidence which will encourage you to reach even greater heights of success.
In addition, having a PDP helps you find ways to maintain balance in your life so that you are always focused on improving yourself and growing as an individual.
Personal Development Planning is put into motion by being specific with what your goals are, determining the actions necessary to achieve them, finding out all the resources available to help you succeed, and finally staying motivated so that you can stay on track towards your goal instead of getting off course.
The positive impact that a personal development plan brings to your life can be enormous.
With a clear understanding of who you want to become and how you will become it, the journey becomes more enjoyable and fulfilling.
It empowers us to pursue our dreams instead of making excuses for why we can’t get there yet.
Why is Planning Personal Development Plan Important?
The benefits that come with creating and developing your personal development goals as part of your development plan are endless.
A PDP gives you the motivation and desire to accomplish anything because you know exactly what’s at stake if you don’t succeed.
You set goals for yourself to achieve something great, which by its very nature is empowering; deciding what direction our personal lives and future will take gives significant meaning to your existence as an individual.
A PDP is necessary for a high quality of life where you achieve your goals more efficiently.
It identifies what you want most out of life, aids in the development of a path towards achieving those desires, and provides resources to help you along that journey; all things which will lead to achieving success faster than if you tried to do it without one.
The purpose of any Personal Development Plan is to provide development opportunities and turn goals into reality.
With a clear understanding of how your goals will impact your life and what actions are necessary to reach them, creating a PDP offers the guidance needed so that no matter where you start from or what roadblocks may get in your way on the way towards pursuing greatness, it doesn’t stop you from moving forward on your personal development journey with confidence.
One of the biggest struggles you may face in life is the nagging feeling that you should be doing something with your life; but what?
Personal Development Plans give meaning to your existence as an individual by helping you realize who you are and how to best utilize yourself.
How to Create a Personal Growth and Professional Development Plan
Creating a personal development plan can seem somewhat overwhelming if you’re not quite sure where to start.
The most important thing to remember is that creating and utilizing a detailed plan doesn’t have to be difficult.
Write down all of your goals first so that they’re clean and organized on paper.
Decide whether or not there’s anything else going on in your life right now that might affect these goals, such as new jobs or relationships.
Again, write everything down on paper so that you can analyze it in a way that is easy to understand.
Once you have mapped out your goals on paper by creating a detailed action plan for yourself, keep working until you achieve them or recognize the need to change your plans.
It isn’t uncommon at all for people to feel as though they should be doing more with their lives than what they are currently doing.
Nobody wants to wake up one day and discover that their life has been wasted; which is why we must make the most of our development efforts in every opportunity given to us today.
Deciding what actions need to take place for us to make significant progress towards our goals is often the hardest part of pursuing greatness within ourselves.
As long as we include all of our goals in a PDP, and focus on them consistently, we will achieve more in life than if we didn’t have such a strategic plan.
A Personal Development Plan is meant to define who you are as an individual, where you want to be by a certain point in time, and how you will reach your goals efficiently before that time comes.
It’s the planning that will give meaning to your existence, it’s the ability to learn from the past while also looking towards the future of what could be.
Here are some sub aspects of a personal development plan to keep in mind.
4 Steps to a Successful Personal Development Plan
Step 1: clear out your vision.
Clearing your vision means that you have to ask yourself what you want and why you want it.
Having a clearly stated goal is the cornerstone of any effective plan. If your vision is not clear enough, it will be difficult to take steps toward it.
In reality, it is pretty difficult to avoid distractions and focus on what you want.
Sometimes all of us can get distracted by many different things.
That’s when having a vision becomes useful, especially because it helps you realize that maybe you’re not focusing your time in the right places.
Step 2: Outline your Strengths and Areas For Improvement
Have a look at the things that you’re good at, what are your strengths, and maybe consider if there are any areas for improvement.
By identifying your strengths, you can then determine the best way in which to apply them towards achieving your goals.
In doing so, looking back on past experiences is going to help as well because by reflecting on past experiences we will be able to learn from our mistakes/other people’s mistakes, etc…
Another thing to do in this step is to create a list of the specific skills that you’d like to develop or improve to reach your goals.
This is where you might want to look at library research, talking with friends and family, mentors, etc…
In doing so, make sure that once you have this list that you pick out one skill from your list that you would like to work on improving specifically during the next period you set up (i.e. semester) he will be your goal for the semester (therefore giving yourself some time frames).
I’m not saying that by doing this step, it will be easy. As I mentioned before it takes hard work but different people learn differently and can find ways of working best for them.
