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Focus on Feelings 2016: A Hygge, Proud, Curious, and Beautiful Life

30 December, 2015

Each year for the past few years, I’ve chosen a few key words or feelings I wanted to focus on for the year. Instead of just choosing arbitrary goals, I’ve picked out the way I want to feel when working on and completing those goals. Once I’ve chosen the way I want to feel, I think strategically about what will make me feel that way and decide on goals based on activities that will make me embody those feelings.

After much soul-searching and a lot of writing (through Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map* workbook), I’ve come up with the following four feelings for 2016: hygge (a Danish word, approximating the definition of cozy, but encompassing also ‘welcoming,’ ‘warm,’ ‘charming,’ and ‘comfortable’ – all words which I was drawn to at this time), proud, curious, beautiful.

 

Core Desired Feeling: hygge.

Hygge will feel like: cozy, welcoming, warm, charming, comfortable, light both literally and figuratively, home.

Rituals to help me establish feeling hygge: tidying and cleaning, lighting a chalice regularly, filling my home only with things that project a warm, welcoming feeling.

 

Core Desired Feeling: proud.

Proud will feel like: accomplished, complete, appreciative, noble, satisfied.

Rituals to help me establish feeling proud: keeping a budget spreadsheet, exercising regularly, keeping my house tidy and ready for company.

 

Core Desired Feeling: curious.

Curious will feel like: full of wonder, open to new ideas, engaged, ready to learn and create.

Rituals to help me establish feeling curious: reading regularly, creating regularly, making room for the unknown.

 

Core Desired Feeling: beautiful.

Beautiful feels like: healthy, charming, delightful, radiant.

Rituals to help me establish feeling beautiful: exercising regularly, eating healthily, spending more time in nature, practicing hygge in my home.

 

Here are some of the goals that I came up with that will help me accomplish these feelings:

  1. Move to a smaller, safer, easier-to-care-for space that I will keep tidy and cozy for myself and be able to invite others into. Associated feelings: proud, hygge.
  2. Clean out possessions that no longer serve a purpose or that make me feel “less than” and find a way to arrange possessions according to the Konmari method. Associated feelings: proud, hygge.
  3. Keep a monthly budget spreadsheet. Associated feelings: proud.
  4. Make weekly meal-planning a habit. Associated feelings: proud, beautiful.
  5. Make taking lunch to work a habit. Associated feelings: proud, beautiful.
  6. Sign up for a spin class and attend regularly. Associated feelings: proud, beautiful.
  7. Read at least one book a month. Associated feelings: proud, curious.
  8. Paint at least once a month. Associated feelings: proud, beautiful.
  9. Contact family and friends and give them a deadline to send me recipes for a family and friends cookbook. Associated feelings: proud, hygge, curious.
  10. Create a first draft of cookbook. Associated feelings: proud.
  11. Host a housewarming party in my new home. Associated feelings: proud, hygge, beautiful.
  12. Invite my parents to stay with me for the holidays. Associated feelings: proud, hygge, beautiful.
  13. Find a spiritual community closer to home. Associated feelings: hygge, curious, beautiful.
  14. Establish habits and rituals that affirm. (ex. weekly meal-planning, tidying, lighting a chalice, painting, reading, exercising.) Associated feelings: proud, hygge, curious, beautiful.

 

These aren’t small goals or few, but I believe they are also achievable. I’m cautiously optimistic and I have not one, but two paper planners to keep me on track this year – one is a normal weekly/monthly planner to keep track of goals and to-dos, meal plans, outfit plans, and checklists; the other is the Desire Map Planner to keep focused on my Core Desired Feelings each day. The second is more like a journal than a planner., somewhere to keep the messy thoughts, the ones that don’t come out coherently to anyone but me.

I’m looking forward to a fresh start, a recommitment to healthy eating, time with friends, and a relatively quiet weekend to get organized, welcoming the new year. Cheers, my friends. To health and well-being, inside and out.

 

(2015, 2014, 2013, 2012)

 

*Core Desired Feelings are part of the wonderful Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map, for using your desired feelings to get what you really want out of life. While this is an affiliate link, I truly do believe in this program and what it will do for my life. I am appreciative of the workbook and how it makes me more aware of what it is I truly want and how I can achieve my true core desired feelings. I hope sincerely that you will join me, not because I will make money from your purchase, but because I would love to have allies, friends, and co-conspirators along this journey. Please do leave a comment and let me know if you decide to do this program so we can work through it together. I also purchased Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner as my planner for 2016. It was a great tool last year and I will be using it again in 2016.

Blog The Desire Map

Assessing the Present: Goals and Core Desired Feelings for 2015

29 December, 2015
desk with computer, phone, notebook, coffee

It’s nearly the end of the year, so I found it was time to assess my progress. Around this time last year, I chose five Core Desired Feelings* I wanted to embody throughout the year: BOLD, Joy, Creativity, Radiance, and Grace. These words served me well for the previous year and I wanted to continue to work on all of them because my work on these particular feelings wasn’t completed. I thought a lot about how I could accomplish each of those feelings and made goals for myself based on the hows. Here’s a little assessment of how I did:

 

Goal word: BOLD

✓ Goal 1: Start the year with a great new hairstyle.

