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7 Steps in Your Personal Growth Plan for 2021

A personal growth plan is an action packed look at personal development for the upcoming year. Traditionally there are 5 parts of personal development including: mental, social, spiritual, emotional, and physical. Constructing a personal growth plan takes intention as you reflect on years past and prayerfully consider the year coming.

Diving into a personal growth plan in light of Gospel is a different beast entirely! Especially when we evaluate our goals and intentions in light of Colossians 3.

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Planning your Year for Success

Very few people were prepared for the blindside attack that 2020 brought. Most, if not all of us, are ready to learn from 2020 but quickly move into 2021 with intention and purpose.

I have an observation, those that planned their year, still had a successful year. It might have looked different than what they orginally anticipated, but having a plan allows us to pivot (a Friends episode just came to mind!) when things don’t quite go as planned.

I am constantly encountering successful people that are intentional about goal planning and casting vision over their year. When we cast vision and pursue that vision we will see results.

A few years ago I dived into the book The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sally Clarkson and found that she spends an entire day away from the house planning out her year.

When she had kids at home, her husband would intentionally send her out and take care of the kids while she hunkered down in a hotel lobby to think and organize and cast vision. I find that not only remarkable, but inspiring.

How do you Write a Personal Development Plan?

Imagine the intent you could add to your year by taking a day to plan and organize your goals for 2021! Not everyone can do that, I couldn’t even imagine doing that with 2 small children, just getting my morning planned can sometimes be overwhelming! But it’s inspiring to think of the intention we can have. Let’s that that inspiration and apply it to writing a personal growth plan.

When you write your personal growth plan, you are going to take the 5 areas of personal development and apply them to your goals and ambitions.

If you are struggling with personal growth/self care in light of the Gospel, I encourage you to check out this article from Undoubted Grace. She addresses this exact issue from the perspective of scripture.

What are the 5 areas of personal development?

As we talk about personal development goals it’s important we note the 5 areas of personal development that most people create plans around. Plans are typically constructed of mental, social, spiritual, emotional, and physical goals and steps for development.

The Selfishness of Personal Development and the Satisfaction of Jesus

I have spent most of my adult life disdaining New Year’s Resolutions. Not because they are not helpful, but because most New Year’s Resolutions are ways to better us, in which we think the ultimate outcome will satisfy us.

New Year’s Resolutions frustrate me because nothing that we can muster of our own accord will ultimately satisfy. Let’s be clear, Jesus is the only one that can truly satisfy. I know it can be a radical concept. But Jesus was radical. He laid out the truth and we can choose to accept or deny it. Finding our satisfaction in Christ is for our good and for God’s glory.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

John 3:35 ESV

For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

Psalm 107:9

What are Examples of Personal Growth?

So where does that leave New Years Resolutions or a personal growth plan? Should we just crumple up our goals and intentions and throw them to the wind in pursuit of more God centered living? I don’t think so.

Like so many other things, we can find balance in pursing how God has created us and striving forward toward more self sacrificing gospel centered living.

I read this article earlier this year and found it useful in pursuing balance in setting goals and ambitions. The author uses Colossians 3 to list 8 ways of becoming more spiritual grounded in New Years Resolutions.

For the believer, these are a great foundation to consider when planning your intentions for the year. These types of personal growth will lead to eternal growth instead of momentary worldly growth (1 John 3:15-17).

  1. Live with Eternity in Mind
  2. Resolve to Kill sin
  3. Resolve to pursue holiness
  4. Resolve to be thankful
  5. Resolve to read and meditate on Scripture
  6. Resolve to commit to a local church
  7. Resolve to worship God through song
  8. Resolve to aim for the glory of Christ

With these spiritual resolutions in mind, I create goals, intentions, and pursuits that focus my year.

Over the years, I have used planners, journals, calendars and plain pen and paper to write down and organize my thoughts for my upcoming year. Each year, I have discovered that setting resolutions ALWAYS fails for me. I cannot put my finger on the reason why, but resolutions often too ‘big’ for me to undertake. It wasn’t until the last couple years that discovered the terminology of yearly ‘intentions.’

The 7 Steps in your Personal Growth Plan Intentions

Most years I construct a personal growth plan that categorizes my goals in to smaller sections. You can do this too by downloading the 2021 “Growth Plan” outline. It’s the perfect size to place in a permanent place to center your goals and ambitions for 2021.  Not every year looks the same, but here are some common categories I use:

  1. Health
  2. Spiritual
  3. Family
  4. Community/Relationships
  5. Career
  6. Passions
  7. Self Care

These cover the 5 areas of personal development (mental, social, spiritual, emotional, and physical), but also expands those areas into some more practical sections.

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Other Planning Resources for 2021

I want to mention two other planning resrouces for 2021 that I love.

The first is called Powersheets.

Although the price tag may shock you at first, the outcome is phenomenal.

PowerSheets will walk you through what happened in 2020. What were your successes? What were your failures? It will walk you through your fears and your strengths. Finally, you will dive into the big picture goals you want to strive for in 2021. Narrowing it down further into categories will help you make a very fine detailed personal growth plan.

What I like best about this type of planning is that it does not just stop with the goals setting. One of the reasons New Years Resolutions fail is because there is no accountability. PowerSheets adds monthly check-ins to keep on track and focused on what matters!

The other resource I want to mention is all that Undoubted Grace has for planning resources. Her journal and planners are worth looking at if you are a busy mom that needs some daily direction in planning and pursing Jesus.

Are you ready to dive into 2021? Do you have goals and intentions? Let’s do this!

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