How to Make a Personal & Professional Growth Plan

I love when a new year rolls around, mostly because it’s the turning of the page, a fresh start. Blank calendars, blank notebooks – they scream of possibility and opportunity. This December (2019 for those of you reading this in the future) carries additional weight because it is the dawning of a new decade! So this time, rather than simply outlining my goals for the year, I decided to be more purposeful and create a growth plan.

Now, goals are great. Without them, you really have no direction or focus throughout the year. I’ve definitely got goals (in business and in my personal life); that’s the starting point. Goals are the target. Growth plans are how you become the person you need to be in order to hit those goals. Traveling to Paris is a goal. Building up the confidence (and letting go of your ego) in order to invite your mother (who you haven’t spoken to in over a year) on this trip of a lifetime (and perhaps going to some family therapy first), is the growth plan.

GROWTH PLANS FOR BUSINESS AND YOUR PERSONAL LIFE

Business growth plans are a strategic planning activity that enables business leaders to plan and track growth while allocating limited resources towards specific business objectives. If you aren’t doing this in your business or for (or with) your Executive and leadership team, you should be. It’s a great exercise to purposefully plan to succeed now and in the future.

You’ve likely heard of growth plans in business. But what about personal growth plans? How many of us are doing this in our personal life?

A personal growth plan is a strategic planning activity that enables you to plan and track your growth while allocating limited resources towards specific personal goals.

What we focus on expands. Are you putting intention behind the activities you are filling your 2020 calendar with? Are you all over the place with goals and have pages of things you want to do someday? That’s not going to cut it. Time and attention are limited resources. In order to grow, you must purposefully choose conferences, books, coaches, and more, to get you where you want to go. That’s what a personal growth plan is all about.

The first step to creating a growth plan is determining your overall goals for the year.

Here are a few of mine:

  • Write 1-2 books with Adam
  • Get my real estate license
  • Read 52 books
  • Purchase our first investment property
  • Complete my first marathon
  • Travel south to visit my nieces and nephews quarterly

Once you have your big goals for the year outlined, get a bit more specific. The goals are WHAT you’re going to accomplish. You need to drill down on the WHO. And the who is you.

Who do you need to become and what areas do you need to improve on in your life to hit these goals? What do you want to learn? What skills do you need to hone? Do you want to work on your follow-though, your public speaking skills, your spirituality, or your 5K time? For me, I want to work on my financial knowledge (particularly how to build wealth through real estate), my leadership skills, my overall health and fitness, and overcoming my fear of judgment and overthinking in order to take more action!

After you are clear on what you want to work on, the next step is breaking that down into actionable and measurable steps. For example, I want to write and create more. That is incredibly abstract and easy to dismiss and push to next week or next year. So, what does writing and creating more actually mean? How do I want to realize that growth? Through our blog! Taking that one step further, I plan on writing one blog post a week in 2020, for a total of 52 blog posts. That is an aggressive goal for me, but that’s what growth is all about. Testing our limits and seeing what we are capable of. Publicly proclaiming your intention helps with accountability too.

My Personal Growth Plan

Below is an example of my personal growth plan for 2020. I have divided my growth plan into two main categories: Learn and Act. I could get lost in learning if I don’t purposely design ways to take action on what I learn. All of these items are designed to help me get out of my comfort zone, to do hard things, and to push me beyond what I thought I was capable of.

LEARN:

  • Keller Williams Family Reunion
  • The Chief of Staff Summit
  • Randy Mayhew School of Real Estate
  • Concepts and models from The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, Hold, Long Distance Real Estate Investing, Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, and Repeat: The BRRRR Method
  • The principles of change management
  • The optimal nutrition for my body to maintain a healthy weight and energize my mind and body

ACT:

  • Create and host a new training course on change management
  • Write 52 blog posts
  • Host The Founder & The Force Multiplier 4 week webinar series
  • Coach two clients
  • Follow marathon training schedule with coach
  • Review and analyze two new investment property opportunities each month
  • Write one new book in The Founder & The Force Multiplier series
  • Commit to the Whole 30 program

I’m still working on adding in some conferences as dates are announced, finalizing my 2020 reading list, and creating a content calendar for our blog. But the framework is there. I not only have a goal of growing my leadership skills (through education and by coaching/training others), increasing my financial acumen (through books and courses), and becoming a more well-rounded individual through experiences (traveling and creating), but I have specific actions I am going to take to get there.

Once you have your growth plan outlined, it’s time to take that list and add all events, vacations, and deadlines to your calendar. When it’s scheduled, it’s real. Pro tip: If going on vacation(s) this year is important to you, then even if you don’t have the entire trip planned, at least block off the dates in your calendar. It will give you something to look forward to and it will help push you on your other goals to make it happen.

Let’s recap how to create a growth plan:

  • Outline your 2020 goals (WHAT)
  • Translate your goals into specific areas for improvement and growth (WHO)
  • Create actionable and measurable steps for your growth (HOW)
  • Schedule all events, deadlines, vacations, etc. in your calendar (WHEN & WHERE)
  • GROW!

If you take the time to plan out your year in advance in detail, with deadlines, success is inevitable. Almost… There is one caveat to all of this.

You have to do the work.

When it’s 5am and your alarm goes off, you have to put on your Lulus and hit the gym. You need to block off two hours each week to write your blog post. You need to put your phone away at X time each night to spend time with your kids. You need to save a percent of your income each week in a travel fund. It is the small daily habits and activities that will ultimately dictate your success.

Your growth plan is not a one-and-done activity. This is something I would recommend you revisit each week during your Sunday planning time. What do you need to adjust on your calendar in the week ahead in order to hit your growth goals? Do you need to double down on your workouts or writing time? Who or what do you need to say no to or eliminate from your day, week, or life? Harsh? Perhaps. But this is your life. The second you let someone else start dictating what is right, what is important, what you should or shouldn’t do, is the second you are no longer living your own life.

Creating a growth plan is all about you. Be selfish with your growth and with your time. Ultimately, by becoming the best version of yourself, you are able to give the best of yourself to others. Who can argue with that?

Share your 2020 growth plan in the comments!

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