✓ Goal 2: Confidently ask for what I want and need. Be able to put myself out there, demonstrate my value, and make a compelling case for investing in my own talents and skills.

    Goal 3: Take a trip abroad. [I’m currently planning a trip to Italy in 2016 with my mom, but I’m itching to get out of the country.]

    Routines: Dress for success (coordinate clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, makeup, and perfume each day). Keep track of personal and professional accomplishments. Put away savings for a trip abroad.

    What accomplishment feels like: Exuding confidence.

    What’s next: Updating my resume and About Me section of my website to showcase what I do best. Go forth with confidence in myself and my skills.

 

Goal word: JOY

✓ Goal 1: Celebrate life as often as possible.

✓ Goal 2: Find something incredible to do on my birthday.

✓ Goal 3: Send more handwritten cards and letters.

✓ Routines: Set reminder to buy fresh flowers each month, just because. Attend more events that involve humor and/or live music. Each month, send at least one handwritten card or letter through traditional post.

✓ What accomplishment feels like: Laughter. Lightness of being. Choosing to revel in the happiness of others.

✓ What’s next: Celebrate myself and others as often as possible. Be honest about what I love in others, and in myself, as well.

 

Goal word: CREATIVITY

    Goal 1: Finish Family & Friends Cookbook. [Instead, I focused my energy on writing a novel. I completed over 50,000 words of fiction in the month of November. While I didn’t complete the cookbook, I did feel like I accomplished a goal.]

    Goal 2: Build and implement my own WordPress theme.

    Goal 3: Keep my room clean and organized so that I have a space to be creative.

✓ Routines: Discuss with friends strategies for being creative. Drink coffee and tea. Block off time to be creative as an appointment on my calendar and hold myself to that appointment just as if it were a date with a friend. Turn off the tv and turn on the music or audiobooks.

✓ What accomplishment feels like: Maintaining a sense of flow. [At least during the first three weeks of November.]

    What’s next: Continue to keep space and time for creativity.

 

Goal word: RADIANCE

✓ Goal 1: Complete a style audit. Define my own style. Get rid of clothing and accessories that no longer serve me. Only buy pieces that fit my defined style.

    Goal 2: Find some type of physical activity I enjoy and make it a habit.

✓ Goal 3: Smile. Listen to, watch, or read things that make me smile or laugh.

    Routines: Bring baked goods to work to share with coworkers. Walk while listening to audiobooks or music. Read on the commute to the office.

    What accomplishment feels like: Making others smile. Being genuinely happy and having other people notice.

    What’s next: Continue with good habits and make them second nature. Only accept that into my life which encourages and augments radiance. Say no to experiences that detract from that.

 

Goal word: GRACE

✓ Goal 1: Think before speaking or acting instead of talking out solutions out loud. Pausing to think while talking. Slow and confident is better than fast and excited.

✓ Goal 2: Handle difficult situations with diplomacy, but don’t forget to be fair to all involved – this includes me. Consider others, but don’t put them ahead of my own needs.

 Goal 3: Keep things simple.

    Routines: Breathe. Be strategic about which tv shows I watch and keep them to a minimum. Slow down. Listen to music.

✓ What accomplishment feels like: Feeling more confident in the way I communicate with others. Acting from a compassionate and confident core.

    What’s next: Really relish those routines which encourage grace. Inspire grace in others.

 

Overall, I think I did pretty well with my five Core Desired Feelings for 2015. I was particularly happy with how well I embodied Joy and how inspired and dedicated I was to Creativity in November (I finally finished writing 50,000 words of continuous fiction within one month, as has been a goal of mine for about 10 years now). Although I did not accomplish all of the goals I set out for each of these feelings, I am definitely happy with the progress I’ve made. I may never be done with these words entirely, but I’ve chosen a new set of words for 2016. These feelings have served me well, but I know that I am craving a little something different in the next phase of my life. More on that later…

In the meantime, do you have words, feelings, or goals that you worked on in 2015? What did you do with them? Do you feel that you made progress? I’d love to hear your story. Please leave comments or contact me directly to share you story with me.

 

*Core Desired Feelings are part of the wonderful Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map, for using your desired feelings to get what you really want out of life. While this is an affiliate link, I truly do believe in this program and what it will do for my life. I am appreciative of the workbook and how it makes me more aware of what it is I truly want and how I can achieve my true core desired feelings. I hope sincerely that you will join me, not because I will make money from your purchase, but because I would love to have allies, friends, and co-conspirators along this journey. Please do leave a comment and let me know if you decide to do this program so we can work through it together. I even purchased Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner as my planner for 2015. It has been a great tool so far this year and I will continue to use it throughout the rest of the year. I already bought it again for 2016.

Blog The Desire Map The Happiness Project

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

11 August, 2015

Lately, I’ve been so unhappy with the way my room looks: scattered about the room are clothes, towels, and toiletries, not to mention half-read books. I’ve been so frustrated with this, but I finally figured out what the problem was: I didn’t have room for all my clothes in the closet or in drawers. I kept saying I was going to clean out and clean up, that I was going to find a way to put clothes away so that I wasn’t tossing them over a chair or across the bed when I wasn’t using them. So, I decided to make an event out of tidying up. Why did I decide that this deserved to be a special event? Well, I got inspired.

