Every year around this time, I complete an Individual Development Plan. I have completed this form for the past decade. For many, this is a necessary evil that one finishes in February and fails to look at until December. But for me, it’s a little different. I actually believe there is value in this activity. Taking time to self-develop is important. And if it’s important at work – it’s even more important at home.
So – this year, now that my IDP for work is completed, I’m completing and IDP for my personal development as it relates to the rest of my life. I took the liberty of creating a form here. And for good measure, you can see my completed form as well.
But why should we do this? My wife asked me – don’t you know what you want to do? Why do you have to write it down? Both are great questions. I do know what I’d like to be better at. But I think this is important for a couple of reasons.
- There is power when you write something down and sign it.
- Truly, if you have a document you took the time to actually fill out, and you signed at the bottom – even if no one is watching you, you are watching yourself.
- It gives you a reference point.
- You can pull this up weekly or monthly and remind yourself what you wanted to do this year. When you see what you committed to, you are inspired to follow through.
- It gives you something to celebrate.
- How do you look back on last year? Can you say you accomplished anything that made you a better person or that enhanced your family life? Having this document allows you to look back and celebrate the success.
So let’s create an effective IDP !
What is effective development?
Effective development focuses on critical development areas to support:
- Short term goals – the areas of development that will support the achievement of parent performance goals.
- Long term goals – the areas of development that will support the achievement of f family / life goals.
How do I fill out this IDP?
Identify Development Needs
The first thing you must do is identify the 2-3 competencies on which to concentrate. I know you want to do a million things, but if you don’t narrow in, you’ll abandon everything. I have created the Competencies of a Dynamic Family to help you create your plan. For the sake of this article, we will pick three ares and build one out as an example. You can see my completed IDP for reference. Remember this is an INDIVIDUAL development plan. It is for you to get better at things you want to do. Family goals will come later, so don’t worry if you feel like the IDP seems selfish. It’s not. It’s about giving you the time and activities to make yourself better for you so that you can be better for your family.
Access the competencies list or consider some behaviors you want to work on. My list is not an exhaustive list by any means and there is no right answer.
Access your IDP form
Select 1-2 areas you feel need development and 1 you consider a strength. Place them after:
Consider the areas of parenting that, if further enhanced, will enable the achievement of family goals.
- Creating Family Value
- Communicating with Love and Respect
- New Skill Development
Why are these development areas the most critical to driving my current or future family performance expectations?
For me, I want to create family value in all I do. My family is the most important part of my life so I want to create activities and experiences that reflect that feeling. I know sometimes I lose my temper with my children and wife. I want to be a better communicator, showing love and respect to reflect how important they truly are to me. I also was to concentrate on myself with a new skill development. This shows my children that I am still learning and that new skills are still important to me.
Begin outlining your actions
Now we will go through each focus area to determine what type of activity you will complete to meet your goal. Individual development plans should include a mix of development opportunities. Daddy Development has adopted a model of development that says 50% of learning comes from doing (assignments that stretch you,) 25% of learning comes through developmental relationships (partnering with others you respect and admire,) and 25% of learning comes from formal training. That seems formal – so in good daddy fashion, do your best.
Let’s do one together:
Development Action: Creating Family Value:
- Read “150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities from FunAtHomeWithKids.com!” and execute one activity per week with a goal of 40 activities.
- Keep a family activities journal. Capture activities you do and ones you see other parents doing with children as best practices so you can also do those activities (e.g. going to the park, flying a kite, etc.)
- Cook at least once per week and dine at home as a family.
This gives you three activities that help develop family value. Reading a book is ‘formal training’, but executing the activities is part of the ‘doing’ activity. Keeping a journal is a ‘doing’ activity, but watching for best practices from other parents is a form of ‘developmental relationships’. We have a nice mix of doing and learning. Make sense?
Goals should be smart – which means:
- Specific: Goals are focused and call for specific action
- Measurable: Goals are quantifiable in terms of quantity, quality or time
- Attainable: Goals are achievable, yet challenging
- Realistic / Relevant: Goals are consistent with bettering yourself and family
- Time bound: Goals are defined by beginnings and end dates
Important Resources: (In this section, list anything or anyone you need to obtain this goal.)
- “150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities from FunAtHomeWithKids.com!” Available on Amazon.com
- Wife/ Children
Do the same for all three of your areas.
Share your plan with your family.
While this is an INDIVIDUAL Development Plan, it’s important you share with those it may impact. I would like to learn guitar. That may mean I take a class each week. That takes time and money. Probably something I should talk with my wife about. If I’m going to cook and expect a family dinner, I want to make sure I’m picking a good night when everyone is free. You are still part of a family and you need to share this with them.
Additionally, if open to it, you should have your spouse and children fill out an individual plan. Goals for children are hugely important. I recommend working through the form with your children individually. It will help them create reasonable goals and let you learn more about what they see as strength and weaknesses in themselves.
Revisit your plan throughout the year.
Great, you filled out the form. All done? Not exactly. Update your goals and actions as appropriate. Be sure to document your learning and how it contributed to your performance by answering the questions on the form.
At the end of the year – reflect.
The final section, “What did I learn?” is for you to complete at the end of the year.
How did I apply what I learned?
SAMPLE: I applied the knowledge I gained from the book I read and the journal I kept to increase family activities and enhance family bonds. We logged 45 activities.
What was I able to deliver as a result of my development and / or how do I know I’ve accomplished my growth objectives?
I examined the journal kept and discussed the year with my family. Together, we agree our family value was better this year.
So get after it! After all, it’s late!
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I can’t do this alone – I need your likes, comments and shares. You do that for me and I’ll do the same for you.
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