Personal Development Plan – Your Stat Sheet

If you want to get better at something, you will make significantly greater progress if you track it. This Stat Sheet will be a powerful tool for your personal development plan.

The problem is that there isn’t a great way to yourself, your attributes, your particular skills, your knowledge, etc.

That’s why I created the Personal Development Plan – Personal Stat Sheet. It is a character sheet for real life. And the good news is that I am giving it away for free. We will get to that soon.

The reason I created this self-improvement tool is that journaling alone isn’t good enough for tracking all the aspects of your life that you are working on.

A journal is a good choice for tracking one specific area.

As an example, many jiu-jitsu players keep a training journal. They track each class, the techniques they drilled, who they rolled with, the submissions used to tap others, submissions that caused them to tap, and so on.

Being able to look back at the past training sessions has several benefits.

You can visualize the techniques that you drilled. You can see what you are doing well. And you can spot your weaknesses and make a plan to strengthen them. And much more.

But what if you are also into weightlifting… and meditation… and writing… and so on.

Your attributes, interests, skills, physical abilities, mental abilities, knowledge are going to be different than everyone else’s. Your goals will be unique to you.

That’s why you need a system that is flexible enough to fit your exact needs.

How Does it Work?

If you’ve ever played an RPG game, you will understand the concept of the stat sheet. Let’s say you are playing an RPG, whether tabletop or video game.

You begin the game by creating the kind of character that you want to play and allocating the stat points to flesh him out.

You choose to play a rogue, a stealthy/assassin-type character. Your stats might look something like this.

 

Attributes:

Physical:

Strength – 2. You need some strength to swing that dagger and lug around the items that you pickpocket from your victims.

Stamina – 1. A sneaky rogue shouldn’t be getting hit, so you sacrifice some points in this area.

Dexterity – 4. Quick hands are a rogue’s tools. Both for fast attacks and also to pick locks. and disarm traps.

 

Mental:

Intelligence – 2. You won’t be very well-read but you know enough to come indoors when it’s raining out.

Wits – 4. Quick thinking is where it’s at. You have to be able to make split-second decisions to stay alive.

 

Social:

Charisma – 3. Being able to talk your way out of trouble helps in case you get caught. And you can get better prices for the treasure you, uh… find.

 

Skills:

Sneak – 3. A sneaky rogue is a good rogue.

Daggers – 3. Your weapon of choice. Speed over brute strength.

Lock picking – 2. You can get through most locks without too much trouble.

Dodge – 1. For a character wearing light armor, it’s better to dodge attacks rather than take them at full force.

 

Knowledge:

Bartering – 1. Along with charisma, this helps to sell your wares.

 

 

In most RPGs, your character starts out weak but defined.

These stats would not do well for a wizard-type character. A wizard would want higher intelligence to be more effective with his spells. And his skills would be completely different. It would be a completely different playstyle.

Either way, these starting stats do define the qualities of your character.

And they leave plenty of room for growth and improvement as your character gains levels to become more powerful.

This rogue could choose different paths as he levels up, depending on his goals.

He might want to play as a more combat-oriented assassin.

In that case, he could spend future skill points on strength, dexterity, daggers, and dodge.

Or if he wants to play more like a thief his choices would be different.

He might want to spend points on dexterity, sneak, bartering, and lock picking.

 

Why Tracking is Important to Personal Development Plan:

One reason why these RPG games are so popular is that it feels good to see your character get better and stronger.

You spend time and effort to level up and you can feel the difference when you play.

Your level 15 rogue could wipe the floor with your level 1 rogue in large part because he earns higher stats.

He hits harder in combat, he is sneakier, and faster.

It feels good to get better in these games.

 

Back to Reality:

Okay. Now back to the real world and why this matters.

You could take an honest assessment of yourself and create a similar stat sheet based on you and your abilities.

What would your strength be?

What about your stamina?

Your skill at jiu-jitsu?

Your skill at poker?

What about golf?

Are you studying computer programming? What’s your skill level at Java?

How charismatic are you?

And any other attributes, skills, and knowledge that makes you, you?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

You can assess yourself and get a pretty good picture of how strong or weak you are in many areas.

Once you know exactly where you stand, you can make a self-improvement plan and put it to work.

 

Why Does it Matter?

If you want to get better in any area of your life, tracking it is an effective way to start.

You can set goals for yourself and feel that sense of accomplishment when you reach the next level.