 

Inspiration for Tidying Up

I read a lot of blogs from beauty and lifestyle bloggers, who always have immaculately clean spaces on their Instagram feeds and blog posts. I would also like to have a lovely, tidy home; a place I’m proud to have guests; a space that both comforts and calms me; an atmosphere that sparks creativity.

So, it was perfect timing that I recently stumbled upon Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. After watching Kondo’s talk at Google, I was already convinced that I needed to follow the KonMari Method of tidying up. I was contemplating buying the book online or even getting a digital copy of the book (less clutter, right?), when I was early for an appointment and stepped into a shop that just happened to have the book on its shelves. Clearly, I was meant to start on this process right away. I read the book in two days and was inspired to immediately start in on this life-changing event (Kondo suggests that you should make tidying a special event and that you should not tidy a bit every day, but do your tidying all in one go… but I’ll get to that shortly).

 

Highlights of the KonMari Method

Sort by category, not by location: Kondo starts by explaining that your tidying will be most effective if you gather together all of one category together in one place instead of working through one room at a time. For instance, you should take out all of your clothes from all over the house and put them in one pile in one room, including off-season clothes, outerwear, and any other items that might not be in the main storage place. This allows you to see how much clothing you actually have and will help you to make clearer decisions on what to keep and what to let go of.

Make tidying a special event, not a daily chore: When you start with a clean slate, it’s much easier to maintain the tidiness, but it is much harder to tidy up if you’re constantly doing a little each day. If you try to do a little bit each day, you will nearly always put it off for another time and if there is something out of place, it encourages other things to pile up. (Another part of the KonMari Method is that everything you own has to have a place. If you can’t find a good place for it, you need to let it go.)

Finish discarding first: Before you start to find places for things, you must finish discarding everything. This may sound counter-intuitive if you have been reading about various storage methods or looking for inspiration at Ikea or the Container Store, but Kondo says that you will naturally select the right amount of things to keep for yourself and your space. If the first pass doesn’t feel completely right, another pass will help you to find the sweet spot of just the amount of things you need in your life.

Ask yourself if this item “sparks joy”: The criterion for choosing what to keep (a positive criterion as opposed to the usual negative criterion of “can I get rid of this item?”) is to ask yourself if the item “sparks joy”. After all, if it doesn’t ultimately make you happy, what is its purpose? Let it go and allow it to fulfill its purpose somewhere else. As you go through all of your things, hold each item up and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it does not make you happy, thank the item for serving you in its own way and give your blessings on its future journey.

Reduce until you reach a point where something clicks: Kondo says that you will come to a point where you suddenly know exactly how much is right for you. I haven’t hit that point yet, but she assures the reader that if you have not yet felt that click, you can still reduce your belongings. Eventually you will choose the exact right amount. Focus on choosing things that inspire joy and on enjoying life by your own standards and it will come.

Designate a place for each thing: You must find a place for every thing you own. Although this seems like a daunting task, it’s far easier than deciding what to keep and what to discard, Kondo says. The benefits of having a place for every thing is that you will no longer buy more than you need, things will not accumulate, your stock on hand will decrease, and you will live a simpler life, free of clutter. However, she warns, that if you ignore this principle, your space will become cluttered and disorganized again. “Clutter is caused by the failure to return things to where they belong,” writes Kondo.

Discard first, store later: This way you will be left only with the amount that fits in the space you own. If you start putting things away before you are done discarding, you cannot properly see the volume of items you have to choose from.

 

Results

At present, I have only completed a tidying of my clothing and handbags, I already feel lighter. I started with a huge mountain of items in the middle of my bed that had previously been spread out around the house and had also been lying on the floor(!!), so I put on some music and set to it. A few hours later, I had reduced my clothing by at least two thirds and had put together seven trash bags full of handbags and clothing to donate to Goodwill. I knew if I waited, I would regret it, so I immediately packed those things away in my car and drove to the Goodwill to drop off the bags. I was surprised that when I held a few of the items up and asked myself if they sparked joy, I didn’t really feel either way about them. Ultimately anything I was unsure about, I decided to toss into the donation bags. It’s been only a few days, but I can already say that I don’t miss the things I tossed in. In fact, I already know that I have not yet reduced enough. I think my plan will be to do a clothing-tidying event at least every six months, but I also plan to do another once I’ve gone through all the other things in my home, including (next up) makeup and toiletries, shoes, and kitchen items.

Counter to my normal character, I am actually very much looking forward to the rest of this tidying project. I normally hate cleaning, but I think there is some magic in setting oneself free from the shackles of “stuff.” And, when I really think about this project, it really benefits my pursuit of all of my Core Desired Feelings this year, which are: Bold, Joy, Creativity, Radiance, and Grace. I can see easily how the act of tidying up and the state of being tidy in my own home will benefit each one of these feelings. I fully expect to feel closer to each of these feelings as I complete the process.

