“When you get clear on how you want to feel, the pursuit itself will become more satisfying.”
- Danielle LaPorte
AH, the New Year - a time of renewal, resolutions, and an influx of weight loss infomercials, and people flocking to the gym. The start of a New Year always provokes reflection on last year’s ups and downs and inspires intentions to be better. There are plenty of posts about how to succeed in your New Year’s resolutions so today I’d like to take a step backward on something I find many of us miss when we set our intentions.
Have you ever achieved a goal then wondered if this was all there was? Perhaps you went for that promotion or finally reached your goal weight and thought, “Eh, ok… I thought this would feel… I don’t know… more exciting, more fulfilling?”
The truth is that in going for our goals, we are not chasing the goal itself but the feeling we hope to have in attaining the goal.
When we fail to connect the desired emotion to our pursuits, we end up with a to-do-list of tasks that can leave us feeling unfulfilled and drained. By ignoring how we feel about an intention or goal, we may also end up pursuing someone else’s dream instead of our own... And let’s be honest, you probably have plenty other things on your plate already that you rather not do.
In other words, the ultimate goal is to feel good and enjoy the journey.
Emotions can connect us to our soul’s true desires. Putting our desired emotion in the forefront can also prevent what I like to call postponing happiness. This type of thinking almost always takes the form of “I won’t be happy until ______.” If reaching your goal weight would make you feel proud, then how being proud of each small step you take towards that goal or finding other ways to cultivate that feeling in the process. If you want to feel passionate about your work, how about paying attention to the things that do spark your passion and findings ways to either incorporate that feeling into your current work and life OR move to other opportunities that do. After all, the destination is just a finite point along the journey and afterward there are always plenty more places to go!
So I invite you to revisit your resolutions list. For each one, write down the one-word emotion you would have in attaining each goal. For any that do not evoke a desired emotional response, play with the wording until it does or delete that resolution unapologetically! For example, if the resolution “Find a new job” does not make you feel excited, how about the phrase “Being financially independent from my parents and finally moving out on my own?” If “Losing the last 10 pounds” would not make you feel proud, how about “Looking good in my pictures” or “Being able to fit my old clothes?” Play with the wording until you find what it is that will truly motivate you. Most likely, you will also find your pursuits to be more fulfilling and sustainable.
So, how is that you want to feel this year? How about at the end of each day?
Do you want to feel proud, engaged, passionate, fulfilled, connected?
Best of luck, fellow Twenty-Somethings and readers of all ages, with all your goals, intentions, and resolutions this year and in the years to come!