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How do you want to feel this year?

Last week I wrote about not rushing into setting New Year’s resolutions, goals or intentions and instead to take some time to review your past year and ruminate on your reflections. The past can help inform your future, that is what you do and don’t want to do. I’m still not ready to make ‘plans’ yet. For me, it’s winter, I’m snowed in and still hibernating. It’s still preparation time. Our western culture praises constant productivity, however, the gifts of winter are to pause, rest, and re-evaluate for better creativity and productivity in the spring and summer when you will feel more energised to implement ideas. However, it is time for my next step, that is, working out how I want to feel this year and then brainstorming things I can do to

create these feelings.

I’ve written before that one of my favourite books is The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte. Why? Because she offers a new perspective to goal setting. She believes that we have the procedures of achievement upside down. We go after things we want to accomplish, get, have and then hope we’ll be fulfilled. This is often what happens with New Year’s resolutions and we all know only too well that the things we’ve started with good intentions in January often end before they’ve even really got started. This then causes us to feel pressured and stressed because we’ve been unable to achieve our intentions. Not a good way to start the year.

But what if we got clear on how we wanted to feel first and then laid out our intentions? What if your feelings consciously informed how you planned your day, your year, your career, your holidays? Laporte has developed the Desire Map process to do just this.


Start with how you want to feel and create a set of ‘core desired feelings’ and then try to incorporate something into your daily routine to help you achieve this feeling. For example, I have Vitality as one of my core desired feelings. I want to feel vital every day so I have enough energy and spark to do all the things I want to do. One way of feeling vital is to go for a power walk. I know I won’t get to do this every day so my goal is to do it four times a week and it doesn’t have to be the same time or day every week. I just commit to the four days. That leaves the other three days of the week. Things to do instead are some stretches or deep breathing when I wake up, a Zoom yoga class, some healthy eating at least one meal in the day.

With worksheets and questionnaires, the book takes you through step by step how to work out your core desired feelings. It’s very practical. You can dip in and out of it as needed. LaPorte also says your ‘core desired feelings’ may change based on your personal growth and circumstances, that is why I revisit it yearly to check on mine. It’s a new way of planning your life and schedule that can leave you feeling more joyous, less stressed and more aligned to your individual purpose.

I’ve used the accompanying planner or diary for the last few years as a way of ensuring I incorporate my desires into my schedule. See the book here. Also, if you want to further this idea for work, see her workbook Fire Starter Sessions. Worksheets can be viewed here.


Research shows that your brain interprets visual imagery as reality and creates new neural pathways to support that reality so creating a visual of your core desired feelings is beneficial. Have fun looking for pictures online, in magazines or from your own photos. It's a lovely self care activity to do in a cozy spot with something nice to drink. I put together my images in PowerPoint with brief description on what i meant by the word and then printed them out on a small business card to keep in my wallet and in my diary - see photo above. It’s a daily reminder.

I’d love you to share your images to inspire us all.


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