Every one of us, not just Christian professionals and those in Christian ministry, want to improve. From leading healthier lives to becoming better creatives, we all want to grow. To do this, we set goals, either written or mental.
The challenge is that we almost always never achieve these goals. What we forget is that achieving goals is not the function of willpower alone. Asides from the desire to achieve these goals, we must create a plan to lead us through. This is where a personal growth plan comes in.
Explaining Personal Growth and Personal Growth Plan
To understand the idea of personal growth, we must go back several thousand years. Aristotle explained personal growth in the Nicomachean Ethics as an aspect of intelligence and wisdom. He further enumerated that it was a practice of certain virtues that lead us to happiness.
Maslow, the American psychologist, explained it as a desire to become all that you are capable of becoming. For us at GodKulture, personal growth is an unending journey to self-actualization. This journey is shaped by experiences, parents, coaches, teaches, and friends.
From the definitions above, we can deduce a definition for a “personal growth plan.” It is an action plan that leads us to personal growth through a list of values, virtues, and activities. Overall, this brings us to a place of self-improvement that reflects in different aspects of our lives.
Writing a Personal Growth Plan
Now that we understand what a personal growth plan is let’s show you how to write one. Before we go ahead, a quick disclaimer, having a personal growth plan doesn’t mean that your life will become better overnight. It is only a road map that requires discipline to implement.
Step 1: Set Goals
What are the things that you want the most in life? These are referred to as your “long-term goals.” Being clear on what you want is just the first step to fixing up your plan, and it is regarded as the most difficult. What you come up with at this stage acts as your emotional anchor to provide structure and stability.
What should these goals look or feel like? They should be enormous, difficult, scary, and overwhelming. The idea is that you should break them further into smaller steps that will make them achievable.
Step 2: Prioritize your Goals
Great job, you have all your goals in place. However, leaving them that way won’t help; you need to place them in order of priority. To do this, you have to split each goal into smaller “short-term” goals. Don’t forget that doing everything at once is impossible and will only lead to failure.
Check out your list to find out which of your goals you need to achieve now and which ones can wait. Of course, the ones that you need now are more urgent and should be treated likewise. As such, they should sit at the top of your list, with the others coming later.
Step 3: Set deadlines
Knowing what you want to achieve is great, but you should also attach a “when” to the “what.” This is very crucial because it acts as a source of inspiration and motivation. For example, one of your goals is to purchase a home. When do you see this happening?
The deadline you set for each goal pushes you towards achieving that goal. However, you shouldn’t just set goals by your dreams and aspirations. Making those dreams realistic is far more critical. The only way to know if a goal is real or not is by the deadline.
Speak to people to find out about their experiences. This helps you to come up with a realistic timeframe for each of your goals. You need to be as realistic as possible to not fall into discouragement along the way. An excellent place to start is your online Christian community.
Step 4: Be mindful of opportunities and threats
There are certain things, internal or external, that could bring you closer to or take you further from achieving your goals. The former are opportunities, and the latter are threats.
Threats will slow you down or prevent you from achieving your goals completely. Typical examples of threats are procrastination and environmental distractions. These can make you lose focus and demotivate you.
Opportunities make achieving your goal easier. Examples include free seminars, Christian events, and access to blogs like GodKulture. Be ready for both threats and opportunities because they will come.
Step 5: Develop yourself.
Well done! You now know the things that can stop you or slow you down, as well as what can hasten you. The easiest way to mitigate your threats is to take advantage of the opportunities. Draw up a plan on how to seize each opportunity that you recognize.
Sometimes, you’d have to take a course or spend some money on some materials. It will require you to step out of your comfort zone. But, there is always an opportunity for personal growth around the corner. It is your responsibility to find it and utilize it to develop yourself.
Step 6: Make use of your support network.
Here’s something most of us Christian professionals must learn. You cannot and should not do it all by yourself. Having a support network is vital. You can ride on the wings of this valuable asset to achieve personal development.
Write down a list of people or groups to help you while putting together a personal growth plan. It may be a couple of online Christian groups, a Christian ministry, or a place to get ministry resources. People are more than happy to help, but you must be willing to let them in.
Step 7: Measure progress
Progress may come in small or big steps. As long as you notice a shift, you should reflect on it. Recognize your progress and use it as a motivation to stay focused on the ultimate goal. Taking stock is an essential aspect of your development plan.
With the information above, you should be equipped to write a personal development plan. Do you have any questions? Drop them in the comments section. Also, check out GodKulture for resources to help you achieve your goals.