Step 3: Build Your Development Plan
This is where you take all the different things you’ve come up with (i.e. your vision, strengths, and areas for improvement) to create an action plan.
Once you have determined what methods work best for you, now is a good time to create a solid plan.
By using all the information we’ve covered so far, you can create a plan of action that will include specific tasks and goals.
The tasks could be things such as “reading the textbook” or “coming up with a list of possible careers”. This is where career path assessment comes in handy.
These need to be concrete, measurable actions (think SMART goals).
This is the personal development plan that you can refer to if you’re having difficulties on how to carry out your tasks, which is very likely the case.
Step 4: Develop an Action Plan
Knowing which actions to take to achieve your goals can be challenging at times if you don’t have a solid plan.
That’s why it is helpful to break down the actions required to achieve your goal into smaller, more manageable pieces.
This will also help in ensuring that you are making progress.
If you give yourself clear deadlines and make sure that each part of your action plan is achievable within that time limit, you’ll improve your development skills.
It won’t just be an empty promise that you’re going to work hard on it but rather a reality for which you will see results.
If certain tasks require other people’s collaboration or cooperation then consider asking for their encouragement/help.
Tools Needed for Personal Development Planning
Before you begin your plan for individual development planning, it is important to look at yourself and make sure that all of the tools you will need are available.
What’s needed for a PDP differs from individual to individual; keep things simple by sticking with what works best for you.
Are any other plans in place to aid in the process? Does your job offer anything helpful like bonuses or promotions based on goals achieved within certain time frames?
All of these factors can influence how strong your plan is.
When creating a PDP, planning out exactly what steps need to be taken towards achieving your goals has never been easier.
Using Motivational Tools for Personal Development
One way to introduce a new perspective on life is by creating a vision board.
This is a powerful tool that lets you consider what path you want to take through life while allowing room for new ideas along the way if necessary.
By writing down everything from job titles in your professional life, hobbies, cars, vacations, etc., you can see everything for yourself without anyone else’s opinion interfering with your vision.
A wide variety of tools exist for self-motivation as part of a lifelong learning concept, so make sure to do your research to uncover the personal development strategies that you know will work for your specific situation.
For instance, to get a kick start in working towards your goals you can use something like an app or website which keeps track of how many hours you have put into each goal and gives it a numerical value.
This way you can see whether or not the amount of time being applied is enough for you to meet the personal growth goals that are important for you.
Worksheet & How Do You Write a Personal Development Plan?
To understand what you are doing, and why you are doing it, create a worksheet for yourself.
This can be the best performance evaluation tool you make use of.
The best way to do this is by finding out where your biggest strengths lie and focusing on those areas.
For example, if you already know how to manage your time well, but struggle with remembering things easily or writing properly; then use the resources available to determine which course of action would be most beneficial to take to improve upon that area.
You’ll set yourself up for success faster than you ever thought possible. It’s easy enough nowadays to find an online source for creating a worksheet for personal development.
The key to using these worksheets and plans wisely is all in the consistency; you can’t just fill out one or two of these sheets and then forget about them.
Make sure that you use all the tools at your disposal to make the most out of your PDP to achieve your goals – whether they’re about physical health, a sense of control, or even other things that might just be a one-time activity.
8 Benefits of Having a Personal Development Plan
Gaining a clearer focus on your learning.
Having a clear understanding of where you want to be and what you need to do may seem simple but it is critical in the success of reaching your goals.
Thinking about how much time and energy will be needed can make a huge difference in whether or not you can achieve your objective within the designated time frame.
Figuring out exactly what obstacles might pop up along the way can also save a lot of wasted time later on by giving you control over them before they even happen.
Saving Money & Time
Not only does having a PDP allow for financial savings because with planning comes an accurate prediction for expenses, but it also allows you to save time by cutting down on mistakes that could have been prevented by simply thinking things through.
For example, if you have written down your expectations for a project and then go to follow through with them you will be better able to keep the project on track by avoiding common pitfalls such as: getting sidetracked or confusing due dates and responsibilities.
Your plan will outline these things explicitly so there won’t be any questions about what is expected to get the job done.
Helping to Keep Yourself Motivated
Of course, you know that you will be much more motivated to complete your development plan if you have something to show for it – so why not create a chart or calendar to keep track of how the progress is going?
It’s even better if you can do this with a friend who has similar goals as yourself.
Encourage each other along the way and watch your dreams become a reality one step at a time.