Here’s an example based on the real world.

Let’s invent a guy and name him Steve.

Steve is 26 years old and works as a waiter at a restaurant. He makes enough money to get by, and he can go out with his friends once a week usually but money is pretty tight at the end of the month.

He is 30 pounds overweight, but he has lost 8 pounds over the last few months since he started going to the gym. His strength is increasing slowly but not as fast as he wants. He also started taking jiu-jitsu classes a few weeks ago.

Besides that, he is taking an online course to learn computer programming so he can build an app or get a programming job eventually and earn more money than he does now.

In his off-time, he will play a few video games and watch a little TV to relax. He even reads every now and then.

Steve is single and would like to have a girlfriend but is a bit shy.

Here is what Steve’s stat sheet might look like:

 

Attributes:

Physical:

Strength – 2. Before hitting the gym, this would have been a 1 but the lifting has started to make a difference.

Stamina – 2. Jiu-jitsu and the gym will improve this over time, but physical endurance has been neglected for a long time. Those extra 30 pounds aren’t helping any.

Dexterity – 3. Hand-eye coordination is decent from video games. Steve is learning how his body works during jiu-jitsu lessons.

 

Mental:

Intelligence – 4. Keeping his mind active with studying programming helps keep his mind from turning into pudding.

Wits – 4. Steve is a funny guy and a quick thinker.

 

Social:

Charisma – 3. He’s a friendly guy and likable in general. When he can build up the courage to talk to a girl at the bar, it sometimes goes okay.

Confidence – 2. The recent weight loss and physical improvements have boosted self-esteem. The future is starting to look more bright.

Appearance – 3. Steve isn’t a bad-looking guy but he doesn’t present himself as well as he could. If he threw out those raggedy shoes and cleaned up his facial hair, it would help him out in this department. And dropping that extra weight would help him out.

 

Skills:

Computer Programming – 3. Studying and hard work is starting to pay off. The concepts are making more sense every day as he studies and practices this new skill.

Jiu-jitsu – 1. He’s a brand new white belt and making improvements in every class, but the other white belts still have an easy time with him.

Finance – 3. Steve is smart with the limited money he has, and he is on the path to earning more. The car is paid off and most of his extra money is spent to improve himself (online classes, gym, jiu-jitsu).

Dating – 2. When he does build up the courage to talk with a girl, it doesn’t usually go great or poorly. He’s a friendly and likable guy, but his lack of confidence holds him back.

 

Knowledge:

Computer Programming (Java Language) – 3. He knows the basics of the language and is working hard to learn how to implement it.

Weight Lifting – 3. Despite being relatively new to weight lifting, Steve’s form is good. He researched how to lift properly online and makes it a point to do the exercises correctly even if he isn’t lifting as heavy as he would like.

 

Breakdown:

This is a breakdown of how our fictional friend Steve might fill out his self-development stat sheet.

I use a scale from 1 to 7 for each stat. This gives you enough ranks to track progress while still having each level-up feel good and meaningful.

I use 3 as a very rough average. This is hard to define exactly and it can be quite different depending on the specific attribute, skills, etc. that it is assigned to.

Also, there can be subcategories to each stat that I will explain further down in this article.

Here’s a rough guide on how I use the ranking scale:

1 – Total newbie. As bad as it gets.

2 – One step higher. Still weak but somewhat better than a 1.

3 – The average human (see below for notes on this.)

4 – Better than average.

5 – Very good

6 – Incredible good.

7 – Reaching the highest human potential. The top 1%.

Here are some examples of how I would rate Strength, Stamina, Wits, Finance, and Jiu-jitsu (cut me a break. I love jiu-jitsu):

 

Strength:

1 – Frail. Everyday normal activities are a challenge.

2 – Below average. Nobody is going to ask you to help them move.

3 – You can get by with normal activities. You don’t go to the gym or do anything that helps build you physically.

4 – Stronger than the average guy. Dadbod (likely).

5 – You make an effort to work on your physical power regularly with the gym or exercises at home. You look good with a shirt on.

6 – Fitness is a key part of your life. People comment on your body, and you look great with your shirt off.

7 – You are at peak physical condition. You could be a serious contender as a bodybuilder or powerlifter.

 

Stamina:

1 – Walking up a flight of stairs is a serious challenge.

2 – You feel worn out after a walk through the mall.

