How to Make A Personal Development Plan – The Ultimate Guide

a personal development plan

by Vlad Dolezal on July 27, 2011

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.”– Jim Rohn

When talking to people about personal development, I come across tons of misconceptions. So let me clear up a major one right away.

For successful personal development, you need exactly two conditions:

  • You want to change something about your life
  • You’re not happy with the results you got so far

And that’s it.

Specifically, you do NOT need to know exactly what you want. You’d be surprised by how many clients come to me for life coaching when they don’t know what they want from life – they just know that whatever they have at the moment is not it.

(Though if you keep reading on below, you will learn a way to find out what you really want.)

As long as you satisfy the two conditions above, making a personal development plan is for you!

Why make a personal development plan?

Making a personal development plan comes down to two main things. Helping you figure out:

  • What do you want from life?
  • How will you go about achieving it?

You could certainly achieve personal development without a plan. A lot of people have.

But a plan vastly increases your chances to move towards a life that you find fulfilling and satisfying every day. Having a plan gives you:

  • A much better understanding of what you really want from life (hint: money is almost never the answer)
  • A list of specific actions you can take to advance towards your goals in life, so you never feel stuck again
  • A clear understanding of obstacles that trip up a lot of people, and how to avoid them
  • Durable growth and improvement

Sounds good? Then read on!

How to Make a Personal Development Plan

Below, I share the personal development planning method I use with my life coaching clients. It’s based on something called The GROW Model and might seem fairly straightforward, but it’s insanely powerful.

There’s a lot of clear structure underneath the surface, and if you follow the plan step-by-step as outlined, you will blast through any obstacles in your way. You will find a clear vision of what you want from life, as well as a specific action plan on how to get there. Say “goodbye”, procrastination! Say “hello”, fulfilling life full of growth and opportunities!

Speaking of action – I give you several exercises in the following guide.

Now, you could certainly just read through it and learn a few things. But if you actually grab a pen and paper (or open up your favourite word processor) and go through the exercises as you read, you will benefit far more than if you just passively read this article.

After all, you came here to change your life, and change requires taking action.

Or, in other words, you wouldn’t read the ultimate guide to baking a mean cake and then sit around and hope for it to appear, would you? You would go ahead and follow the instructions and make it appear!

One quick note – this is a long article. Over 4,000 words. So if you don’t have the time or energy to read through all of it right now, bookmark it for later. That way, you can read it when you’re able to give it your full attention.

You say you’re ready? Alright! Let’s do this!

(Go ahead, grab a pen and paper before you continue. I will still be here when you get back.)

Step 1 – What do you want?

This first step of making a personal development plan will help you figure out which parts of your life you’re happy with, and which could use some change. Then you can pick an area to work on where there’s room for improvement and growth.

Yep, it’s writing-stuff-down time! ๐Ÿ˜€

1.1 Make a list of the main areas of your life

First, I’d like you to make a list of the main areas of your life which you have been focusing your time and energy on lately. This might include:

  • career
  • relationships
  • fun/social

And anything else you can think of. I won’t give you too many examples, because I want you to think about this for yourself. For example, one of your main areas might end up “guitar playing”, if it’s really that important to you that it deserves its own category.

Note that if there’s an area of your life you haven’t been focusing on but would really like to, that belongs on the list as well.

Once you have this list, I’d like you to narrow it down to 4-8 of the main areas. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with options before we even begin.

Go ahead, write them down.

1.2 Rate each of those areas from 1-10 based on how satisfied you are with it

Next, I’d like you to give it some thought, and rate each of those areas on a scale from 1 to 10, ten being the highest, based on how satisfied you are with your current situation.

Note, it’s not how good you are, or how successful, but how satisfied you are with the current situation. For example, if you have almost no social life because you spend all your days working, but you’re okay with that for the next couple of months because it’s a very important stage of your business, then you might give yourself a 10 on your social life.

Take a few moments to do this now.

Chances are, some of your areas did better than others. If you scored a 9 or a 10, you’re doing fine. An 8 is iffy, and anything from 7 below can definitely be improved.

I’d like you to take a good long look at the areas you’re not very satisfied with, and pick which one you would like to begin improving first.

Because that’s what you’ll be working with throughout the rest of this article.

Once you have gone through this guide, you can make a full-fledged personal development plan by applying the exercises to the other areas of your life. But for now, we will focus on one main area, because it’s better if you truly grasp the concepts well with a clear example in mind, instead of mucking things up by focusing on too much at once.

