Monday, January 28, 2013

The Ten Commandments of Personal Growth

Continuing on the topic of personal growth and development from last week, I want to share with you something I read several years ago but was reunited with this week.  It’s called “The Ten Commandments of Personal Growth.”  It is by Dave Early from his book 8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders.

The Ten Commandments of Personal Growth
1.   Make the choice to be an ever-growing person.
2.   Focus your activities and set some goals.
3.   Gather any needed tools.
4.   Develop a plan that fits you.
5.   Schedule the needed time.
6.   Sow before you hope to reap.
7.   Make yourself accountable.
8.   Share what you learn with others.
9.   Associate with growing people.
10. Put what you learn into practice.

Sample Growth Goals

Grow mentally by:
Reading a _____________ a _____________.
Listening to _______ CD’s, podcasts, etc. a ______________.

Develop spiritual fitness by:
Reading the Bible ____ minutes daily or _____ chapters daily.
Praying ______ minutes daily.
Journaling _____ minutes daily.
Leading family devotions _______ minutes a day, _____ days a week.
Fasting ____ days a month.

Increasing physical fitness by:
Exercising _____ minutes ______ days a week.
Sleeping ____ hours a night.
Eating less ____________ and more ____________.

Investing In relationships with:
Spouse ___________ minutes a day/hours a week.
Children __________ minutes a day/hours a week.
Apprentice ________ minutes a day/hours a week.
Other ____________ minutes a day/hours a week.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Creating A Personal Growth Plan

I don’t know of anyone who would admit that they do not want to grow. Yet, most people I know do not grow.  For some it’s because their desire to grow is nothing more than vocal.  For others, it truly is heartfelt but they don’t know how.  I have found that if I am going to grow, I have to intentionally create a personal growth plan; a plan that I can follow each day to help me get where I want to be.

Personal growth and development are like going on a journey.  You need to know where you want to go and you need a map or plan to get you there. .

Here is how I developed my growth plan for 2013.

Step 1: I determined areas that I wanted to focus on this year.  For me it was my walk with Christ, the growth of my church through multiplication, my preaching, and the equipping of others in leadership.

Step 2: I determined what resources I would need.  I knew I would need books, CD’s, podcasts, or websites, conferences, journals, and people.  Books and trade magazines I need to read.  Speakers, I need to listen to on CD, podcasts, or the web.  And finally people I want to invest in.

Step 3: I set goals.  The goals I set for this year include:

Reading my Bible through in one year.
Reading one book per month.
Reading 2 journals per month.
Reading every day.
Listening to one leadership lesson per week via CD, podcast, or webcast.
Listening to one sermon per week via CD, podcast, or webcast.
Attend one Leadership Conference.
Attend one Bible or Church Growth Conference.

Step 4: I started gathering the resources.  I picked a daily Bible reading plan that would take me through the Bible in a year.  I determined I wanted to read two books on leadership, two books on church growth through multiplication, two books in the area of spiritual growth, and one book on mentoring others.  There are always books that come along that might not fit into my plan but really catch my interest because of where I am in my life.  So I don’t pick a book for every month.

I started looking at websites such as and to see what books are available in the areas of my interest.  Once I found a book that interested me I  read the reviews to see what others were saying about that book.  I also looked to see what books other leaders are reading and recommend.  I don’t buy the books immediately.  I either put them on my wishlist on the site or I write the name and author down on my notepad app on my Ipad.  I buy them when I’m ready to read them.  I already subscribe to a number of journals, so picking those out was not an issue.

I know which preachers I like to listen to and already have their websites bookmarked on my web-browser, so that part was easy as well.  I watch or listen to the leadership lessons and the sermons while I’m on my elliptical every morning.  I will meet this goal with no problem.

I constantly receive email, postal mail flyers, and brochures for conferences. From these I choose which conferences I will attend.  I believe everyone should have at least one conference on their personal growth plan.

There it is.  My personal growth plan.  It’s simple.  The plan for the whole year took less than two hours to develop.  I now know where I’m going in my personal development and how I’m going to get there.

Do you have a growth plan?  If so, share it with me.  If you do not, it’s not too late for 2013.  Take some time in the next week to develop your plan.