This year, I read The Desire Map for the first time, and I absolutely loved it. The whole idea is that whenever you set a goal, you’re really chasing the feeling that you think you’ll have once you achieve that goal. So the book argues that we should all start our goal-setting process by thinking about how we want to feel, first and foremost, and then create goals based on those feelings. Her book is great for delving into the details and walking you through the best ways to hone in on your desired feelings and avoid choosing generic feelings or goals that are prescribed by society. I would definitely recommend checking it out. I talk a lot about The Desire Map and my other favourite ways to set goals in this week’s episode of the podcast, which you can find here.
Once you’ve gotten clear on how you want to feel, you’re in a much better position to set goals that are aligned with what you really truly want. I narrowed it down to five core desired feelings (after several drafts!) which have lots of different meanings for me, some of which are listed below.
abundance: my word for the year! read what it means to me here.
connection: meaningful conversations, reaching out to loved ones, tuned in to my body and my brain, looking at my life in a holistic way (all parts as being connected and balanced), experiencing synchronicity in my everyday life, being alert, attentive and a good listener
lightness: a sense of ease in my life, gracefulness, confidence, not eating too much, flexibility, calmness, bliss, a light tone to relationships (no drama, no way!), clean, efficient, enough/plenty, a sense of flow in my activities
expansion: growing, learning from my experiences and other people, trying new things, being a bigger person, open-mindedness, openness to new people and things, a sense of opportunity and possibility, hope, constantly improving, constantly creating
joyful: spontaneity, delight, wonder, a sense of awe, celebrations in my everyday life, appreciating the small things, appreciating everyday beauty, enthusiasm, surprises, a sense of occasion
- Read big: not only do I want to read 75 books again this year, I want to read more bravely. That means not shying away from long, hefty, heavy books that both intrigue and intimidate me.
- Edit my possessions: I like the idea of owning less, but I’m such a homebody that I seem to draw extra junk to me like a magnet. In the spirit of feeling lightness, I want to throw away anything that isn’t useful or beautiful or make me feel good.
- More travel! Especially travel with friends or to see friends that live far away.
- Continue to increase my strength and flexibility (open my hips enough for full lotus and get the upper body and core strength for handstand and arm balances)
- Move back into my own place in a vibrant city.
My goals for 2014 aren’t as specific as they’ve been in the past, but I’m okay with it. The year ahead is a great big question mark in a lot of ways, but I’m trying to think of it as a fresh page to write on instead of a big abyss to fall into (only half kidding). I’m happy to have my desired feelings to guide me, no matter what I choose to do in 2014.