Setting Goals that Make Sense (Part 1)

This past week I sat with an empty screen, excited to launch my mid-year brainstorming session. It helps me clarify what is next and where to place my energy. In today’s Tuesday Tip, we’ll share tips on how to set goals and how to determine which should be on your plate.

Before you begin, pray.

Long before we focus on the practical, we lay the ground spiritually. Get alone with God. Put all dreams, goals, anxiety, excitement, and comparison down. Give Him the reigns and the timing. Now we are ready!

1. Brain Dump

For no more than ten minutes, let every goal, dream (no matter how impossible), or task you want to accomplish in the next six months fall from your brain onto paper. Don’t correct or over think. Don’t be afraid to dream big.
These are a few of the items that showed up in my brain dump:
Rebrand website
Take new headshots
Plan an online event
There are actually over 30 items on my brain dump list. The above is just a sample.
TIP: Your brain dump is not going to look like mine or anyone else’s. Your brain dump isn’t listing one goal as higher or lower than other goals.

2. Delegate, Defer, Do, Delete

“Delegate, Defer, Do, Delete” is an organizational system used by many coaches and counselors.
Once you create your list. Go through your list. Mark each with “delegate, defer, do, or delete.”
Delegate: This task is doable, but you need a little help to implement it. For example, you need to hire a web designer, schedule a photographer, etc.
Defer: This is a great idea, but there are other things that need to take place first.
Do: It’s doable and the right timing. This is a right-now opportunity.
Delete: This may be a great idea, but it’s someone else’s great idea. It’s not for you right now, and not in the future.

Your Turn

As you mark your goals with delete, delegate, defer, or do, excitement builds. You are moving from a wish list to actual goals! Don’t be afraid to delete a task. Your “no” leaves more room to say yes to the do’s and delegates on your list. Leave a comment and tell us one thing you plan on saying “no” to in order to help you achieve your writing goals.

Go Deeper

As a COMPEL Member, you have access to an entire library of courses designed to encourage and equip you on your writing journey from goal-setting strategies to writing book proposals. Interested in more goal setting strategies? Enroll in our Setting Yourself Up For Writing Success course designed to walk you through specific strategies for goal-setting, overcoming obstacles and dealing with discouragement so you can achieve the dreams God placed in your heart. Not a COMPEL Member? Click here to join today!


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  1. Chris Crosby: May 4, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Suzie, this was very helpful. Do you do this every six months or so? I have been asking other successful people what their cadence is for goal setting, reflection and a more focused time with God. This piece is very timely.

    I plan on saying no to things that distract me like too much time on social media or playing mindless games while waiting (at the car service center, doctor’s office…) when I could be reading something that brings me greater focus and direction.

  2. Love these helpful hints Suzie! I definitely need to sit down and do this brain dump if for no other reason than to get my jumbled thoughts down on paper so that I can find a place to start with my writing.

  3. I am saying no to one-sided relationships.

  4. Great post! Great tips!! Thank you!