Behind the Scenes: Goal Setting

I finally published my book!
haha, well at least a prototype :)

If you have been following my blog over the last year, you'll know that I have been dragging my feet on publishing a book of affirmations, and this month I felt the final push to make it happen. This little gem is a gift to myself. A way of honoring the goals met and set aside during Hint Jewelry 2009.

Last June, I was procrastinating on my goal of publishing a book of affirmations because I had unanswered questions. Waiting five months proved to be the best medicine for my project. I refined my affirmations, learned to let go of concepts that were getting in the way of the message, and came up with a better way of packaging my book Heart Speak.

Back to the beginning. Heart Speak grew out of intensive personal therapy that I faithfully performed over the course of six months. Whenever I noticed a negative core belief getting in the way of me being at peace in the world, I would journal my judgments about a situation and then turn the statements around into positive beliefs. The simplest metaphor was that I took lemon thoughts and made lemonade beliefs. Wow, there were a lot of lemons to work with!

Once I found the single most perfect positive affirmation that transformed my negative core belief into something liberating, I would write it on a 3 x 5 inch card and use it during meditation practice. I would say the affirmation aloud and then feel the positive feelings associated with the moment. My stack of cards grew until I started repeating myself, signaling that I had cleaned up my fundamental core belief system.

Through the practice of dialoguing nonviolent communication (NVC) with myself, I noticed that I rarely touched upon positive feeling words. Like being lost in the desert, looking for a drink of water, my soul was yearning to feel a positive feeling.

It was not enough to just say "I feel happy" or "I feel confident." I had to learn how to feel in my body the physical sensations of what it would be like to feel "happy" and "confident." This was quite different then saying the words because I used my imagination to project an image where I was feeling a positive emotion and all the sensations accompanying it.

The more work I did with Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication practice, the more I wanted to spend time with his list of positive feeling words. When using my affirmation cards I would associate the phrase with a positive feeling and mentally imagine the sensations.

Remember being a kid in the middle of a heatwave and feeling the joy and refreshment of running through the cool mist of a sprinkler? This is the closest picture I can paint of what it is like to read these affirmations and give myself permission to feel positive sensations.

I created a poem of pure emotion through positive words. I love shuffling the cards and seeing a new random song of myself each day, watching fresh connections form as a feeling word pairs with a positive affirmation. Now I know what Walt Whitman meant when he wrote "I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself." Like a devotional prayer, every morning and evening I read through my stack of affirmations and positive feelings and experience blissful renewal.

Acknowledging the amazing randomness of the cards was the last element I needed to see the structure of my book as a stack that can be used in a variety of non-linear ways. This concept led me to choose Moo.com to publish the prototype of my book as a stack of business cards. All I needed was one photo image and then jpeg files with the words and phrases for the reverse.

I imagine women carrying these cards around in their purses and pulling them out in frustrating situations. Or people tucking them in their pockets and reading a card during a stressful office meeting. Word Refreshment!

What are the next steps in fulfilling the vision of Heart Speak? Right now my book is completely unaffordable to be resold, so I need to find a way to print these cards in a cost effective manner. I've also been imagining them as an electronic book (ebook) that people could download to their smartphones so that a positive affirmation is just a click away. How different would life be if you looked down at your phone when someone is yelling at you and saw the message "I surrender to the beauty of others."

I had set out in January 2009 to self-publish a book by the end of the year, and in my own fashion it manifested into being. It took some goal setting and a great deal of letting go of expectations, but these two actions continually motivate me to be in business for myself. When you in engage in goal setting, you are creating a relationship with your deepest desires. It's like partnering in a dance with your Self. What could be more beautiful?

Sometimes the goals you set fall away or turn into new goals. Sometimes they don't happen in the manner or timing that you planned, but the most important thing is to first put the goal in motion, step out on the dance floor and enjoy a moment of being with the most authentic parts of yourself.

Whatever goals you've set for this past year, I hope you have had fun playing with them and whatever goals you've had to let go of, many blessings to your heart for putting them in motion and experiencing your most beautiful self in a new way!


