Three Reasons to Create an Individualized Plan

person standing in field overlooking skyline with imaginephd website listed“My PhD program is too overbearing,” “I can’t imagine writing an entire dissertation,” “where would I even start?” Sound like you? You need a plan. Some plans help corporations. Some help countries. But what you need is an individualized plan. We all have goals. But it’s one thing to have goals and another to reach them. A great step to getting started on that journey of accomplishment is a game plan – a mapping out of what one’s goals are, what steps are needed, and how to accomplish them.

ImaginePhD has a feature that can help. Their website has a tool you can use to create an individualized plan. You create individual goals, map out the timetable for accomplishing it, and what area of your overall pursuits it falls under. These goals can be what you desire to accomplish in academics, or it can be goals involved in pursuing alternative routes outside the traditional academic one. Here are three reasons that taking the time to make use of ImaginePhD is a good idea for a graduate student.

Clarity: What you need to do

Sometimes we have a broad idea of what we need to accomplish, but it’s too hazy for us to really be effective. And sometimes we have so many goals that it is overwhelming to even keep straight what needs to get done. Writing your goals down into a plan forces you to clarify what your goals are. It also helps you to see how they related to each other temporarily. Some goals might not need to be prioritized for a few weeks. In that case, you can focus onto what needs to get done in the moment, and still have a handle on what will need to get done soon after.

Structure: Forming a game plan

Writing out an individual development plan not only helps to clarify what needs to get done, but also provides structure to accomplishing them. This is especially important for long term goals. Sometimes we have one goal that is more important than others. Some goals are only important to us insofar as they help us get closer to accomplishing the important one. Without writing down your goals, it is not clear what the best strategy is to pursue your goals. If you’re not careful, you might pursue your goals in non-optimal order. Getting them onto a development plan avoids that.

Progress: Tracking progress

Another benefit to writing out a plan is that you can get a better sense of making progress. Some long-term goals are so far away that it can feel like we never make progress on what we are working towards. In those cases, it feels like we are not making progress. And that can be discouraging and cause one to lose motivation. But the more specific the goals are that you write out, then more gets crossed out as you make progress. Thus, gives us something concrete to track our pursuit of accomplishing our goals.

By Kevin Gausselin
Kevin Gausselin