zen habits : breathe

First: Your Feelings … Then: Your Action Plan

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Danielle LaPorte of www.whitehottruth.com.

Most of us have to-do lists. Many of us have long terms goals. Few of us have a list of how we actually want to feel in our life.

And aren’t feelings the whole point? The income, the relationship, the hot bod’, the high thread count cotton sheets – everything on our to-do, to-get, to-experience lists all drive back to the feelings that we crave … connected, comfort, powerful, rich in love and cash, beauty, vitality, useful, calm.

And so it goes that a solid make-it-happen strategy should be grounded in the awareness of how you want to feel. It’s the elemental point that most action plans and goal setting systems overlooked.

Feelings are magnetic. Each feeling is a beacon that attracts a reality. Love attracts love. Gratitude attracts more reasons to be grateful. Generosity creates a generous response. What we focus on expands. So choosing to focus on feelings that, well, feel good, is a sure way to create the experience you want.

HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL IN THE CORE AREAS OF YOUR LIFE?

Write out a few desired feelings in each area. You’ll likely see a pattern emerging – it usually gets down to three or four key emotions that you’re always hankering for. If you have goal lists or vision boards, write your desired feelings on them – front and center. Stick a note of your key feelings into your day-timer. Look up the definition of each of your feeling words. Become a connoisseur of desired feelings and you’ll transform your wants into realizations. Desires are dynamic – they love to be danced with adored, explored.

I’m clear that in every area of my life I want to experience: communion, affluence, sexiness and creative freedom. Those desired feelings drive everything I do – from how I interact with the waiter at the restaurant, and or my blog audience, to what I write, wear and dance to. How I want to feel sits in the margins of my schedule and the center of my heart.

PLAN FOR FULFILLED FEELINGS

If I’m feeling less than affluent, I give – I write a thank you note, I check out the entrepreneurs I’ve sponsored on Kiva.com, I pick up the tab at lunch. If I want to feel more communion I intentionally plan to create it. I’ve just mapped out a plan for the New Year that includes a road trip to see my soul sister in Vegas, a week at the Burning Man festival, a budget to go to more concerts, and a commitment to have one dinner party a month – all things that make me feel closer to life and to love.

CLARITY CREATES SIMPLICITY

When you’re clear on how you want to feel, you can be open to what life wants to give you. You’ll be anchored to the function, rather than the form. And this is really the essence of simplified living – a focus on what matters most. The house, the partner, the job may not “look” like you wanted, or come when you expected, but if something or someone generates the positive feelings you’ve been longing for, you’ll be able to let that good stuff into your life.

When you’re clear on how you want to feel you instinctively know what to say yes to, and when to say, “no thank you.” And that’s the best feeling in the world.

You can find Danielle LaPorte at www.whitehottruth.com. She helps entrepreneurs rock their careers, is a former think tank exec, and author of the Amazon bestseller, Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design.



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