Whether you consider yourself a ‘goal setter’, or not, chances are at some point in your life you have been caught up in the flurry of ‘year-end, new year, what will be different’ fever.
Conversations in early January with colleagues, friends and family inevitably touch on what did you do for New Year’s? and then quickly move to and what are your resolutions for this year?
I must say I used to just looooovvvee this question, this dynamic, this conversation. Nothing like a review session or goals setting workshop to get me feeling energised and charged for the year. I’d eagerly map out on paper, with plenty of circles, each of the areas of my life I wanted to focus on and ask myself what’s the next thing I want to achieve. In a year’s time I want to have…. (insert: paid of my debt, got a promotion, enrolled in my masters, be going to the gym three times per week…). I’d even take it to the next level and get really SMART about it. You know, have goals that were Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
And yes, maybe some things did actually stick for a little while. But inevitably the goals would blend in to the background of everyday life, or (possibly even worse?) I’d achieve them and not think twice about it, quickly moving on to the next thing. What can I add to my list next? What’s the next level? Where to from here?
I had some direction and focus. But whether or not I actually ‘achieved’ the thing, ultimately didn’t leave me feeling much different. I started to feel like there had to be a better way, I started for the first time to feel disconnected from goal setting session, which left me feeling quite disconcerted actually, considering this had been part of my make-up for so long. AND how else could I use all the colourful cardboard, pens and glitter I’d accumulated specifically for these sessions? I wanted to feel different, I knew that much. And I wanted the things I was reaching for to feel exciting, to cheer me on and for them to create more of a life that felt energised and, well, ME-like.
So when I discovered and then opened Danielle La Porte’s Desire Map Planner for the very first time, I felt this incredible sense of joy, relief, like a sense of everything (finally!) clicking into place for me.
At last, the words to express how I had been feeling and hadn’t, or couldn’t, quite articulate for years.
Danielle’s premise is simple really – and yet also so profound because it’s not how most of us operate. Instead of setting goals for things you want to have in your life, set the according to how you want to FEEL.
After all, life is all about how we experience it, right? At its simplest form, we are all seeking to feel good in our lives.
So, I no longer set New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, I ask myself How do I want to feel? And I consistently check in with these feelings and desires. Yes the beginning of a year still feels significant in some way for me and yes that is a great time to check in and review some of my desires – but I certainly don’t make a mission out of it. And I certainly don’t only do it at that one time a year. Instead I weave this through my entire year, moving from season to season and checking in and asking myself How do I want to feel? And then, what actions must I take to get me closer to feeling this way? The Desire Map Planner is such a valuable tool to dive deeper too – there’s a system and structure for youto follow to really get to know your core desires so you can be sure that when you do set goals in yoru life they are completely aligned to how you want to experience your life.
As you head into the year-end, I wonder what will different for you in your life next year – if you’re starting to ask yourself this same questions too.
How do I want to feel?
And I wonder what will look and feel different for you.
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