4 Planning Skills You Must Develop To Reach Your Goals and Objectives

If you want to lead a true life of abundance and reach your goals and objectives, knowing how to plan things properly is a skill that you must develop.

While designing a plan can be as easy as writing a numbered list of things to do, knowing different ways to plan different situations can be extremely helpful and effective way of dealing with them.

The top 4 planning methods I’ve learned and use so far are brainstorming, writing an outline, using a mind map, and drawing a flowchart.

This article will show you how to plan more effectively through the use of different planning techniques.

In order to develop a good plan, it helps to get all of the ideas out of your head. Brainstorming is the perfect technique to do that.

To use brainstorming, all you need is a piece of paper, a pen, and some sort of timing device.

To brainstorm, give yourself a specific time period to come up with possible solutions to the issue you’re planning to solve.

While brainstorming, allow yourself to come up with as many solutions as possible. Quantity is more important than quality. Most importantly, don’t be judgmental; doing so has been found to block your creative flow of ideas.

Brainstorming is a simple yet amazingly effective mental tool to come up with a vast amount of different ideas that can be organized into a plan.

Now that you have some ideas, it’s time to organize them into a plan. There are several ways to go about this, writing an outline, drawing a mind map, and drawing a flowchart.

An outline is nothing else than an organized list of ideas.

To write an outline, the most important thing to keep in mind is to be hierarchical while writing the list.

What I mean by “hierarchical” is to make a list of the “main” or bigger topics first and then list smaller ideas under each of the topics. This can be as simple as writing a numbered list of the main ideas with little indented bullets under each numbered heading and so forth.

Now that you have an outline of what it takes to reach your goal, sometimes all you have to do is follow the outline to completion and that is often more than enough.

For example, in order to reach my goal of writing this article, I used a simple outline of what the major points in it would be…that made the writing process much easier.

For those who are a bit more on the “right-brained” side, or for topics that may be a bit more complicated and less linear in nature, using a mind map is a great alternative from using an outline.

To draw a mind map, all you have to do is write down the main idea in the center of a blank piece of paper and add little “branches” (lines) connecting the main idea to other similar ideas. You also do that to each one of the other ideas. Overall, it often ends up looking like a network of ideas similar to a picture of the sun with rays moving away from it or like a spider web with little things caught up in it. It helps to be creative and add pictures as well as different colors while creating a mind map.

Using a mind map gives you the same benefits as an outline with the added benefit that you also get a more visual representation, as the ideas are organized visually through space.

While outlines and mind maps are great ways to organize information into a plan, when dealing with systems (that is, actions that must take place in order), the best way to do this is by using a flowchart.

Although you can get fancy and take some time to learn all sorts of ways to do flow-charts (there ARE standards to the process, especially if you’re planning to distribute the flowchart), a flow chart can be as simple as a bunch of boxes and circles with lines and arrows leading to each other.

Flow charts are similar in construction to mind maps, although different in the sense that they are often organized in a specific order and the topics do not necessarily have to be related to each other.

If you want to reach your goals and objectives, creating and using a clear plan is a must. Using different styles of planning such as brainstorming, outlining, mind maps and flow charts, makes the process easier and more effective.

When planning, you can even go as far as using a combination of these techniques. There are also numerous types of software available on the internet that allow you to use your newly acquired planning skills even more effectively. I personally like using Mindjet’s Mindmanager software, especially for mind mapping.

Knowing how to plan properly is a very important skill to develop.


Use the techniques above to create a plan to reach any of your goals and objectives. If you need more info on setting goals, check out the other articles on my site for more information.

(C) Sorge Menendez, www.Abundancementality.com 2009, All Rights Reserved


#1 Dan on 02.19.09 at 8:14 am

Great tips.

If you’d like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:


You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
A mobile version is available too.

#2 Maggie’s Blog » Blog Archive » Data Envelopment Analysis: a Comprehensive Text with Models … on 02.19.09 at 11:32 am

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