1.3 Figuring out your ideal situation

Have you got an area of your life in mind yet? Because we’ll be working with that now.

Just start daydreaming, and imagine what the ideal situation would be, in the long-term (many years from now).

To give you some clear examples instead of vague generalities, I will show you what I got when I was making my own personal development plan a while ago. Specifically, I’ll talk about the area of my life to do with friendships.

At the time, I was studying at university. And my ideal situation with friendships would have been having half a dozen to a dozen closer friends (as well as the usual acquaintances). People who I could call up to hang out in the park when the weather was nice, or to go rock-climbing, or cook up some mean Indian food together with. And meeting up with someone often, nearly every day of the week, to do various fun stuff, or just nothing at all.

Go ahead, daydream about how your chosen part of your life would ideally look, if you could do anything you wanted…

Feels exciting? ๐Ÿ˜€

Now let’s pull a bit closer to the present. Pick a medium-term future. Say, somewhere between 3 months and 1 year from now.

Imagine how you would like your ideal situation to be then. In my example, this doesn’t really change anything. But if you’re focusing on the business side of your life, for example, it’s a good idea to pull closer to the present with a 1-year dream, and even 3-month dream. This helps you move from vague daydreaming (as pleasant as it is) towards making those dreams a reality.

Go ahead, think about your specific middle-term goal.

Once you have it, start imagining it in great detail. How you would feel when you wake up in the morning. What you would do during the day. The people you would meet. The things you would say to yourself.

Do NOT neglect this step. It might sound small and simple, but it’s incredibly powerful. Firstly, it gets you excited and motivated, bye the Pain And Pleasure Principle. Secondly, it sets up cognitive dissonance in your mind. That’s where your brain holds two conflicting thoughts, gets uncomfortable, and tries to resolve the conflict by changing one of the thoughts.

In the case of imagining your ideal situation, your brain will start looking for opportunities to start moving towards it. And trust me, those opportunities are all around you. You just haven’t been noticing them until now.

To clarify, imagine you’re at a cocktail party, engrossed in an interesting conversation. Now imagine, that in one conversation out of many, 3 metres (10 feet) away, somebody mentions your name. What do you think are the chances that you will notice?

Very, very good! There’s a region in your brain called the amygdala which is responsible for filtering all the hundreds of sensory inputs you get every second, and choosing which select few to let through to your conscious mind, because they might be important to you. So despite the general noise and several other conversations you and the one where your name was mentioned, you will notice.

Similarly, once you start visualising your ideal situation, your amygdala will catch on that this is important to you and start filtering for opportunities that might move your closer to your goal.

So take your time to imagine it, in full detail. This little time investment of 5 minutes is extremely worth it.

1.4 Get very specific about what you want

One big difference between a dream and a goal is being specific about what you want.

A dream is a vague fuzzy thing you like to think about to make yourself happy. A goal is a specific prospect, and by gosh, you’re going to make it happen!

One word of warning – for now, don’t worry about how you will achieve your goal. That will come in steps 3 – Generating options, and 4 – Goalsetting. For now, we simply figure out what it is you want! (There’s a reason this solid structure works. Trust me.)

For now, just eliminate any vagueness and make it specific. Exactly when is your “middle-term” goal? How will you know when you have achieved it? Also eliminate any vague words.

In my case of friendships, I decided to set my middle-term goal 6 months away. I wanted to have at least 6 close friends, with whom I would hang out weekly, and I wanted to do fun stuff five days of the week. Whether it’s going out swing dancing or tossing a frisbee in a park, or anything else.

Recap your goal, and make sure to get rid of any vagueness. You can even talk to a friend about it, and let them help you, if you want. (It always helps to get an outsider’s perspective.)

Go ahead. Think about it. Then write it down.

Okay, by now you should have:

  • a list of 4-8 main areas of your life
  • a number next to each of those areas signifying how satisfied you are with the current situation
  • a clear vision for one of your chosen areas, with a clear deadline and specific things that will let you know when you’ve achieved it

If you missed out any of those steps, go back now and do the exercises before reading on. This guide will still be here when you get back.

Step 2 – Bridging the gap between your goal and your current life

Now that you know what your ideal situation would be, it’s time to compare it to your present situation.

That way, you’ll know how big a chasm stands between your reality and your dream situation, which will later help you build just the right bridge to cross that chasm.

