While launching my new planner, the Week on One Page format, over the last few months, I’ve talked a lot about my goal-setting system, HEART Goals. The core of this system is built right into my new 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 these products are the first of many I hope to launch in the coming years!
Today I wanted to get back to basics by answering the question: What is HEART Goals? Let’s start from the beginning.
Almost five years ago I wrote about why I didn’t think SMART goals worked. That post, on January 1, 2015, 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 would sit 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, if we were, those 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 where we really wanted to be.
SMART goals simply didn’t work.
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 in 2019 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 heard from so many people over the last year that this course, and the HEART Goals system, helped them gain perspective, focus, and clarity. It helped them take action towards a vision of what they want their life to be.
The Updated 2021 HEART Goals guidebook is available now! It includes a 55+ page workbook, 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 in 2020, 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.
So 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 in the new decade!