A Better Understanding of How you Learn & How to Improve Your Performance.
It is important to recognize how you learn and understand how your learning can be improved by using different tools or techniques.
If you notice that certain sections of your PDP are more difficult to complete than others it may help to look deeper into why this might be happening.
For example, if reading through a worksheet seems like an excruciatingly boring task then it is likely that any other time you’re expected to read something equally dull (i.e.: textbooks) will cause you some serious frustration.
You’ll want to make sure that when writing out your PDP that no detail is left unthought-of.
More Enjoyment and Less Stress From Your Learning as you Become Consciously Skilled
By knowing what works for you, how you learn can be optimized to your advantage.
From becoming more stress-free by doing activities that relieve tension (meditation) to finding a way to work smarter by building a process/template that will help with organization and planning.
Less stress = less resistance from yourself. In fact, by knowing how you want to be, a PDP can help you enjoy your learning experience more by giving a clear path for the future.
More Awareness of How to Apply Your Learning to new Problems and Contexts
If you have well-defined objectives for learning, it will be easier to fit them into new situations where you can apply the knowledge and skills gained.
Moreover, it will be easier to recognize when you need to find further sources of information or use a different approach.
Better Preparation for Unexpected Challenges
Developing your skills and becoming aware of your strengths and weaknesses, on the other hand, can help you react more effectively whenever unexpected situations arise.
You will therefore be able to prepare yourself better to deal with new problems by taking time, in the beginning, to think about possible situations, anticipating what steps are needed to achieve your goals and how best to tackle whatever obstacle comes along.
This way if something unexpected pops up throughout your day you’re well prepared.
Reflective Thinking Skills That can Strengthen Academic Performance
By taking time to evaluate your performance and thinking about how you learn, doing so can help to empower yourself as a learner.
This can include reflecting on what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and determining the causes of such improvements/problems.
This also relates to understanding how you learn and appreciating that everyone learns differently.
You may discover that writing everything down seems to work for you but reading over difficult texts doesn’t, or perhaps it is more effective for you to do something hands-on rather than just reading, etc…
5 Examples of a Personal Development Plan
Here’s a real-life example of a personal development plan in action.
Currently, I am a student at the University of Waterloo and am studying in an Honors Systems Design & Management program.
However, in my spare time, I participate in several different activities including:
- Blogging about education-related topics
- Volunteer at the Oakridge School for Children
- Attending salsa dancing lessons (with my partner)
- Running 5k runs every weekend with friends
My goals are to be a successful blogger, professional dancer, and marathoner.
Professionally, I want to improve my writing skills by researching and learning the best practices for blogging.
I’d like to be a better dancer by taking more salsa lessons (and practicing in between.)
- Read articles about amateurs who do blogging as a second job and how they achieve success with it.
- Make notes of key ideas/techniques that will help me when it comes time to write posts for my blog.
- Ask friends and family members to read some of my posts so that they can give me feedback on what they think would make them even better.
- Search online for free courses related to writing academically. Apply for them if available at the University of Waterloo.
- Practice writing more often to get better at it. Ask a friend or family member for help/feedback if necessary.
- Read about salsa dancing and search online for free courses related to it (if possible).
- Various websites that I can use to learn more about blogging and dancing
- Helpful friends and family.
- University of Waterloo’s resources (i.e. online courses, etc.)
1 month from now, I want to have read three articles on writing professionally as well as tried out two new free online lessons related to writing.
1 year from now, I’d like to see improvement in my blog’s readership and participation level by taking a free course related to writing from the University of Waterloo.
2 years from now, I want my salsa dancing skills to be at an intermediate level so that I’ll be able to participate in some classes without feeling nervous.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Development Plan
When should you use a personal development plan.
It’s good to have a personal development plan in place at all times, but there is no one time that is more important than another.
It’s just helpful to be aware of what you want and when the best time for it will be so that you don’t waste your chance when an opportunity comes knocking and stay stuck in the same place.
Overall Conclusion For Personal Development Plan
In just about an achievement or goal you can think of, having a personal development plan is a helpful way to make sure that action is taken and progress is made.
Most importantly remember not to set too many goals when trying to achieve your desired result.
Make sure that each one takes time and effort but isn’t too crazy impossible or you won’t feel like it’s worth it. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You’re not going at this alone – there are others that you can call on for support.
Your friends and family will love being a part of your accomplishments so share the goals with them as soon as possible.
