My Personal Development Plan That’s Helped Me Succeed in Life

I am not an expert, guru, or multimillion dollar charlatan. I am as average, boring, and ordinary as you are. I went to an average college, got a typical degree, and had a fairly uneventful and unsuccessful life for many years. That is until I learned the art of success and self improvement. I went from being broke and in debt to a homeowner and almost completely credit card debt free (6 months away as of this writing!). Now I own two homes because of my day job and side hustle, I’m married to someone I consider my best friend, and I am the healthiest I have ever been. Getting to this point in life required the right blueprint which this blog post will cover. I am going to go over my personal development plan that’s helped me succeed in life.

Life is long and hard. Being glued to the TV, the iPad, and our smart phones is a huge drain to our lives. Most people only live for about 23,750 days. That is a frightening number to think about. 80 years sounds like a long time but when we break that figure down into actual days, life is insanely short.

Do you want to make each of those days count or do you want to waste away? If you want to live the best days of your life then this guide is for you.

Let’s head straight into reading about the best personal development plan you will find on the internet.

Here is what we will cover in our Personal Development Plan:

  • What is success?
  • Finding The Right Partner
  • Get Your Main Income and Side Hustle in Order
  • The Most Important Thing to Do Every Day
  • How Your Morning Needs to Start
  • Dealing with People the Right Way
  • Taking Care of Your Body

personval development pan

What is success?

Let’s first decide what success even is. Is it owning a skyscraper, being married to a super model, or becoming a billionaire? The answer is no.

My definition of success is this – hitting your peak and potential while working with what you have. That’s what true success is.

I’d love to sit here and tell you that one day you can go from a zero to the next Elon Musk but the truth is you can’t. The odds of becoming a billionaire is 1 in 91,000. I actually don’t hate those odds to be honest but it is definitely an uphill battle.

Here is a good example of someone who has succeeded –

Daniel grew up in a trailer park. His parents lived off of government welfare. Daniel enrolled into community college while supporting himself working part-time at the mall. He eventually transferred to a city college and got into the nursing program. He finished within three years and found a job in a major hospital. He found the right partner to life and got married. After working for 5 years and receiving a couple of promotions, he saved enough to buy a home in a low cost area. His mortgage was low enough where he and his wife only needed one salary to cover all of their monthly expenses.  

That to me is success. When you read that story, what’s the one thing you think Daniel has in life? It’s peace.

When it comes down to it, money, fame, and respect seem good on the surface. But do they really give you peace? If stress and anxiety is the baggage that comes with wealth and fortune, the pros don’t outweigh the cons.

That’s why I believe that success is synonymous with peace. High income that’s mixed with high debt and high expenses is hell on earth. Modest income with no debt is a better option.

Now that we know that our one true goal in life is peace, let’s figure out how to attain it!

Finding The Right Partner

Personal development is all about bettering ourselves and making the life around us more pleasant. As humans, we are social beings. That means at some point we will want to pair up with another person and live out the rest of our lives with them.

Choosing the right partner to life is without a doubt the biggest decision we can make. It’s become so important throughout history and culture that we throw massive celebrations when this kind of union is made (weddings).

A miserable marriage and relationship makes it incredibly hard to better yourself. That’s why the first concept in my personal development plan is to find the right partner in life.

Your partner needs the following traits:

  • They have to encourage you to move forward with good ideas
  • They need to be making a reasonable income or be willing to work to assist with bills
  • They cannot be lazy
  • If there is drama in their lives, they need to show they can manage it well without interfering in your marriage
  • They have to show willingness to live a mentally and physically healthy lifestyle

Can you see what’s missing in my list? I never once mentioned physical appearance, whether your partner was divorced and has a kid from another marriage, or to stay away from a person if they are dealing with personal drama.

The reason is because our looks and physical appearance can change. Everyone deals with some kind of conundrum in life. And having kids from a prior marriage is a blessing more than anything else.

The right partner should be viewed as an empty lot in real estate. The soil and terrain should be suitable enough to build a strong structure on.

personal development guide

How to Find The Right Partner

Now that we know who the right partner in life should be, how do we go about finding them?

This personal development plan is all encompassing that will have tremendous benefits in various aspects to your life from romance to work. But to give you a quick breakdown of what you need to do to find the right partner, follow these specific rules:

Stop eating like shit

Start eating clean food and only cheat once a week. I will go over later in more detail on how to approach food because it does play a huge role in your personal development. But avoid crap food. Opt in for smoothies for dinner over fast food.

Exercise regularly

You feel better, look better, and your clothing fits better when you are in shape. Exercise is absolutely necessary to find the right partner in life. You will lose weight and stay in shape as long as you are consistent.

Read awesome books

Find good books to read. Make sure these books can produce content for when you speak with someone on a date. There is nothing more attractive than being interesting. No one likes to date a boring person. 

