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Overcome personal growth challenges

8 steps to build a personal growth and development plan

Personal growth is one of our deepest human needs. When we commit to a lifetime of learning and being better, we won’t stagnate or become trapped by our limiting beliefs. However, we can’t just say we want to grow and leave it at that. We need to set clear goals so that we can create an effective personal growth plan and then act on it.

Remember, as Tony says, “Rewards come in action, not in discussion.” You’ll never overcome your personal growth challenges just by thinking about them. You need to create a foolproof personal growth and development plan, then put in the work to tackle any obstacle in the way of your goals and become the best version of you possible.

What is a personal growth plan?

Your personal growth and development plan is a completely customized blueprint for your life. It starts with your purpose: What will bring you the most happiness in life? From there you can determine the habits you need to develop, the skills and knowledge you must master and the step-by-step goals you need to achieve to get there.

Personal growth isn’t just for those who are feeling stuck or have a major obstacle to overcome. Learning how to continue your personal growth is essential to building confidence, reaching your goals and finding fulfillment. If you’re not growing, you’re dying – so it’s time to get growing.

Determining your personal growth challenges

What does your personal growth and development plan mean to you? Does it mean becoming a better communicator with your partner? Do you envision professional success? Would you like to adopt a sustainable health diet and get into better physical shape? Do you want to become better at handling your finances? No matter your personal growth challenges, there’s a way to achieve your goals.

Growth and success mean something different for everyone, but personal growth plans usually tackle four areas of life: professional, relationships, intellectual and physical health. Within these areas, you can tailor your goals to your own life to ensure you continue to grow.

  • Professional goals include both short- and long-term aims for your career. You want a promotion within the year, to reach a certain role within five years and then strike out on your own and start a business within ten years. These goals also include professional development such as certifications and attending conferences.
  • Relationship goals can mean finding love if you’re not in a relationship or strengthening your current partnership. If you’re in search of love, you’ll work on defining and finding your ideal partner and overcoming your limiting beliefs. If you’re in a partnership, you may want to reignite the spark or stop arguing.
  • Intellectual growth means feeding your mind, gaining new skills and staying inspired to always keep learning. You could decide to tackle a long novel you haven’t gotten around to, learn how to play the piano or commit to doing a crossword every day.
  • Physical health is one of the most common areas for improvement in a personal growth plan. On the surface, your goal is to lose weight or build six-pack abs, but dig deeper. Physical health is ultimately about living an overall healthy lifestyle that will give you the energy and vitality you need to go after your other goals.

How to create a personal growth and development plan

personal growth plan

1. Identify what you really want for your personal growth

The first step in developing a personal growth plan is thinking about what you really want – what are the results you crave? What is the ultimate desired outcome for your pursuit? You need to clarify what you want from your personal growth and development plan. Do you want to get promoted at the office? Strengthen your romantic relationship? Feel stronger and healthier?

Once you have a clear outcome in mind, think about your reasons behind the goal. At first glance, you may think it’s just because you want to feel better about yourself and you want to find ways to build yourself up. These are all important factors, but to really take your growth to the next level, you have to dig a little deeper.

2. Discover the deeper “why”

To understand how to continue your personal growth, you need to challenge yourself to think of a larger “why.” Do you want a promotion so you can better provide for your family? Will a stronger romantic relationship lead to greater happiness and productivity in your life? Does being in better shape allow you to give back to your community more thoroughly?

By seeing that you’re driven by factors larger than yourself, you’ll feel more encouraged to take on the task at hand and really commit to your personal growth plan. Your reasons need to be clear and compelling and they need to help you focus on what achieving your personal growth will mean to your way of life. When you do this, you stop pushing yourself toward a goal. Instead, you are pulled toward that goal with passion.

3. Pinpoint obstacles in your personal growth plan

Now you need to take a look at what’s getting in your way. Many people see challenges as obstacles that are keeping them from following their personal growth plan, when they’re actually opportunities. Take a look at what you perceive as roadblocks on your path and see how you can either remove them or reframe and use them to get you closer to your objectives. 