With regards to being Bold, having a good selection of clothing and accessories and easy-to-find makeup and jewelry will allow me to dress for success and if I’m spending less money on buying things I don’t need, I’ll be able to put away more money for travel, both of which were goals of mine this year.

I will certainly feel more Joy if I am surrounded by only things that cause me to feel joy specifically. It will be even easier to feel that joy when each thing has its place and I am able to find and return the things to their own places quickly and easily.

Having a clean and tidy space will certainly spark Creativity, as well. Having a visually quiet space and knowing where all my art supplies are will also help maintain a sense of creative flow.

That Radiance that I hope to project will be so much easier to share with a tidy house I feel confident in sharing with others. Wearing only clothes and accessories that I feel are part of a style I like and that spark joy within me will reflect the light within me. When I’m not so worried about myself and the things I possess, I can spend more of my energy making others happy, as well. I am really looking forward to that part.

Grace and elegance will be reflected through the tidiness of my home and the style of my dress, as well as my actions. Keeping up with all of these will be so much simpler once I’ve finished my tidying up and am able to maintain that state in my home. I hope that others will find my place and my presence a source of calm and comfort.

While I am nowhere near completing the act of tidying my home, I certainly feel better after donating many items I wasn’t using and don’t need. I wished them well on their journey and hope they benefit some very worthy people in their next lives. And I even found that letting go was easier than I thought. I plan to use this method to reduce and tidy up other areas of my life and actually look forward to it.

Have you tried the KonMari Method? What was your experience?

Blog The Desire Map

Thinking Forward: Goals and Core Desired Feelings for 2015

31 December, 2014

It has become a new year’s tradition for me to choose a few words each year to focus my energy on. This year’s Core Desired Feelings* are the same as last year’s because I still have a lot of work to do. I came a long way with all of these feelings in 2014, but I still felt like these five words were the ones I most wanted to represent in 2015. They are:

BOLD. Joy. Creativity. Radiance. Grace.

This year, I am taking a little bit of a different approach. I’m going to make up some goals and some routines that will help me accomplish the goals and bring about a state of being in each of these feelings. Following, you will find my plan:

 

BOLD

bold

  • Goal word: BOLD
  • Goal 1: Start the year with a great new hairstyle.
  • Goal 2: Confidently ask for what I want and need. Be able to put myself out there, demonstrate my value, and make a compelling case for investing in my own talents and skills.
  • Goal 3: Take a trip abroad.
  • Routines: Dress for success (coordinate clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, makeup, and perfume each day). Keep track of personal and professional accomplishments. Put away savings for a trip abroad.
  • What accomplishment feels like: Exuding confidence.
  • What’s next: Updating my resume and About Me section of my website to showcase what I do best. Go forth with confidence in myself and my skills.

 

JOY

joy

  • Goal word: JOY
  • Goal 1: Celebrate life as often as possible.
  • Goal 2: Find something incredible to do on my birthday.
  • Goal 3: Send more handwritten cards and letters.
  • Routines: Set reminder to buy fresh flowers each month, just because. Attend more events that involve humor and/or live music. Each month, send at least one handwritten card or letter through traditional post.
  • What accomplishment feels like: Laughter. Lightness of being. Choosing to revel in the happiness of others.
  • What’s next: Celebrate myself and others as often as possible. Be honest about what I love in others, and in myself, as well.

 

CREATIVITY

creativity

  • Goal word: CREATIVITY
  • Goal 1: Finish Family & Friends Cookbook.
  • Goal 2: Build and implement my own WordPress theme.
  • Goal 3: Keep my room clean and organized so that I have a space to be creative.
  • Routines: Discuss with friends strategies for being creative. Drink coffee and tea. Block off time to be creative as an appointment on my calendar and hold myself to that appointment just as if it were a date with a friend. Turn off the tv and turn on the music or audiobooks.
  • What accomplishment feels like: Maintaining a sense of flow.
  • What’s next: Continue to keep space and time for creativity.

 

RADIANCE

radiant

  • Goal word: RADIANCE
  • Goal 1: Complete a style audit. Define my own style. Get rid of clothing and accessories that no longer serve me. Only buy pieces that fit my defined style.
  • Goal 2: Find some type of physical activity I enjoy and make it a habit.
  • Goal 3: Smile. Listen to, watch, or read things that make me smile or laugh.
  • Routines: Bring baked goods to work to share with coworkers. Walk while listening to audiobooks or music. Read on the commute to the office.
  • What accomplishment feels like: Making others smile. Being genuinely happy and having other people notice.
  • What’s next: Continue with good habits and make them second nature. Only accept that into my life which encourages and augments radiance. Say no to experiences that detract from that.

 

GRACE

grace

  • Goal word: GRACE
  • Goal 1: Think before speaking or acting instead of talking out solutions out loud. Pausing to think while talking. Slow and confident is better than fast and excited.
  • Goal 2: Handle difficult situations with diplomacy, but don’t forget to be fair to all involved – this includes me. Consider others, but don’t put them ahead of my own needs.
  • Goal 3: Keep things simple.
  • Routines: Breathe. Be strategic about which tv shows I watch and keep them to a minimum. Slow down. Listen to music.
  • What accomplishment feels like: Feeling more confident in the way I communicate with others. Acting from a compassionate and confident core.
  • What’s next: Really relish those routines which encourage grace. Inspire grace in others.

