Happy 2018 everyone!

There’s so much to love about a new year. The dreamy potential that 12 fresh new months holds for us motivates many to take inventory on our time. I’m a little obsessed with spending our time wisely and I coach a lot of people around time management, so knowing that so many people turn to time management all on their own this time of year makes me so happy.

Before New Year’s Day, people make plans to do more of what they want and do less of what they don’t want. Goal setting is a tool that helps us get closer to the lives that we crave most. I’m no stranger to goal-setting at the start of a new year and I also pretend to live the life of a corporate business person by making quarterly goals to help keep me focused during the four seasons.

SMART Goals

In past years, most of my goals have been SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, time-bound). I along with many others have been trained to write goals this way. However, the SMART goals were very action- and task-oriented and could easily be checked off on a list. In the past, my goals looked like this:

  • travel to [a specific country]
  • save [x] amount of money
  • see [names of friends or family members]
  • complete house project [x]

These achievement-oriented goals were very satisfying to write. My list of goals was close to 20 or 30 each year. And while achieving these goals did feel satisfying, I also felt exhausted by them.

For example, let’s consider completing a house project in the SMART goal model. Maybe the goal is to refinish hardwood floors in your home that are giving you splinters in my feet. It’s easy to put: “finish hardwood floors” on the SMART goal list. After all, no one wants to “feel” splinters in their feet. However, what’s the additional cost of refinishing hardwood floors? Calling contractors for estimates takes time and energy. Considering the DIY option takes research and time. It’s one thing to want this project done, but it’s quite another to consider this project in the context of whatever else you want to complete. What about seeing a friend out of town? And going on the trip abroad? Or saving a certain amount of money?

Making SMART goals was fulfilling my dreams, but also burning me out in the process, not to mention emptying my bank account.

Core Desired Feelings – a new way to approach goal-setting

In 2016, goal-setting changed for me in a major way. I was introduced to the work of Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map and Fire Starter Sessions. In these books, she talks about making “Goals with a Soul” which can be discovered by asking the question:

“How do you want to feel?”

Instead of:

“What do you want to do?”

Whoa. As a master goal setter, answering the “How do you want to feel?” question was revolutionary for me.

Asking the feminine-energetic question: “How do you want to feel?” versus the masculine-energetic question: “What do you want to do?” was a whole new way of thinking about my life and where to put my time, energy, and money. If the masculine and feminine energetic part is confusing don’t worry, we’ll cover that later in another post, I promise.

How I wanted to feel became the new framework for my new year goal setting. Her name for this work is: Core Desired Feelings (CDFs). The idea is that if the Core Desired Feelings are met first, productivity will follow. This is good news for us who have been trained to make SMART goals. We don’t have to throw out our SMART goal-making skills. Knowing our Core Desired Feelings can help us determine how we want to feel first and in order to have a lot more fun in the process of pursuing the results.

Examples of Core Desired Feelings

In 2017 my Core Desired Feelings were:

  • Calm. Not rushed or frantic.
  • Good in my own skin.
  • Connected – to my desires, and to my partner, family, friends, & community.
  • In-the-flow.
  • Trusting of my own intuition.
  • Celebratory and lit up in the company of those I love.

Prioritizing feeling overdoing was revolutionary for me. I felt that I could actually enjoy the goal-making process because I was putting my human needs first. I was valuing myself for how I wanted to feel. not valuing my productivity. This makes me feel more like a human and less like a machine.

I have to tell you, it felt so good to prioritize FEELING rather than DOING in 2017. Like so many of you, I’m an ambitious, big-dreaming Western woman who’s been trained to aim high and work hard for what she wants. It feels good to achieve. It also feels exhausting and draining and after victoriously checking the item off the list, I’m left wondering why I feel so tired and worn out for days, weeks, and years after the goals are “completed”.

Masculine and Feminine Energy and Goal-Setting

The bigger perspective behind all of this has to do with masculine and feminine energy.

Success defined in terms of doing and completion is masculine energy.

Success defined in terms of feeling and being is feminine energy.

I will write more on masculine and feminine energy in future blog posts, but in simple terms, every person regardless of their biological sex, assigned or chosen gender, has both types of energy that operate within them. I identify as a primarily feminine-energetic human, so approaching the tasks and dreams of life with a masculine approach works in the short-term, but leaves me feeling worn-out and with less energy to do more in the long-term.

Core Desired Feelings have set me up to focus first on my innately feminine energy so that I can get the tasks that are most important to be done and have energy left over to do the things I love, spend time with people whom I love, and pursue goals that might require a more masculine-approach in a productive and sustainable way.

Here’s my list of Core Desired Feelings for 2018:

  • Joy
  • Flow
  • Grounded
  • Centered
  • Firm
  • Strong
  • Flexible
  • Confident
  • Open
  • Willing
  • Invigorated
  • Timelessness
  • Fluid
  • Calm
  • Engaged

 

Do Core Desired Feelings Create Results?

In 2017 I achieved all of the intentions and goals that I set out for myself. More importantly, I was learning a better and more sustainable way to achieve without burning myself out. Based on my first year of experience, I’m confident that my goals for 2018 will be achieved if they are in alignment with how I want to feel.

Lastly, one of my goals for 2018 was to write a weekly blog post. You can expect more writing from me on the topics of productivity, world travel, feminine and masculine energy, cross-cultural complexity, awareness, and how we can be the best versions of ourselves, and so much more. I have a few guest bloggers in mind who are a wealth of information on a variety of topics ranging from fashion, money, academia, and I’m looking forward to having them share their wisdom with you.

Are you inspired to write out your own Core Desired Feelings for 2018? If so, share them in the comments below! Or make this a private event with you, yourself, and you with your journal. As with all goal-setting, this can be done at any time of the year, so if this idea resonates with you, consider yourself invited to start a fresh document and get to it!

If you find yourself needing help setting goals or wanting accountability to reach your goals, I’d love to talk with you about coaching. Send me an email telling me a little about what you’d like help with.

Breathe and believe, beauties.

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