Right and Left Brain Fun with Goals

There is a great goal debate going on in some quarters, at this time of year when resolutions are attempted. Do goals work to help you create the life you want? Or do they just get you all obsessed and rigid, not paying attention to the moment?

When it comes to growing wealth, for example, the same advice will not apply to those who are in different points of the “fulfillment curve” – say in survival mode versus those in a more luxurious point of the fulfillment curve (google Dominguez, Robin – fulfillment curve, from Your Money or Your Life). Similarly with goals, it’s good to keep in mind where the goal advice is coming from. Is this human already enlightened? OK then. Or, if I hear someone dissing goals after they’ve already used them for a decade to get to their hilltop, I wonder a bit. So, good to check the context of the advice or debate, and check for relevance.

The other thing to keep in mind is that much advice may need tweaking to work for sensitive, creative types – you will have to name your own colorful method and adapt techniques. Personally, goals work for me but I’ve developed a creative approach, using analytic and intuitive styles to create my goal palette. I will take a good day or two of time at year’s end to review the last round around the sun, and set my intentions for the next. It’s a deep process and I will spread it out over a few weeks until it’s finalized.

So fare thee well, black water snake year, and hello wood horse (Chinese new) year! Yin to yang, here we go. And now, a few more notes on key points to make fun and effective goals, for the soul savvy sailors aboard spaceship Earth.


So goals goals – why do we love thee? Let’s count the ways they can be helpful – because those seasons seem to be speeding up, and you know there is something to be done here, something very important…

It is easy to get distracted, and, it can be easy to get obsessive at times. If you have a business for example – and I suffer from this ailment – it might be the default position to give that most of your time and attention. There are endless tasks, and there is always more to do. Goals can help you remember to make time for other important areas that will enhance and diversify your life. Can we say balance?

Other goal kudos: The most crucial goals often set your pants on fire – i.e., they scare you silly. Smart people will then tend to avoid these areas… kidding. Seriously – naming a goal will tend to give you some structure and support to face that lion in the morning. And to track the growth of your courage and circus skills.

Goal work done over time allows you to see repeating themes and patterns, in a good way. Sometimes you’ll lose your steam for a goal – and then you can let it go. But if a goal keeps showing up for you,  and you’ve made some progress but you’re not complete – it’s a good thing to be reminded of it. Hey, it is not buried yet – it is still on your mind – thus it’s still possible.

An example – my desire to gain fluency in Spanish. On my list for years. And finally last year,I just started going to meet ups, even though I mostly just smile a lot, nodding “Si, Si”. OK, a bit more than that – but that small step made me realize – there is something so delightful for me with language learning – it brings me brain fun and joy – this stays on the list.

Sometimes simply by naming a goal, there is movement. Things can happen easily. And then again, timing is funny – some projects may sit for years and then suddenly – varoom! It’s time to do them, and it flows. So name them goals, and well … let’s see what happens when we reach the solstice yet again.


A couple of things can be helpful to create your goal palette in a fun, effective and integrated manner.

– Include mind and heart, aka left and right brain. So you might get all linear with your list of goals, hone it down to the important ones for the year, and THEN: ask your heart, check in with spirit/intuition – for the final go ahead (goal ahead!). If your heart says, “Meh, not so much” – well – find another goal that gets a bit more of a juicy response for the front burner position.

– You need a way to track progress – so write them down, and check back on them regularly. Give your goal a cool name, and then make a list of the steps/tasks for each. Attach timelines and oh! Goals and tasks and timelines, oh my – you’ll be on the yellow brick road of goals in no time.

– Keeping it simple: Whittle down to get to your main 6 goals for the year, and then name the top 3 of those. I just invented this, and call it the Big 3 to 6 List. Include personal and professional goals –what’s the right ratio for you? 4 to 2? Write those babies on a card or sticky note, and put it where you see it often.

Of course, when a goal is complete – and this does happen now and then, so I hear – Well, then you get to move another goal up to the front burner. After celebrating, that is. Oh what a feeling!


Real simple – get a cool greeting card. Write your intentions/goals for the year in a letter to yourself; seal it and wait to open it until the end of 2014. (Do write your sticky note or back of business card reminder list, before you seal it.)

Color or collage your vision – create a picture of where you want to get to, in your preferred artistic medium. Many are very visual, so this can really help.

Create a fun binder that you can put your goals in, track them in. Pull that out to plan your week. Use it for your quarterly check in – and yes, put those dates in your calendar. Now. Soon. OK.

All in all, I’m still a fan of goals. It reminds me of how pilots fly – they have to continually reset that course as they go, or they’d be taking me to Timbuktu this weekend, instead of Tampa, Florida. Set course, tweak, check, Set course…

What about you friend – where are you with goals and intention work this year? What questions bug you about this area? I’d love to hear from you below.

I wish you that balance between boundless enthusiasm, clarity and the support you need to make things happen.

This year of the horse will pack some momentum – hopefully, it will be joyfully aimed for all of our highest good, and the planet’s.


Guess what! I’ve created a goal toolbox just for the soul savvy tribe. I know how important it is to get to the meaningful things – and how hard it can be to stay focused. To not let the doubt diva sway you away from the meaningful work and play.

The Soul Inspired Planning Secrets tool box includes both right/left brain smarts for an integrated and soulful approach to goal work. So jump off my decades of learning, and veteran goal wrestling – to a holistic and informative program that will help you get clear, AND get there.

SOUL INSPIRED PLANNING SECRETS home study program includes:

  • Written PDFs about how to name and intuit goals – mind and heart wise
  • Audio exercises for experiential journeying
  • Forms for goals you can use and modify to support your 2014 intentions
  • Extra credit section on handling the area of Regrets/ unfinished business
  • Special Bonus Interview: On the topic of … that’s right, GOALS! with Leo Babauta of Zen Habits fame.

Learn more, and purchase here
– email me with any questions at all. Denise at soulsavvy dot net.

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