Here we are full swing into the New Year!
Did you make any resolutions or set any goals?
If so, did you attach any FEELINGS to those resolutions or goals?
If you’re wondering what the heck I mean by that let me explain….
See this year, rather than just writing out a list of goals that I had for myself as I would normally have done, instead I wrote out how I wanted to feel in 2013, or to put it another way – my desired feelings. I still made goals for myself, but I made sure they were attached to something more meaningful.
Now before I go any further, I have to stop and give credit where credit is due and give a shout out to the magnificent Danielle LaPorte and her brilliant book – The Fire Starter Sessions, in which she talks about “core desired feelings”. This book sparked a lot of inspiration for me, particularly around goal-setting.
You see, usually without even realizing it, when we set out to achieve a certain goal for ourselves what we’re really after is a desired feeling. We have a vision in our mind of how our life will look after we’ve achieved said goal, and we hold it in our mind’s eye perhaps without ever verbalizing it out loud to anybody. Sometimes though what we truly desire is masked behind some other goal we think we need to accomplish first, and it’s only after we get really clear on things that the this truth is unveiled.
Using weight-loss as an example, let’s say one of your goals is to lose 25 pounds this year. Seems straightforward enough, but maybe what you’re truly after is the confidence to take more risks in your career, or to start dating more and find your true love. What you’re really after is something much more than just losing 25 pounds, and you’re hoping that by losing the weight things are going to fall into place in your career and love life.
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you also probably want to feel a certain way after losing the weight – perhaps happier, freer, and more energized. You have a snapshot in your mind of what your life will look and feel like after you’ve reached your weight-loss goal.
It’s possible you could lose the 25 pounds and be miserable. Your external appearance has changed but your internal state has pretty much stayed the same. Maybe you’re still suffering from low self-esteem, and you’re feeling so restricted by your diet that eating is no longer an enjoyable experience for you. And perhaps all your free time is spent working out at the gym that you no longer have any time for that dating life you so desired. But hey, you lost the weight – you accomplished your goal! Or did you?
Think about the goals you’ve set out for yourself and get really specific about how you want to FEEL when you accomplish them. It can actually be really helpful to look at this completely backwards. Think about your desired feelings first, then attach the goals that you think you need to accomplish in order experience those feelings. These goals might change throughout the year as you gain new insights and fresh perspective on what you truly want, and even need in your life.
Going back to the weight loss example again, you might decide that what you really want is to rock a bikini in the summertime and feel sexy and confident in your own skin. What do you need to do to achieve that desired feeling? Maybe you started out with a 25 pound weight-loss goal but as you change your diet and and shed some of the pounds you soon come to realize that you only really needed to lose 15 pounds to rock that bikini and feel amazing in your body. You were successful in achieving your desired feelings and it didn’t take losing 25 pounds first.
By attaching desired feelings to your goals, you make them a lot more meaningful, and it’s more likely you’ll stick with them over the long run.
I suggest taking 30 minutes and revisiting some of your goals (or resolutions) that you set out for yourself at the beginning of the year. If you didn’t have any here’s your chance to make some!
Cozy up with a pen and paper and get crystal clear on your desired feelings. Think about a few goals you want to accomplish for yourself then visualize what your life will ideally look like after you’ve achieved each goal. How will things be different for you? What will your day look like? And most importantly, how do you want to feel when you achieve each one? The more descriptive you can get the better!
Also, keep in mind that this exercise can be applied to any area of your life – business, career, relationships, etc.
Here’s to wishing you a fabulous 2013 filled with love, happiness, health and all your desired feelings!