Motto Goals in the Zurich Resource Model 

The term „motto goals“ originates from the Zurich Resource Model (ZRM) developed by Maja Storch and Frank Krause.

Motto goals are formed through a process that leverages both the strengths of the unconscious mind and the strengths of the conscious mind.

Initially, limbic structures are engaged intuitively through image selection, and then, through a „translation process“ (Weber and Storch 2018), the goal is articulated into words.

In the model of Elephant and Rider, one could say: the elephant chooses the motivating image – for the Rider, the motivating message is then translated into language.

Examples of Motto Goals:

  • „Rooted deep, I grow towards the sun“ (Preparation for public speaking),
  • „Just like a mighty bear, I am unbothered by smaller details and enjoy the sun and wind in my pelt.“ (Stress regulation), … (Weber and Storch 2018, p. 397)

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Creating Motto Goals in Several Steps

Step 1: Priming

  • Note down your topic…
  • … and your feelings about it.
  • Or be completely open.

Step 2: Image Selection

Browse through the image database, „A picture is worth a thousand words,“ and tune into your body sensations.

Select an image spontaneously that triggers a powerful positive physical feeling.

Step 3: Idea bank

Write down all the positive, helpful terms that come to mind about your image.

Ask two more people to provide you with their positive, helpful associations to your image. Write them down.

Step 4: Memory trigger

Highlight in the list of your idea bank your favorite terms that evoke strong positive physical sensations.

Step 5: Motto Goal

From your favored terms, formulate your motto goal: a life motto that motivates and unleashes resources.


• „With energy and clarity, I move forward.“

• „With happy calmness and serenity, the goal comes to me.“

Examples for Teams:

• „We nurture potentials to bloom.“

• „Creatively and clearly, we shape solutions!“

Examples for Change:

• „We create solutions for a sustainable future.“

• „Flexible, connected, and customer-oriented, we shape the next era of success.“

Step 6: Reminder Aid

Choose your image or another item (such as a pebble, a ring, or a Lego figure) that will remind you of your motto goal. Place it where you can see it several times a day, especially in situations where your motto goal should take effect. For example, use the photo as a background image on your phone or place the Lego figure on your desk. 

Use this memory trigger to strengthen your positive physical sensations and activate your motto-goal.

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