A Fresh Take on New Year’s Resolutions
Welcome to one of my favorite times of year! My birthday is in January & I LOVE the new year & all the resolutions & fresh starts.
I’ve had a lot of success with my resolutions in the past. I’ve made them measurable & check-off-able. Really concrete things. I’ve learned to do a bunch of car repairs myself, attended church 20 Sundays in a row (that resolution lasted five years!), learned to love baseball, finished reading The Last of the Mohicans after maybe ten years, saw Kylie Minogue in concert… important or silly, I’ve really valued change & enjoyed working toward it.
That being said, there’s always room for improvement, right?
Last winter, I watched a Marie Forleo interview of Danielle LaPorte on YouTube. Danielle LaPorte is the bestselling author of The Desire Map. She’s an author, speaker, & personal development coach. She’s also really approachable & funny!
In this interview, she outlines a new way to set goals & chase after a life you love. Her formula totally flips the traditional script & encourages listeners to chase after feelings instead of goals FIRST & then set goals from there.
Here is a selection from the show notes that sums up her process:
“1. Feel What Feels Good. When goal setting this way, first ask yourself how you want to feel in three main categories: lifestyle and livelihood, body and wellness, relationships and society. Write stream of consciousness lists for each category listing out your desired feelings for each.
2. Look For Patterns. Identify the words you repeat in these lists, or notice the patterns that are coming up. Begin to narrow down your list of words that will help with goal setting through your desired feelings.
3. Declare Your Core Desired Feelings. Ask yourself what’s beneath a feeling for you. For example, maybe “success” is really about freedom, or love, or creativity. This is a good time to turn to a dictionary and look up the definitions of words — every word is its own world.
4. Ask Yourself: What do I want to do, have or experience to create my core desired feelings? This is the beginning of goal setting with soul. This is where you make connections between how you want to feel and what will actually help you feel that way.”
After I heard this, of course I HAD to buy the book. I tore right through it & got to work.
My process was a little different but got to the same conclusion. I looked at my vision board (talked about that here!) & started writing single words that each photo evoked. Like:
After that, I started chunking the words together in little synonym packages. Then I picked the best word of the bunch & kept narrowing until I got to five words:
One cool thing about this process is how totally different each person’s feeling words can be! I told a friend that “awestruck” made one list, and she said her vision board would probably evoke “rich,” “hot,” and “successful.” Ha! I love that.
From there, I started thinking about goals that helped me head toward those feelings. I started to spend more time outdoors because I wanted to feel free & alive. I started a mindfulness practice because I wanted to feel peaceful. I spent time decorating & doing DIY projects because I wanted my life to feel cultivated. I started getting more serious about going to my church’s chapel & spend time every Monday on Bible journaling so I could feel connected. And the picture I included here shows the very essence of connected, alive, & free: leading a retreat with some very special, very inspiring kids who are still close to my heart.
With every feeling, I attached a handful of goals. And it worked like a charm! Instead of checking something off my list & having the inevitable letdown or not checking it off & feeling disappointed, I could check in with my heart throughout the process & see if these actions were producing my core desired feelings. If they did, great! If not, I chucked them guilt-free!
I’ve found a lot of clarity & inspiration in this style of goal setting. It’s an activity I hope to revisit in the future when those words stop feeling relevant. For now, I have a lot of goals I want to put on paper before New Year’s Eve that help me chase after feeling even MORE: free, alive, connected, cultivated, & peaceful!
How about you? Are you planning any resolutions for the new year? Have you found any other effective ways to set “goals with soul?” Let me know in the comments below!
The photo of Daniella LaPorte & the above quotation are hers and not mine. They’re only here for inspiration!