The last five years, after learning about it during my studies abroad, I’ve created a plan for the upcoming year. When I was at WII we did a professional development plan for the semester, but I’ve created a personal development plan based on that template yearly ever since. So far I’ve managed to complete about 80 % of what I’ve written in that plan every year. (This year I’m going for 85%)
I’ve read it so many times and trying it keeps me reassured: Writing things down make them happen. And since the PDP format has worked so well for me, I figured that this year I would share it with all of you.
The PDP is basically a set of goals or objectives divided into eight categories (I actually added the 8th this year). Each objective has a description, a proof and a deadline. Download a
PDP-template.docx. I tend to set between 1 and 4 objectives per category and the different objectives can be very different in size, meaning that they will vary in effort to complete.
Here is a guide on how I think about the different categories and some ideas for what you can set for goals 2014. But you set the rules.
I like to think about category in two steps, first; what will I be proud of accomplishing during the next 365 days? and second; how do I want my work life to look in a year?
Eg. My business will make $X during this year. I will get promoted to Y. I will meet 100 new people during the year.
Since we have the categories knowledge and skill as well I tend to think about “bigger” education in this category. This contains evening classes, preparation for a higher degree, taking a new degree etc,. Thus this category might not be used every year, but for me it has.
Eg. Take an evening class in negotiations, complete my university degree.
Think about anything you would like to know and/or understand, that you could learn about on your own or with someones help if you just set your mind to it. Now, narrow them down to what you want to learn in 2014. The knowledge objectives you set here could be both professional and personal.
Eg. Learning about the 5:2 diet. Studying a new language. Learn a new skill that might be useful at work.
Did you ever wish you could speak in public? Or are you curious about how Twitter works. Stop wondering and start acting. Figure out what skills you want to acquire in 2014.
Eg. Learn how to tweet. How to cook greek food. How to speak in public. Or why not get that drivers license?
What do you want to do, just for you? This is about setting goals that are not related to education or work, goals that will make you the best version of who you are. Goals that will make you smile and jump up in the morning.
Eg. Lose x pound. Deadlift y lbs. Find a new best friend. Get rid of that bad smoking habit. Go on 5 blind dates. Change a characteristic you don’t like with yourself.
Broaden your horizons. It’s easy to stick to what we know and lose understanding for what is different. When I think about other cultures I tend to think about people from other countries, but there are cultures to discover much closer than that; at the office, in your city etc. What do you want learn about to understand other people?
Eg. Visit a museum. Spend a week in another country with a native family. Attend an exchange.
Civic engagement goals
Sometime we forget how fortunate we are. I read a clip from a news paper where people in a Swedish city asked what they wanted to see as “this years Christmas gift.” While the grown ups wanted ipads, trips and other things for themselves, the children wanted a world without hunger and with clean water. Set these objectives to never forget to keep giving.
Eg. Start lending money through Kiva. Do some volunteer work. Run a 5k for cancer.
Money is not everything, but I can buy you a lot of freedom or what ever you’re dreaming of. I added this section this year to debate with myself about what I want to invest in and why.
Eg. Save 10k for a new car. Repaint the apartment. Start investing in the stock market.
Now, I tend to get the best result if I can start the year with my PDP already completed. However, a PDP is not something you can just write down in one sitting. Take the template now and begin. My challenge to you is to set your plan for 2014 before New Years eve, and make the PDP your new years resolution.
Can you do it? Start by downloading this