Have you ever wondered why some people seem to constantly get ahead? Is it constant strokes of luck that seem to position them for the advantage? The upper hand in life?
What initially began as a way for me to balance my long term goals, quickly became a formula for balancing my life. Because what you do on daily basis matters more than what you do once in a while.
The HEART Goals framework is one of the tools I use to hack my way through life. If I focus on five things, the five key life segments, I’m going to get where I want to go in life. This week on Instagram I did my quarterly goals check-in using the HEART acronym. It was quick and easy because, honestly, we don’t need to put any extra pressure on ourselves.
If this is the first time you’re hearing about HEART Goals, welcome! You can start here by reading more about What is HEART Goals? If you’re heard me talk about HEART goals before, I’d like to challenge you to take it to the next level. If you’re using HEART to manage your daily life, challenge yourself to set some longer-term goals. If you’ve used HEART to set some long term goals, ask yourself what you could be doing on a more consistent basis to help you make progress in each of those five life segments.
As a refresher, here are the five life segments covered in the HEART acronym.
H – Help Yourself
E – Everyone Else
A – All Your People
R – Resources & Responsibilities
T – Trade (Your Business or Career)
HEART Goals as a system fits easily into your life, whatever that looks like, rather than requiring you to fit your life into it. It allows you to tailor your goals to fit the season of life you are in. It means you can use the HEART acronym to make long or short term goals or to create daily habits. It might not be your year to run a marathon, but don’t you want to physically feel better today? Maybe this isn’t the month you organize EVERY drawer and closet in your house, but it could be the right time to tackle one room? Set goals that work for your season of life.
What it comes down to is this: to get to where you want to go in life, you only need to focus on each of these five areas. Each of the five life segments can be used as a lens through which to view different periods of time in your life. Whether it’s using that lens to look at last month as a reflective tool, or using it to look forward in life to set monthly, yearly, or longer-term goals, HEART is a framework that will help you balance your life.
Each of the five life segments can be broken down further into long and short term goals as well as daily habits.
How have you HELPED YOURSELF?
Long term: run a marathon
Short term: lose five pounds
Daily: drink more water
How have you EMPOWERED YOURSELF?
Long term: read the Bible
Short term: read a book of the Bible
Daily: read a chapter
How have you CONNECTED WITH YOUR PEOPLE?
Long term: build great family communication skills
Short term: have 4 family dinners this month
Daily: have a meaningful conversation with one of your people
How have you managed your RESOURCES & RESPONSIBILITIES?
Long term: pay off car
Short term: pay an extra chunk towards car loan
Daily: clean out car
How about your TRADE, or YOUR WORK?
Long term, short term, and daily goals here will be different for everyone.
This summer our family is taking a daily approach to our goals. We don’t have chores in our house, we have daily goals. Our kids are using the HEART Goals Checklist for Kids and I use a similar formula to keep myself focused and in balance. We’re in the process of remodeling our forever home (click here for the “before” house tour!), selling our current home, and planning for a move. I’m in a short term sprint and that means life can quickly get out of balance. This is a time for me to zone in on short term goals, rather than big lofty dreams. I’m still moving towards those dreams, but I’m doing it in manageable bite-sized chunks. I’m moving my body every day so when I do decide to run a marathon I’ll be better prepared.
The 80/20 rule applies to the HEART method: you will spend 20% of your time in the first four life segments: physical, mental, relational, and fiscal. This is the stuff that moves the needle. And it has to be done on a daily basis. Sure, you may set some long term goals in each of the five life segments, but achieving those goals, no matter what, is going to come down to what you choose to do on a daily basis.
The HEART method is perfect for 2020, because even if our long term goals are out the window, we can still make progress in each of the five life segments—so we’re primed and ready when things return to “normal”.
But here’s the thing: we all have a “2020” in life. We all have seasons where things get crazy and hectic and chaotic and out of balance. Most of us call this February. And it’s in these seasons that our long-term goals are the first to go. Most of us call these resolutions. But in those seasons when it seems like we are forced to abandon our long term goals, there’s still hope, because little by little, on a much smaller scale, we’ll be moving towards those long term goals and dreams, even if we can’t see around the bend in life’s road.
Traditional goal setting focuses on the destination; HEART Goals focus on the journey. Because what you do on a daily basis matters more than what you do once in a while.
One thing you hear me say often is “different seasons, different systems”. What worked for you last year may not be working for you right now. When the seasons change, we need to be willing to let go of old systems and open our minds to learning new ways to do things. The more we resist shifting to a new system, the harder it’s going to be. This is 2020, and it’s a VERY different season for all of us. I encourage you to lean in, maybe use the HEART method on a daily basis for a while, while we all figure out what long term is going to look like.
HEART Goals isn’t one more thing on a list. It’s the right things, in the right order, in the time frame that works best for you. Watch my quarterly goals check-in here where I challenge you to think differently about setting goals. If you’re ready to dig deeper, we have a ton of free HEART Goals resources in our printable shop!