In our last post, we talked about the idea of changing your mindset in order to imagine new possibilities. If you didn’t get to read it, take a look. You’ll be glad you did. Now, let’s take that a step further. Let’s say you have yourself in a place where you’re operating primarily in a growth mindset. Mindsets are great, but there have been many great thoughts that have languished in the minds of individuals who have never gone to the next step. That next step is a growth plan. You wouldn’t build a house without a set of plans that were meticulously followed. Why try and build your life any other way? A growth plan is simply a well thought out plan that gives you a step-by-step path to get yourself where you want to be.
If you want to get someplace significant and see your dreams become reality in 2018, an effective and simple step is to write down and keep up with your growth plan. The importance of writing it down and keeping up with it cannot be overstated. Ideas in your head give you a general direction, but they will not get you to where you imagine you want to be. In fact, over time, being guided by an idea will create frustration and you will begin to despise the very idea that began as inspiring vision for your life. It’s not the idea’s fault. But, you’re the one who can fix the problem. You can start by answering these three questions.
- Where do I need to grow this year? This question speaks to the need for assessment. You’re not just closing your eyes and picking at random or spinning a wheel to choose areas of growth. Set aside some time and really think this through. Chances are, you know some key areas in which you need to grow. But what about the areas you can’t see? To illuminate your blind spots, ask people closest to you. Your spouse. Your boss. Your friends. Your employees. You’ll be surprised how much they will tell you if you’ll just ask. You may need to take a deep breath and thicken your skin up to hear some of the answers, but if you want to grow, you have to know.
- What do I need to learn right now? You can’t do everything you want to do, but you can do anything you want to do. This question speaks to the need to narrow your focus and choose concrete steps. If you did a good job answering the first question, chances are you have a good list of areas in which you want to see growth. Well, the next question narrows that down to specifics. If you want to grow in a certain area, what do you need to learn? Is it a new skill? Is it a new discipline? Do you need to shadow someone who is proficient in an area you aren’t? In order for your growth plan to have teeth, you have to know what you want to accomplish. You have to be able to measure your progress and know if you’ve made it to the goal. Get specific.
- Who will keep me accountable? This is probably the biggest missing piece from most growth plans. If you’re the kind of motivated and growth-minded individual who would actually go through the steps to create a personal growth plan, you probably believe you can execute and complete it on your own. But no man (or woman) is an island. You need to invite others into the process with you and give them permission to keep you accountable. Just as important as the specifics you discover and write down in the two questions above, you must write down who will keep you accountable and how. Of course, that requires a conversation with any of your possible new accountability partners. Just ask. People who care about you will help you this way if you give them permission.
Remember, the answers to all these questions need to be written down and you’ve got to keep up with it. Keep these answers close to you. See them often. Schedule times to assess your progress. If you have a good plan and you’re intentional about following that plan, you absolutely will see the growth you desire. If you want someone to come along side you and help you create and follow your plan, one of our coaches is ready to help. Just click here to get started on a growth journey that will take you places you’ve only yet dreamt of going.