Six steps to a personal learning action plan

Step 1 – Determine what you want to accomplish. In other words, set your goal for your personal action / learning plan. Make the goal so clear in your mind that you won’t have a problem knowing when you’ve reached it. Define your goal so that a stranger can read your goal and let you know when you’ve achieved it. Foggy or unclear goals are confusing and tough to reach.

Step 2 Plan the route by which you intend to achieve the goal. For example, if your goal of your personal action / learning plan is to be able to run a meeting with English speakers, decide how you’re going to do it. It may take you a little time and thought to figure it out, but it’s important to plan. If you plan to go nowhere, you usually end up there.

Step 3 – Break your plan down into digestible snippets. If you realize that you have to work on listening to several speakers, then break it down into monthly, weekly and daily goals. Start by listening to short dialogues 5 or 6 times a week is much more digestible than listening to 10 people in a room for 3 hours.

Step 4 – Track your progress and hold yourself accountable. The best way to see how close you are to where you want to be is to be able to see how much you’ve done. Track your progress. Keep in mind that there will be unexpected bumps in the road and you need to forgive yourself if you veered off track for a bit. Just remember to get back on track and remember the goal. Don’t continue going down the wrong path.

Step 5 – Make changes when necessary. If the initial goal in your personal plan was to run a meeting with 10 English speakers in 60 hours of training and 40 hours of Self Managed Learning is unreasonable at the moment and you realise that it will take 120 hours of Self Managed Learning instead, adjust your plan accordingly. Not adjusting your plan will mean that you won’t reach the goal you set out for yourself.

Step 6 – Review your original goal. Take out your personal learning action plan every regularly and do a reality check against your original objectives. Is your original goal still valid or has it changed? If it has changed, make the appropriate modifications. Always remember to write your goals in such a way that anyone reading your goals can tell if you’re on track or not. Always be clear.

If you have followed the Six steps to a personal learning action plan you may notice that is often a cyclic plan, that is to say that you may reach step 6 and need to go back through the process, adjusting as necessary to achieve your final goal.

Be willing to change some of the Six steps to a personal learning action plan, it is organic and not a fixed plan – life often gets in the way and you may need to react to this.

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