*Core Desired Feelings are part of the wonderful Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map, for using your desired feelings to get what you really want out of life. While this is an affiliate link, I truly do believe in this program and what it will do for my life. I am appreciative of the workbook and how it makes me more aware of what it is I truly want and how I can achieve my true core desired feelings. I hope sincerely that you will join me, not because I will make money from your purchase, but because I would love to have allies, friends, and co-conspirators along this journey. Please do leave a comment and let me know if you decide to do this program so we can work through it together. I even purchased Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner as my planner for 2015. I think it’s going to be a great tool.

Blog The Desire Map

Core Desired Feelings for 2014, a Review

20 December, 2014
holi colors

It has become a new year’s tradition for me to choose a few words each year to focus my energy on. This year’s Core Desired Feelings* were:

BOLD. Joy. Creativity. Radiance. Grace.

This year, I hoped to find a way to embody these feelings as often and as consistently as possible. I mapped out paths to each desired feeling and steps to those paths to help me with the process. Overall, I feel I did really well this year and was mostly successful. There were a lot of good things. Here’s a summary:

 

BOLD

fire flower

  • Goal word: BOLD ✓
  • Path 1 to the goal: Take a trip abroad. Whether or not I have company. (I didn’t even get close to this goal, but it remains one for the new year. I’m determined to do more international travel, so I’m going to make this a priority in the coming year.)
  • Path 2 to the goal: Take risks. ✓ (I was more willing to take risks, to put myself out there, to try something new. And that’s something.)
  • Path 3 to the goal: Be willing to say no or yes when there is a good reason, even if it doesn’t please everyone involved. Or negotiate in my favor. ✓
  • Path 4 to the goal: Ask for what I want and need. ✓
  • Distractions or barriers: Falling into old habits. Being uncomfortable. Anxiety.
  • Steps to the path: Take time to really plan a trip: ask friends to meet up, gather information on the best places to visit, save money, and be adventurous – don’t just stick to the beaten path. Meditate. Consider ultimately what is the best solution for everyone involved. Learn to speak more slowly, but with more conviction. Let complete thoughts form before giving an answer. Be diplomatic, but not compromising.
  • The finish line: Confidence. Sense of accomplishment.
  • What’s next: Practice the art of confidence. Continue to ask for what I want and need.

Assessment: I felt really great about being bold. I wore bright red lipstick with confidence, stood up for myself, took appropriate risks, and asked for what I needed to succeed in both my personal and professional life. I didn’t let fear or anxiety get in the way. While I did not get to take a trip abroad for financial reasons, I’m working on that for next year. I’m making progress on speaking more slowly, with more strategy and conviction. I’m working on slowing down and giving complete and thoughtful answers. And, though I was diplomatic, was not afraid to ask for what I needed. I do absolutely feel more confident and also feel a great sense of accomplishment. I am happy to say that I feel I did well with this goal. That being said, I also feel that I have more work to do in this area and will be absolutely be carrying this word over into 2015.

 

JOY

jumping for joy

  • Goal word: JOY
  • Path 1 to the goal: Celebrate my awesome lady friends with a Galentine’s Day brunch. ✓
  • Path 2 to the goal: Find something incredible to do on my birthday.
  • Path 3 to the goal: Buy fresh flowers at least once a month.
  • Path 4 to the goal: Plan meals and cook and bake more often.
  • Distractions or barriers: Time management challenges, especially with class two nights a week through May.
  • Steps to the path: Set aside time each weekend to plan out meals for the week and when I am going to cook them. Set reminder to buy fresh flowers each month. Plan ahead for brunch and birthday celebrations.
  • The finish line: Feeling joyful and resplendent.
  • What’s next: Make Galentine’s Day brunch an annual event. Make plans to celebrate holidays with friends and family. Do little things each day to bring joy to others. Listen to joyful music and find more live music events to attend. ✓

Assessment: I absolutely feel that this year had moments of joy. There was an awesome Galentine’s Day brunch, which only a couple of gal pals ended up coming to. We had a wonderful time, though, and I introduced two of my best girlfriends, who are now Facebook friends and that makes me super happy. I did not get to do anything much for my birthday, so that was a bit of a disappointment, but it’s something I’d like to work on for next year. I bought fresh flowers more than I usually do, but I really didn’t do that as often as I would have liked. The same goes for planning and making meals at home. While I feel a bit like this goal was not accomplished, I don’t feel like my year was joyless. There were definite high points. Galentine’s Day brunch, I went to some live music events and concerts, drank lots of good wine and ate lots of good food with friends, and even saw a live variety show put on by Alton Brown. So, there were lots of great events, but I also could have done better with this goal. And next year, I will.

