Web of Goals

Posted on di 13 december 2022 in tools

Web of Goals is a technique proposed by Jacob Lund Fisker. It tries to map out a set of goals in a holistic way. Because for every goal we choose, there are consequences - positive and negative. In permaculture the attitudinal principle Everything gardens expresses this same sentiment.

A module groups and names a set of goals. Another name for module could be a mission. Goals include primary objective and first order effects. Take a look at the fish bone diagram for the module Job. Every left turn starting from horizontal is a positive effect, every right turn is a negative effect.

Fish bone diagram for mission Job

For example, my primary (0 order) goal for a job is to create savings. A (1st order) positive side effect is that when I ride my bicycle to work, I get a workout. Riding the bicycle more leads to more maintenance, which is a negative (2nd order) effect. Doing the maintenance myself leads to hands-on knowledge and learning about repairing bicycles, which is a positive (3rd order) effect.

The table below summarizes the current modules with their primary goal and 1st order effects. This was a version of my web of goals in 2018.

Module Goals (0 and 1st order)
Simple living less clutter / frugality / savings
Exercise health / less clutter / healthy cooking
Financial independence frugality / savings
Job savings / networking
Gardening networking / health / healthy cooking

In a later iteration of my life design in 2019, I have selected a number of different modules for my web of goals. The graph below embodies the following modules and effects.

Homesteading and gardening (green) supports:

  • good food
  • good friends (friendship / social connections)
  • good finances (frugality / savings)
  • good body (physical fitness / health)
  • good mind (relaxation / connection with nature)

Job (orange) supports:

  • good finances (savings)
  • good friends (socializing)
  • good mind (fascination)
  • good body (physical fitness / health)

Dancing and Meditation (purple) supports:

  • good mind
  • good body
  • good friends (compassion)

Financial independence (black) supports:

  • good finances (frugality / savings)
  • good shelter
  • good mind (fascination)

Simple living (blue) supports:

  • good finances (frugality)
  • good food
  • good shelter
Web of Goals

Web of Goals in 2019

For me, living a content life comes from having all these elements fulfilled:

  • good food
  • good shelter
  • good friends (friendship / socializing)
  • good mind (fascination)
  • good body (physical fitness / health)
  • good finances (peace of mind)

As you can see, every goal is supported by at least two different modules: simply count the number of distinct colors for each label in the graph.