All Posts

IDP Deep Dive Part 2: Diving Deeper Into the Foundation, the Wheel of Life, and Vision Setting

How to achieve your personal growth goals with an IDP – Part Two

Key takeaways:

  • Getting the most out of your IDP takes more than a superficial understanding of the basics.
  • It’s critical to dig deep into the sections of the plan and how they pertain to your goals.
  • Personal growth can’t happen without effort.

Getting your Individual Development Plan (IDP) right means excavating your deepest desires and clarifying your goals. The most effective way to create an IDP that works for you is to dig into its key aspects and how each best serves your objectives. Understanding your goals, values, and problem areas gets you moving forward toward the future you’re meant for.

In this article, I’ll delve deeper into the first two sections of the Susco IDP – the Foundation and the Wheel of Life – and provide an overview of Vision Setting. I will be exploring that section in a “part three” article.

Diving deeper into your IDP

Accomplishing any goal takes determination and a great deal of effort, which often entails intense introspection and research. It’s even more true when it comes to your IDP. 

When I started my personal development journey, I quickly realized one thing: The way I was doing things wasn’t working. There were many things I didn’t know, however. I didn’t know why my hard work wasn’t taking me where I wanted to go. I didn’t know how to change to make things work better. And I didn’t know what needed changing in the first place.

I learned all that – and more – when I slowed down and analyzed the way I was living, what I wanted from myself and my life, and how I wanted to achieve my goals. It’s hard to see the forest for the trees, right? Seeing an accurate picture of what’s happening in your life means you must often take a step back and look at the situation from an outside perspective. 

The growth factor

Growth doesn’t happen without work. You may be able to learn things without specifically trying but genuine growth requires intentional effort. Digging deep into your IDP can spawn some of the greatest moments of growth you will ever experience. 

It’s an unfortunate truth that often, we simply accept many unpleasant parts of life without questioning the “why” of them. Working to uncover what’s causing our unhappiness also shows us our weaknesses and strengths. From this, we can learn what’s holding us back and how to defeat it. 

The Susco IDP

The Susco IDP is divided into three primary sections: the Foundation, the Wheel of Life, and Vision Setting. 

The Foundation

The Foundation section is precisely what it sounds like – the base of information upon which you will build the rest of your IDP. This section is simple in its format but considerably more complex in the information you provide.

To build your foundation, you must first create a statement – comprised of one simple sentence about the legacy you want to leave. An example of a legacy statement might be, “I want to do my part to make the world a better place,” or “I want to ensure I’ve raised strong, anti-fragile children.” As your IDP evolves, this legacy statement will become your purpose statement. 

After you develop your legacy statement, you will devise a list of corresponding legacy words. These will be individual descriptive words that you want people to think when they think about you. There are many examples of common terms you might use here, such as happy, confident, inspiring, or ambitious. 

In addition to including those more common – yet, still important – words, it’s worthwhile to dig deeper to find terms that are most specific to you. This depends on the individual, of course, but some examples may be words like pioneering, forward-thinking, discerning, or diplomatic.

Personal core values are also critical to outline in this section. These values will guide you as you work through the rest of your IDP and should align with each area of life you will encounter as you work on the Wheel of Life, the next section to building your IDP. 

The Wheel of Life

The Wheel of Life exercise helps you visualize your satisfaction in each area of life and why each area is important to you. The areas of life we use in our Susco IDP are:

  • Health
  • Fun and Leisure
  • Personal Growth
  • Family and Friends
  • Finances
  • Career
  • Community

For each area, you will rate your current satisfaction with this scale:

1 – Strongly Disagree
2 – Disagree
3 – Neither Agree nor Disagree
4 – Agree
5 – Strongly Agree

You will then write a short sentence or two on why it is important in your life. It benefits you to dig a little deeper to determine why each of these matters to you as part of your legacy statement, words, and core values.

The idea of this exercise is to rate how you feel about the different aspects of your life to determine where it’s out of balance. Seeing this visually can help you prioritize the changes you want to make. 

