How to actually achieve goal-setting in 2022: The Hierarchy of Fulfillment

Understanding the structure in which we organize our ideas and creative work can help us make real achievements in our creative work.

This concept is an evolution from both Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as well as David Allen's Horizons of Focus but adjusted for the creative professional whose lines between various areas can often blur between work and passion.

Tasks & Calendar (What we do every day)

The habits that we practice each day are what bring us closer to achievement.

The activities you start today culminate into the next stage of your journey.

Questions to ask yourself

  • Is what I’m doing today important or urgent? Am I able to accomplish what I want to in the time I have?
  • Are the activities I have scheduled today draining on my energy? What do I need to do so I can avoid burning out?

Resources (What we consume)

The places we focus our attention are where we place our state of mind.

As we grow in our creative work we are told to look at successful artwork and learn from them. It’s how we educate ourselves on taste and develop an eye for growth in our creative work.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What do you currently spend time-consuming and why are you consuming it?
  • Are there specific types of content or communities you can spend more time in that can help you solve problems in your creative work?

Projects: How we communicate

The work we participate in helps define our style and creative voice.

These projects have definitive start and end dates, where we can either find success or learn something new. We collect data we collect research and grow.

Questions to ask yourself

  • Are these projects the best use of all the skills and resources I already have?
  • What do I need to communicate to my client/teams about my needs OR
  • Do I need to change the scope of work to achieve my best creative work?

Areas of Responsibility: How we stay committed

The different facets of your life where you are engaged one way or another.

These can include different creative work like your experimental work or your role at the company or your personal areas like family, friends, or other communities.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What are my current areas of responsibilities and what have I chosen to commit myself to?
  • What are some areas I want to grow or improve on that are just for me?

Goals: How we move forward

The objectives we set for ourselves can dictate how we can achieve success in the short term.

Our creative work can be a moving target, and our interests and values can change over time just as we do.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What am I trying to achieve in my current creative roles?
  • What do I imagine my day specifically looking like 1-2 years from now?
  • What do I imagine my life looking like 3-5 years from now?

Purpose: Unique to your story

The “why” that helps us inspire not only ourselves and get out of bed in the morning, but the audience that we create our work for.

Our purpose and direction come from our past history and unique experiences beyond our creative work and it’s what equips us to connect to others on the human level.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What have I done in my past that I was proud of contributing to in the past?
  • What are some of the moments I can remember where I felt strong emotions?

Structuring our creativity in a way that utilizes PURPOSE in the highest level of hierarchy makes it easier for us to make decisions as we turn our attention to the lower levels in the day-to-day rhythms of our lives.

6. Purpose 

5. Goals

4. Areas

3. Projects

2. Resources 

1. Tasks / Calendars


  • David Allen, Getting Things Done
  • Simon Sinek, Start with Why and Find Your Why
  • Abraham Maslow, A Theory of Human Motivation

Follow skybluejenny on Instagram and on YouTube for more on organizing your creativity.

PS: Organizing your goals is just like organizing your visual artwork: it starts with a clear hierarchy. I'll be having a Free 3 Step Solution to Create more Fulfilling Work in January 2022. Click here to join the WAITLIST today

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