How to set goals that will genuinely make you happy

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When I was in law school, I found a workbook written by Danielle LaPorte — The Desire Map. Reading that book, I became aware of a concept that seemed so obvious, but I had never consciously thought of. We don’t chase goals for the outcome; we chase them for the FEELING that we think reaching that outcome will bring us. So, if we know what our core desired feelings are, we can consciously do things every day to create those feelings. This different approach to goal setting changed my life. Instead of setting goals that looked good on paper or sound impressive to my peers, I started setting goals that were in alignment with how I really want to feel (and I started to realize how OUT of alignment with those desires my life was). One of my top core desired feelings is joy. I feel the most joy when I am outside and moving... on a bike, a horse, a snowboard, a surfboard, or just out on my feet. All I need to do to shift into a state of joy is to go outside and start moving my body. So, I started small. Before I changed anything major in my life, I made one simple goal: to go outside and move for at least 30 minutes every single day, no matter what. I started doing that during one of the busiest (and most miserable) times of my life—smack in the middle of law school. That one habit made such a huge impact on my daily happiness and stress levels that I started wondering what my life would feel like if I reevaluated ALL of my life goals with this new lens. A few years later, all of my goals have changed. As such, my life has changed. I have a different career. I have different friends. I live in a different city. I have a different approach to the way I eat, exercise, and travel. All in the name of joy.

What You'll Need

  • Journal
  • Recommended: The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte

What You'll Do

  • Figure out your core desired feelings (check out Danielle's book and/or resources on her website) and start by adding just ONE goal into your life that is in alignment with how you want to FEEL.
  • Observe how that one thing changes your daily experience of life.
  • Begin to reevaluate all other goals in your life with this new lens. (Once you get a taste of how good it feels, you're going to be hooked!)
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