 

CREATIVITY

holi colors

  • Goal word: CREATIVITY
  • Path 1 to the goal: Complete New Media Design course. ✓
  • Path 2 to the goal: Build and implement my own WordPress theme.
  • Path 3 to the goal: Keep my room clean and organized so that I have a space to be creative.
  • Path 4 to the goal: Start exercising again to clear my head and get blood flowing.
  • Path 5 to goal: Finish Family & Friends Cookbook.
  • Path 6 to goal: Watch a TEDTalk every week. ✓
  • Distractions or barriers: Making time and space to be creative. Lack of energy.
  • Steps to the path: Keep writing dates with friends and actually write. Discuss with friends strategies for being creative. Drink coffee. Block off time to be creative as an appointment on my calendar and hold myself to that appointment just as if it were a date with a friend. Turn off the tv and turn on the music or audiobooks.
  • The finish line: Completion of a new website, Family & Friends Cookbook, and design course. A sense of flow.
  • What’s next: Continue to keep space and time for creativity and for exercise.

Assessment: I’m very proud to say that I completed my web design course and did fairly well. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it was a lot of fun and being back in a classroom was a great experience. I would definitely consider auditing another class at some point. I got nowhere with a WordPress theme and failed at keeping my room clean and organized for a creative space. I attempted to get back into exercise a couple of times, but never quite was able to make it a routine. I have only just started on working through the Friends & Family Cookbook, so that won’t get finished this year. I did watch a TEDTalk every week for the first few weeks of the year, but found they weren’t inspiring me as I had hoped. So, since they weren’t serving me well, I gave them up. I did keep writing with friends, drink coffee, block off creative time, finished an online course in graphic design, and listened to audiobooks. I didn’t quite ever settle into a state of flow, but I can definitely tell I’m getting closer. So, while creativity was not an overwhelming presence in my life, it was a presence. I’m holding it close to my heart and carrying this goal over into the new year, as well.

 

RADIANCE

sitting buddha

  • Goal word: RADIANCE
  • Path 1 to the goal: Look the part.
  • Path 2 to the goal: Exercise.
  • Path 3 to the goal: Smile. Listen to, watch, or read things that make me smile or laugh. ✓
  • Path 4 to the goal: Share. ✓
  • Distractions or barriers: 
  • Steps to the path: Bring baked goods to work to share with coworkers. Walk every morning while listening to audiobooks, especially funny ones. ✓
  • The finish line: Having a positive effect on others. Making others smile. Being genuinely happy and having other people notice.
  • What’s next: Keep up the routine of exercise, posture, smiling, and sharing.

Assessment: Looking the part, to me, involves dressing for success, accessorizing appropriately, and wearing makeup and perfume that make me feel confident and stylish. I am getting better and better at developing a personal style and have started to get rid of things that don’t fit with the person I want to be. Exercise has been a challenge. As I said above, I tried multiple times to find something that I would enjoy and have failed thus far. I’m not giving up, though.

 

GRACE

floral tea pot

  • Goal word: GRACE ✓
  • Path 1 to the goal: THINK before speaking or acting. (This one is a big challenge for me, but something I definitely need to work on. I’ve always been a talker. Even when I was a little kid, my grandfather always referred to me as “chatterbox”, so thinking before talking is a big one.) Pausing to think while talking. Consider how I am going to sound to others before talking. Slow and confident is better than fast and excited. ✓
  • Path 2 to the goal: Handle difficult situations with diplomacy, but don’t forget to be fair to all involved – this includes me. Consider others, but don’t put them ahead of my own needs. ✓
  • Path 3 to the goal: Keep things simple. ✓
  • Distractions or barriers: “Autopilot.” Feeling rushed and stressed. Saying yes just to please people.
  • Steps to the path: Breathe. Meditate. Turn off the tv. Slow down.
  • The finish line: Feeling more confident in the way I communicate with others. ✓
  • What’s next: Continue to act from a compassionate and confident core.

Assessment: While thinking before speaking is a real challenge for me because I tend to talk things out, I’ve been working hard on trying to think before I speak or act. I’ve stopped, meditated, thought about what I was going to say or do, and then acted from a place of more confidence. This is an exercise that could use more practice, especially since I am an extreme extrovert. Considering how I am going to sound to others has been the main driving force in my actions and I need to also think about how I am representing myself to others, but also to myself. Is this something I would be proud to say or have accredited to me? That’s the key. I’ve definitely been better to myself and have asserted myself in situations where others to consider my needs, as well. I’ve tried to keep things simple as much as possible and rather than trying to explain everything, wait until asked for explanation. I’ve tried to keep other parts of my life simple, as well. I think, for the first time in my life, I’m really starting to say yes to please myself instead of saying yes to please others. I’m definitely feeling more confident in the way I communicate with others. While I am planning on continuing to act from a compassionate and confident core, this is yet another goal I think could use some more work.

 

Overall 2014 Assessment:

While I had a lot of successes with these desired feelings, I don’t feel like I am done with any of them yet. I still have a lot of work to do with all of them and have decided to keep the words for 2015. However, I am going to rethink all of my strategy and consider next steps, so there will be another entry coming up soon on how I plan to continue becoming thoroughly bold, joyful, creative, radiant, and graceful.

 

Photo Credits: bold, photo by K. Kendall ; joy, photo by Hamad Al-Mohanna; creativity, photo by  Jeremy Nicoll; radiance, photo by Francis Chung; grace, photo by Angelina Earley.

