Published in


A Simple Way to Create Your Development Plan

Image by Bree and Stephen from Unsplash
Image by Bree & Stephen from Unsplash

When we think about the learning process, we usually imagine a pile of books and concepts that we need to learn by heart. At least, that was my perception of learning during university time. When we start our professional route, we think of webinars and conferences that we want to take part in to upgrade our skill set. But have you actually heard that the theoretical part of the learning process (e.g., books, webinars, TED talks, etc.) is only 10% of our development?

A few days ago, we got an excellent presentation delivered by my former colleague, Natalya, P&O Head AniCura, Mars Russia. Natalya has spent ten years working with people and helping them along their career paths. She shared with us essential insights on the successful career journey and crucial parts of the development process. Inspired by her presentation, I want to share my key learnings about self-development.


As we all know, the learning process is infinite. We may not have time for books or online courses, but we always have time to learn from our actions or learn from our surroundings. We just need to remember the simple 70–20–10 model and use it SMART to become more productive and achieve new peaks.

Image from Page Up

Define development areas

First of all, we need to understand what should be improved based on our mission, career, and main goals. The best way to highlight our development areas is reflection.

Here are five key points to reflect on:

  • Mission & Goals. I usually breakdown all goals into four key areas: professional development, personal development, adventure goals, and contribution goals.
  • Starting point. Even if we need to work on some skills, it does not mean we are at the bottom of the scale. Try to assess your skill set and estimate the current level of particular skills.
  • Desired level. Think of the level you want to reach. I usually calibrate it by observing people around me and finding a role model for a specific skill.
  • External factors. We always should adapt to reality and consider all relevant circumstances. So think if it will be possible to apply this skill within the next year.
  • Abilities and strengths. By using your strong sides, we can create leverage to gain more experience and upgrade your skill set.

Are you done with defining your development areas? It is time to work on your 70–20–10 plan!

Learn from experience

Could you imagine that most of your development is coming on-the-go while you work or study? Dealing with challenging tasks, setting new goals at work, and getting expertise in unfamiliar areas, we always learn something new and improve ourselves.

The key to a successful 70 is well-defined goals and actions that you can take every day to gain as much experience as possible. Natalya has offered a brilliant idea to use the SMART approach to form the development plan that will let you see the measurable results within a well-defined period.

All you need to do is to make sure:

  • All your goals and objectives are specific and result-oriented.
  • You can measure the results after completing the task.
  • Most of your goals are attainable.
  • Reflect on your development plan and update it regularly to keep your targets relevant.
  • All your goals are time-bounded.

Let’s try to keep it SMART to get the most out of your development plan!

Learn from others

From the cradle to the grave, people learn from their surroundings. It starts from observing our parents during mealtime and learning from them how to hold a spoon. Throughout life, we search for role models or adapt some skills and behaviours unconsciously.

I believe it is crucial to be surrounded by successful and fascinating people that can teach us something new. Most of the time, they trigger us to achieve new goals and keep developing ourselves. Sometimes, we don’t have access to people that inspire us as role models, but we can always follow them on social media and watch their interviews to learn from them and adopt some approaches and skills.

I am not saying you need to find a perfect human being who matches all the criteria of success. I am saying our friends, family or colleagues can be better in some particular areas, and we should learn from them to master these skills.

Grind away studies

Even though the theoretical base is only 10%, it is still vital to absorb new knowledge from books, webinars, TED Talks, and other resources.

We are the lucky generation with access to millions of terabytes of information, and we should use this chance! It is easy to learn something new just by reading one article per day or turning over another book’s page before you go to bed. Even if you are not a fan of reading, you still can learn by listening to podcasts, joining ClubHouse rooms, watching YouTube videos.

There are so many ways to upgrade your knowledge nowadays!




We curate and disseminate outstanding articles from diverse domains and disciplines to create fusion and synergy.

Recommended from Medium

Producing My First Podcast

The product is as good as your team — Hervé Lourdin (

HRTech — the ‘D’ word moves on to people

Footprints & Shadows Determine Your Life, Leadership, and Legacy!

Specialisation is Killing Innovation, Invention in Companies

“An analytics approach: the small changes make a big difference”


A guide to finding your next PM Job

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Alexandra Protsenko

Alexandra Protsenko

Help people to find their personal destiny

More from Medium

A Guide to Self-Care for Those Who Flirt With Burnout.

Achieve a goal. Grab your dream

How Expressing Gratitude Helps with Health and Wellness

You have to struggle for a long time before real success happens