The best personal development plan in the world is not much use if you do not use it. So you need to put as least as much thought into how to put your plan into action as you did in writing it.
Your plan will not happen of it own accord so you need to think long and hard about how you are going to implement it. You need to make time available to work on it. You need to anticipate problems that may arise and prepare a plan to deal with them. You also need to keep track of the progress you make with it. Evaluate this progress along the way and decide where to go from there.
Decide how you will measure your personal development progress
If at all possible you should measure the progress you make each day. For example if your goal is to lose weight you should record how well you keep to your diet and the exercise you do each day. And you should weigh yourself every week at the same time of the day.
On the other hand if your goal is a learning or an education one then you should measure the number of hours you study each day. You also need to measure the progress you make with what you want to learn. You can use a test to do this.
Share your personal development measurements with others
Research shows that when we share our measurements with others it increases our chances of success. You can share it with a partner or a friend. Or you can post it on Facebook or Twitter. Another option is to post it on www.joesgoals.com.
Use personal development brownie points to reward yourself
Every day you work on your personal development goal award yourself a brownie point. At the end of every week that you meet all your targets award yourself an extra three points. And keep a running total of all the points you earn.
Select a list of rewards for you to earn
Think carefully about worthwhile rewards you would like. Draw up a list of them in order of preference. Rewards can include holidays, meals out, visits to the theatre. In short anything you really like to do provided it does not undo what you are trying to achieve. For example, if you aim to reduce your intake of alcohol to reward yourself with an extra drink is self-defeating. And not in keeping with your personal development plan.
Decide the number of points you need to earn to treat yourself to each of these rewards. Start with the lowest item on your list and assign 10 points to it. And work up to your number one choice. Plan these rewards and brownie points to provide as much motivation for yourself as is possible. Make it a fun game that you can enjoy.
Identify potential problems and high risk situations
Draw up a list of things that can go wrong for you. And risk situations that could arise. Think carefully about each of these. And draw up a plan that will help you to cope with them. This should include an early warning system that will give you time to take steps to put things right.
For example, think of times you will be most tempted to break your diet. Like when someone offers you a sweet or a biscuit. When you are in a food shop. Or when you are feeling a little down in yourself. The quality of the support system you decide on to overcome these temptations is the key to your success.
Build in regular review sessions
Draw up a list of regular review sessions. View these are benchmarks on your journey. Plan them in advance. You can do them on your own or you can do them with a mentor. Someone who will give you the encouragement you need to reach you goal.