Emma is a certified strengths and career coach with more than 25 years of international experience in helping individuals and organizations achieve success by nailing and maximizing their unique value propositions. She is an entrepreneur, proud mother and a C-level executive at HIGH5TEST, where she leads its coaching and research programs.
What is Professional Development? Definition & Examples (2022)
How To Answer: What Are Your Salary Expectations?
Career Exploration for High School Students: Definitive Guide
Professional Development Goals: What Are They & Examples
How To Build Confidence And Success Culture
Job Satisfaction: Meaning, Importance, Factors & Examples
Free Strengths Test
Full Strengths Report
Strengths Discovery Guide
Strengths Reference Sheets
Job Interview Guides
Strengths in the Workplace
VIA Character Strengths
404 Not found
- Online Degree Explore Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees
- MasterTrack™ Earn credit towards a Master’s degree
- University Certificates Advance your career with graduate-level learning
- Top Courses
- Join for Free
What Is a Professional Development Plan, and How Do You Create Your Own?
If you're hoping to pursue a new career or advance in your current one, creating a professional development plan can be helpful. Use this guide to learn what a professional development plan is, its usefulness, and how to create one.
A professional development plan (PDP) is a document or visual aid that maps out your career goals. To help you attain your PDP goals , you'll specify what strategies you'll use, resources you might need, and target dates.
Why is it helpful to have a professional development plan?
Creating a PDP is the first step toward a commitment to following it. A professional development plan encourages you to think about what you want and helps you figure out how to get there. Having a PDP and regularly checking it helps keep you focused on your goals, which improves your chances of achieving them.
Questions to ask before creating a professional development plan
Before you begin developing a PDP, take some time to self-reflect to make sure you're on the right track. Ask yourself questions like these:
Where am I professionally right now?
Where do I want to be?
What skills and experience do I possess?
What skills and experience do I want or need?
What resources can I use to achieve my goals?
What is a realistic timeline for achievement?
How much time am I willing to commit to my goals?
Where can I turn for advice and support?
Steps for creating your professional development plan
Going through a few steps when creating a PDP can help guide your thinking and ensure accuracy. Everyone is different, so while this plan includes three steps, yours may consist of more.
Step one: Think about the goals you want to achieve and list them on paper.
Make them SMART goals, which means they should follow these guidelines:
S pecific instead of broad
M eaningful so that your goals align with your core values
A chievable and realistic
R elevant to your particular career plan
T ime-bound, so you have a timeframe and deadline to complete your goals
Step two: Write down your strengths and weaknesses.
Honest self-assessment is critical when creating a PDP. Some examples of strengths and weaknesses might include the following:
Strengths : good leadership skills, knowledge of accounting, creativity
Weaknesses : self-critical, fear of public speaking, procrastination
Step three: Create your professional development plan.
Make it legible and large enough to read it. Post your plan on a bulletin board, refrigerator, or cupboard, and refer to it regularly.
Professional development plan sample
Consider using a chart or table format when designing your professional development plan. Here is a sample of a professional development plan for someone who has decided to start a business. The main goal of preparing to start a business is breaking the plan down into smaller, more achievable goals.
Overall goal and mission statement: I want to start my own business . I need to develop a good skill set and be mentally and emotionally prepared to accomplish my overall goal.
The importance of visual goal-setting
Posting your professional development plan where you can see it regularly might help ensure success in goal achievement. For extra fun, consider supplementing your PDP with a vision board, which is a poster board covered with images representing your vision for your career. According to a study conducted in 2016, vision boards can help people flesh out, define, and focus on personal and professional goals [ 1 ].
Additional tips for setting and achieving goals
For additional help with goal setting and achievement, take advantage of a few extra tips:
Make yourself more accountable for your goals by sharing them with one or two people you're close to.
Avoid becoming overwhelmed by focusing on one goal at a time.
When discouraged, remind yourself why you set these goals in the first place.
When you achieve a goal, practice positive reinforcement by rewarding yourself. If you need reward ideas, consider treating yourself to a massage, a new hairstyle, or dinner on the town.
A few final points to remember
Once you've created a professional development plan, it's important to remember a few key points:
Your plan is flexible. Just because you've created a visual plan doesn't mean you can’t change it. If unexpected opportunities or challenges pop up, you can always adjust your timelines, return to the drawing board, and start again with a new PDP.
Your plan is for you. Even though others may occasionally influence your decisions, put yourself first when designing your PDP—not your partner, boss, coworkers, friends, or parents.