After that we’ll have a good hard look at everything you already possess that will help you move towards your ideal situation!

2.1 How does your current situation compare to the ideal?

For this section, I will mainly just ask you a bunch of questions. And I’d like you to take your time and answer them thoroughly.

I won’t be telling you how to change your life for the better, because you know best what works for your particular situation. Hey, it’s your personal development plan, not mine!

  • What do you spend your time on, during a typical week?

Make a list of the biggest categories you spend your time on, like work, sleep, commute, cooking, watching TV, social, and anything else you want to ad. And figure out how much time you spend on each of them, during a typical week.

  • Are you happy with how you spend your time?

And now, with the chosen area of your life in mind:

  • How, specifically, will you know that you have achieved your ideal situation?
  • Where are you now, in terms of that goal?
  • What needs to happen for you to move from here to there?

(Take the time to answer those questions.)

2.2 What resources do you already have?

For this second part, we will find out what assets you currently have that could help you move towards your ideal goal. Take a few moments to answer the questions below:

  • What skills do you already have, that could help you move towards your ideal situation ?
  • What relevant knowledge do you already have?
  • Who do you know that could help you?
  • What tangible resources do you have that could come in useful?
  • What skills/knowledge do you need to gain?

(I highlighted the third question because it’s very, very important. Take the time to think it through.)

And to give you a real-life example, when I answered the above questions about my chosen area of life, friendships…

I found out that I already had plenty of acquaintances. I also had two or three good friends, but wasn’t really spending much time with them. (Ah, ha!). I found out I had the relevant social skills needed to meet people, as well as several interests (chess, swing dancing, juggling…) that could help me meet others if I didn’t discover enough people I really clicked with in my existing circle of acquaintances.

This section might take a bit of time to answer, but it’s well worth it. Yes, it might take you some 10-15 minutes, or even longer just to answer those questions properly. That can seem like one hell of a long time while you’re reading an article online.

But it’s just 15 minutes. Just a drop in the lake of your life. But like a drop of an indicator in a bucket of hydroxide, a single drop is enough to turn the whole lot pink.

(Okay, I’m not sure where I was going with that analogy…)

By the time you’re done with Step 2, you should have:

  • A clear understanding of what needs to change for you to move from your current situation to your ideal situation, in the one chosen area of your life
  • A list of assets you already have that will help you achieve that

Step 3 – Generating options

You now have an area of your life in mind, and you know what your ideal situation would be and what needs to happen to bridge the gap between the ideal and your current situation.

In this step, you will come up with tons of actions you could take that will help you move towards your ideal goal.

Please note: It is crucial to separate this step, Generating options, from the next one –ย Goalsetting. Because even though they deal with the exact same thing – the actions that will help you move from where you are to where you want to be – they are fundamentally different.

This step is all about getting creative, broadening your thinking and coming up with plans of action you might have never considered before. The next (and last) step is all about focusing, narrowing down your options, and setting clear deadlines for the actions you plan to take soon.

And you cannot be both creative and focused at the same time, because the two states of mind are directly contradictory. In fact, they are caused by contradictory brain chemicals, so you physically cannot be really focused and creative at the same time.

One of the biggest causes of overwhelm and getting stuck is when you try to do both steps at the same time. And it’s also one of the reasons why this method of personal development planning is so damn effective for helping you get unstuck and starting to move towards the life you want!

3.1 It’s brainstorming time!

It’s time to pick up your pen again.

Now, you can do this part in two ways (or any other way, really, if it works for you):

  • make a long list of actions you could take
  • turn your sheet of paper sideways, and start with your central theme in a bubble at the centre. Then draw lines branching out to sub-themes and split those down until you get to specific actions

Neither is right with the other being wrong. They are just different approaches, and either of them might be better for you. I like to use either of them, depending on the situation.

Just note one thing – it’s important to drill down until you get to specific actionable steps.

To give you a different example, when I was applying this to my life coaching – “find out more about how to get life coaching clients” isn’t an actionable step. It’s a wish.

On the other hand:

  • e-mail Eddy and ask to look at his materials regarding getting new clients
  • google “how to get more life coaching clients”
  • call up Chuck and ask him how he got his clients when he was starting out

Are all actionable steps. When you look at them, you don’t need to do any more thinking, you know exactly where to go and what to do. That’s what you want to drill down to.

Okay, time to get writing. Grab your piece of paper and pen, and get ready.

