It Can Be Overwhelming!

It can be somewhat overwhelming and intimidating to face such a goals matrix that presents. We are faced with challenging ourselves to be who we want to be, to be our best selves. I recently encountered an approach by Dr. Jim Loehr. His approach focuses on our energy. He breaks it down like this.
Human energy consists of:
Physical – Quantity of energy
Emotional – Quality of energy
Mental – Focus of energy
Spiritual – Intensity of energy had a wider view in its goals matrix, but these 4 categories are well defined and are the places that we should start. To get an idea of his approach check out some of his talks on youtube.

Creating a Goal

On Creating a Goal

• Scope of your Goal
• Category of your Goal
• Need your Goal fills
• Describe your Goal
• Plan to Accomplish
• Action Step

Is your Goal

• Long Term
• Short Term
• Recurring

What Category is your Goal?

• Physical
• Financial
• Business/Professional
• Mental/Attitude
• Spiritual/Loving
• Family
• Relationships/Social
• Lifestyle

What type of need does your goal fill?

• An Existence Need
– Biological or Physiological
– Safety
• A Relatedness Need
– Belongingness and Love
– Esteem
• A Growth Need
– Cognitive
– Aesthetic
– Self-Actualization

An Existence Need

• Biological and Physiological
– basic life needs air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sleep, etc.
• Safety
– protection, security, order, law, limits, stability, etc.

A Relatedness Need

• Belongingness and Love
– family, affection, relationships, work group, etc.
• Esteem
– achievement, status, responsibility, reputation

A Growth Need

• Cognitive needs
– knowledge, meaning, self-awareness
• Aesthetic needs
– beauty, balance, form, etc.
• Self-Actualization
– personal growth, self-fulfillment
• Transcendence
– helping others to self-actualize

Describe your Goal

• A summary of what you want to accomplish
• A rationale behind why you want to do it

How will you accomplish it?

• Can your goal be accomplished with simple steps?
• Are there certain actions that you can take that will propel you toward your goal?
• Are you able to be detailed and specific about how you can accomplish this goal?

Action Step

• Are there any barriers or roadblocks that you’ll have to overcome so you can accomplish your goal?
• Are you able to think positively and creatively about overcoming potential barriers or roadblocks?
• What is the first step toward accomplishing your goal?

Connecting Actions to Goals

One of the main keys to successfully accomplishing your goals is attaching actions to them. Yes! You will actually have to DO something to accomplish what you’ve set out to accomplish. Developing sets of goals is the first step, but where the rubber meets the road is planning and doing specific and strategic actions that bring you step by step toward the finish line of your goal. For some goals instead of a short sprint to the finish line you will need to pace yourself and build mile stones into your plan. Mile stones are checkpoints along the way. They are indicators that you are on the right path, heading toward the finish line. Some of the indicators will say you are heading the wrong way, while others let you know you are on the right path.

These indicators motivate us toward accomplishing a goal, or in some cases demotivate us away from accomplishing a goal. If we throw our best strategies at a goal and only end up frustrated and unsuccessful, well you can see where that will lead. But, what if we were able to keep track of what strategies were successful? Not only successful, but ones that proved to fill you with some sort of satisfaction, inspiration, and motivation that propelled you to complete your race? If you were to keep track of both the satisfying actions and the frustrating actions you would be able to start to recognize patterns in yourself and be able to better avoid the negative, frustrating, demotivating actions and be able to recognize and amplify the satisfying actions, to further launch yourself into motivated progress along your path to the finish line.

There are several peer review papers written on the ERG Theory of Motivational Direction. I’ve tried to capture the essence of the dynamic in a simplified visual chart. I try to give you a picture of the motivational direction of your actions for individual goals, and your actions for all your combined goals.


For this single goal the chart shows that I have 14 recorded actions. Of these actions 12 are shown on the green bar recorded as “Satisfaction / Progression.” These were specific actions I took toward my goal that not only brought me closer to accomplishing my goal, but were satisfying and tended to motivate me and accelerate me toward completing my goal. On the other hand 2 of the actions I performed toward completing this goal ended up frustrating me and tended to demotivate me. They are indicated on the red bar as “Frustration / Regression.” Since the details of these setbacks or frustrations are recorded in my goal action log, I can learn from them and try a different approach to overcome whatever hurdle it may be.

Viewing the chart for all my goals combined shows that I have a total of 110 recorded actions. Remember, these numbers are for the goals that are still in progress and do not include the actions of the goals that I’ve already completed.


So, overall I have just over 80 actions that I’ve recorded that were motivational and propelled me toward the finish lines of my goals, and just under 30 actions that were frustrating and tended to demotivate me from accomplishing my goals. It is almost impossible to have 0 frustration / regressive actions when working toward a goal, because every road has a few bumps along the way.

The Motivational Direction charts are just more tools in the toolbox to help you better understand yourself and help you launch  yourself toward connecting your goals to actions and your actions to goals. Registration is free and user groups are forming now at

Goal Charts by Category and Hierarchy is designed to help individuals connect Goals to Actions and Actions to Goals. When developing a Goal it is assigned to one of 8 categories and one of 8 hierarchies. Recent updates to the site include a visual graph that shows you the total number of  your goals as they are dispersed among the 8 categories and 8 hierarchies.

Category Scorecard depicts how your Goals are distributed among the 8 categories.

Category Scorecard depicts how your Goals are distributed among the 8 categories.

These Scorecards will give you a visual reference as you move along your journey of Goal setting and self-development.

Hierarchy Scorecard depicts how your Goals are distributed among the 8 fundamental needs hierarchy.

Hierarchy Scorecard depicts how your Goals are distributed among the 8 fundamental needs hierarchy.

Over time you will be able to see where your priorities are out of balance. Having all categories and all hierarchical needs well-balanced will reflect a healthy balanced lifestyle.

Chart Listing of Completed Goals with Sub-Goals

Chart Listing of Completed Goals with Sub-Goals Registration is free. User groups among registered members are developing now. is a Tool to Help Individuals Connect Actions to Goals.

I’m developing a personal development web app that is focusing on connecting goals to actions or better yet actions to goals.
Right now I’m using a grid where a goal has to be in 1 of 8 categories:
or Lifestyle.

Then it also has to be assigned to 1 of 8 Maslow/Clayton ERG Hierarchy layers:
Existence – Biological and Physiological,
Existence – Safety needs,
Relatedness – Belongingness and Love needs,
Relatedness – Esteem needs,
Growth – Cognitive needs,
Growth – Aesthetic needs,
Growth – Self-Actualization,
Transcendence – helping others to self-actualize.

So for instance a Goal can have a horizontal label of Mental/Attitude and a vertical label of Growth – Aesthetic needs. A goal can have any combination of horizontal category and vertical hierarchy assigned to it. Once an action is taken toward completing a goal, there is a log with a select button that labels specific actions as either Satisfaction / Progression or as Frustration / Regression.

All this might sound odd, but I’m designing this for my own personal growth to really determine what goals over time, in what categories, bring the most joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment to my life and Christian walk.

Many of the personal growth books and things that I’ve looked at really start with the big question, “What do you want,” or “Where do you want to end.” They ask these so that a long term goal and strategy can be developed to meet life goals.

The problem is, questions like these, for me have not really been answered in reading personal growth books or going to a few hour seminar, and it seems my goals are spread out over many different areas.  The system I’m developing hopefully will help me determine major goals from minor ones over time and see which types keep reoccurring. Ones that are just accomplished to proverbially put out fires, and ones that are deeply rooted and values based.