If you're looking for a valuable specialization to add to your professional development plan, consider enrolling in the Adapting: Career Development Specialization offered by Macquarie University on Coursera. This specialization includes a series of courses: Improve Yourself Always, Build Personal Resilience, Your Career Your Life, and Become a Global Citizen. With a two-month projected completion period, these courses enhance personal and professional skills, and you will earn a shareable certificate.
Burton, Lisa M. and Lent, Jonathan. " The Use of Vision Boards as a Therapeutic Intervention ,.https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-Use-of-Vision-Boards-as-a-Therapeutic-Burton-Lent/b3cdb31fd8d694e0bd6f5a73416290f7ed2681dc.” Accessed October 25, 2023.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
Develop career skills and credentials to stand out
- Build in demand career skills with experts from leading companies and universities
- Choose from over 8000 courses, hands-on projects, and certificate programs
- Learn on your terms with flexible schedules and on-demand courses
Our range of over 180 online courses are fully accredited, trusted by more than 2 million learners and ideal for training you and your team.
- Food Hygiene
- Health and Safety
- Asbestos Awareness
- Fire Safety
- Mental Health
- Health and Social Care
- Business Essentials
- Team training
Welcome to the Hub, the company blog from High Speed Training.
Select a topic to find the most up to date, practical information and resources produced by our experts to support you in your professional life.
- Health & Safety
A Personal Development Plan (PDP) Guide & Template
What is a personal development plan.
Personal development is an ongoing process that drives you to improve your knowledge, skills and experience, so that you can achieve your goals. A personal development plan (or PDP) is a method of focussing your goals into achievable steps, which helps you keep track of your personal development.
Download Free PDP Example/Template
Why Should I Create a Personal Development Plan?
Your plan may be aimed at your education, career or personal goal, or a mixture of all three – that is up to you to determine. Whatever the case may be, a good plan will provide you with a clear sense of focus. It helps you map out a path towards your goals, strategise a plan to achieve them, record the actionable steps you will take, and set a timeframe for completing them. Focussing your goals into a PDP helps you maintain your vision, keep on track to achieve your targets, and reflect on your progress.
Simply put, a PDP can help you build a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it.
Interested in Learning More?
Let us help with your personal development goals this year. Choose from a wide range of business essentials courses , whether it be Leadership and Management , Starting a Business , or Coaching and Mentoring . You could have your CPD recognised certificate in a matter of hours!
A clear plan can also support your positive mental wellbeing and improve your level of satisfaction. It can provide a sense of direction, purposefulness and a feeling of success as you start to fulfil your potential. All of these can have very positive impacts on your mental health.
Therefore, discovering what your goals are, getting organised and giving yourself a sense of direction can be incredibly beneficial. This article will give you an understanding of how to write a personal development plan, as well as provide you with a handy template to support your development journey.
How to Write a Personal Development Plan
There are seven steps to writing a PDP:
- Set yourself goals.
- Prioritise those goals.
- Set yourself deadlines for when you want to achieve them.
- Recognise threats and opportunities.
- Develop your skills or increase your knowledge.
- Use your support network.
- Measure your progress.
1. Set Yourself Goals
The first step is to set yourself goals . Think about what you want to achieve, whether that’s within a few weeks, within a year, or over your lifetime.
Deciding what you want is not only the first step in planning, it’s also the hardest. Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, that goal will provide clear direction and a structure for your resulting plan.
At this stage, your goals will feel big. You might be wondering how you are ever going to achieve them. Don’t worry – the next step is to prioritise and turn those goals into smaller, actionable steps that will support you on your way to achieving them.
2. Prioritising Your Goals
Now that you have your goals, the next stage is to break them down into smaller steps. When doing this, it’s important that your goals are SMART:
- Specific. Avoid large, ambiguous steps. These won’t support you on your way to achieving your goals. Insted, make sure that your goals are specific and clearly highlight the skill, knowledge or experience you want to develop.
- Measureable. You need to be able to monitor and reflect on your progress. Therefore, your goals need to be measurable, such as by setting a goal to develop your SEO knowledge with a measurable target of growing your website traffic by a set, defined percentage.
- Attainable. Your goals need to be achievable and realistic. You need to think about if it is something you can realistically achieve with the time and resources you have. If not, you will likely be setting yourself up for failure.
- Relevant. It’s important to keep your overall goal in mind and make sure that every step you take is supporting you to achieve it. You don’t want to be spending time doing things that don’t get you where you want to go.