Make money

If you are broke, your life is broken. The right partner in life wants stability. Make yourself stable. I will go over later on how to approach your career and side hustle. It is absolutely crucial you make a good living and keep your debt low. Whether you need to go to traditional college or trade school, do what you have to do.

Appearances matter

Get your wardrobe in order. A good wardrobe is not cheap but it isn’t necessarily expensive either. Really cheap clothing is obvious. It doesn’t fit right and is essentially trash after a few washes. Invest into classic wardrobe items. Also, get an amazing watch. I wrote a blog post about why men should care about watches. Give it a read.

Be a gentleman

Don’t gossip, don’t show you have low self-esteem, and don’t be soft. Be a mensch. It’s certainly not easy to be a great guy. This is something you have to constantly work on. But being an all around good person is attainable if you pay attention to your speech and actions.

Let’s now focus on one of the points above which is money. Not only does it have an impact on our dating life but it’s got a hand in every single aspect of our existence. It’s crucial that income is a puzzle we solve as soon as possible in life.

personal development plan succeed in life

Get Your Main Income in Order

A Quick Note on Debt

Before I get into income, you must, by any means necessary, avoid debt. Some debt is good like a mortgage. But credit card debt is the worst possible type of debt to have. It does not matter if you are making $15,000 a month in gross income when your credit card bills equate to $10,000 a month. Even a modest income can go a long way when you are debt free.

Obviously it’s good to have a credit card if you aren’t entirely liquid on a particular occasion. I suggest you only have 1 credit card where you pay the balance off each month. Never ever increase your credit limit. Only use the card for emergencies or when you know the cash is on hand to pay off the debt immediately.

I personally had a lot of credit card debt. When I finally decided to purge it from my life, the first thing I did was chop them all up. Since then, I keep getting emails and letters from credit card companies asking me if a new card should be issued since they haven’t seen any activity in my account in over a year. They are very sneaky in that regard.

Now that we addressed debt, let’s talk about getting your main income in order:

Education

Your education is important. I can tell you from experience that everyone I know who does not have a decent college degree is struggling in life right now. Unless you are an unbelievable salesman and can talk a good game, you will have a hard time if the proper education is not in place.

Education isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of thing. Some people are born to be accountants and some people are born to be car mechanics. Figure out what you think you would be good at.

How much should you spend

When you do enroll, go for value. What I mean by that is don’t get into $150,000 in debt in order to make an annual income of $50,000. That debt comes with interest. Try to find a path to education where you can project that your loans would be paid off within 10 years.

I am a big proponent of city colleges. They are cheap, have good recruitment opportunities, and come with a ton of programs.

If you don’t happen to live near a big city, do heavy research to see which colleges near you offer the best bang for your buck.

What should you study 

Avoid liberal arts degrees. Your art history degree will get you a cozy job working as a barista in Starbucks. Stick to very useful and very in-demand fields. You will be just fine if you enroll into the following programs:

  • Nursing
  • Computer Science/IT
  • Programming
  • Accounting and Taxation
  • Engineering
  • Actuarial Science
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pharmacology

What if you are over 35 and hate your job

It is never too late to change your life around. If you are stuck in an office all day and your job makes you unhappy, maybe enrolling into a nursing program is a good idea. Three years goes by quickly and there are plenty of evening and weekend classes out there.

Be mindful of the people who depend on you. Don’t make decisions that can ultimately hurt your family. Sometimes you need to bite the bullet and stick with your job in order to support those that depend on you.

But fret not, because there is a solution for people who hate their jobs. What I want to talk about now is the side hustle.

success personal development plan

Start a Side Hustle

There are three types of people who absolutely should be working on a side hustle – The college student, someone whose unhappy with their day job, and someone who needs more monthly income.

The side hustle I want to talk about specifically today is blogging and here is why.

A way to make money through blogging is by getting as much traffic as you can to your website. You get traffic by writing quality content and implementing what’s called search engine optimization (SEO). The other method to get traffic is through social media.

What you do is find something you are really knowledgeable in. If you don’t have interests in anything at all or knowledge on any particular subject, become an expert by reading 10 books on one topic. The reason is because you need to create content on one specific area.  This content needs to reflect that you are an expert in something. If Google determines you are truly an online guru, they will send traffic your way for people’s queries related to your niche.

What can you be an expert blogger on?

  • Vegan cheese
  • Raising a boy or girl
  • Parenting as a person of color
  • Star Wars t-shirts
  • Brands that sell reading glasses
  • Non-leather book bags
  • Pet snake tanks
  • Depeche Mode memorabilia

I am certain all of the topics above get good traffic. To monetize your traffic, you simply put up basic Google ads and affiliate links in your articles. When people click those ads or buy the products through the affiliate links, you get paid.