It’s easy to believe that not having an advanced degree in your industry is a roadblock, but when you’re really honest with yourself, you may see that you don’t have passion for your industry. This challenge is actually encouraging you to take a different path and explore a career that means more to you. You don’t have to choose between passion and profitability – when you follow your calling, you can have both.

personal growth two men sitting at table talking

4. Get the tools and coaching you need

It’s okay to acknowledge that you can’t create a personal growth plan all on your own. Many of the world’s most successful people turn to external tools and strategies when they embark on their path to personal growth. Check out the best personal growth books, turn to stories or quotes you find inspiring or find a mentor who empowers you. You can also work with a personal growth coach who can help you clarify your plan and develop the best strategy to achieve it.

If you can’t access a mentor, identify someone you admire and study their choices. As Tony has said, “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.” How did they find success? How do they approach their daily responsibilities? What path did they take to personal growth? Whether this is someone who’s famous or someone close to you, by using tools and tapping into the success of others, you’ll more easily develop your own path to success.

5. Make sure you’re in alignment with your personal growth plan

There’s more to personal growth than setting goals and then working hard to achieve them. Many of us suffer from inner conflicts that lead to self-sabotage. We must first unlock these conflicts and get ourselves into alignment before we can take the next step toward our personal growth plan. Abiding by the law of attraction can help to achieve alignment.

Once you are aligned, you will find yourself taking action that leads to success. You’ll focus on what you really want and know, deep down, that you deserve to have the personal growth and successful life you are striving toward.

personal growth woman writing in journal on grass

6. Write it all down

Keeping track of your personal growth plan in your head is difficult and it’s easy to make little changes and adjustments that keep you from achieving your goals. When you write it down, you have visual proof of your original plan and you can re-read it. Writing down your plan and tracking your progress also helps you increase focus and limit distractions.

The world can be a noisy place and it’s very easy for your mind to fill with chatter. Having a written plan turns down that noise and brings you back to center. Some integrative systems like Tony Robbins’ Rapid Planning Method have tracking built in that helps create purpose, maintain momentum and feel an enormous sense of fulfillment throughout your personal growth adventure.

7. Celebrate your successes

Don’t wait until you accomplish all your goals to celebrate. When you make progress on any part of your personal growth plan, take time to recognize it. You can perform little acts of self-care like getting a massage or treating yourself to some uninterrupted time with your favorite activities. Increase your enjoyment of the celebration by sharing it with someone else who is aware of your personal growth journey. This increases connection and makes your progress that much more rewarding.

Although the road to change feels long at the onset, as you keep track of your personal growth over time, you’ll be inspired to continue. Celebrate small milestones in your personal growth journey, and don’t let yourself become discouraged if you reach a hiccup in your plan. As Tony lays out in The Time of Your Life, it’s crucial to appreciate the work you’ve already put in as you continue on your personal growth journey.

personal growth people working at table drinking coffee

8. Follow through and hold yourself accountable

Keep yourself accountable to your personal growth plan by regularly updating a close friend or family member on your progress. You can also work with a health coach or other type of professional accountability partner who can help you stay on track and modify your plan when necessary. It’s often beneficial for those working on personal growth to partner with another person who is working on their own plan. This allows you to go on the journey together and provide support and encouragement.

Build your personal growth plan today

Everyone has the power to change their lives for the better. Whether you seek further fulfillment in your personal or professional life, the first step is deciding you’re ready to commit to a personal growth and development plan. With this growth plan, you will never have to compare yourself to others again. This will then lead to clarifying your true reason for wanting to change, seeking out the best tools to get you there and then keeping track of your progress along the way.

As Tony says, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” Start making changes in your life today, and you’ll soon start seeing the results you’ve always wanted.

To see which resources you can get started with today, at home, see our Growth Resources page.

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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