6 Steps for Effective Goal Planning

Darrah Brustein
4 min readMar 27, 2023
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“How do you recommend planning for the upcoming year? Setting monthly goals? Mixing personal and professional goals each week? Creating quarterly profit marks? I’m new to goal planning and I want to get great at it.” This question comes from Mollye, a regular reader of this column.

I have six steps for effective goal planning that are rooted in the belief that without a destination in mind, we can’t make a map to get where we want to go, and we end up meandering aimlessly. For this reason, I’m an advocate of goal planning and visioning (mixed with holding their outcomes loosely and not forcing them). Once you have the high-level laid out (I’ll explain how below), you can then break these into smaller goals and steps.

I’ve developed my practice bit by bit over the past 15 years, trying out new techniques to develop the best goal and vision-planning methods. In my early 20s, I realized I had a variety of dreams, but felt as if I was struggling to achieve them. Using these techniques has taken me from that place to one where I feel that I’m truly successful (which I define as freedom of how I spend my time and using my unique combination of gifts full-out in service to others).

These steps will help you define your goals, dreams, and visions and then turn them into your reality.Step 1: Brainstorm

Jot down all of your goals, dreams, and desires with no judgment.

These steps will help you define your goals, dreams, and visions and then turn them into your reality.

Step 1: Brainstorm

Jot down all of your goals, dreams, and desires with no judgment.

Step 2: Edit Your Notes

What goals do you really want to pursue and accomplish (versus which are imposed on you by external factors? Which don’t excite you to tackle? etc.) While there is no rule for how many goals you should work toward at one time, I will say this: It’s easier to focus and direct your energy when you have fewer at once. As counterintuitive as it may seem to do less to achieve more, it works, and it also speeds you up to get momentum on your goal and invite in a new one (rather than watering down your efforts on many at the same time). Once decided, write down every step which you can think of that will…

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Darrah Brustein

On a mission to debunk "sleep when you're dead" culture + chasing others people's definitions of success to build a life of your own design. www.darrah.co