The following graphic is an example of the Wheel of Life, including personal satisfaction ratings for each area of life, that we use for our Susco IDPs. 

Developing your Foundation and working on the Wheel of Life exercise is a natural progression toward the final section of the Susco IDP, Vision Setting, which I will touch on only briefly in this article.

Vision Setting

We place great value on setting achievable visions for the future at Susco because we understand the power of visualization. 

Visualization is simply imagining how your future will look.  It seems simple. The trick is to see it as though it’s happening now – with all the sights, smells, sounds, and textures that it entails. 

Imagine in great detail the job you plan to have. See your office and desk. Think of the clothes you’ll wear, the lunches you’ll eat, and the car you’ll drive home. 

Keeping this clear vision in your head as you work toward it signals your subconscious to keep your end goal in mind. 

A closer look at the key elements

In part one of the IDP series of blogs, I discussed the most critical elements of IDPs and their importance for personal development. Now, let’s look more closely at what they are and how they work.

Discover your values

Your values guide your decisions, goals, and life purpose. Working against them makes life much more difficult. If you value family above all but work 70-hour work weeks, you’ll feel stressed, discouraged, and conflicted. Aligning your life with your goals makes everything much easier.

Consider the people you admire most and think about what it is about them you admire. This guides you to discover your own values. It also helps to consider the times you felt the happiest and proudest and determine what common values were at play during those experiences.  

Identify your problems

Recognizing your problem areas shows you where you should focus your efforts. The easiest method is to employ a root cause analysis to trace a problem to its origin. Identify the problem and collect relevant data, such as proof of the problem, how long it’s been an issue, and its impact on your life. From there, list possible causes and solutions from all perspectives. 

Declare achievable goals

Setting realistic, achievable goals is paramount to success. You can’t get a master’s degree in a year, so setting a goal to become a doctor by your next birthday isn’t useful. Shoot for targets you can accomplish in your given timeframe. 

Track your progress

Tracking your progress is helpful, no matter what task you’ve taken on. It is motivational to see how far you’ve come and see your skills improve each day. Measure your growth throughout your whole life as you continue to grow and expand your knowledge base. 

An IDP is the first step to a better life. Familiarizing yourself with these fundamental aspects gives you a strong base for the upcoming application process. Prepare yourself for success, and it will happen.

Deepening your IDP understanding can help you change your life trajectory

Your IDP is one of the most important documents you will ever complete. I am a huge proponent of personal transformation and how it can change the direction of your life, from home life to personal relationships and work. Check out my Medium, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages to see what personal transformation can accomplish firsthand and what it can do for you. 

Recent Posts

My Personal Development Toolkit & History

I was just on the This Life without Limits podcast: audio here and video here! Purpose of this Post I wanted to compile a master list of concepts I’ve learned to drive personal transformation and how those concepts can be applied to one’s business / professional life. There is more content to come, but there’s […]

Preserve Data Quality – Prevent Errors with Technology and Build a Culture of Data Integrity

Data errors cost you more than you realize. Make better decisions and more money. Data accuracy is essential in insurance adjusting firms – it directly impacts your ability to make informed decisions and assess claims. It informs decision-making, improves efficiency, enhances customer service, and mitigates fraud. Data errors have many consequences, including incorrect assessments, claim […]

Reducing Customer Support Costs with Intuitive Software

Discover how replacing non-intuitive software with efficient solutions gives you an edge from a financial and operational perspective In the world of insurance adjusting, time is money. Yet, all too often, inefficient software drains both, leaving firms scrambling to keep their heads above the water and meet customer expectations.  Luckily, the situation isn’t all doom […]

Your Make vs. Buy Software Decision Greatly Impacts Your Business Success

Let’s compare off-the-shelf with custom software for insurance adjusting One of the most difficult aspects for insurance adjusting firms seeking digital transformation is the decision to make or buy software. It’s a strategic dilemma: Do you develop a custom software solution or purchase an off-the-shelf insurance software solution? What aligns best with your business goals, […]