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Personal Growth Plan

Wendi D. Sparling

Azusa Pacific University

Sparling Plan
Personal Growth Plan


Completing this program has been the first thing I have truly done for myself to promote

my own personal well-being and intellectual growth since becoming a parent. Having spent most

of my adult life promoting what was best for the family, there has been little time or admittedly,

little interest in accomplishing endeavors I would have liked to pursue. Facing yet another

impending career and location move for someone other than me, developing a plan with

unknown variables in an unfamiliar location is a challenge. Through this program, I have had

opportunity to identify what my personal strengths, limitations, and motivations. Currently, I am

in a position that neither implements nor incorporates these characteristics and currently, there

are no professional growth opportunities. It was what was necessary and needed for the season.

Looking forward, this plan incorporates the sentiment embodied in this quote: “Leaders don’t

become leaders on talent alone. No matter how intellectually or emotionally gifted or

economically advantaged or socially privileged, no one is prepared for all the uncertainty and

newness that (organizational) life will throw at them,” (Thomas, 2008, p. 230). This plan is like

me: flexible, adaptable, and subject to change. Presented as a three-phase process, goals are

articulated through an abbreviated timeline.

Year One:

Personal Goals:

 Completed the MA in Leadership.

 Pursue my own personal interests, apart from facilitating family need.

 Improve overall physical fitness.

 Clarify future direction and endeavors.

Sparling Plan
 Have a lot more fun!

Plan: It is really about figuring out who I am and what I am in this new life phase.

 Get my passport.

 Take 2 random, non-academic classes that incorporates creativity, like pottery or


 Volunteer for an organization, somewhere new or different.

 Non-obligatory travel. One weekend. Does not need to be far, just somewhere new.

 Read at least 10 books. Academic or non-academic, just what is of personal interest.

 Write for fun, blog once a week.

 Twice a week, attend to physical fitness.

Professional Goals:

 Identify entrepreneurial endeavors or opportunities.

 Seek at least 1 mentoring relationship.

Plan: These would not be time or quantity specific, but on-going activities.

 Continue in current position to natural conclusion; either I move or job is eliminated.

 Research market demand or need, with skillset perspective.

 Pursue two opportunities for professional growth. (Conferences, trainings, etc.)

 Practice discernment through Bible study and prayer. Journal at least once a week to

track revelations.

Three Year:

Personal Goals:

 Two my kids would have graduated from college and started their own careers.

 Pay off current student loans.

Sparling Plan
 Contribute to paying for remaining child’s tuition.

 Take a real vacation.

 Discipline to continue to pursue personal endeavors as previously listed in year one.

Professional Goals:

 Start an entrepreneurial venture from home as secondary income stream.

 Working part-time to support entrepreneurial endeavors.

 Write a cursory vision and mission statement.

Five Year:

Personal Goals:

 All kids will have graduated from college and should be pursuing their own careers.

 Pay off the last student loan.

 Flexibility and resources to travel.

 Buy a house.

Professional Goals:

 Move from a secondary to primary income stream.

 No longer working for any organization.

 Endeavor is small and manageable, but mine.

 Provide for retirement.

Three-Five Year Plan: Improve in the following competencies so that I am better able to embrace

new challenges that a new endeavor would offer.

Strategic Mobilizer: Strategy is a one of my strengths, but it has been underutilized.

 Pray for wisdom, discernment, and purpose alignment.

 Learn how to write an effective vision and mission statement.

Sparling Plan
 Solicit partners, or experts who can provide direction or clarity in areas in which I have

no experience or context.

Inspiring Developer: Having never been involved in a formal mentoring experience. A mentor

would be beneficial in soliciting feedback and clarifying direction. Expertise, experience,

encouragement, accountability, and spiritual direction would helpful, too.

 Be involved in a mentoring experience.

 Identify accountability partners that can offer constructive feedback and support.

Change Catalyst. Major life change requires a life change for me, too.

 Model discipline of self-care through regular physical exercise.

 Journal the journey.

Principled Decision Maker. My personal ethics are fairly well defined. Areas of growth are

centered on more collaborative problem solving and objectivity.

 Learn to temper emotion with reason by further developing emotional intelligence.

 Take ownership for defining new endeavor happen, no one else is going to do it for me.

 Practicality and feasibility should be considered.

Responsible Influencer. Ultimately, whatever I do, I should be a positive encouragement. Any

endeavor should be market relevant, true to me, but is also what is needed to promote the well-

being of others.

 Look to the positive in both myself and others.

 Reduce negativity.

 Set an example that age is not a limitation or a barrier to new endeavors.

Sparling Plan

Thomas, R.J. (2008). Crucibles of leadership. How to learn from experience to become a great

leader. Harvard Business Review Press.

Sparling Plan