More and more I'm realizing how life is a series of revelations and turning points. Every moment is an opportunity to change and shape our lives for the better if we are open to it. December 2012 happened to be one of those turning point moments for me…
Traditionally this is the time of year that the focus falls on goals and resolutions, where we take time to reflect on the year behind us and decide what we want to do or change for the year in front of us.
I fell off the New Year's resolution bandwagon back in 1998. My resolution that year was to quit smoking. I didn't even make it an entire day before I threw in the towel. I spent the rest of that January feeling more and more miserable as each cigarette I lit up mocked my resolution and “proved” to me what a failure I was. I never again made a single New Year's resolution.
But, while I'm not big on resolutions I do like setting goals and recently I gained a whole new perspective on goal setting that really excited me and which I'd like to share with you now.
When we set goals we think it is the achievement of the goal itself that we're after, for example having zero credit card debt, a new car, a new job, flat abs, etc. In reality, it's not the goal itself we’re after, but the feeling we think we're going to have once the goal is reached. It's the feelings we’re after!
You may be wondering what brought me to this realization about feelings and desire and how they are so important to your goals and life. Well I’ll tell you… 🙂
I have recently been reading articles by a woman named Danielle Laporte and she talks a lot about these concepts in her work. About a month ago she pulled everything she’s been teaching into a brand new book. I picked that book up and that led me to a little thing called the Desire Map where all this stuff fell into place and opened the doors of understanding and focus for me.
I went through the process of mapping my desires using Danielle’s Desire Map. It is a remarkable way to identify, engage and launch, or re-launch your life based on your deepest desires. The Desire Map is actually two books in one. Book one is the theory of desire and feelings. Book two is a hands-on, DIY workbook.
The main focus of The Desire Map is to identify what your “core desired feelings” actually are; what puts a smile on your face; what you are passionate about; what lights you up?
Once I identified the feelings I was after with my goals, my goals began to shift pretty dramatically. I learned that many of the goals I was setting for myself were designed more to meet other people's expectations and not my own. This was a giant realization for me and is having a profound affect on everything I’m doing now.
Knowing my core desired feelings not only changed the way I set goals, but it has also helped me make small changes on a daily basis that line up with those same core desired feelings. These small changes have equated to big changes in how I feel throughout the day in a really positive way.
While I was writing this post I had a realization about my failed 1998 resolution attempt. Back then I loved cigarettes. I know it sounds terrible, but honestly, I really LOVED them.
Or so I thought.
I see now it wasn't the cigarettes I loved at all, but the feelings I had when I smoked. I loved how I felt on a smoke break at work, or going through a whole pack of cigarettes in one night with my best girlfriend while we talked till dawn. For me cigarettes were a way to connect with people. To quit smoking, I felt like I was giving up so much more than a nasty habit. No wonder I failed so completely with my New Year’s resolution that year!
Fast forward many years later to my life living in a ski town. I was a new mother and going through teacher training to become a Pilates instructor. Cigarettes no longer served their original purpose. They no longer generated that feeling of connectedness with others. I had no trouble quitting.
Now that I'm aware of how I want to feel, I'm able to look back at many things I've done, wanted to do, reacted to, achieved, or tried and can now plainly see what I was really after. Underlying everything I was doing wasn't the thing itself, but the feeling I was after.
Today, these are my core, desired feelings:
In 2013, I'm making small changes on a daily basis that line up with these desired feelings.
- During my morning practice I feel inspired, radiant, joy. I start my day this way every day, no exceptions. It's non-negotiable.
- Working with my clients, teaching classes and learning helps me feel inspired. I'll be doing lots more of these things in 2013 🙂
- Sitting in the sunshine and using the new coconut body oil I got for Christmas helps me feel radiant.
- Being present with my children and not letting myself be distracted by work, the computer or my iPhone creates serious feelings of joy for me.
I hope you’ll be able to use this idea of core desired feelings to help you view your Pilates practice, and perhaps much more, in a new light.
As we all look forward to, and set our intent for, a beautiful, productive, peaceful new year, I feel that we can all achieve more and feel great doing it; we just need our Desire Map firmly in hand and a willingness to try something new.
What are your thoughts about your core desired feelings? Are you doing the things that make you feel the way you most want to feel?
If you were to have a single desired feeling about your Pilates practice, what would it be? I'd love to hear your thoughts about it, if you feel comfortable commenting. 🙂
See you in the studio!
P.S. – You can click to learn more about Danielle Laporte's book, The Desire Map on her site…