In this step, I won’t be able to give you much guidance, because it mostly comes down to you coming up with options. I’ll just throw out a couple of questions that might push you in new directions of thought:

  • Who could you ask for help or information?
  • Who in your life knows a lot about your chosen area to improve?
  • What phrases could you search for online to get some more ideas?
  • If you weren’t afraid at all, if you were like James Bond, what would you do?
  • If money weren’t an issue, what would you do?
  • What would [insert any character you admire] do?
  • What else could you do?

Go ahead, make your list!

For now, do NOT censor your list, or trim it down. That’s a focused thing to do, and would sabotage your creative thinking. Don’t worry about writing down crazy and stupid stuff, because we’ll trim that down in the next step. For now, just write!

And only when you have loads and loads of possible actions, then it’s time to move on to the next step. Where you will move from thinking and planning to setting clear goals and taking action!

Step 4 – Goalsetting

Alright! It’s time to take all the planning you’ve done so far, and use it to make your ideal situation a reality!

In this step, we’ll focus mainly on how to make sure you take action, once you decide what you want to do. Because it would be a shame to figure out exactly what you want, what needs to happen to get there and come up with many great ways to move towards it… only to fall victim to procrastination.

As promised, this is a complete method for making a personal development plan. And by now, you have gone through the big-picture stuff of figuring out what you want from life, through finding the gap between your ideal situation and your current life, and coming up with specific options to make it happen. And now we’re about to drill down to specific goals and make sure you start moving towards your ideal life today!

Luckily, I have a quite a few tricks up my sleeve to help you with this one ๐Ÿ˜‰

4.1 How to pick the actions you want to take

I assume you have a big list of possible actions from step 3.

I’ll leave you to pick which actions to take. You are the most qualified person to decide which ones you want to take, and which ones make you feel “meh”.

But I’ll give you a few pointers, to make sure you maximize your chances of getting them done.

Firstly, do not pick too many actions at once. That can easily leave you feeling overwhelmed, and increases your chance of procrastinating.

Instead, here’s what I propose. Pick three actions from your list:

  • one that you can take action on within the next 24 hours (ideally immediately)
  • one that you can take action on within the next 48 hours
  • one that you can take action on within the next week

And set a deadline, a week from now, right down to the minute, by which you will have accomplished all of them.

Once you have more experience with goalsetting, and getting things done (or right now, if you already do), you will be able to tweak this model. Sometimes you might choose more than three actions to accomplish in the next week, because you will know how much of what type of action will not leave you overwhelmed. Sometimes you might pick a longer deadline than a week.

But unless you have loads of experience with goalsetting, I suggest you just pick three actions, and make the deadline a week from now.

Because having three actions that you will definitely accomplish is much better than having six that you will maybe accomplish.

Go ahead, pick your three actions from your list now!

4.2 How to massively increase your chances of getting it done

Okay, what I will share with you now is probably the second most important thing you can do with regards to making a personal development plan. (Right after deciding to grab a pen and paper at the beginning, and writing down your goals and ideas.)

Because no matter how much you plan and daydream, your life will stay exactly the same until you take action to change it!

What follows is a list of time-proven ways to massively increase your chances of actually taking those actions you picked!

This involves racking up the perceived pleasure of taking action and the perceived pain of not taking action.

Just take some time to imagine how awesome your life will be in the future, after you have consistently taken action to improve the chosen area of your life. Then imagine how you would feel if you didn’t take any action – the same old situation, the same old pain, dragging on for years…

Your emotional mind will never respond to logical reasons, but it responds very readily to vivid imagination. And since motivation comes from your emotions, the Pain and Pleasure Principle is hands down the most direct way to kick up your motivation!

  • Make your goals public

Share your goal and the actions you want to take on twitter. On your blog, if you have one. On facebook. Tell your friends.

This way, you will have the public pressure on you if you fail… but also the celebration and joy of your friends and acquaintances when you succeed!

(Warning: Some people claim that making your goals public is actually counter-productive, because talking about your goals gives you the illusion of doing something and reduces your drive to actually do something. So… it works for me, but your mileage may vary.)

  • Get a “personal development buddy”

One of the many things I provide my life coaching clients is accountability. Knowing that once they’ve agreed to take action, I will be there, making sure they take it. Holding their hand when it needs holding and kicking their ass when it needs kicking.

So here’s my suggestion. Get a friend, and send them a link to this article.

