Welcome, friends, to this blog post, where we’ll be discussing the concept of HEART. HEART is an acronym that I created to help us remember the areas of our lives that require our attention and care. It stands for
All Your People
Resources & Responsibilities
Trade and Talent
But before we dive into the details of each checkpoint, let me share with you the story of how HEART came to be.
Let’s start from the beginning.
My husband and I experienced what we now call “The Year of Epic Failure”. It was a time when everything seemed to go wrong, all at once. We were left feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to move forward. It was during this challenging time that we realized our priorities were out of order.
We had heard the story of “rocks in a jar” before, but it always left us feeling unsure of how to identify the rocks that mattered most to us. We wanted a way to remember that things work best when we order our lives in a principled way.
That’s when HEART was born. Each letter represents a principle that we believe is essential for a balanced and fulfilling life. The principles are rooted in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and in how God designed us.
HEART vs. SMART
When I created the Week on One Page Planner, I created it to complement this goal-setting system, HEART Goals™. The core of this system is built right into my planner because I wanted the two to work seamlessly together. Creating tools that help people, women specifically, live a more beautiful life is my calling, and the Week on One Page Planners are the cornerstone of these tools!
One of the most common questions I get when someone first discovers HEART Goals™ is: what makes it different than other goal-setting systems? There are a million different systems out there, but most people have heard of SMART Goals, so let’s start there.
In 2015, I wrote about why I didn’t think SMART goals worked. That was one of my very first blog posts about HEART Goals. I talked about how I was first introduced to SMART goals as a kid, then at every high school and college leadership seminar, retreat, and workshop. In case you need a refresher, “SMART” goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. At the time, SMART goals were the way to go, and whoever came up with the concept was older and wiser than I was. So I leaned in, set “SMART goals,” then went about my life, thinking I had done the work, so I must be on the right path, and the other pieces would fall into place.
As time went on, I realized my personal goals were sitting in a goal-setting notebook, collecting dust and being successfully ignored. My business goals, which I set with the team of my very first company, weren’t ignored but we also weren’t seeing the results we wanted. Or the results weren’t getting us where we needed to go. Or, we’d end up where we thought we needed to be, only to realize it wasn’t actually where we wanted to be.
SMART goals simply didn’t work.
What makes HEART different?
I loved goals and I wanted to set goals, but I had to figure out a better way. I wanted to set balanced goals that encompassed every area of my life. I didn’t want it to be overly complicated but I wanted to set goals that would get done. And I wanted to set goals that would move me towards a vision, a bigger picture for my life.
So I built a goal-setting framework. I created a system for setting balanced goals that help us get to where we want to go in life and I called it HEART Goals. As you can read in that very first post, it’s not that I think SMART goals are bad. I just think they’re not enough. All goals still need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive, but setting goals with the HEART acronym helps me ensure my life is in balance and my goals are on the right track.
The HEART acronym corresponds to our five basic needs and can be used on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis to align our needs, our goals, and our actions.
The simple truth is that your goals don’t fail because you’re lazy or not working hard enough. Your goals, my goals, all of our goals—have failed time and time again because we’re not setting them correctly. The system is broken. After years of research and many iterations, the HEART Goals course was born as an actionable system for setting goals. I saw how this system worked in my life, and I wanted to guide others to do the same. I’ve heard from so many people that the HEART Goals course and system have helped them gain perspective, focus, and clarity. It’s helped them take action towards a vision of what they want their life to be.
A Closer Look at the HEART Checkpoints:
- H – Help Yourself: The first checkpoint of HEART is Help Yourself. This principle reminds us that we must prioritize our physical well-being. We can’t pour from an empty cup, and taking care of ourselves is essential for us to show up fully in all areas of our lives.
- E – Empower Yourself: The second checkpoint of HEART is Empower Yourself, where we look at our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual well-being. This principle reminds us that we are capable of achieving great things. We must cultivate a growth mindset and believe in our abilities to overcome challenges and achieve our goals.
- A – All Your People: The third checkpoint of HEART is All Your People. This principle reminds us of the importance of cultivating strong relationships with the people in our lives. We must prioritize our relationships with our spouse, children, family, friends, and community.
- R – Resources & Responsibilities: The fourth checkpoint of HEART is Resources & Responsibilities. This principle reminds us of the importance of managing our resources wisely. We must be responsible stewards of our time, money, and possessions.
- T – Trade and Talent: The final checkpoint of HEART is Trade and Talent. This principle reminds us of the importance of using our gifts and talents to serve others. We must use our skills and abilities to make a positive impact in the world around us.
HEART is a mnemonic device that can help us remember the areas of our lives that require our attention and care. By focusing on Help Yourself, Empower Yourself, All Your People, Resources & Responsibilities, and Trade and Talent, we can cultivate a balanced and fulfilling life. Remember, life is not about perfection but about progress. May we all continue to make progress toward a life filled with purpose, joy, and abundance.
2023 HEART Goals Replay
The 2023 HEART Goals Replay is available now! It includes a video along with a guidebook packed with exercises and practical tips and tricks from me! The guidebook helps you set balanced goals and learn to prioritize your tasks accordingly. If you’re really ready to live a balanced life, I would encourage you to grab the Week on One Page planner now too! The planner gives you the space to focus on those prioritized tasks. With yearly prompts, monthly goal-setting check-in pages, and ample room for notes, the planner ensures you’re making progress with HEART.
TL:DR: What is HEART Goals?
So, short version: what is HEART Goals? It’s an in-depth process of removing all obstacles to achieving your goals. It’s more than a time management system or a productivity technique, it’s a filter for the overwhelming volume of incoming information. It’s a framework for prioritizing and decision-making. HEART Goals is not one more thing. It’s a whole new way of doing everything: doing less, but better, in the right order, in every area of our lives.
I hope you’ll join me in setting HEART Goals this year!
Want even more HEART Goals content? Check out my HEART 101 post, buy my book, or get the HEART Goals 2023 Replay!
Author’s Note: Last updated 5/24/23