*Core Desired Feelings are part of the wonderful Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map**, for using your desired feelings to get what you really want out of life. If you’d like to see my previous posts about the process, you can find them here:

The Desire Map

Soul Limber

On Gratitude and What’s Not Working

Clarifying Core Desired Feelings

**While this is an affiliate link, I truly do believe in this program and what it will do for my life. I am appreciative of the workbook and how it makes me more aware of what it is I truly want and how I can achieve my true core desired feelings. I hope sincerely that you will join me, not because I will make money from your purchase, but because I would love to have allies, friends, and co-conspirators along this journey. Please do leave a comment and let me know if you decide to do this program so we can work through it together. I even purchased Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner as my planner for 2015. I think it’s going to be a great tool.

Blog The Desire Map The Happiness Project

Themes of 2014: Bold, Joy, Creativity, Radiance, Grace

10 February, 2014

NOTE: I can’t believe it’s February already. Where has the time gone? January felt like a blur of snow, cold air, and work. In any case, here’s what’s up with me…

It has become a new year’s tradition for me to choose a few words each year to focus my energy on. Last year’s were Gratitude, Beauty, and Health. I had much success in following through with the goals I associated with those words and, though I did not feel that I got as much from Beauty, Gratitude and Health were ever-present. The words never left my mind, but this year I chose instead of focus words, new Core Desired Feelings* for 2014.

My Core Desired Feelings for 2014 are:

BOLD. Joy. Creativity. Radiance. Grace.

This year, I hope to find a way to embody these feelings as often and as consistently as possible.

 

BOLD

fire flower

  • Goal word: BOLD
  • Path 1 to the goal: Take a trip abroad. Whether or not I have company.
  • Path 2 to the goal: Take risks.
  • Path 3 to the goal: Be willing to say no or yes when there is a good reason, even if it doesn’t please everyone involved. Or negotiate in my favor.
  • Path 4 to the goal: Ask for what I want and need.
  • Distractions or barriers: Falling into old habits. Being uncomfortable. Anxiety.
  • Steps to the path: Take time to really plan a trip: ask friends to meet up, gather information on the best places to visit, save money, and be adventurous – don’t just stick to the beaten path. Meditate. Consider ultimately what is the best solution for everyone involved. Learn to speak more slowly, but with more conviction. Let complete thoughts form before giving an answer. Be diplomatic, but not compromising.
  • The finish line: Confidence. Sense of accomplishment.
  • What’s next: Practice the art of confidence. Continue to ask for what I want and need.

 

 

JOY

jumping for joy

  • Goal word: JOY
  • Path 1 to the goal: Celebrate my awesome lady friends with a Galentine’s Day brunch.
  • Path 2 to the goal: Find something incredible to do on my birthday.
  • Path 3 to the goal: Buy fresh flowers at least once a month.
  • Path 4 to the goal: Plan meals and cook and bake more often.
  • Distractions or barriers: Time management challenges, especially with class two nights a week through May.
  • Steps to the path: Set aside time each weekend to plan out meals for the week and when I am going to cook them. Set reminder to buy fresh flowers each month. Plan ahead for brunch and birthday celebrations.
  • The finish line: Feeling joyful and resplendent.
  • What’s next: Make Galentine’s Day brunch an annual event. Make plans to celebrate holidays with friends and family. Do little things each day to bring joy to others. Listen to joyful music and find more live music events to attend.

 

 

CREATIVITY

holi colors

  • Goal word: CREATIVITY
  • Path 1 to the goal: Complete New Media Design course.
  • Path 2 to the goal: Build and implement my own WordPress theme.
  • Path 3 to the goal: Keep my room clean and organized so that I have a space to be creative.
  • Path 4 to the goal: Start exercising again to clear my head and get blood flowing.
  • Path 5 to goal: Finish Family & Friends Cookbook.
  • Path 6 to goal: Watch a TEDTalk every week.
  • Distractions or barriers: Making time and space to be creative. Lack of energy.
  • Steps to the path: Keep writing dates with friends and actually write. Discuss with friends strategies for being creative. Drink coffee. Block off time to be creative as an appointment on my calendar and hold myself to that appointment just as if it were a date with a friend. Turn off the tv and turn on the music or audiobooks.
  • The finish line: Completion of a new website, Family & Friends Cookbook, and design course. A sense of flow.
  • What’s next: Continue to keep space and time for creativity and for exercise.

 

 

RADIANCE

sitting buddha

  • Goal word: RADIANCE
  • Path 1 to the goal: Look the part.
  • Path 2 to the goal: Exercise.
  • Path 3 to the goal: Smile. Listen to, watch, or read things that make me smile or laugh.
  • Path 4 to the goal: Share.
  • Distractions or barriers: 
  • Steps to the path: Bring baked goods to work to share with coworkers. Walk every morning while listening to audiobooks, especially funny ones.
  • The finish line: Having a positive effect on others. Making others smile. Being genuinely happy and having other people notice.
  • What’s next: Keep up the routine of exercise, posture, smiling, and sharing.

