How To Create A Personal Growth Plan

If you’re anything like me, you love a good personal development book and podcast.

Learning about how to “better your life” is something you love to do.

Something that’s often misunderstood, though, is that reading and listening to podcasts is helpful to get started, but it won’t get you the mindset shifts you’re looking for.

That’s where applying personal growth tools come in.

You can apply personal growth tools to your life and change your thoughts (mindset), attitude, feelings, actions, habits, and other aspects of your personality.

If you’re completely new to applying growth tools to your life, one simple way to get started is to create a Personal Growth Plan.

A Personal Growth Plan can help you stay on track and focus on your goal of growing as a person.

How To Create A Personal Growth Plan

A personal growth plan is a tool to help you change your mindset and lead a more purpose driven life.

Here are the 5 steps to creating a Personal Growth Plan…

To jump ahead, you can download your very own Personal Growth Plan now by clicking on the button below!

Step 1: Increase your awareness

Step 1 is to increase your awareness of where you are now.

This means taking a look at the main life categories and evaluating how you’re doing and who you’re being.

The 8 Life Categories are:

  1. Mental and Emotional Health
  2. Physical Health
  3. Relationships (Marriage, Family, Kids)
  4. Career
  5. Money
  6. Personal Growth
  7. Fun and Play
  8. Contribution

Most areas of your life should fit into one of these categories. If not, feel free to adjust these categories, as needed to fit your lifestyle.

Here are 3 questions to ask to evaluate how you’re doing in each category:

  • What are the facts of my current circumstances in this category? Example: I’m married with two kids.
  • What would the title of the book be in this category? And what’s my main story about it? Example Title: My Family Is Too Busy To Spend Time Together. Example Story: Husband works too much. Kids have so many activities. None of us feel connected.
  • How do you feel about this category? Example: stressed

This process will help you increase your awareness of where you are now. It’s like the starting point in your GPS.


Step 2: Decide what you want to change

Step 2 is to decide what you want to change in each area.

You may not want to change anything.

For example, you may find that right now your career isn’t a priority but that you want to focus on changing how your family enjoys being at home together.

The key is to decide deliberately what you want to keep the same and what you want to change.

For each life category above, answer these prompts:

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, my overall satisfaction with this life category is: [rate using the number scale]
  2. In this life category, I want to change: [put new desired results—be specific]
  3. In this life category, I want to keep this the same: [acknowledge what you have and love]
  4. If anything was possible in this category, my dream is…

This step is all about deciding where you want to go. It’s the “destination” in the GPS. You need it to know where to head in your Personal Growth Plan, otherwise, you’ll just drift and may end up somewhere unintended that you don’t like.


Step 3: Brainstorm the steps for change

Step 3 is to brainstorm the steps to move you from where you are now (Step 1) to where you want to go (Step 2).

The biggest hangup my students and clients have in this category is feeling overwhelmed by wanting to change so much all at once. So, be aware of this normal human tendency to want to be overzealous and do it all.

Instead, you can rest assured, you’ll be able to achieve your goals over time, and there’s no rush. After all, the best way to improve your personal growth is to know that deep down this is a life-long journey that’s never done.

To create the steps to move you from where you are now to where you want to go, do the following:

  • Brainstorm a list of 10 steps you can take right now, based on your starting point.
  • Put this list of steps in order of what you’d like to focus on first.
  • Create a list of possible obstacles that may come up and how you can solve them (in Grow You, I call this “turning obstacles into strategies”).
  • Note any specific habits that would make your change easier.

Step 4: Take action and track your progress

Step 4 is to take action and track your progress

This means you commit to taking enough action to get the results you want. You shouldn’t go into overwhelm or burnout for this. You should instead commit to the result you want, long-term.

First, start small, taking action that moves you just slightly forward from where you are now.

For example, if you want to spend more time together as a family, you might decide the next best step to try is Sunday Dinners, where the entire family sits down and eats dinner together every Sunday night.

This is a small step forward. It’s what I call, “meeting yourself where you are” so that you’re not making too much change too fast.

Your brain likes small changes, over time.

After you take action, evaluate, tracking your progress as you go.

Evaluate what worked and what didn’t. The more you evaluate the more you’ll develop skills of resilience, determination, and contentment. You’ll stay grounded in your progress and your personal development plan.

It reminds me of this amazing Edison quote…

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. — Thomas Edison

You’re going to have some challenges on the journey of transformation.

No matter how “good” and consistent you are, you’ll have setbacks and failures. This is normal! In fact, it’s expected. Nothing has gone wrong at all. The more you can really master your mindset and thinking, the easier this is. (This is the power of working in a mindfulness community as you do personal growth. You’ll get help with your mindset on your journey, making sure you stay on track.)

One important point for this step is you don’t need a detailed plan of every step from your Step 1 to your Step 2 ahead of time. You don’t need to know the exact “how” in your transformation. You just need to be intentional about your next step, then evaluate what works and what doesn’t, then try something else and start the process again. Test and evaluate. That’s the name of the personal growth game. 🙂


Step 5: Follow your plan

Step 5 is to follow your Personal Growth Plan.

This is often the most challenging part.

To help you out here, I recommend doing the following:

  • Put specific actions on your calendar in time slots.
  • Add reminders (or alarms) on your phone so that you’re alerted when you should be doing something.
  • Have a designated time to check in every week.
  • Listen to this Reducing Overwhelm podcast episode.
  • Download the Personal Growth Plan Template (see below).

Personal Growth Plan Template

To create your very own Personal Growth Plan, download my Personal Growth Plan Template by clicking the button below.

How To Create A Personal Growth Plan

In this template, you’ll have detailed prompts for creating your step by step Personal Growth Plan, including room to write lists, take notes, and answer the important questions for creating your Plan.

You’re going to love this!

A Final Note!

One thing I love about personal growth goals is that they’re uniquely you.

Whether you’re a stay at home mom and want to be more present in the day to day or you’re in Corporate America full time and want more work life balance, you can use the Personal Growth Plan to design your most extraordinary life. And that is amazing.