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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.



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.




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.




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.




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.




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.

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