I've always been a New Year's Resolution kind of person. In fact, I'm really an Every-Day-Of-The-Year resolutions kind of person. For good or bad, I'm constantly striving to be/do/think/feel better. On a good day, this looks like self-discipline, goal-setting, and persistence. On a bad day, this looks like your garden variety Perfectionism (for more on what Perfectionism really means, you should check out this episode of Stuff Mom Never Told You).

So when it came time to set some goals for 2016 I could not resist Danielle LaPorte's idea of 'goals with soul'. Over the holidays my mom and I set ourselves up in a cozy hotel suite, and got to work Desire Mapping. If you're not familiar with the Desire Map, it's essentially a method for figuring out how you want to feel in every area of your life, boiling it down to simple words or phrases (these are called your Core Desired Feelings), and then setting goals around those feelings. At the end of all of that soul-searching these are my words for 2016:

Integrated, Vital, Magical, Adventurous, and FREE

It's really important that FREE be written in all caps, usually with an exclamation point at the end. Integrated, Vital, Magical, and Adventurous are all important - but I want them because they all add up to FREE. As part of the process, Danielle recommends actually looking up the definitions of words and seeing how that might resonate. So I thought I'd share the definitions of each word, and how I see it adding up to a beautifully free 2016:


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There's meaning in sequence. I put 'Integrated' at the beginning of my Core Desired Feelings mantra. Integrated to me is the first step towards feeling better in all areas of my life. Sometimes, especially with a laundry list of New Year's Resolutions, it's easy to feel like each area of your life is a separate plate you're trying to balance while careening down the road on a unicycle...just me? Well, I have felt that way often. 'Integrated' to me means that my prayer practice is not a separate 'section' from my morning commute. It means that the self I present at the dinner table is the same self that I bring into a client meeting. Above all it means that all of the 'parts' of my life are working together, that there is no part to hide or keep separate.

I get pretty literally when it comes to 'Vital'. I want to choose goals and habits that bring me that remarkable energy - right now that looks like physical activity everyday, and a pretty strict paleo lifestyle. Oh, and giving myself a bed time, because I'm learning that grownups need that as much as children. A motivational speaker that I really enjoy once said "I pray to God every day to give me more energy. Not for money, not for time, for energy. Because energy is the stuff of life."

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Yep. Magical. I know, I know - I'm letting my crystal toting, tarot loving flag fly a bit. But honestly, I'm putting this out there because I have had some amazing coincidences in my life and career in the past year, moments that have felt downright magical. I want more. I also want to give attention to my dreams and intuition, to check in with my gut more often - and to harness those insights.

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In 2014 I did a lot of traveling - I went to Italy, Germany, and the Bahamas, all for the first time. In 2015, I wasn't able to do as much traveling, and I got into a rut of thinking that all of my 'adventures' were on hold. This year, I'm going to choose to be Adventurous, whether I get to add some stamps to my passport or not. In 2016, Adventurous might just look like going to a different coffee shop, or starting a new passion project, but that's ok. The little adventures count, too.

More than anything, I have realized that I have a deep-rooted desire for Freedom. More than security, certainty, praise or abundance (which are all AWESOME), I crave the ability to direct my days and years as I see fit.

Out of all of those words, I've set these four goals for myself in 2016:

  1. Treat my body right.

  2. Make my calendar a sacred space.

  3. Be intentional with every dollar I have.

  4. Check in with my intuition every day.

So, what are you goals for 2016? To you identify some Core Desired Feelings? Or maybe pick a word for the year? Let me know!


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