Minimum Holistic Goal Setting Process

It’s time to get the wheels of action turning. The purpose of a Minimum Holistic Goal is to have a baseline from which to test the beliefs you hold, the decisions you will make and the resulting actions you will take as you work to create the life/impact/project/process that you desire. A Minimum Holistic Goal is just that – the bare minimum required to start. Your MHG will change over time as you work with it and evolve it with new understanding and experience – it is not meant to be cast in stone. It will be enough to get your first steps towards realizing your vision headed in the right direction.

How To Use This Page

Complete the three sections below by answering each question to the best of your current knowledge (we recommend going old school here – write it out on pen and paper). Set aside 90 minutes of dedicated thinking time for this in a place where you and your partner(s) won’t be disturbed. Use the example links if you’re unsure of what the final product should look like and to help you put each section together.

You may also download or view this page as a Google Document by clicking the link below.

Minimum Holistic Goal Creation Process – Google Document

To make a copy, go to File > Make A Copy and a copy of this document will be created in your Google Drive, which you can then share with us when you have completed it.

To download, go to File > Download > Microsoft Word (or other appropriate word processing format) and download the file to your computer and use your desktop word processor to fill in your answers.

Target Outcomes For This Exercise

  1. Section 1: Defining The Economic Whole Under Management
    • Purpose: To develop a clear, concise understanding of who makes what decisions and what powers they have to allocate what resources are available.
  2. Section 2: Create Your Quality Of Life Statement
    • Purpose: To create an inspiring, co-owned Quality of Life Statement that you can use to vet future decisions and their resultant actions. “Am I deciding and acting in alignment with my highest aspirations, values and vision?”
  3. Section 3: List Necessary Forms Of Production
    • Know what you must produce, who you need to work with, and the human community you need to surround yourself in order to realize your Quality of Life Statement.

Ultimately, if you are very purposeful with your words, you can fit all of this easily onto one page. If its more than that, typically there are things that can and ought to be slimmed down or eliminated. Keep it simple! Simple is clear, and clear is powerful.

Section 1: Define The Economic Whole Under Management

1.1 – List The Decision-Makers – Who are they? What powers do they have?

List all individuals responsible making day-to-day decisions within whatever entity is under consideration, ranging from the day-to-day decisions of operating a business/running a family to the long-term foundational decisions that guide business/family development. Pay particular attention to 1) Who is directly involved in management and decision making, and 2) Who has the power of veto?

Your answers might look like these <= Click For Examples

1.2 – Define Your Resource Base – What resourceS are available to this project?

List the resources available to aid in implementing your decisions and realizing successful outcomes. List the human and physical resources that you can access. These need not be owned, but must be available to you. Only a very general list if necessary (i.e. the land, the factory, machinery, community co-ops, etc.).

Your answers might look like these <= Click For Examples

1.3 – Money – What money is available to the project?

Make a preliminary list of the financial capital available to the project. Not all amounts can or need to be quantified, does not need to be super detailed. (i.e. liquid savings, pension income, lines of credit etc.)

Your answers might look like these <= Click For Examples

Section 2 – Create Your Quality Of Life Statement

A Quality of Life Statement expresses how you want your life to be based on what you most value. Write it in the first person and present tense (“I am/We are” vs. “I will/We would”). Write as if it is already here and you live it day to day. It should encapsulate and express the reasons you’re doing what you’re doing, what you are about and what you want to become. Answering the questions below may help you ‘jump start’ the process.

  1. What are the conditions, experiences and things necessary for you to have a good life? (Good health, prosperity, leisure time etc.).
  2. What do you want to give and receive from your closest relationships?
  3. What kind of relationships and with whom do you need to have them to achieve all that you set out to achieve?
  4. Which skills do you want to develop and what knowledge and talents do you want to enhance through undertaking this endeavor? What challenges you?
  5. What am I/are we contributing to the world through my/our daily efforts?

FINAL STEP: Refine your answers to the above questions along with additional insights into a single paragraph Quality of Life Statement.

Real Quality of Life Statements <= Click For Examples

Section 3 – List Necessary Forms Of Production

Profit from whatever you produce will need to be a form of production in most cases. Be very general in describing where the profit needs to come from (i.e. “Profit from U-pick fruit” vs. “Profit from High Bush Blueberries”). One form of production can sometimes satisfy multiple Quality of Life Statements. List only what is to be produced, not how it will be produced (How something is to be produced is a decision that needs testing, for which we need at least a Minimum Holistic Goal).

3.1 – What resources are you willing to commit towards realizing your desired Quality of Life? (Phrase in terms of time, money, energy, tools, space, accepting or letting go of responsibility etc.)

Your answers might look like these <= Click For Examples

3.2 – Identify what must be created and/or achieved to attain each Quality of Life Statement (each member of the whole has their own Quality of life statement and all are necessary!).

Your answers might look like these <= Click For Examples

3.3 – Describe the state of your Resource Base as it must be many years from now if it is to sustain the production you require in order create the quality of life you want. Frame in terms of…
  1. The Land – What is the state of the land under management within the defined whole in 100 years to ensure the continued necessary production? ‘Land’ is referred to in the broadest sense – soil, plants, forests, birds, insects, wildlife, lakes, streams, oceans etc.
  2. The People – How must we/our enterprise be far into the future for the people we rely upon to remain loyal, respectful, supportive and engaged? The people we rely upon may be clients, vendors, suppliers, extended family, environmental groups, regulators, government representatives etc.
  3. The Community You Want To Live In – What services will your community have to have available to sustain what you produce? List them. How do you want your community to feel, look, act and be?

Your answers might look like these <= Click For Examples

3.4 – FINAL STEP Weave your answers to Section 3 questions into a cohesive paragraph or series of paragraphs.

A cohesive vision of necessary Forms of Production might look like this <= Click For Example

Upon completing the 3 sections, take a pause, and say thank you to yourself and those that went through this exercise with you. You’ve just done some serious introspective work, more than most people ever do. We recommend at this point that you walk away for a day – all the work you’ve done will still be here tomorrow. Come back tomorrow and read what you’ve written – we can almost guarantee with a good night’s sleep and a fresh day’s perspective you’ll catch things you missed as well as identify things you can remove.

Remember to KEEP IT SIMPLE. Stick to the suggested questions and don’t stray. This is a Minimum Holistic Goal – enough to get you started in the right direction – don’t let details creep in! This is the 40,000 foot view – you don’t have to figure out how you’re going to do it all right now. Having a complete MHG will help you determine the right how, who, where and what when the time is right.

Simple is clear, and clear is powerful.