Let them read through the whole thing, and if they’re interested, let them set their own goals, and then you can keep each other accountable!

This is hands down one of the most effective ways to get motivated and stay motivated, so if you’re going to apply one single idea from this list, make it the buddy system!

  • Write down your goals and keep them in a prominent place

If you see your goals several times each day, they will get drilled deeper into your subconscious, and you will have a better chance of taking action on them. It helps you keep your mind on exactly when the next convenient time take each of your chosen action is.

  • Take the first action immediately

And finally, a simple but surprisingly effective advice. Taking action is a habit… and often the most important step is breaking through the activation energy and taking the first step. After that, keeping your momentum going is comparatively trivial.

So if you have any action on your list from the Options phase that you could take immediately, do it!

What to do next

Okay, this brings us to a close. You now have a thorough, effective method for making a personal development plan.

Now that you’ve finished reading through this, it’s time to go through all the steps with other areas of your life in mind. Just make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself by setting too many goals for the same week. You’ll be far better off getting three important actions done every week for a year (giving you over 150 life-changing actions), rather than setting too many at once, failing to achieve them and losing motivation after three weeks.

If you enjoyed this article, I would really appreciate it if you could spread the word by stumbling, tweeting, sharing on facebook, or any other method of sharing you prefer.

(image courtesy of bohman)

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Matthew July 27, 2011 at 16:32

I’m enjoying and still reading through this massive post of yours, but have one minor issue so far: In step one, you ask us to break our lives down into major areas. Easily done. But in part four of step one, you ask us to set goals for one of the areas. My issue is that my major areas are fairly interconnected. To have goals in one requires goals in the others.

Other than that, your posts has, so far, helped me clarify a few things, for which you have my many thanks. I’m sure I’ll get even more out of it as I work through it, but just wanted to give you something to think about the possibility of improving your methodology.


Vlad Dolezal July 27, 2011 at 19:24

Hmmm… I’m giving that quite a bit of thought, Matt.

Is there any chance you could share some of your main life areas, and how their goals relate to one another? Or are they too personal? (It’s okay if you don’t want to share.). I think a clear example would help me better wrap my head around your point.


Matt July 27, 2011 at 19:48

No problem, Vlad. I took my top five values, which I admit aren’t the most discrete categories, and added a sixth:

Family – I’m open to getting married, but want kids more than anything.
Community – I want to have my own house to live the rest of my life in and have a close group of friends.
Exploration – I want to travel the world, learn about everything, and
have a lot of experiences.
Creativity – I want to work with many art forms, including writing,
drawing, gardening, programming, engineering, and music.
Flow – I want to have strong balance and flow through aikido and dance.
Self – I want to have faith in myself about accomplishing the above.

These are the broad goals, which I later narrowed down. There isn’t enough room for all of that here. You can infer many of the goals from above. The easiest example of how they connect is to look at having a group of close friends (in Community). I can best accomplish this by doing activities in the Exploration, Creativity, and Flow.


Vlad Dolezal July 29, 2011 at 09:47

Alright, Matt, I’ve given it plenty of thought.

I think that if you’re aware of your other general areas, the chances are good you will come up with actions that relate to other goals of yours when you’re doing step 3.

Maybe it would be better to first figure out all the big goals (i.e. going through step 1 for all your major life areas), and only then going through the rest of the steps for them, one by one?

Cheers for getting me to think about this!


