Happy New Year my dear Soulsters!
In preparation for the new year ahead, you might have chosen a set of resolutions that you intend on completing by the end of 2018. Perhaps you want to start meditation, transition to a plant-based diet, or maybe and you just want a shiny new red Ferrari. (I can help with the first two, not so much with the third.)
Regardless of the nature of our goal, we’re often advised that it must be measurable in order to know if we’re on the right track to achieving it. For example, “losing a pound a week” is much easier to evaluate than “lose weight by the summer”.
Are your goals making you happy?
However, when we look at the matters of the heart, how do we measure if our goal is contributing to our overall happiness? After all, when we pursue a goal, it’s (sometimes unconsciously) because we think its accomplishment will make us feel a certain way.
We think that getting that new job was make us feel respected. Losing 5 pounds will allow us to feel confident. Joining a group will make us feel like we belong.
You’re not chasing the goal itself. You’re chasing the feelings you hope attaining those goals will give you.
– Danielle Laporte
Sometimes our approach works, and the achievement of our goal brings us a lasting sense of fulfillment. On other occasions, we cross off everything from our to-do list, and yet we still feel empty after the initial high. “It this what success is supposed to feel like? Where is the happiness I was promised? Is this it?”, we ask in dismay. Empty handed, we chase after another goal to achieve this elusive feeling of happiness.
What if we were able to determine a list of criteria that could help us evaluate if the goal is worth pursuing, before chasing it and hoping it will work out in the end? What if we had a guiding system to help us make choices that are aligned with our core values, our essence and our Soul?
Good news, folks. You already possess this guiding system inside of you: your feelings.
A new way of approaching goal setting
“What if, first, we got clear on how we actually want to feel within ourselves, and then we design our to-do lists, set our goals, and write out our bucket lists?”, asks Danielle Laporte in her inspiring workbook The Desire Map.
By first choosing how we want to feel, we can make empowered and informed decisions on how to lead our Life. We get to choose the goals worth pursuing. Instead of waiting to (maybe) feel happy after you’ve accomplished your mission, you find joy in the pursuit of it all. Because your goal matches how you want to feel every single day of your life.
But how you want to feel on a day-to-day basis?
To answer this simple but profound question, take 5 minutes to imagine a utopic version of your Life (add unicorns if you wish). How do you feel:
- When your wake up?
- When you’re looking at your schedule?
- At the end of a work day?
- When you’re with your loved ones?
- When you’re about to fall asleep?
Asides from the generic term “happy”, do you feel connected? Excited? Peaceful? A sense of balance? Confidence? Adventure? Spontaneity? Playfulness?
Whatever you were feeling when you pictured your perfect life represents how you/your heart/your soul wants to feel every day. These core feelings, or “core desires” as Danielle Laporte calls them, are the main contributors to your over-all happiness. Therefore, the goals you choose to pursue daily should also ignite these feelings inside of you.
Inspired by The Desire Map, I made a free workbook that will help you determine what your “core desires” are. You can download it here!
Pursuing goals that resonate with you
Once you find out what your core desires are, an interesting shift happens: you end up pursing goals that deeply resonates with you, and leave behind those that don’t. “Lose weight by the summer” becomes “Build muscle strength” because lifting weight you couldn’t before will make you feel more confident than losing that 5 pounds ever will. “Renovating the house” that you feel is cold and empty becomes “Hosting dinner once a week” because you want to feel connected with people.
You might also realize that your goals are 100% aligned with your core desires. And that’s an incredible realization! Your goals got soul. 😉
While I do caution you not to throw practicality, logic and other considerations to the wind all in the name of following your emotions, being mindful of the latter will inform you if your goals are aligned with your true desires.
Therefore, with the beginning of this New Year, take a moment to decide what feelings are at the core of your happiness. Once you’ve figured this out, evaluate how your resolutions match up to them and make you feel. If the pursuit of this goal seems dreadful, it might be your Soul telling you something is off. Maybe you need to change your approach, or perhaps you need to change goals entirely. On the other hand, if the task stirs such good joo-joo inside of you, you know you’re on the right path.
I hope this post was helpful to you! If it was, please share and leave a comment below. If you want to learn more on the subject, I highly recommend getting a copy of The Desire Map. Also, don’t forget to download your free workbook here! You’ll also get access to my library of free health resources. 🙂
Much love and hugs,