Web of Goals

Posted on di 13 december 2022 in tools • Gewijzigd op 13 september 2023

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

Web of Goals update in 2019

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.

Web of Goals update in 2023

I was looking at the Constellation Clarity System by Rachael Stephen. She uses six domains for her system: Creativity (Genero), Money (Divitiae), Space (Domum), Mind (Spiritus), Connection (Socialis) and Body (Corporalis).

I liked her classification and I also noted the overlap with the different aspects I have in my Web of Goals. In the list below, Rachael's label is on the left, and my label is on the right.

  • Money - good finances
  • Body - good body
  • Mind - good mind
  • Space - good shelter
  • Creativity - no equivalent
  • no equivalent - good food

I have come to realize I need a seventh aspect. I call it good fun in my Web of Goals of 2023. It relates to having fun, doing things that nourish the soul, sparkling creativity.

Web of Goals

Web of Goals in 2023. The modules are the same as in the 2019 version.

I use these categories in my bullet journal when doing the weekly and monthly review. I use the following symbols (partly taken from Rachel's work):

  • # food
  • ⌂ space / home / shelter
  • $ money / finances
  • ⚭ friends / relationships
  • ⏀ body
  • ◊ mind
  • ꩜ soul / inspiration / fun

See the page on reviews for more details.