Putting the only goal you need into practice

Founding Mother, Chard & Stripes

Whether you think that feeling good is the only goal you need or just a good goal to have to feel good in life, one thing is for sure: You’ll need to be in touch with how you feel to stay on track.

Our moods and emotions give us critical guidance.

Like in a game of hide-and-seek, they say, “Warmer!” or “Colder!” as we move closer to or farther from what we’re looking for, whether we’re clear about what that is or not.

Remember Abraham-Hicks from a few weeks back?

They teach that JOY is the purpose of our lives, and the reason we even bother setting goals is because we think we’ll feel good (or better) reaching them.

That all feels right, so it makes sense to me to make feeling good be our main measure of success.

Yesterday, I had a so not successful streak:

I got caught in a downward spiral when writing this message.

My week hadn’t gone as planned and I was feeling behind before I had started typing.

Brrr, I was already in chilly territory.

Once I started working, my idea wasn’t gelling, which was frustrating.

Getting colder…

And the harder I worked, the worse I felt.

My emotions were screaming, FREEEZING!!! but I kept pushing because the clock was ticking. Finally, around midnight, I gave up and got ready for bed though my work wasn’t done.

I was thinking that committing to Chard Mail every week was a mistake.

And right after that, I had another thought…

And then another…

And then some more, all confirming that yep, I’d bitten off more than I could chew right now.

I was in despair when my head hit my pillow, and funnily enough that was perfect:

My idea was to introduce The Abraham-Hicks Emotional Guidance Scale, a tool we can use to stop emotional free falls—like I was having—but better yet to reach the goal of feeling good.

How ironic was that?

Had I practiced what I was planning to preach, I would have taken my butt to bed at 10 p.m.

Sometimes the best we can do to feel better is to fall asleep, because it stops the flow of bad-feeling stories going through our heads.

But the Emotional Guidance Scale might make zonking out unnecessary. Here’s how:

  1. Use the scale (below) to slow down, tune in and locate where you are emotionally.
  2. Tell yourself better-feeling stories than what you’ve been thinking.
  3. Once you’re truly feeling better than when you started, repeat the process.

The idea is to think your way up to the top of the scale, taking the time you need—hours, days, weeks, whatever—and patting yourself on the back for any upward movement, even just a bit.

And not beating yourself up for backsliding.


  1. Joy/Appreciation/Empowerment/Freedom/Love
  2. Passion
  3. Enthusiasm/Eagerness/Happiness
  4. Positive Expectation/Belief
  5. Optimism
  6. Hopefulness
  7. Contentment
  8. Boredom
  9. Pessimism
  10. Frustration/Irritation/Impatience
  11. Overwhelment
  12. Disappointment
  13. Doubt
  14. Worry
  15. Blame
  16. Discouragement
  17. Anger
  18. Revenge
  19. Hatred/Rage
  20. Jealousy
  21. Insecurity/Guilt/Unworthiness
  22. Fear/Grief/Desperation/Despair/Powerlessness

Like I said, I went to bed last night feeling one of the lowest emotions: despair. Kind of. The irony of feeling worse and worse trying to write about an emotion-improving tool wasn’t lost on me.

So I changed my tune before I fell asleep:

Instead of repeating that I’d bitten off more than I could chew, I thought, “Chicky, you need a system. But right now, go to sleep, and the writing will get done on time.” And that mental shift took me from mild despair at level 22, to full belief at level 4.

And my work got done, like I knew it would.

But generally, I’ve been feeling a tad overwhelmed lately. The good news is that the scale is saying I’m halfway to the top. All I need to do now is think thoughts that help me feel frustrated.


Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Harmon is a scientist turned storyteller and Founding Mother of Chard & Stripes, a “school” of prosperity making and word-of-mouth marketing platform for businesses in food, fashion and more. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter here.