This January brought ‘The Desire Map’ by Danielle LaPorte into my life; the goal setting method based around the question, “how do you want to feel?”. My friend, Donna, runs a Women’s Personal Development Book Club here in Glasgow and also a life coach consultancy called aha! Moments. Donna’s love for Danielle’s methods led her to become certified in sharing the mapping process, and I attended one of her workshops. I am so glad I did!
Introducing The Desire Map
Like many others, I have spent a fair amount of time over the last month reflecting on my goals for 2017. As a person in transition, I felt my goals were inconsequential if I couldn’t decide on the big issues – what to do for a living and where to live. The Desire Map helped me to take a step back. Instead of worrying about external credentials, Danielle tells us to select a few ‘core desired feelings’ that we want to experience. Once these are decided, we try to feel them more often and inadvertently bring more what we want into our lives.
Discovering your core desired feelings
Using Donna’s fab ‘wheel of life’ above, think about what you want to feel in each area of your life. For example, for relationships, maybe you long for ‘romance’, or maybe you prefer ‘passion’. Of course, there is no reason that your relationship can’t be both. But often we know ourselves the one thing we are yearning for right now. You can brainstorm loads, and then choose the one that most moves you. Write down that word.
I completed the exercise and realised that a few of my words were very similar, so I whittled them down to 5. Confident, joyful, on fire (phrases are allowed!), committed, and balanced.
How can you create those feelings?
After deciding how you want to feel in each area of your life, you turn your attention to what makes you feel this emotion. I created a list of what makes ME feel truly confident and when I last felt ‘on fire’ over an activity or idea. I ended up noting a couple of things I have intended to do, like join a choir, but that I have put off because it wasn’t in line with my other life goals, forgetting that feeling great really was the point of making a goal in the first place. If my goal is to feel joyful, then singing is a surefire way for me to feel it, so it goes on the list.
As with the selection of the words, I discovered that a few activities turned up under several headings. Meditation came up for almost all of them which was eye opening. How had I been neglecting such a simple tool for feeling the way I want to feel?! Through distraction that’s how! But Desire Mapping helped me see where my efforts had been misguided. I love how this turns traditional goal setting on its head. No more picking goals from a daydream. Tapping into my intuition about what feels good now can move me towards better health, a better lifestyle AND business success but in a way guided by self love.
Turning process into practice
Once I had created and amalgamated the list of activities that help me to feel the way I want to feel, it was easier to fit them into the calendar and make sure that I actually started to do them. This process motivated me to finally go to Rock Choir last week, which was a blast! Also when I’m feeling down, I can go back to the list and find ideas on how to pick myself up. Even if all that takes is a 5-minute meditation video on Youtube.
I feel that so many of my struggles come when I lose touch with the innate wisdom inside of me and start striving for external goals or validation. Although those things have their place, how you feel is of paramount importance.
Have you tried the Desire Map process? Does this ring true for you or do you have another strategy for feeling good while encouraging yourself to try new things? I’d love to hear from you!