Because I'm the type of person who boils the ocean to get to the fish, I've consulted the work of at least a dozen professionals regarding the best way to plan a new year.
Want to know my favorite fish in that pond?
Can I interest ya in the catch o' the day, my friends?
Danielle LaPorte. Desire Mapping. Get in my belly.
Here's the low-down:
Danielle LaPorte makes the darn good point that with traditional goal-setting, we tend to forget WHY we set our goals in the first place, and then in pursuing those goals we fly in the face of the very feelings we originally set out to pursue.
Say a bloke sets a goal to "bring home 20% more income than last year." He sets it because he wants himself and his family to live healthier, happier lives. And then in pursuing that goal he spends most of his hours and his meals away from home, which leads to emergency marriage counseling and cholesterol meds.
No judgement here, friends. We're just looking at whether this guy is hitting his mark is all.
(He may very well be meeting his mark if feeling "professionally fulfilled" is more important to him than feeling "happy" and "connected." Let's not assume one feeling is better than another. But in this example, the guy's GOAL was happiness and health. That's all.)
Sometimes (always) goal achievement does require grit. Sometimes we need to go through the hard feelings to get to the good feelings. But being conscious of our core desired feelings is so very empowering!
I'll flesh that out in a minute.
In the example above, even if this guy brought in 500% more income, he would never feel satisfied because he is still missing his TRUE goal: health and happiness.
What this means:
This means that the key to feeling the way we want to feel is by always keeping in mind how we want to feel - so we can use these feelings as our MAPS!
Danielle calls these our "Core Desired Feelings" (CDF's.)
We keep our CDF's at the top of our minds when we decide *which* goals to take on and *how* we are gonna go about pursuing those goals.
The Big Picture
So first we start with the big picture. One year. Check out Danielle's book for worksheets that are helpful in the boiling-down process, but if you're in a hurry, just think: what are the 3-5 main feelings I want to feel this year?
For me: Peaceful. Embodied. Surrendered. Playful. Secure. Connection.
And a whole lot of other things, like maternal, generous, traction, etc. But I think those feelings will flow naturally from the top six.
Getting down to only 3 CDF's just feels unrealistic for this feely person, for crying out loud.
A Real Life Example
Next you ask yourself the same question regarding each thing you set out to do. For example. In planning my photography class for last weekend, I asked myself: how do I want to feel while and after I teach this course?
So I went through all of my slides and handouts and asked myself: how could I make this more fun / helpful? How could I connect better with my students?
I threw out the handouts I spent a lot of time on last year. They bored me.
Instead I created worksheets with questions like this:
As helpful as last year's handouts? More so. More fun than that boring drivel I used last year? Absolutely.
Before the class I visualized myself being fun, helpful and connected. And wouldn't you know it but I was on fire that day. And people said things like this...and this:
So I'd say it was a success.
Incidentally, by popular demand, the good people at Bellani and I are offering another 101 class.
On a More Personal Note:
I wrote another "New Year's" post for you before this one, containing the biggest lesson I learned in 2014.
I'd say it's maybe my best post ever. It's definitely my rawest post ever. I'm note quite ready to put it out there yet. Gimme a week or 52.
In the meantime, I hope this less personal post has been helpful! :)
A Word of Caution:
Desire Mapping is a phenomenal tool, but...please. Don't get it twisted.
It's incredibly empowering to envision how we want to feel and to take small steps every day towards those feelings.
But there are limitations to how much power we have to choose how we feel in the current moment. Trust me on this one.
Oftentimes, the only way to get to happiness is to be at peace with whatever other emotions are coming up for you. To stop resisting them.
Please set your intentions on where you want to go without judging where you are now. There is a reason you are feeling whatever you are feeling now. All emotions are valid and important, and I'm not just BS'ing you.
Learn from how you're feeling. And keep moving.
Love to you,