Create a Personal Growth Plan

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Do you have a strategy to grow, or do you expect it to just happen? Those who expect it to just happen are invariably disappointed because growth does not happen automatically. Whether you seek personal growth, professional growth, or spiritual growth, it always takes effort and happens best when you have a strategy.

Not even physical growth happens automatically. It requires specific needs and conditions to be met. For example, you need nourishment if you expect to grow. You must acquire the food, prepare the food, and eat the food. You also need exercise to stimulate and maintain your growth. Without it, your growth will be stunted.

Just as with physical growth, other areas of growth also have requirements that must be met if growth is to occur. To maximize your growth, you must develop a strategy for growth and then devote time each day toward working that strategy.

A basic ingredient in most growth strategies involves the intake of information. This typically comes from books, but can come from other sources, also, such as periodicals, classes, videos, audio seminars, and podcasts. Make it a habit to read, listen, or watch resources that can stimulate growth in your desired area, and then reflect on what you have learned.

Within your growth strategy, there must also be an application of the information acquired. Whether that means putting it into practice in your profession or beginning new habits based on what you have learned, the application of information is when growth really begins to occur.

For some, recording new insights is a critical component of growth. This often takes the form of a physical or online journal. It may also mean developing the insights into a book or curriculum format.

Put your plan on paper (or at least on your computer monitor). A sample growth plan might look like this:

Monday – Invest one hour reading and recording insights.

Tuesday – Invest one hour listening to seminar tapes or podcasts.

Wednesday – Invest a half hour reading plus a half hour reviewing notes from a recent conference.

Thursday – Invest one hour with a mentor.

Friday – Invest one hour reading and recording insights.

Saturday – Invest one hour serving as a volunteer and learning new skills.

Sunday – Invest the day involved in activities that encourage personal and spiritual renewal.

The times and the activities may vary according to your situation. The key is to have a plan in place. Growth happens intentionally, not accidentally or automatically. By taking the initiative to establish a strategy and then follow it, you will enhance your growth and achieve heights others never reach.

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