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Personal Development Plan (PDP) Instructions The Purpose Within some circles in the Church, the concept of “planning” seems to conflict with the practice of being “led by the Spirit of God.” Although it is absolutely critical that we seek God’s guidance and direction in all we do, scripture provides ample support for the practice of planning (see appendix to this document). No one would argue that the function of planning is fundamental to good business practice. I would argue that it is also fundamental to our personal growth and development as individuals. It is part of “walking the talk” and putting faith into action (i.e. “faith without works is dead”). This course is designed to intentionally move you beyond good intentions to action and personal growth. Your journal entries have given you the opportunity to reflect upon how your life currently aligns with some of the concepts, principles and points of learning from the course. The Personal Development Plan (PDP) will now take you several steps further by giving you the opportunity to create a practical plan of action in the areas of educational, vocational, and career growth. For this assignment you will articulate your vision, dream and/or sense of calling for the future and develop a minimum of 3 goals – a 1-year goal, a 3-5 year goal, and a 10-year goal – that will move you forward in the vision/dream/calling you have for your life. Your goals should be tangible and concrete, and your overall plan should identify specific areas for personal development and growth in either the goals or strategies sections of the plan. For example, a student’s 3-year goal might be to secure a job in marketing/promotion with a large non-profit humanitarian organization upon graduation. This is an acceptable, specific, concrete goal. However, the student will likely need to develop particular knowledge and skills over the next three years to put himself/herself in a position to be hired by such an organization. These areas of development, in this case, should be covered in the student’s strategies. An initial strategy might be to begin doing research on humanitarian organizations of interest to learn about what skills and experience are actually needed to secure marketing jobs within these organizations. Another strategy could be to secure an internship with such an organization prior to graduation to gain experience and to further develop their skills. Additional strategies would also likely be needed. Action steps would subsequently be identified for each strategy – specific, concrete, time-oriented tasks and action items to implement the strategy. Each section of your PDP will include the following components (see further explanation/instructions below): 1. Personal Profile 2. Goals 3. Obstacles (to achieving goals) 4. Strategies (for achieving goals, including how to overcome obstacles) 5. Action Steps (for each strategy) 6. Measures (for evaluating your progress on your goals and action steps) The Process Step One: Prayer As you work on the various components of your development plan in the coming weeks, regularly ask God to help you to see yourself through His eyes. Ask Him to show you His vision, dreams, desires, goals, strategies, and action steps for you in each area. Allow Him to highlight His priorities for you at this time of your life and for the foreseeable future. May these plans be “God-breathed” and in alignment with His purposes for you. Key Questions: God, what are you specifically calling me to in this area? What are your priorities for me in the area of my spiritual growth in the coming year? What is your vision/calling for my educational - vocational life/my career and what specific goals do I need to work toward to accomplish this? How will my spiritual growth inform my vocational/career/educational growth? Step Two: Personal Profile (750-1000 word reflection/summary) 1. Since spiritual growth is integral to growth in other areas of our lives, consider these key questions as you write your personal profile: Where am I on my “journey” of spiritual growth? Where would I like to go and/or who would I like to become? What is God calling me to in this area? 2. Key Questions for Education/Vocation/Career: Based upon my findings from the Character Index, 16 Personalities, and Strengths assessments, as well any other assessments I have done, how has God gifted and designed me? What is the vision, dream, and/or sense of calling God has given me for my life (as best I can understand it at this time)? How does my gifting and design align with my vision, dream, and/or calling? Step Three: Goals (no word count requirement) Key Questions: As best as I am able to understand it at this time, what is God specifically calling me to in this area? What specific growth/development goals is God asking me to set in this area? In light of the vision of who I would like to be and what I would like to do in the future, in what specific areas do I need to grow/develop to move me closer to that vision? Where do I want to be in this area in the future? Step Three: Obstacles (no word count requirement) Key Questions: What currently hinders my progress, growth or development in this area? Are there any heart/character issues at the root of this obstacle? Could these heart/character issues be obstacles in and of themselves? If so, how can I overcome these so that I can truly make progress in this area? What challenges can I anticipate as I move forward in this area? Note: Be sure to look at potential inner heart/character obstacles, as well as obstacles that might tend to be more external or circumstantial. For example, a person could identify “over-commitment” as an obstacle to their growth goal of developing greater intimacy with God. Indeed, this may be one obstacle to overcome and would warrant a strategy for becoming less committed