We’ve been creating goals backwards for years. The Best Mindful Goal Setting Technique involves getting clear on how we want to feel in our lives first. Read on for a review of The Desire Map.
Earlier this year, I went on a bit of a spiritual literary bender.
You know how sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach? Well, my eyes were bigger than my brain because I’ve only finished two of these books so far: Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together by Pamela Slim (AWESOME career coaching book if you’re looking for some career inspiration) and The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul
by Danielle LaPorte.
I was turned on to Danielle LaPorte around the time that I started investigating B School by Marie Forleo and subscribing to all the things MarieTV. Love that woman. Well, Danielle and Marie are besties and business soul sistas so Danielle was promoting her books and services along with Marie’s B School.
Fast forward a month or so and I’m in Costa Rica on a yoga retreat and our instructor, Jenna, guided us through a goal setting exercise inspired by The Desire Map (which she was currently reading).
The exercise was this: write down your short-term and long-term goals. Go! Okay, now turn the page over and write down words that describe HOW you want to feel in your life. Awesome. Now, write your short-term and long-term goals based on those feelings you just identified. Meaning, what actions or goals will help you to achieve those feelings?
Welp. My two goal lists were completely different. With the first list we wrote, my short-term goals were focused on getting more work experience in different areas like writing and media. And starting my own business was on my long-term goal list. Then I identified how I wanted to feel in my life: balanced, whole. trusting, confident, authentic, genuine, joyful, excited, open, accomplished, loving. Once I used those feelings as the base of creating my goals, my goals shifted. Starting my own business got bumped up to the short-term goal list. Travel became more prevalent on my second list (Europe being short-term goal and a safari in Africa being a long-term goal). Other things non-work oriented showed up too. Like taking up a new hobby. Meditating regularly. Making my relationships a higher priority.
So why the discrepancy between these two lists? Because I had goal setting backwards. In fact, most of us do. Most of us create and define our goals hoping that once we achieve these goals, we’ll feel great when we get there. Danielle LaPorte brings this goal setting conundrum to light in The Desire Map and makes us realize that we should actually first get clear on how how we want to feel in our lives and then set our intentions. This way, our core desired feelings inform how we plan our day, our year, our life.
As I mentioned before, I just (finally) finished The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul
and highly recommend it to anyone. In fact, I highly recommend it for this time of year. As we approach the New Year, we’re up to our ears in goal setting. And before you dive into those goals, get some clarity on your feelings first. The book doubles as a workbook and really helps you get down to the core of your values and helps you narrow down your core desired feelings.
My core desired feelings are: connection, radiant, alive, and passion. Based on these feelings, I defined my intentions and goals for the year and was excited (and a little surprised) with what came up for me by putting these feelings first.
1. Do more in the community (classes, workshops, volunteer).
2. Invest in learning (trainings, workshops around integrative nutrition, mindful eating, yoga).
3. Self-care comes first.
As Danielle recommended in the book, I try to recite my core desired feelings as a mantra every morning so that I have a clear intention of how I want to feel during the day. And I let them guide my to-do list, actions, and decisions throughout the day. Danielle also has some great follow-up worksheets (in the book and on her website) so that you can define your weekly to-do list based on those core desired feelings.
How do you define your goals? Do you have an idea of what your core desired feelings are?