January is often the month when people make big decisions and big moves based on new year resolutions. It’s the month when motivation is high to get fit and healthy, move homes or countries, change jobs, or make major work-related decisions.
For those who do not fall off the ‘New Year Resolutions’ bandwagon, their focus is so often on achieving goal(s) and getting things done that taking stock of progress is often pushed until later in the year. But how often should you really review your personal development plan?
What’s a personal development plan and what’s the point of having one?
Whether you work for someone else or for yourself, self-assessment will help you identify your key growth areas and create a workable personal development plan to help you capitalize on your strengths without ignoring your weaknesses. The plan is really a snapshot of where you are on your success journey at the time of the assessment. Knowing your strengths will give you the clarity and focus you need to prepare to increase your performance and productivity, analyze your capabilities and prepare to make your next big move, whatever your focus may be. Without reviewing your personal development plan monitoring personal growth falls by the wayside.
So how often should you review your personal development plan?
The short answer is… regularly. But then again, what does regularly mean for you? Here are some ideas:
- Review Daily with iDoneThis
iDoneThis is an email-based productivity log that motivates and tracks your productivity with a daily email reminder. It was founded in 2011 by Walter Chen and Rodrigo Guzman. I use it to help me keep track of what I have accomplished at the end of each day. If you are juggling multiple things and do not want to forget what you have done or need to do, give it a try. Good news is that it’s FREE (at the moment).
- Review Weekly with Check Lists
I’m an advocate for to-do-lists. As much as I appreciate mobile gadgets, nothing beats the satisfaction of putting pen to paper. But not just any paper – the Magic Whiteboard created by Neil and Laura Westwood, winners of BBC Dragon’s Den (August 2008). I really like this resource not because the pacing up and down in thought and writing out ideas and processes makes me feel productive, but because of its versatility.
– It’s portable so can be used at home or taken to meetings instead of the traditional whiteboard
– It clings to any wall or glass with ease so all you need is the marker pen that comes with it
– It is wipeable (sp) making it extremely useful for brainstorming and mind-mapping anywhere
– Because it clings to a wall your checklists stare back at you every day so you never forget
Schedule a Magic Whiteboard evening at the beginning of your week.
- Reviewing Weekly or Monthly with a Mastermind
If you work well in teams and like the idea of accountability to help you stay on track with your goals, a mastermind might be a great idea for you. Masterminds are, as the name suggests, a collective of individuals who are well accomplished in their fields putting their minds together to brainstorm, strategize and propel each other forward with ideas, strategy and moral support. The beauty of masterminds is you can start your own by bringing together other driven professions to help each other succeed. Meetings can be physical, but thanks to technology, those minds could also be anywhere in the world and connected via social media like Facebook Groups or apps like Slack and iDoneThis.
- Review Monthly at a Meeting with Yourself
Schedule a 30-minute meeting with yourself every month. It may sound ridiculous but I promise it will keep you focused and accelerate your success. You can set this up on your favourite mobile device right now with a fixed time and date that recurs every month. These meetings should be non-negotiable. Treat them as you would treat a meeting with a Fortune 500 CEO because you are the CEO of your own private corporation. If need be, these meetings can be rescheduled but never cancelled. The commitment you give to your personal success will pay off in personal and professional growth.