This article will outline a plan that will help you find what is important to you-and how to move in the direction of success. Personal development helps you maximize your potential in every area of your life. If you want to identify areas in your life, set goals and achieve them, follow the outline below.

First, it is important to determine the key areas that need development. This will require that you take some time to really reflect on your life: what are your dreams, goals and aspirations? Write down the top five key areas in your life that mean the most to you. Once you know what is important- you can determine if there is anything standing in your way of improving in those areas. Ask yourself: is there any room for improvement in this area? What is standing in my way of improving in this area? For example: if one of your top five goals is enjoying your occupation, make a list of what is preventing you from your enjoyment: is it the actual work? Is it the fact that you do not actually know what you want to do-you lack focus? Or is it that it just takes too much time away from your family? The answers to the questions will help you realize areas for personal development. I would suggest making a list of the areas of key improvement (top five) and keep it handy so you can refer back to it.

Now that you have identified the area for improvement, find local resources that may assist you in developing in each of the areas that you have identified. Resources can be found in books, in on-line articles, blogs, tapes, seminars, workshops, etc. The important thing is that you identify at least one resource for each key area of improvement and that it is realistic that you will utilize the resource. Personal development is one of the world’s fastest growing industries, so you should have no difficulty in identifying and listing your resources.

From the resources you have found, select one or two of your key areas and write out a growth plan. This can be done on your own using your resources, or can be done by consulting a life coach or personal development professional. It is important to develop a plan that has very specific steps that are simple to follow and detailed enough to complete. Nothing feels better than being able to see progress toward your goal than actually seeing check marks next to tasks that are needed to finish a project or a plan.

The next step is the step that makes the biggest difference in your personal development and is also the step that is most neglected: set aside one hour a day to dedicate to your personal development. This does not have to be an hour all at one time. Setting time aside in the morning and in the evening–or even on your lunch hour will work, but it takes commitment. This is the time that you will be implementing your growth plan or completing a step from above. It can also be used for reflecting and reading in the area for your development.

Finally, find a mentor or a group of individuals that you can build relationships with that are also on the same path of development. This can help you grow more quickly than any other resource you may find and utilize. Relationships with other like-minded people can bring support and guidance that is beyond anything you could ever do on your own.

Be sure to apply all that you learn. Learning is only meaningful through the use of the knowledge in your life. The key is to take action. New behaviors create new results and new successes, whereas knowledge only increases your pride and doesn’t change your life. If you are looking to change your life, take a step-determine where you can apply your newly found information-and practice it. It really IS that simple.

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