Want to know secret for the best 2018 ever?
Confessions of a New Year’s resolution junkie
I admit. I am a New Year’s resolution junkie. I have set New Year’s resolutions every year with varying degrees of success. I often felt that the process was missing something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
Sometimes going after a goal left me feeling stressed and not happy. Or I realized that once I reached the goal, I did not feel how I thought it would make me feel.
I had left feelings, or the “why,” out of the goal setting equation. Feelings were not part of my resolutions, to-do lists, and goals. After my “aha,” I decided to reverse how I set my goals by focusing on feelings first.
I had this “aha” moment while reading the Desire Map. According to the author, Danielle LaPorte:
“You’re not chasing the goal, you’re chasing the feeling you hope reaching the goal will give you.”
Here’s the crazy thing. Now that I focus on feelings I can disregard or change a goal if it is not helping me to feel the desired way.
How do I want to feel in 2018?
Let me give you an example from my resolutions. I have a goal of exercising 30 or more minutes five days a week. Most days this means that I take a walk.
I want to feel deep connection, creative, curious, free, and hygge. (These are what those who use the Desire Map process refer to as core desired feelings.)
Before heading out for my walk, I ask myself how I want to feel? Depending on my answer, that changes how I walk.
How can I feel deep connection during a walk? My first choice is to invite a friend or loved one to join me for a walk in the woods. As we walk together and appreciate the nature around us, we can also talk. Some of my most important life decisions have been made during walks in the woods.
If I am by myself, I can still feel deep connection. I observe my environment — especially the season and the weather — to feel a deeper connection outside of myself. Or I focus on my breath or footsteps to feel a deeper connection to myself and the present moment.
If I want to feel curious, I listen to podcasts that are on my stimulus list of subjects that interest me. Or I try a new route and see where that leads me. Or I walk my usual course in reverse.
To feel creative, I listen to inspiring music or an audiobook. Often I ask myself a question before the walk and mull it over getting closer to a solution with each step. Or I dictate ideas or writing on my phone’s note-taking app.
To feel free, I don’t insist on taking a walk at the same time every day. I usually go by myself so that another person’s schedule does not bind me. When I walk outside, I sometimes enjoy having no route in mind, so I am free to go where inspiration takes me. If I want to feel free to watch my favorite TV show during the day, I’ll walk on the treadmill.
To feel hygge, I will take a walk on a cold, sunny day wearing a cozy hat, warm jacket, and gloves and have a cup of tea when I return. Or I will focus on the simple pleasures of observing the nature around me or the companionship of a good friend.
I hope that this way of thinking about New Year’s resolutions will make as much of a difference to you as it did to me. May you feel the way you want to feel in 2018!