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Setting goals

Setting the Course for a New Year

It’s the beginning of another year and time to look once again at the changes I want to make in my life. I am extremely fortunate to have a good friend, Suchitra with whom to set direction every year. We review the building blocks of our lives – Beliefs and Values, and look to see if they still hold strong. Do they need clarifying? Is there something new appearing that adds dimension or directs a particular approach to life? Those things are discussed and noted. Peals of wisdom, ah-has! and desired directions are written down, so that they can take shape in the year to come.

In past years we have broken the areas of our lives into pieces of a circle. The pieces are then labeled based on the area we want to focus on. TRIBE, FAMILY, WORK, PHOTOGRAPHY, HUSBAND, TAXES, HEALTH, ADVENTURE, CREATIVITY, NEW EXPERIENCES, are some of the labels that have appeared in our pie charts over the years. In each piece of pie, we add goals or desired outcomes. At the end of the year, we rate how we did in each area from 1 – 10. The rating is not so much a measure of success, as it is an indication of what we say we want and what we actually do. It creates awareness and informs future direction.

Last year we changed the plan. Instead of a circle, we used a Tree. The roots were the ‘Beliefs’. The trunk, the ‘Values’ and the branches the ‘Areas of Focus’ with offshoots being the fruit or the ‘Outcomes’. The design was more organic and it put the full picture in the forefront. The badly drawn diagram on the right should serve well enough to give you an idea of how the tree works.

Every year, we have an overarching direction. These represent attitudes to hold when tackling the daily grind. Some of those directions over the years have been, ‘BE BRAVE’, ‘STRIVE FOR MASTERY’, ‘MAKE AN IMPACT’, ‘BE JOYFUL’.

I usually have a lot of pie sections or tree branches. This year, however, I wanted to consolidate. I spoke to a few people about their goal categories and looked online for what others might be doing. I settled on 4 categories:

MIND – Clarity & Focus (Things like daily journaling, creating new art, meditation, de-cluttering go here)
BODY – Health & Energy (Things like tracking foods, exercise, supplements, drinking water, go here)
WEALTH – Talent, Skills & Resources (Things like taking courses, sales, promotions, bookkeeping go here)
PEOPLE – Relationships (How I want to approach my relationships with all the people in my life, go here)

The next thing I looked for is a way to keep it all alive in my day to day. A number of people I spoke to tracked their big goals through daily actions in various High Performance journals. Being an unorganized, creative person who tends to live in the moment, High Performance tracking is not exactly my cup of tea. However, I did like the idea of having something that served to remind me of the things that are important.

A little more searching on the internet and I found a high performance journal page that I could adapt and make my own. You can make your own too. Draw it and photocopy or ask me to send you my Adobe Illustrator file that you can adapt to your own purpose.

MIND, BODY, WEALTH & PEOPLE are the three branches on my tree. Under these titles are summarized direction / goals, to remind me of my focus. I pick at least one of these to work on each day.


The words that make up the square block are my beliefs. The middle of the block is space for notes or lists.

PRIORITY Time Blocks go from 6:00 am to 9:30 only. During these period I will allocate time to work on one or more things I want to focus on. All the time blocks do not need to be filled. Usually I have 2 – 4 focus allocated hours.

TODAY’s PROJECTS, reminds me to pick something to focus on.

TODAY’S DIRECTION is a message I have received from meditation or by pulling a card. It will help form my attitude for the day.




About the Header Image:

Wisdom Tree by Jamuna Burry.
The vector graphics are created based on tutorials by some amazing Illustrator Artists.

vrai one tree tutorial:

The owl is a product of various tutorials by an excellent teacher Mark Rise of Gigantic. Here is his youtube channel:

Background textures are from


Jamuna Burry

Exploring ideas on creativity through digital art.