Self development planning

You’ve possibly heard it before only ‘a dream is just a dream yet a plan is a goal with a deadline’.

How many things would you like to do, to achieve, to see, places to visit, friends or family to spend quality time with?

Let’s make something happen.  Let’s move forward.  Let’s make sure to get some of these important things finally ticked off your To-Do list.

To get you moving forward in the right way, will take approximately one hour of your life over the course of three days.  You’ll need some quiet (even the bathroom will do), a pen and you can download the attachment or just grab some paper.


Put the timer on and give yourself five minutes.   Write as many things that you can think of that you would like to do, things that you possibly haven’t yet got around to doing, those dreams that might seem unreachable – put them all down.  You’re looking at writing down 50 things.  These are things that make you smile thinking about doing them, things that make your heart smile.  Put them down.  Don’t feel embarrassed, don’t ever feel you can’t do something.  Just write all the things that you’d like to tick off (call it a bucket list if you like) put them down too.  Even the mundane tasks like decluttering the house, or sorting out the photographs.

Then put it to one side.  Leave it.  However tempted you are.  Just leave your list and go do something, whatever you need to do and go back to the list the next day.


Give yourself five minutes.  Set the timer again.

Now go through the list, and this is the hard bit, and select ten that really resonate.  Ten that you want to do in the next year.  Again, keep that positive hat on.  Don’t listen to the negative voice.  Just go through and select ten that you’d love to do however big or small they are.  You’ll find your original list of 50 will become a mess of scribbles and circles and notes, and that’s all perfectly fine.  It means you’re really thinking about what you want to focus on for you.

Make sure that the dreams are as specific as possible.  For example ‘I need a new job’ could become: ‘I want to move into a management role where I am learning something new and using my languages.

Write the ten down, or again – write on the downloadable sheet.

Again leave the list.  Just walk and do what needs doing.  Put a reminder in to return the next day.


Now you need to select three from your list, that are most important to you right now and write them down.  Make sure to write the sentence properly, crazy as it might seem.  For example:  I want to declutter my wardrobes, instead of declutter wardrobes.  Just including the ‘I’ makes it even more real.

Next, with those three ‘dreams’ give yourself a realistic deadline by when you want to have made it a reality.  For example: I want to declutter my wardrobes by March (because I know that I just won’t have time beforehand and decluttering wardrobes is not easy on so many levels!)

Taking each one in turn, consider what you need to do to make that happen.  Again, another list.  But it will be worth it. When you get a mind blank, think about what other things you can do, what your friend might suggest, your mentor, think about what you would suggest to a friend if they were in the same predicament.  Write it all down.

Then remembering your specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely goal and choose what three things you can action TODAY to work toward your goal.  To provide the shift from wanting to do something to actually doing something toward achieving your goal and making your dreams a reality.   This could be a very simple thing like making a phone call, setting aside half an hour to assess your clothes in the wardrobe and gauge how much shelf space you have.


Check in and get yourself someone to keep you accountable.  A performance coach is a great thing to keep you on track, and to help you reassess your goals, where you’re at and what you need to do.  A performance coach will question you in such a way that you will leave the session with optimism and focus and will work with you to help you achieve your goals.



By Michelle Stromgren
Chartered Marketer and Performance Coach with a postgraduate diploma in digital marketing. Over 25 years of corporate and individual marketing experience. A mother of two, organiser of many, blogger, budding photographer, and serial student.