  1. What an uplifing post, Beth! Congratulations on creating and finishing the book - it sounds like such powerfully positive transforming experience. Everyone needs to celebrate themselves and hopefully you'll be there to give them a way to do so. Many hugs!

  2. you're so active and hard-working - I love it:)
    what a great idea, and they look so beautiful...

    I'm impressed...
    I have a set of my own version of tarot cards that are elemental based and with a cross-cultural approach that I've been working on, and this card set post really got me inspired again to keep working on it...

    I'm gonna go find that old journal I have the work done in...

    thanks Beth <3

  3. wonderful post! thanks for sharing your wise thoughts. i always look forward to reading your blog because it reminds me of all the things i should be doing to feel better about myself. suffering with some health issues, it's easy for me to fall into the wallowing in pain and self pity mode.

  4. Beautifully written, and very inspiring! Now that you've put it out there about finding an affordable way to publish your book, I'll bet it will manifest in no time, and I look forward to it:-)

  5. Hello Beth, Congratulations on seeing your dream through to fruition. Please keep us informed as to when you find and affordable format. I really need something like that and I know (as do you) that I'm not alone.


  6. What a journey...and your 'baby' was born... A great accomplishment... I bet u sighed a big sigh of relief and pride...

  7. What a wonderful post! The cards are beautiful, both in aesthetics and in their power to lift up one's spirit and self worth.

    Congratulations on reaching your goal!

  8. I'm definitely intrigued! I think we are all too hard on ourselves and could use something like this. As for publishing books, have you heard of blurb? It could be an option.

  9. Congratulations on finishing your fantastic sounding book. I struggle with some of the same negative thoughts and I absolutely love your idea and am going to start to do it myself - that will be my Christmas present to myself. Thank you for sharing something so personal.

  10. congratulations beth! this is so very wonderful ~ you put so much of yourself into this in so many ways, it is priceless... i am happy for you that you met your goal, not with force or compromising what you wanted... but by authentically coming around to the deadline in your own way...
    and - another recommended book? hooray - actually this one sounds like something i need very much...

  11. Cheers to you Beth!
    I find this accomplish truly inspiring & such a wonderful gift for your soul!
    I am always learning something from & want to Thank you for sharing so much with all of us!

  12. Way to go Beth!

    You continue to amaze me... I want a signed copy of the book when it becomes feasible. I love the box/container too! from the east coast Happy Holidays!

  13. Catherine, thanks for celebrating my transforming experience alongside me!

    Lauren, your tarot cards sound intriguing. I hope you pull out your journal and bring them to light!

    Sandra, you're always so cheerful, so I'm glad we're sharing this space together, helping perk each other up :)

    Erica, love your positive energy on this! I'm crossing my fingers, I'll find the answer that works for me :)

    Emanda, thank you for appreciating this work, and I will definitely let everyone know how it transpires in 2010.

    Chrissy, you felt my sigh of relief! Thank you for seeing that. I do feel a lot lighter :)

    Thanks, Alice for cheering me on and sharing your positive energy towards this project!

    Cserden, good to see you! Checked out Blurb a while back, and love their formats but couldn't get their software to work well on my computer.

    Quilting, love that you are giving this to yourself for Christmas! Rethinking my thoughts as really shown me so much about myself, so much love on your journey!

    Diane, thanks so much for sharing your presence and letting me know that my shares are inspiring :)

    East Coast, thanks so much for all your support and wanting one of these books! Happy Holidays :)

  14. What a lovely goal to set for yourself and what a lovely realization of that goal. And a brilliant brainstorm to use Moo to achieve it. Congratulations Miss Beth. You're always an inspiring blog writer.

  15. This is a beautiful concept that you have actualized. I imagine these messages wrapped around a yummy chocolate treat!

  16. Love the pictures you chose for the moo cards, very pretty!


I'd love for you to share your ideas and stories on my blog! Please know that I may not always be able to e-mail you a direct response, so be sure to check back to my blog and continue the dialogue. Many blessings for connecting with me through word and image :)