kadi October 19, 2012 at 18:28

thank you very much you have been helpful


Sandi Dean August 1, 2011 at 05:06

I stumbled onto your website while browsing for “positive” things on the internet – poems, quotes, art, whatever … I am trying to focus on positiveness as I begin my life once more. The death of my father, a serious car accident, my divorce and loss of my business all occurred in a very short period of time. My elder son became very ill and had to move home as my last child was leaving home. Then a fall down some stairs and ensuing surgeries, the death of my son and the death of a man I had met a year after my divorce (and was seriously and exclusively dating) all occurred in another batch three years later. I didn’t quite catch my breath or cycle through the grief and changes without another crisis overlapping. Instead I went into deep depression and operated rote for the last four years. This last six months, I have awoken … and find myself, like Rip VanWinkle, unable to remember much detail of the last four to seven years. I am working full time (too many hours actually). I actually don’t remember what foods I used to like! Or what I like to do. I have isolated myself and lost contact with friends I used to have. It is very strange. I am taking small steps forward towards gaining back myself and enjoying life. I had goals when I was married and operating my business. I am working on developing goals as well as catching up on house and yard work (oh my poor yard…) and paperwork and self care (doctor/dentist/etc). I get a bit overwhelmed at how much there is to do and the tendency is to want to crawl back into my “unfeeling world”. I am fighting (actually have to fight as I have figured out depression zaps energy) to accomplish small goals daily and weekly, nipping away at the huge mounds of things that need to be done. This weekend I actually went on a date with an old school friend who has been asking me out for coffee for over a year now. (He was way toooo much in the line of romance for a first date, especially for me…lol!). I am reading your whole website to help me get some order to what I need to do. I want to thank you for posting this here. I realized you are a life coach and earn your living in that way. I am just able to afford at this point the co-pays on my medical visits. Hence, I am not able to visit with counselors or life coaches just yet. Your site is a blessing, just to help me get organized. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Vlad Dolezal August 1, 2011 at 22:47

I’m glad to be of any help I can, Sadin.

That being said, if you can get the money together in any way, I would definitely recommend you see a therapist. In my experience, those people are most qualified to help you in a situation like yours, and could recognize a lot of stuff you might be struggling with without even being aware of it. (For example, an imbalance in your brain chemicals that might be severely messing with your mood and energy levels.)


farouk August 1, 2011 at 14:42

that was comprehensive, well written and full of amazing tips
thank you for this Post Vlad ๐Ÿ™‚


Vlad Dolezal August 1, 2011 at 22:50

I do what I can ๐Ÿ˜‰


Adam Akbar August 7, 2011 at 11:33

this post will go into my gratitude list, thanks Mr. Vlad ๐Ÿ˜€


Vlad Dolezal August 8, 2011 at 13:36

And your comment will go on mine ๐Ÿ˜‰


Debi August 7, 2011 at 15:31

A great deal of really helpful tools. A lot to digest and put into action. This would be a great e-book.


Vlad Dolezal August 8, 2011 at 13:35

Funnily enough, I did put more or less this exact content into an e-book. If you’re interested, shoot me an e-mail and I’ll send you a copy.


Personal growth August 9, 2011 at 14:19

. Hi,
thanks for your nice article about Personal growth. It helps me for research.


Lucy March 3, 2012 at 23:31


What a great piece of writing! It’s really helped me with not only my college project, but also in creating my own PDP to enable me to live the life I want to live.

I truly believe that whatever we are truly passionate about, and whole-heartedly believe in, the Universe will provide us.
It’s all about the Law of Attraction, hopes and dreams, aspirations and inspirarions, passion and self belief.

I’ve recently read about mind power and the power of positivity and I can tell you now that it has totally changed the way that I think and my outlook on life! We are free to be whoever we want to be and our lives are in our hands.

Thank you for this article it was a fantastic help!

All the best,



Vlad Dolezal March 4, 2012 at 10:15

Hey Lucy! Glad you liked the article.

As much as I like positive thinking, I also believe your life won’t change no matter how much you sit in your arm-chair and visualize things, unless you also take action on it. That’s why I like putting together a personal development plan ๐Ÿ˜‰


Alexander November 11, 2012 at 08:45

most of people don’t understand how plans make easy their life.
Even if plan crashes.
I think there is too much words in the article.
But I’m seeing author had a good experience as 1.1 or 1.1.1 numbering shows ๐Ÿ™‚ and suggesting a format like number. letter. number. letter and so on.
Also was mentioned word processor . very,very convinuent thing for making plans. especially tablets.
Also would like the author to add some philosophy else (every clever one fond of) .

very good books were written for thinking men!
Thank you otherwise.


udyan November 19, 2012 at 06:20

hey vlad
this was amazing. i often set myself weekly tasks but was failing persistently to the extent i lately didn’t even bother to take the first step after a plan. left me stressed and frustrated. but thanks to you i know i was overwhelming my self with to many actions and that only discouraged demotivated me. i have made a weekly plan as per the directions above and hope i can fulfill it this time…
great work man and you helped many in need…


Noha January 6, 2013 at 10:32

It is long post I will bookmark it now for later read.. Thank You
Nohaยดs last post ..11 Ways To Develop An Awesome Personality


Chris January 24, 2013 at 02:40

right on time…thank you


Renaud n Sarah January 29, 2013 at 00:02

Wow, Great article I got a lot from it! ๐Ÿ™‚
I especially like the part about the personal development buddy!