- Time-bound. Set yourself key targets to achieve and deadlines in which to achieve them. This will help you stay focussed on achieving your goals. However, it’s important to make sure you are realistic in what you can achieve in any given period. Don’t try to achieve everything all at once. It’s unrealistic and you won’t be setting yourself up well to achieve them. Remember that personal development is a journey – your PD plan can continue to grow and develop as you take those steps towards your goals.
Once you have your goals, you’ll need to prioritise them.
In your PDP, you should be setting yourself mini goals to make the big ones happen.
For example, if you wish to pursue a career in academia as a senior lecturer and then a professor, a necessary step to succeeding in this goal is to achieve a PhD. So that would be one of your long-term goals. You then need to break it down into steps, such as:
- Learn about the PhD application process.
- Find a suitable university and supervisor for a PhD.
- Look at routes for funding.
- Find studentships to apply for or apply to your university of choice.
- Write and submit your PhD application.
3. Set Yourself Deadlines
Knowing when you want to achieve a goal is crucial, and picturing your future is an important source of motivation and inspiration.
Having goals and a set deadline will drive your motivation to achieve them. For example, if your goal is to buy a home, knowing when you want to achieve it will help you calculate exactly how much money you need to save each year in order to get your deposit. The same is true for your skills, knowledge and experience development. As mentioned above, setting realistic and time-bound goals are essential to achieving them.
One good way to understand more about achieving your goals is to speak to those who have previously trodden a similar path. Learning about their experiences can help you understand key barriers to, or methods of, success that may also be applicable to your PDP.
4. Recognise Threats and Opportunities
When considering your goals, you should identify your own strengths, consider areas of weakness you can develop, look at the opportunities available to support you in achieving your goals, and any threats that may hinder you in your progress. This is called a SWOT analysis. Note that these threats may be external or they may be core skills that you can develop as part of your PDP.
For example, a lack of motivation could hinder your plans to apply for a PhD. However, once you’ve identified your tendency to procrastinate or lose focus, you can put in place methods that will keep you motivated.
There are also going to be things that you could do, and connections with people or resources you could take advantage of, that will help you on your way. These are your opportunities that you should commit to doing.
For example, if there’s a conference coming up, take advantage of that. Go along and network, stay up to date on the latest knowledge, or even present a paper. These are all opportunities that could help you achieve your goals.
5. Develop Yourself
Once you have an idea of what could help or hinder you, this is when you can capitalise on those opportunities you recognised. Make an action plan about how you’ll make that progress.
Whatever it is that hinders you, there’s a way to stop it. Your plan is the first step to making sure you stay on track.
So, why not take a look at how to upskill yourself , develop transferable skills in today’s rapidly changing jobs market, or even discover an online learning opportunity .
6. Use Your Support Network
The next thing you need to realise is that:
You don’t have to do everything by yourself.
And you shouldn’t. The support network around you is a valuable asset, so use it and don’t underestimate it.
In your PDP, list the people who can help you. This could be a financial advisor, a friend, or a colleague. People are often so happy to help you, more than you might realise.
7. Measure Progress
After you’ve achieved some progress, whether it’s big or small, take time to reflect on how far you’ve come.
Recognising what has gone well is an effective way to bolster your motivation and remain dedicated.
And after a setback, this is another time to take stock.
Wallowing – briefly – is a good way to feel what you need to without holding on to it. Holding onto sadness, anger or frustration, however, will only deter you. These emotions will take you nowhere and will only hinder you.
You should also spend a little time figuring out why it went wrong. Can you identify a skills or knowledge gap?
If you can, then you can get yourself back on track by focussing on your next step. This will reignite your sense of purpose and help you regain control, which is integral to making progress.
Continue to reflect on your progress. You can gain significant insight from your reflections and this can help you grow. Remember that you should update your plan where necessary. Don’t overload it at any one time but, once you have achieved your small steps, reflect and then update your plan to focus on your next move.
Free Personal Development Plan Example & Template
In this article, we have discussed how you can create your own personal development plan, so you should now feel ready to start considering your goals and developing your own plan. To help you produce an effective personal development plan, we have created an editable template that you can use. Take a look at our example PDP, and download your free template below:
- How to Upskill Yourself
- What are Personal Development Goals for Work?
- Using Key Phrases in Performance Reviews & Appraisals
- Resilience Quiz
- How to Stand Out in a Virtual Interview: Preparation Tips
- What is CPD? A Guide to Continuing Professional Development
- Business Essentials Courses
Her favourite article is Five Top Learning and Development Trends for 2020