Personal Development Plan (PDP)

What Is A Personal Development Plan (PDP)
A PDP (personal development plan) is a helpful tool aimed at improving your chances of getting what you want whether in business, personal self development, relationships or life in general. A PDP does this through analysis of your positive and negative qualities, your previous and current performance and applying a structured format to achieving your personal, business or academic future goals.

personal development plan model is essentially made up of 5 main areas:

Reflection – think about your life and performance so far, your achievements, successes and failures.
Planning – personal, business or academic ambitions, goals, aims, desires.
Analyses – character strengths and weaknesses that help and hinder you.
Executing – putting action into pursuing your goals and ambitions.
Performance Evaluating – recording, monitoring and adapting your personal development to attain your goals.


To be able to start your personal development plan you will need to reflect on your life, your aims and performance so far, your ambitions and goals whether they are related to business, academic or personal aims. There are some important questions to ask yourself such as:

What do I really want to achieve from life / career / business?
What kind of person do I want to be?
Am I clear about my life / career / business goals and ambitions?
Am I making the right decisions to get me where I really want to be?
Am I in charge of my life / career / business direction – or am I just going with the flow?

The answers to these will start to clear your present position in relation to your goals and help you get a clearer picture of where you want to go. Write down everything and start to formulate a plan based on where you want to go in life i.e. education achievements, a promotion or new job, a relationship or to become a better person.

The planning section of your PDP is all about goal setting, personal analysis and action. Decide on what your goals are and be clear, view what personal attributes you have that will help you and be honest with any attributes that will hinder you:

Identify goals – list clearly your goals
Prioritize goals – list the most important one first and the least important last
Blocks To Goals – list personal and practical blocks and how you can surmount them
Strengths– list your strengths and practical assets that can help you achieve your goals
Action steps – list all the action steps you can take towards these goals
Time line – make a timeline from the first action step to the goal achievement
Recording – record your process along the way

Identify what your PDP is about i.e. Personal Development, Academic or Business. The aim of your PDP is to help you develop a clear plan of action and execution which will lead you to where you want to go. Be prepared to get involved in critical self assessment. A good PDP involves self analyses of both your strengths and weaknesses and it’s important to be honest about both of these in a non-judgemental way.

Useful Tools For Writing A Personal Development Plan:
View a list of personal qualities and explanations…
View an image map of a self growth PDP…
View a study & career based PDP…