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Looking for a personal development plan template to jumpstart your goals?
In life, you can almost guarantee that you’ll eventually come up against challenges that test how well you can cope.
Having a personal development plan makes you better equipped to handle the pressure in all aspects of your life.
But what exactly is a personal development plan?
This self-improvement tool helps you identify what you need to work on to achieve what you want and face the challenges that life throws your way. What you want could be related to improving the quality of your life, becoming a better version of who you are, or reaching greater heights in your chosen profession or your personal relationships.
Writing down your personal development plan conditions your mind to be receptive to opportunities that help manifest your goals. Neuroscience explains how this works.
What You Will Learn
- Three Reasons Why You Need a Personal Development Plan
- The Components of a Personal Development Plan
- 11 Best Personal Development Plan Templates and Printables
- Final Thoughts About PDPs
Three Reasons Why You Need a Personal Development Plan
Working on personal development offers the following benefits:
1. Raises self-awareness – Working on your personal development is an opportunity to do some self-evaluation. It calls your attention to the aspects of yourself that need improvement. Through this exercise, you develop a clearer picture of your core values and get in touch with your authentic self. (Check out this core values quizzes to help identify what matters most to you.)
2. Gives you a confidence boost – As you see the positive results of improving yourself, you gain more confidence. And when you work on areas you’ve identified as your weaknesses, you transform them into personal strengths, making you even more confident in your abilities.
3. Strengthens you – As you continue to work on self-improvement, you will naturally work on improving your key strengths. You will learn how to utilize what you’re good at in order to get closer to your goals.
The Components of a Personal Development Plan
An effective personal development plan follows a certain structure to help you achieve your goals of improving yourself. The process includes:
Below, we’ve rounded up a number of template samples to help you on your journey of self-growth.
11 Best Personal Development Plan Templates and Printables
1. 3 Steps to a 5-Year Plan
This template was designed to help you identify your five-year plan, as well as your life and daily goals.
The creator of this template pinpointed five categories for your goals: personal, family/social, financial/equity, bucket list, and career.
There is a designated space where you can write your goals in relation to their groupings.
When using this template, you need to write down your life plans first. This part represents your long-term goals.
Dream as big as you can!
Next, the five-year plan contains the baby steps you need to take in order to reach your life goals. This might mean, for example, enrolling in a course that equips you for your dream career.
In goal-setting parlance, the five-year plan is equivalent to your short-term goals. (You might want to check out this post for examples of short-term goals.)
Finally, the daily plan features all the actions you need to do to help you reach your five-year plan.
Want to become conversant in French? Then daily practice is in order. You might want to use an app to help you master a foreign language.
Aspiring to make a major purchase in five years’ time? Tracking your expenses could be the first step toward achieving this goal.
2. Sepia Personal Development Plan
This sepia-hued template helps you identify your personal areas for development. There is a space to put in the goal’s projected date of completion.
For every area of improvement, there are also spaces where you can write other elements related to the fulfillment of your goal, such as:
3. Plan of a Winner
via Mind Of A Winner
Personal development plans are like a roadmap—they can show where you’re currently at. Also, they show your destination and all the possible routes that can take you there.
This template from Mind of a Winner is one such roadmap to success. There is sufficient space to list down three major plans, plus the following:
4. PDP Presentation Template
This template is specifically designed to help you flesh out your personal development plan.
In this presentation template, you’ll get to know yourself more deeply. You’ll have the opportunity to identify areas in your life that need improvement.
It allows you to pinpoint skills that you currently possess, and that you can utilize to achieve your goals. The slide template also helps you recognize areas where new skills are needed so that you can acquire them accordingly.
This template is available for PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Apple Keynote.
5. Simple Excel Template
via Progress Ninja
Does it feel like you lack direction when it comes to your personal progress? Do you sometimes feel that your efforts are being wasted?
This simple template helps you find the deeper meaning in what you’re doing. It anchors you to what matters most—to the areas that are key to your happiness.
Each person has a unique source of inspiration. In this example, in order for the creator to find personal success, the following aspects need to be addressed:
What drives you to go the extra mile?
6. Going Exactly Where You Want to Be
This personal development worksheet lists several guide questions to help you determine worthwhile long- and short-term goals.
It works to help you focus on what you really want to achieve in life.
Some of the questions you’ll be prompted to answer in this worksheet in relation to your goals include:
It takes about half an hour to answer the questions. Have some coffee or tea ready as you fill in the worksheet!
7. Deluxe Personal Development Plan
This personal development pack contains helpful tools to help you succeed. It can be used for identifying and working toward personal and professional goals.
The 23-page self-reflection tool will help you:
8. Personal Development Plan Workbook
This no-frills workbook helps you set goals, whether short-term or long-term ones.
It also contains a worksheet for SWOT analysis, allowing you to identify the specific things that will help you move forward and transform into a better version of what you are right now.
Furthermore, the workbook has a page for you to write down your action plans, as well as notes and reminders related to your goals.
Finally, you can write down your thoughts on the reflection page to identify what actions worked and which ones didn’t.
9. Minimalist PDP
via Myrko Thum
If you’re looking for a minimalist template for your personal development plan, you might want to try this one from Myrko Thum.
In this plan, you will be able to identify areas in your life you want to develop. Myrko Thum lists at least seven areas:
There is also a column for the goals you want to achieve, and another for setting deadlines for achieving them.
As with most templates, this one also has a column for success criteria, so you can measure if and when you’ve achieved your goal.
Lastly, a column is assigned for each of your action plans and some notes. This template is unnumbered, so you are free to list as many goals as you want.
10. Word PDP
This template is downloadable as an MS Word document.
It is slightly similar to sample #6, which uses guide questions as prompts for identifying your current state, desired state, and what you need to do to get there.
Within these main areas are several other questions to get down to the core of your goal-setting and action planning.
Finally, it prompts you to set a timeline for the fulfillment of your plan.
11. PDP Outline
via Slide Geeks
This template is designed for presentation use. It gives an outline of your personal development plan. The slide elements you can fill out include:
This presentation outline is compatible with PowerPoint and Google Slides.
Final Thoughts About PDPs
Having a written plan for your goals, especially those related to personal development, makes it easier to achieve them.
We hope that the personal development plan template samples we featured today will give you focus and inspiration to finally achieve your goal of becoming a better version of yourself.
Meanwhile, for further resources, you might want to check out this post for our book recommendations on the topic of personal development and our top choices for the best personal development podcasts.
Finally, if you’re looking for examples of personal development goals for work and life, this post is worth checking out.
Never stop improving!