Mindful Goal Setting

Reflection Takes Time

It’s not too late to write goals for 2018. When others were declaring their intentions at the new year, I was just digging into my reflections on 2017. I like to take my time.

When you think about the season, it makes sense. January is dark. The days are sloooooowly getting longer, but we are immersed in the darkness. And, in the darkness we see ourselves reflected back to us. It’s a time of possibility - a time to consider your next leap. This is a composting season, when the experiences of life can be transformed into meaning.

Narrow Your Focus

I use the Feng Shui Bagua to evaluate different areas of my life. The Bagua is a map used in Feng Shui to determine which energies to work with when decorating the home. It has nine sections/directions, and each one is dedicated to a facet of life: career, children, health… This structure helps me narrow in and focus my reflections and goal setting. AND, later on I will use this ‘map’ to help me arrange and decorate my house in a way that supports my vision.

Bagua Reflection Sheet image.png

What Went Well?

Using my beloved bullet journal, I dedicated two pages to reflection. On the left page I listed things that went well in each area of my life. It is filled with things I am proud of and grateful for.

What Could Be Better?

On the right page I focused on what did not go well and things I could improve.

This process had me feeling good about my life. I can get caught up in the narrative that says I don’t have enough, I am not successful enough, I didn’t make enough. Basically, the planner in me is constantly evaluating where to improve and focusing my brain on the deficiencies in my life. This exercise reminded me of the accomplishments and abundance in my life. I felt like a rockstar when I was done. Then, I took a break.

Let it Simmer

I meditated, cooked a delicious meal for my family, snuggled with my boys. This respite can take days. Give yourself time to let go of judgement. Cultivate gratitude toward all of it, and allow the good and bad to be transmuted into compost, a garden bed for future plans.

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Get Into the Feeling

Ready to set some powerful intentions for the next year, I meditated on one area of my life at time. Drawing from my knowledge of the Law of Attraction, I decided to choose an emotion-filled keyword for each section. For example when thinking about Marriage and Relationships I wanted to feel more “connected.” Under Wealth and Prosperity I chose the word “simplicity” to help me appreciate the abundance of time, good food, and natural treasures in my life.


Keywords help me drop into the feeling of my desired life. From that place I created a list of specific goals that remained aligned with my greater vision. For example, I knew I wanted to do more “story building” with my children and in my work with the arts. To me this holds the feeling of making meaning from new and varying concepts. My specific goals include creating immersive learning units with my kids, expanding The Art Junket in a meaningful way, and visiting museums to build a visual vocabulary for me and the kids.

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Remind Yourself

I have a lot of goals. It’s a little overwhelming.The keywords relieve the pressure to memorize all the specifics. In the center of my house I posted pretty cards with my keywords. They are there to remind me to tap into the feeling and connect with the dream. I visualize my desired future and move about my day. Filled with intention and good feeling, I make food, clean house, craft, and play.

Next Steps

February is the time to declare your goals. Plant your dreams in the fertile soil of your reflections. Allow your goals to take root and start looking for the first signs of growth.

You can…

  • Keep a journal, documenting where and how you see your goals manifesting.

  • Plant seeds and trust that as they grow, so too do your own intentions reach toward fulfillment

  • Share your goals with someone who makes you feel like a rockstar

  • Join forces with someone who has similar goals. (My youngest sister and I are writing buddies. My middle sister is my exercise buddy).

  • Break down your goals and assign them to different times of year. Some work is best done in the Summer, while other goals may have prerequisites.

Let Me Know

How do you close out your year? What reflection tools do you use? What is your goal setting process like? Do you choose a word for the year?


**Did you know that people who make resolutions at the beginning of the year are more likely to accomplish their goals? Learn more.


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