Keep on, your content is great


Kevin February 20, 2013 at 21:25

What about the situation where to have to achieve your goal (to be better at my job) you have to do something you don’t like? For example, I would like to know more about what is going on in work in terms of performance issues, new technologies, just general small talk with people, asking people for their advice on certain technical stuff,…etc But I do not necessarily want to talk to people. I am pretty introverted, quite and shy guy so I am not sure this is something I can do. Although I can be extroverted in other environments…What would you advice be? tks

I came to this question after going through your PDP which is good and I am trying to do the action part but this is my problem, To achive my goal, should I do something I don’t really like doing?


Vlad Dolezal February 22, 2013 at 04:38

Hi Kevin,

the answer depends on a couple of factors. Firstly, is it something that goes strongly against your values, or is it simply something that you find uncomfortable? If it’s the former, you’ll have to figure out if the tradeoff is worth it. If it’s the latter, that’s much easier – you can just work on expanding your comfort zone in that direction! See this post for details:

Let me know if this answers your question.


Lisa March 4, 2013 at 23:26

Hi Vlad,
This article is truly great ! it’s been a long time that I wanted to change some areas in my life without knowing how and being frustrated because time passed and nothing changed. After reading this article, I feel that I took my firt real step to change my life ! I have several areas I want to change in my life and I did the exercise with an easy area (area: sports /goal: semi-marathon). Trying to imagine how would I feel taking actions or not taking any actions gave me motivation and helped me to understand why I want to give more importance to sports in my life. It will be a little bit more difficult to apply this method to other areas but I’m more confident for my future now ! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚


Vlad Dolezal March 6, 2013 at 08:53

Glad it’s getting you motivated, Lisa!

Now just make sure you get all the way to the action-taking step ๐Ÿ˜‰


Angula Paulus April 26, 2013 at 14:17

i truely like this


Becky May 6, 2013 at 11:22

Thank you so much Vlad. This article has been very helpful to me. I just recently discovered your blog and I can’t stop telling everyone about it! ๐Ÿ™‚


Vlad Dolezal May 16, 2013 at 09:39

Cheers, Becky, glad you like it!


Mila June 2, 2013 at 12:06

Hi Vlad,
Thanks a lot for sharing this information, it is very useful.. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am planning to enrol a Master, and the application asks me: how the degree will help my personal development?

Can I state as a development objective my vision in my career, I mean, can I say where I see myself working in 5 years?

Please advise ๐Ÿ™‚




Vlad Dolezal June 3, 2013 at 08:48

Yes, I’m pretty sure that will be a good answer.



Ell R Doka July 23, 2013 at 17:06

amazing article, i was tempted to do my PDP just for the sake of fullfiling an obligation at work then realised that i would be selling myself cheap. i came across this article, what an amazing experience.

thank you, here is a taost to my journey of transformation


Jayson Blake August 7, 2013 at 02:14

Maybe you can post something that shows what this should like when it is completed? That would be totally amazing:) thnx.


Sam August 16, 2013 at 05:32

Vlad, this is of great help to me, I am leading a Team and started on their development program in motivating them to improve their performance and career development. In the process of developing the Team I am also doing a lot of self learning.



Michelle September 1, 2013 at 11:51

Hi Vlad, ๐Ÿ™‚

I am grateful that your article gives me an specific method or steps on how to trim down my goals in life. Every year I am doing and working with what I can improve in my life, unfortunately I was lost because I wanted to finish it in unrealistic time. But now, because of your guide I will start doing my action plans slowly but surely. Thank you and Congratulations!


estifanos teklemariam September 4, 2013 at 08:19

Dolezal, i was trying to have my own personal development plan even starting two years ago. i was far away from internet access in that time of years. But now i get the access and determined to have my own personal plan by extensively using some articles like what you write as an input. For the first time i needed help from internet, i got your tip-really -incrediple i got it. Thank you,Dolezal.


Cj September 9, 2013 at 02:32

Vlad, i hope to get more of this article, Am greatful…


oetjock August 20, 2014 at 12:37

Vlad, I read in the text “bye the Pain And Pleasure Principle.”
What do you mean with the word ‘bye’? Does it say to suggest leaving that principle, or is it a typo?


Abby September 5, 2014 at 16:28

Thanks so much for writing this. It really helped me start a more framed process for studying Swedish!


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