3 – You can throw around the ball with the kids for a while without gasping for air and passing out.

4 – You put in some work to keep your heart and body healthy. Maybe jogging, or working a physical job.

5 – Working on your endurance is an important part of your life. Jogging every morning to train for the 5k or engaging in a team sport.

6 – You can run a marathon at a moment’s notice.

7 – Your body is a machine. You can compete with the best in the world in any kind of endurance challenge.

 

Wits:

1 – You are as entertaining as a hornet.

2 – Your stories could be used as a lullaby.

3 – Sometimes your jokes get a laugh and sometimes they get blank stares.

4 – Clever. When you are in the zone, you’re actually pretty funny.

5 – People enjoy your witty comments and quick retorts.

6 – You have a silver tongue and people love it.

7 – Brand new white belt who doesn’t know an armbar from a triangle choke.

 

Finance:

1 – Broke as a joke.

2 – You’re getting by but just barely. Time to buy a new truck!

3 – Responsible and steady with your money.

4 – Either a good-paying job or a business owner with a good positive income. You are conscious of your spending and don’t make foolish purchases that you can’t afford.

5 – Either a high-paying job or a business owner with a very positive income every month.

6 – Money comes easily to you. You are providing amazing value to the world and being paid handsomely for it.

7 – Money is nearly meaningless to you.

 

Jiu-jitsu

1 – Brand new white belt who doesn’t know an armbar from a triangle choke.

2 – Still a white belt but things are starting to make sense. You might even make some of the blue belts sweat when you are rolling with them.

3 – Blue belt. You know enough to know that you don’t know anything. But the white belts are easy to beat now.

4 – Purple belt. You can think ahead now and bait and predict the opponent’s moves.

5 – Brown belt. Your understanding of the art deepens as you teach others. Your game is becoming refined and dangerous.

6 – Black belt. The techniques flow through you like water. You notice the intricacies of the human body on the deepest level.

7 – Is your last name Gracie, Bravo, or Cornelius?

 

How to Use the Stat Sheet as Part of Your Personal Development Plan:

The stat sheet is flexible so you can adapt it to fit you.

You will want to track all the skills, talents, or other areas of your life that you are working on.

For each skill, you want to have a list of what each ranking, 1 to 7, means. You can use mine or develop your own.

This list of rankings will tell you exactly how much progress you need to achieve so that you can level up and check off that next level of progress on the stat sheet.

Note: You can and should also use sub-categories where needed so you can work on specific sub-sets of skills.

Here’s an example of that.

Back to jiu-jitsu for a minute:

Let’s say you are a 2 on the jiu-jitsu ranking.

We can break down your game into more levels based on positions or techniques (or even more levels that you want to track).

As sub-categories let’s use Closed Guard and Triangle choke. One is a position and one is a submission.

You want to define what each level 1 to 7 means for each sub-category.

 

Here’s an example of how that might look:

Closed Guard

1 – Opponents usually can pass your guard within seconds.

2 – You are starting to understand how to maintain guard and get comfortable in the position.

3 – Sometimes you can maintain guard and sometimes not. You know a couple of submissions and sweeps from the position and sometimes they even work.

4 – You are very comfortable in guard and can make solid decisions without thinking based on what your opponent does.

5 – People fear your guard and struggle to escape. Your attacks flow easily, and you can finish many fights from this position.

6 – Your guard is a powerful weapon, even against bigger and skillful opponents.

7 – Your guard is dangerous. You are a boa constrictor and opponents who enter your guard will face certain defeat.

 

1 – You have drilled the technique but can’t yet pull it off against a resisting opponent.

2 – You finished a few fights with a triangle choke but half of the time your opponent manages to escape.

3 – This technique has become a staple of your game, and you are learning counters to the opponent’s counters.

4 – You know more entries to this submission and opponents have to be wary of your triangle choke when in your guard.

5 – Your speed and application of this technique are at a high level. You even catch more skilled opponents in it from time to time.

6 – Your triangle choke is one of your most developed techniques and nearly impossible to escape.

7 – You have mastered the technique. You can apply it nearly at will, and it is deadly.

 

Use these examples as a guideline on how to plan out your progression for any skills you are developing for yourself.

I will keep creating more 1 to 7 rankings to help as more people suggest skills that they want to improve on.

You can get this stat sheet below by entering your email below.

Use the comments section below for any questions or suggestions on how to make this tool even better.

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