A really good resource I have found that has many articles on blogging is This Online World. Unlike other blogging websites, This Online World is extremely practical. Tom Blake, the founder, is very upfront with his blog. He gives periodic updates on how much money he is making and how he is making it. Be sure to follow him on Medium as well.

blogging side hustle personal development

Why Blogging as a Side Hustle? 

The problem with blogging is it can take 2-3 years to make a substantial income. Expect to write well over 100,000 words for your blog to see any substantial income. In addition to that, be prepared to be on Pinterest and Facebook often to promote your content.

But here are the benefits of blogging. The cost of entry is low. To have a website up and running tomorrow with hosting will cost you less than $100 initially and under $50 per year after that.

The other reason why I love blogging as a side hustle is that you can easily do it before or after work or really whenever you want. Writing for on hour a day will go a long way. It’s 7:51am right now as I write this portion of the blog post. I was also adding a few more paragraphs to this post last night at 11:00pm. You work whenever you feel like it.

Another advantage to blogging is how easy the learning curve is. There are so many articles and YouTube videos out there that will help you get started.

So now that we spoke about your career and side hustle, let’s get into the minutia. How do we approach each day in our personal development to ensure we succeed in life?

The Most Important Thing to Do Every Day

Whether you are in academia or have a job, there is something you need to do every day. Really, it’s every night. You must plan out tomorrow.

The greatest structures and projects ever made in human history all came with a plan. Your life should be approached exactly the same.

Instead of watching a YouTube video at 9:00pm at night about upcoming movies heading to the theaters, invest 20 of your free minutes into creating a small outline of what needs to be done the following day. Break it down by priority.

Ask yourself what absolutely needs to be completed tomorrow. Then create a hierarchy of tasks that are still important but not urgent.

There is a wonderful book called Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy. I apply the teachings of this book to my personal life as often as I can.

eat that frog brian tracy

Here is a quick summary of Eat That Frog!

There is always that one open task in our life that really bugs us. Whether it’s having to call a friend, work on an assignment that you have been dreading, or take out that big heap of boxes near your front door. But we keep pushing off this task. The more we push it off, the more anxiety we keep building up.

Brian Tracy gives great advice when it comes to this obvious form of procrastination – Eat That Frog!

These tasks are the frogs in our life that are just hanging over us. Your best bet is to approach your morning by eating (completing) that frog (task) right away.

I have done this so many times. I told my coworkers about this book as well. Every time they come into the office in the morning and see that I am already settled staring deeply into an excel spreadsheet, they always ask “you eating that frog?”

So the night before in your outline make sure you indicate what your frog is. Circle it, highlight it, and jot down a specific plan of how you plan on eating it first thing tomorrow morning.

This exercise is easily the most important thing you can do. It sounds simple enough but homes and finances aren’t built up overnight. They are created brick by brick and penny by penny. Everything is an accumulation of small events and decisions.

By outlining your daily tasks the night before and emphasizing your most important objective, you are taking control of your life in the most intimate and meticulous way possible.

How Your Morning Needs to Start

There are three things you need to do everyday first thing in the morning

  • Exercise
  • Have a smoothie
  • Meditate

The above are all important things that need to be done. But none of them are possible to do if you don’t wake the hell up.

Get into the habit of waking up extremely early. That means you need to be in bed before 10pm. Falling asleep that early is easy as long as you push yourself to get out of bed at an ungodly hour.

Exercise

Try getting up at 5:00am everyday except weekends. Drink a big glass of water. Than run.

Why go with running as a form of exercise as opposed to weight lifting? It is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health and is easily accessible. Running is a very efficient workout. Here is a good article discussing the benefits of running. All you need to do is put on sneakers and just go outside.

Have a smoothie

Once you get home from your run, this is the perfect time to nourish yourself. My recommendation is to go with a smoothie.

Smoothies aren’t just cold fun drinks. They are liquefied multivitamins. Go heavy on kale, almond milk, berries, grounded flax seed, bananas, and turmeric. Try to knock off as many of your daily vitamin needs with this one morning smoothie.

A healthy productive life requires healthy foods.

Meditate

The same way our muscles need to rest after a long work out, so do our emotions and minds.

This is exactly what meditation does. It helps your mind slow down and completely dissolve the stress you’ve built up.

Wouldn’t sleep do that? Sort of. Sleep does relax the mind and shut if off but it turns off our body in its entirety as well.

With meditation, we are specifically targeting our minds.

Why is meditating part of my personal development plan and how does it even help you succeed in life?

Believe it or not, meditation helps you let go of the bullshit that people will throw your way. When you meditate consistently for 5-10 minutes per day, you get really good at controlling your emotions. Meaning you build up patience and control your speech better – two important traits to have if you want to succeed in life.

I did not believe this myself until I actually started doing simple meditation techniques.