 

 

GRACE

floral tea pot

  • Goal word: GRACE
  • Path 1 to the goal: THINK before speaking or acting. (This one is a big challenge for me, but something I definitely need to work on. I’ve always been a talker. Even when I was a little kid, my grandfather always referred to me as “chatterbox”, so thinking before talking is a big one.) Pausing to think while talking. Consider how I am going to sound to others before talking. Slow and confident is better than fast and excited.
  • Path 2 to the goal: Handle difficult situations with diplomacy, but don’t forget to be fair to all involved – this includes me. Consider others, but don’t put them ahead of my own needs.
  • Path 3 to the goal: Keep things simple.
  • Distractions or barriers: “Autopilot.” Feeling rushed and stressed. Saying yes just to please people.
  • Steps to the path: Breathe. Meditate. Turn off the tv. Slow down.
  • The finish line: Feeling more confident in the way I communicate with others.
  • What’s next: Continue to act from a compassionate and confident core.

 

Photo Credits: bold, photo by K. Kendall ; joy, photo by Hamad Al-Mohanna; creativity, photo by  Jeremy Nicoll; radiance, photo by Francis Chung; grace, photo by Angelina Earley.

*Core Desired Feelings are part of the wonderful Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map**, for using your desired feelings to get what you really want out of life. If you’d like to see my previous posts about the process, you can find them here:

The Desire Map

Soul Limber

On Gratitude and What’s Not Working

Clarifying Core Desired Feelings

**While this is an affiliate link, I truly do believe in this program and what it will do for my life. I am appreciative of the workbook and how it makes me more aware of what it is I truly want and how I can achieve my true core desired feelings. I hope sincerely that you will join me, not because I will make money from your purchase, but because I would love to have allies, friends, and co-conspirators along this journey. Please do leave a comment and let me know if you decide to do this program so we can work through it together.

Blog The Desire Map

Clarifying Core Desired Feelings

24 July, 2013

After the warm-up exercises of writing in stream of consciousness and about gratitude and challenges, I was ready for the Core Desired Feelings to flow out of me, but Danielle and The Desire Map* challenged me to dig deeper, to find out what I really want.

Before diving in to what my deepest desires are, I was asked to recall times when I did not feel the way I wanted to. What feelings did I not want to feel? I came up with: embarrassed, sad, empty, anxious, panicky, and disappointed.

Putting those feelings aside, it was easy to come up with times I felt the way I was hoping to feel: proud, excited, curious, creative, inspired, loved, adventurous, courageous, confident, radiant, inspiring, loving, relieved, comforted, comfortable, joyous, in awe, and at one with nature.

But before I could pull my deepest, most desired feelings from a list, I followed the instructions for the next section… and this is hard to put into word. The next section first asked me to come up with desired feelings for each of the five areas of my life (Livelihood & Lifestyle, Creativity & Learning, Body & Wellness, Relationships & Society, and Essence & Spirituality). Once I came up with each of these lists, I was then inspired to “get inside the words”, look up the definitions of the words I wrote down, to dig deeper, to feel the nuances of each word. When I completed these lists, I was then asked to reflect on the words, to choose the ones I felt most drawn to. Circle the ones (I used stars instead… it just felt more ME) which make you feel inspired, grounded, peaceful, energized, supported, I was told. Take time and care selecting the strongest, most specific, and most positive words.

Here’s where the depth and the levity of the words come into play. Honing in on the best words is as easy and as tough as saying “I want to feel _____.” Danielle asks how each word feels. For example, “loved” versus “loving” versus “love”. Which of those three feels right to you? They are all so closely related, yet it’s clear to me which one I want to feel.

“Remember (a gentle reminder): You know the answer.”

Write down your Core Desired Feelings. I had a hard time narrowing down and at first, I chose a list of 14: confident, adventurous, nourished, energized, clear, inspired, whole, lionhearted, creative, radiant, sense of flow, love, romantic, enchantment. I noted that these did not necessarily align with the feelings I listed at the beginning of this exercise. I further narrowed the list to adventurous, nourished, energized, clear, inspired, whole, lionhearted, creative, radiant, sense of flow, love, romantic, and enchantment before starring some more.

Now it is time to choose my core desired feelings. I am excited and, at the same time, calm. It feels right. I choose:

adventure, clear, whole, lionheart, radiance, sense of flow, love, enchantment

Danielle advises: let it stew, be open to change, try them on for size.

This is what I plan to do. Let them float around my heart for a while. Choose which feel best. I have more than the suggested 3-5, but I am content with the ones I have chosen. They are different and the same as the ones I originally thought I might choose before I started this program. My initial guess at these Core Desired Feelings were: adventurous, grateful, creative, love, radiance. My 8 above are slightly different, yet more poignant. These are what I desire deep down. These are the feelings I hope will flow through me, radiate from me, surround me.

Now, it is time to rest.

Intermission.

*While this is an affiliate link, I truly do believe in this program and what it will do for my life. I am already appreciative of the workbook and how it makes me more aware of what it is I truly want and how I can achieve my true core desired feelings. I hope sincerely that you will join me, not because I will make money from your purchase, but because I would love to have allies, friends, and co-conspirators along this journey. Please do leave a comment and let me know if you decide to do this program so we can work through it together.