For my weekend recreational pleasure this last term, I’ve mostly been visiting University Open Days with my eldest son. Certainly, an interesting and informative process for me; combined with a mixture of what on earth have I done with the last 20 plus years and borderline jealousy that he is at the start of his adventure. Can’t help but think, where am I on my adventure? He has also been drafting his personal statement to support his UCAS application. I know I’m an incredibly biased Mum, but it is good. He has shown the impact of his actions and how they relate to his choice of Uni course. This of course has been by accident, he didn’t plan when he was younger to experience lots of things in order that his UCAS personal statement reads like it does. He did the things he wanted to do, when he wanted to do them and always because they were fun! I wonder whether when he is 20 years older he will still benefit from the same approach, or whether like many, he will benefit from creating a Personal Development Plan (PDP).
So, I’ve started to reflect on my own PDP which I initially created in September 2015. It’s incredibly simple – There are two rows one titled “Work”, one titled “Life” and three columns with the headings:
“Short term goals” (September 2015-September 2016);
“Mid-term goals” (September 2016-September 2019);
“Long term goals” (September 2020).
Within each column I’ve a list of bullet pointed goals, of things I want to do and when I want to do them. I’ve ragged the bullet points within each column – green for achieved, yellow for work in progress, uncoloured for not started yet. It shows some slightly skewed prioritisation as I’ve not yet managed to rag the goal “Eat better, exercise” as green over the last three years, but I’ve been able to rag Skydive and stay in the Ice Hotel as completed…Ah I am having an adventure after all . The review also reminded me that I’m making great progress towards a long-term Work goal already, that was quite a nice feeling. Some bullet points need further expansion, I’ll do this as well as add some more goals.
I used this simple PDP format for my successful ISBL Fellow application this time last year, as there is no prescribed format for the PDP which applicants must submit as part of their application. However, there is always room for continuous improvement. So, I’m adding to my PDP. Currently it doesn’t show the “So what?” bit, the impact. I’m at risk of repeating one of my previous blogs, so if you haven’t read it already please read “So what?”. I’m also considering whether to link it to the ISBL Professional standards, my school’s improvement plan and my MAT’s Strategic plan. However, overall it is my Personal Development Plan, I’ve considered how I would like to influence my situation; achieve my goals, create my adventure.
I appreciate I’m at risk of sounding like Monica in Friends having a plan for everything. I don’t. I would like to stress my PDP isn’t printed out and stuck on the fridge door by a selection of Disney magnets. Hmm…maybe I should do this and then I might achieve “eat better, exercise”? OH pointed out this week that we need to flesh out our plan for this time next year when eldest is at Uni and there will just be three of us at home. I don’t want to think about it. He then went too far and said and we need to think about what we are going to do in three years’ time when there is just the two of us at home. I gave him my worst evil stare as I’m really cross with myself for not creating a PDP twenty years ago which had the goal of learning how to stop time. The concept of having a plan you are not looking forward to achieving has never crossed my mind before.
Academy Business Leader
2 thoughts on “Fail to plan, plan to fail”
Thank you for writing this. It’s good for thought.
Great blog Helen, your writing always makes me think.