Here is what you do:

Step 1 – Sit down somewhere comfortably. Don’t lay down because you may fall asleep.

Step 2 – Make sure your posture is good.

Step 3 – Look forward and focus on a single point.

Step 4 – Stare at that single point.

Step 5 – Inhale and exhale deeply but slowly.

Step 6 – Focus only on that singular point and ignore all of the thoughts rushing into your head.

Step 7 – As you ignore your thoughts, accept your senses. Embrace the air hitting your skin, the texture of your pants pressed against your legs, and the oxygen entering and exiting your nostrils. Become fully aware of the moment.

If you do this 5-10 minutes per day everyday, you will be much more relaxed.

Although we may have complete control of ourselves, that does not necessarily mean we are able to confront and approach others around us expertly. Let’s go over the next part of our personal development plan and learn how to interact with friends, family, strangers, and co-workers correctly

Dealing with People the Right Way 

What are three things in life which typically cause people the most problems? It’s money, health, and relationships. I want to focus on that last part.

Relationships are extremely crucial in life. You can be the most introverted person in the world and highly antisocial yet relationships would still play a role in your success. It is an absolute must to know how to talk to people.

For this section of the blog post, I need to defer to Dale Carnegie, the famous author of quite possibly the most important book I have ever read that’s helped me tremendously in life. The book I am referring to is How To Win Friends and Influence People.

how to win friends and influence people carnegie

The book’s title sounds like a cheap salesman’s guide to make a sale but I can assure you that this piece of literature is actually a character builder. If you take everything that is said in the book seriously and apply it to your life, you will be a better person.

This is what the book has taught me:

  • Never criticize or complain about people. Instead, find a person’s strength and influence them to become better. Ignite their passion to please you.
  • Get accustomed to praising people sincerely. Show them that you appreciate their hard work. Make it known that you are happy that they are in your life.
  • Put yourself in another person’s shoes and understand why they do the things they do. By doing so, you will understand their decision making process. It will help you as a manager and person to gain their cooperation for a future project.
  • Know people’s names. It is the most pleasing and important sound to someone.
  • Always work on having complete control and discipline of your speech and emotions. Arguments will be avoided, friendships will be saved, and success will be discovered if you control yourself.

Just writing about this book and going over my summary is motivating me to go back and read it all over again.

I cannot stress this enough. No matter your race, religion, sex, or creed, you need to buy this book. Whether you are an owner of a business, a student, or unemployed, you will find this classic immensely useful.

Taking Care of Your Body

Suppose you have it all figured out finally. You have a great job, you are personable, and you couldn’t ask for a better partner in life. There is still one final aspect left to completely dominate. It’s more than an aspect, it’s a pillar of happiness and success. What I am talking about is your body.

What we put into our stomachs is translated through our energy, our mood, and our compassion. I wholeheartedly believe that just about everyone should be on a plant-based diet.

I used to consume animals for well over 29 years. I always considered the thought of going vegan to be extreme. After my wife went vegan for ethical reasons, I examined this lifestyle for quite some time.

My conclusion was this – from an environmental, physiological, mental, and moral standpoint, eating only plant-based foods and purging animal products from your diet is the best decision you can make.

I kid you not, I used to drink 4 cups of coffee a day. Once I went on a vegan diet, by the fourth week, I was drinking no coffee. Your natural energy levels shoot up. If there is one thing you definitely need to succeed in life, it’s energy.

In retrospect, my animal-based diet had me drowsy during lunch dinner and breakfast. Do you know how much of an obstacle it is to your personal development to always be tired? A vegan diet will completely remove that out of the equation. It’s like taking off a 50-pound vest during a jog. An added challenge that was figuratively and literally weighing you down has been lifted off of you.

The documentary and movie you should watch to get a good idea of what’s really happening in your body every time you eat animal products is What The Health.
what the health

I have seen this documentary at least half-a-dozen times and always learn something new. I guarantee you if you watch this film even one time, your eating habits will improve for the better.

We also wrote a guide on How To Go Vegan For Beginners. Give it a read.

Conclusion

Let’s summarize this personal development plan –

  • Success isn’t necessarily wealth. It is peace.
  • The right partner in life can make or break you. Better yourself so you can find someone who will compliment your existence.
  • Getting a good education is crucial be it a traditional college or a trade school. Make sure you get it done.
  • The best, cheapest, and easiest side hustle to invest into is blogging. Find your niche and start blogging immediately.
  • Plan out your day the night before.
  • Every morning make sure to jog, meditate for 5-10 minutes, and have a super-food smoothie.
  • Read How to Win Friends and Influence People immediately. It will help you succeed in all of your relationships almost overnight.
  • Go vegan! You will not regret it once you see how good you feel and how much more energy you have.

I hope you enjoyed this guide!

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