The year 2020 has been an awesomely great year for the whole world and my country Nigeria, in particular. It is a year not to be forgotten in a hurry. While the world records the highest number of casualties from the novel Covid 19 pandemic, my country has in addition to the pandemic, added several “firsts” with the most recent “EndSars” protests. These notwithstanding, the last weeks of November has always been a good time to take stock of the activities of the year. This enables you to make some quick wins and possible recoveries before the year runs out. However for very smart and ambitious people, monthly or quarterly review is recommended.
In the last few days I have spent time to review my Personal Development Plans for 2020 in preparation for the end of the year and projection for 2021. I have deliberately chosen to share my review with the hope that we can together learn from it. A few personal details are omitted.
Basically a personal development plan (PDP) is a process that consists of defining the things that are important to you, the things you want to achieve, the strengths you already have that would help you to achieve your goals, areas that you need to improve upon and develop within a time frame set by you. There are several templates on the internet that can be used as a guide. I however suggest that you keep you PDP SMART; simple or specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Please note that you can have a long term PDP but it is always more realistic and measurable when you break it down to annual and monthly deliverables. You could even go as low as daily deliverables, depending on the plan. For example you could decide to read a book per week.
So precisely at the end 2019, I drafted my annual PDP and kept a copy on my tab with several reminders. Below is a summary. Beside each of the plans are my comments and percentage score. In the review at the end of the PDPs are the lesson points for me and takeaway that I believe will help prevent pitfalls for others as we prepare towards 2021.
2020 IN PERSPECTIVE- MY PDP.
- Building Spiritual Capacity (Moving from just relationship to quality fellowship with God)
- Spiritual fasting with prayers (100 days altogether)
- Bible study : Complete the Bible in 2020
- Attend Bible School (WOFBI)
- PERCENTAGE SCORE : 60%
- Inspirational And Motivational Books to Read in 2020 – minimum of 1 motivational book and 2 inspirational books monthly. PERCENTAGE SCORE : 80%
- Professional And Career Development: Seminars, Conferences or Workshops to attend. At least 1 of each. PERCENTAGE SCORE: 60%
- Mentors and Coaches to connect with in 2020, that will add great value to my life and profession. (2 identified) PERCENTAGE SCORE: 60%
- Relevant/Additional skills to develop or sharpen to enhance my ability to SERVE people and EARN more. Website development and content management (Blogging) : PERCENTAGE SCORE: 100%
- Events, places, cities And nations to visit for personal relaxation, recreation and education. (5 places listed) PERCENTAGE SCORE: 20%
- Networks or Associations to join, that will serve as leverages for opportunities and connections (online or offline) 3 associations listed. PERCENTAGE SCORE: 40%
- Products and Services to create in 2020 to multiply IMPACT and increase INCOME. PERCENTAGE SCORE: 50%
- FHAD outreaches
- Bakery/ SME
- Negative Relationships or Friendships to cut off (that drains personal energy)
- Hxxxx xxxers PERCENTAGE SCORE: 100%
- 10.Wise and Intelligent Investments to undertake in 2020.
- Trading (forex)
- Bakery (bread) PERCENTAGE SCORE: 0%
- Negative Habits, Attitudes and behaviours to confront and conquer
- Poor eating habit
- Impulsive decisions PERCENTAGE SCORE: 50%
- Positive Habits, Attitudes and Behaviours to cultivate in 2020.
- Listening skills
- Study and meditation
- Exercises PERCENTAGE SCORE: 60%
2020 PDP PERFORMANCE SCORE CARD 620/1200 = 51.66%
The overall performance of my 2020 PDP as reviewed above place me at 51.66% as at November 2020. This implies that I set an exam for myself, had all the resources and yet I could barely make average performance. What went wrong? Were my assumptions presumptuous? Were there circumstances that were unforeseen?
Without having to make excuses, one major force that may be considered to have affected my plans and many others’ was the Pandemic. That may account for my inability to travel to some locations as planned. However this may not be acceptable, given that in spite of the pandemic I still had several virtual workshops conferences and seminars online.
What then are the take-aways for me and others from the above as we prepare for the year 2021?
- Developing an annual PDP is recommended for everyone. As it is often said “failing to plan is in itself a plan to fail”
- Never live your lives to chance. A man who has no destination in mind will not know when he arrives at his destination.
- Identify and clarify your assumptions.There are some plans that are dependent on others.
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses and what you need to enhance your strength.
- Recognise you opportunities and use them maximally to gain speed and improve turn around time.
- Identify threats and make provisions for them by working around them, mitigating them, or confronting them headlong.
- Develop your PDP before the new year while you are reviewing the mistakes of the current year.
- Your PDP must be SMART; simple, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
- Monthly or weekly review of annual PDP is highly recommended. Objectives must be broken down into daily or weekly performance. For example, it was easy to manage my reading pattern because I broke them down to daily and weekly studies.
- While I encourage us to be focused on goals set, you can always explore options and not be too rigid. My training and workshops were converted to virtual training. I could also have diverted my investment to online trading or probably diversify. I was rather too rigid
- In setting my spiritual goal I was over ambitious. I did not consider my capability. It is one thing to desire a thing and another to have the capacity to do it. Stick to being realistic.
- Do not be afraid to dream big and try new things. Failure does not mean impossible. It simply means there are other ways to get it done.
- Ensure proper documentation and make copies available for regular review.
- Documenting your PDP is not enough. You must take decisive steps to achieve the goals one after the other. Possess a doable and never giving up spirit so as to able to navigate through the so many unforeseen situations around the corners.
Let me conclude by saying having done all “stand in faith” Pray and trust God for accomplishment because there are “many plans in a man’s mind, But it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand (be carried out)” (Proverbs 19:21 Amp). Also note that life’s “race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the strong, and neither is bread to the wise nor riches to those of intelligence and understanding nor favour to men of ability; but time and chance overtake them all.” (Ecc 9:11) And more importantly may we obtain God’s mercy. God’s choice is not dependent on human will, nor human effort [the totality of human striving], but on God who shows mercy [to whomever He chooses- it is Sovereign gift].” (Romans 9:16)
2020 is not yet over. The days left are too much to still make more progress and achieve those items outstanding on our list. Folks, it is definitely not over until you win.
Adenike Babajamu (November 2020)