How to create the ultimate development plan

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All great things take time and nothing worth having will just be given to you. If you don’t want to put in the work, then you can go ahead and forget about reaching any personal or professional milestones. Here at Money Multiplied, I talk a lot about having a plan surrounding your personal finances. But your development plan is also very important and can impact every aspect of your life. 

What is a development plan?

Your development plan simply put is the picture you paint for your life. Reaching your goals will not happen on accident. You will have to be very intentional with the goals you set. I believe that every person needs to have a development plan because it’s the only way they will be able to identify if something truly aligns with the life they desire. You’ll be able to look at an opportunity and immediately determine if it matches the path you envision for yourself. Your development plan is made up of your vision, values, goals, and routine. 

Why everyone needs a development plan

Have you ever felt stuck? Perhaps at some point or another you’ve felt a bit off-track. Those are both perfectly normal emotions to have when you are in a place of trying to “figure it out”. Whatever, “it” is sitting down and writing a development plan will help sort things out and give you a clear direction for the next steps you need to take. 

Have a vision

This is where your development plan begins. Every day you should get in the habit of visualizing your dream life. You must believe it can be yours and write it down. Knowing what you want saves you time. A person can work for years at something feeling unfulfilled simply because they did not take the time to visualize the life, they truly desire. This results in feeling unfulfilled, which leads you to lack focus and clarity. Know what you want and incorporate it into the decisions you make and ultimately your development plan.

Have core values 

These are the non-negotiables in your life and the set of fundamental beliefs that you carry as an individual. If you don’t know what your core values are then ask yourself this question: What do I stand for? Your core values characterize you and influence your day-to-day activities. If you are really struggling to figure out what your core values are it could be helpful to have a conversation with some of your friends and family. These are the people that know you best. Ask them to describe you in three to five words. Did any of them use some of the same words? This could uncover values that maybe you did not think of on your own.

Determine your goals  

Now that you have your vision together with a clear understanding of your core values it’s time to write down your goals. Be very clear with what you want to achieve. I find that setting vague goals like “exercise more” just doesn’t do the job. Why do you want to exercise more? 

When are you going to work out? What types of routines will you do? Just as an example here is a better goal you can set. 

“My goal is to exercise more because I want to build stamina. I will wake up one hour early for 30 minutes of cardio in the gym of my apartment building”. 

I think this goal is better because there is a ‘why’ behind it and it also describes what type of workout you will be doing where and at what time. 

Breaking down your goals

We all have many different goals in life. But I find that when you have a laundry list of things you want to achieve, and try working on them all at once, your performance will be unsatisfactory. You need to figure out what to prioritize. I believe a good development plan should have goals for different areas of your life which can include the following:

Spiritual goals 

Financial goals 

Professional goals 

Health/Fitness goals 

Relationship goals

I call these the fabulous five. Now, your fab five might look a little different than mine but nonetheless, try not to have too much that you are working on at once.

When setting goals, it can be beneficial to break them up into short-term and long-term goals. For instance, if you are a new Christian, it will take some time to build a strong relationship with God. You will have to work to include Him in everything you do and in every decision you make. That can take time. Take it slow and make it a short-term goal of simply saying “Thank you God” every morning before starting your day. This simple habit could lead to a more long-term goal of praying for 15 minutes before getting out of bed. Notice how this goal you’ve set has become a part of a new routine. 

Why your routine matters 

That’s right! When it comes down to it your routine is everything. It will make or break you. Ever notice how when you have a super slow start to the day you feel lazy and not in the mood to do anything else? Well, your development plan comes down to how strong your routine is and if you don’t incorporate your goals into your routine, it’s likely that you will not achieve them. I’ve created a downloadable printable that helps put all of this together. Click here to visit my Esty shop and get your development plan together!