Welcome 2022! Have you set your resolutions, intentions or goals? Have you done this before and either quit by February (with the other 87 percent of the planet) or completed what you started, yet still felt nothing? 

You are not alone – and there is an alternative.

About a decade ago, after setting countless resolutions and still feeling empty, I found life coach Danielle LaPorte. She has written a few books, but The Desire Map really resonated with me. 

The Desire Map seeks to identify how we want to feel instead of what we want to achieve,” says author Danielle March. “The premise is that we’re actually chasing a feeling—not an accomplishment. We’re banking on how we think getting or taming that goal will make us feel. If we were clear about that first, we could make every day our best day.” 

Asking yourself how you want to feel might be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never reflected on that. But, you can do it, and here are some additional questions to help break it down:

  • How do you want to feel in your relationships?
  • How do you want to feel at work?
  • How do you want to feel as a parent or caregiver?
  • How do you want to feel physically?
  • How do you want to feel mentally?
  • How do you want to feel financially?

When asking yourself these questions, be specific and intentional about the area of life you’d like to improve. This isn’t a one size fits all question. It may help to reflect on times in the past where you felt the way you would like to feel most of the time.

  • Who were you with?
  • What were you doing?
  • Where were you?
  • How did you feel in your mind/body/heart/soul?

Once you have identified HOW you want to feel, the real work begins.

What will you do to feel the way that you want to feel? This is not an easy question, nor are the next action steps you will take.

Do you want to feel, mentally, more at ease?

Perhaps you recognize the mental space, clarity and ease you seek when you are at the ocean or in nature taking a hike. Maybe you notice that when you are with a certain person, you feel the opposite of when you are at the ocean or hiking.

Action Steps: Spend less time with that person. Set boundaries when you are with that person. Don’t spend time with that person at all.

Do you want to feel more secure financially?

Have you ever felt secure? What would that feel and look like? Why do you want to feel more financially secure?

Action Steps: Pause when you are purchasing things. Wait 24 hours. Ask yourself, “What feeling am I trying to get from this purchase or what feeling am I trying to avoid in purchasing this?”

Do you want to feel more responsive and less reactive as a parent/caregiver?

What would that look like? We all have those moments where we say or do something we wish we could take back. We ruminate about how we would have done things differently. So, that’s a good place to start.

Action Steps: Perhaps it looks like pausing and counting to 10 before responding to your child. Maybe it’s asking yourself, “When this interaction is over, how do I want to feel?” You can then reverse engineer your interaction.

Inquiring about and recognizing your core desired feelings is a journey. These feelings will change as our circumstances do, so it’s good to check in with ourselves often and ask: Is this how I want to feel? If not, then how do I want to feel? What am I going to do to feel that way? Who do I need to ask for help?

In her poem “The Summer Day,” Mary Oliver asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” My wish for you is that you find, create and live it in 2022.

Jen Yockey is the owner of Gather Yoga & Wellness, author of Gathered Truths and host of The Gathered Truths Podcast. She is an E-RYT yoga/meditation teacher and wellness coach and can be reached at (760) 219.7953, jennifer@gatherlaquinta.com. For more information visit www.gatherlaquinta.com.

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