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Making Goals: How Do You Want To Feel?

A few weeks ago I was introduced to The Desire Map through Leah’s blog. I’ve found myself very intrigued by what Danielle LaPorte has written and would like to think out loud with you today. Thank you, Amanda. 

Making Goals: How do you want to feel? mylittletablespoon.com

With The Desire Map, Danielle presents the idea of asking ourselves, “How Do I Want To Feel?” when it comes to making our goals. 

How do I want to feel? Seems like such a simple question. But you know? I don’t think I’ve ever actually sat down and really asked this of myself. Especially not when it comes to making goals. 

When we make our goals, I think so very few of us ask ourselves WHY we actually want this to be our goal. Many of us create goals out of habit, a preconception about how we “should” be, because its what other people are doing, for an external feeling of success, or even to impress others. “I want to lose 10 pounds.” “I want to go to Harvard.” “I want to win “x” competition…” just being a few.  But….WHY? 

What if our goals were not being driven by our true desires? 

Making Goals: How do you want to feel? mylittletablespoon.com

The hope is that we create our goals with our core desires in mind. Core desires meaning those things we want in life deep down in our guts and not just for external image. The hope is that we want to challenge ourselves in ways that would make us feel that deep rooted feeling of happiness, confidence, self love, satisfaction – whatever it may be. Not for anyone else and not for any reasons that are driven by ego, self loathing or fear. 

When we ask ourselves “how do I want to feel?” – in our LIVES – before we make each goal, then suddenly THAT dictates the goals we make for ourselves. It becomes a “sorting hat” that tells us if a goal we make is true to our inner core desires….or not. 

Asking How Do I Want to Feel becomes a sorting hat that tells us if our goal is right for us. #goals #health #happiness #intentions Click To Tweet

So, then I got asking. 

How do I WANT to feel? (in life)

I want to feel…





Accomplished – and satisfied with my productivity


Light – in spirit







Making Goals: How do you want to feel? mylittletablespoon.com

Are the actions I’ve taken up until now… were the goals I’ve driven myself towards… all leading me to gain these feelings? Nope. I can confidently say, looking back, that a lot were not. I can see a lot of goals I’ve made where, if I had achieved them, I wouldn’t have gained any of these feelings I just listed. A lot were created out of what I thought was what I wanted and what I thought other people wanted of me.


And then I had a realization…

In the worst of my eating disorder, and even now when I notice those familiar urges returning, I see how all the actions I took truly came out of a desire… a longing… to feel a certain way. I knew I wasn’t feeling the way I wanted to feel, and so I looked externally for ways to make myself feel better.  I just wanted to find something… anything…that worked.  And worked fast. 

At the beginning of my eating disorder, I remember feeling extremely

Scared… that no one was seeing me and that I was doing all the wrong things with my life

Frustrated….as to why no one was paying me attention






Un-goal oriented

Unsatisfied with any achievements I did have…..  it was never good enough


Making Goals: How do you want to feel? mylittletablespoon.com


So what did I do about it? I made goals. Goals that I thought would give me these feelings that I listed above. 

Bored?  I challenged myself with restricting, planning and regimenting everything I ate. This made me feel challenged and accomplished. 

Unfocused? I focused on creating weekly workout splits, planning out my workout schedule and made a goal to see muscle growth on my body. This made me feel focused and confident. 

Unnoticed? I made a goal to be the smallest. This made me feel noticed and invigorated

Scared and Sad? I found something that made these feelings go away. I learned I could turn my focus to planning my food or go workout and poof… those feelings were gone. It was magic. Glorious magic. This made me feel happy.

Don't let the easy way out fix how you feel. Strive for what will make you feel it in your core. #health #addiction #copingmechanism #happiness Click To Tweet

See how easy that is!? See how EASY it is to latch on to something that can make us feel better immediately!? Why take any longer than we need to if we’ve found something that can change our feelings almost instantly?

Because it doesn’t last. Those changes of feeling are so. short. term. And then you’re back feeling those same crummy, awful feelings… the next day, the next week, the next hour. 

Making Goals: How do you want to feel? mylittletablespoon.com

I went about trying to make myself feel these things in the wrong way. I gravitated towards what would make me feel them externally, and quickly. Now? I want to feel these things in my core. In my career. In making a family. In growing old. In following my passion. Which is why when I feel a goal coming on, I now have some new questions I will be asking myself. 

We all want to feel happy. We all want to feel successful. But sometimes what may make someone else happy and successful is not the same for us, and this requires us to really get intune with our own individual desires. When we make goals, I challenge you to ask yourself if you are wanting this “thing” for the right reasons. Will achieving this goal truly make you feel how you want? Or will it leave you still wanting more? That “more” may mean it never was going to give you what you wanted in the first place. 

How Do You Want To Feel? Let this guide you to your goals. #goals #happiness #desires #feelings Click To Tweet

Tell me,

How do you want to feel in your life? Have you ever wrote out the actual words?

What drives you to make goals for yourself?

Do you ever make goals without asking yourself WHY you actually want it!? 






  1. Susie @ SuzLyfe | 3rd Nov 16

    Love this perspective. I just made some goals, and I hope that they will help to lead me in a positive direction, and help me feel more positive about myself and my life!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…November GoalsMy Profile

    • Cora | 5th Nov 16

      I found it really interesting to read your post on your latest goals – the same day I posted this. I find you very inspiring, Suz, with the goals you make for yourself – and how you encourage others (like myself) to make compassionate and realistic goals for ourselves, and how we can start small and take one step at a time.
      It sounds like your desired feeling is “positive.” I say that’s a keeper.

  2. Sarah @ BucketListTummy | 3rd Nov 16

    This is such a great message. It makes me think about some things I discuss with patients in terms of why we eat the foods we do. Is it emotional vs what our bodies need? I love the idea of thinking about the why ahead of time. It seems like a great way to keep yourself accountable and make sure you’re making decisions that allign with your goals and with your heart.
    Sarah @ BucketListTummy recently posted…Why I Hate The Term “Clean Eating”My Profile

    • Cora | 5th Nov 16

      Ahhh – cool! Of course this would be HUGE for a dietician dealing with clients. Nutrition is all about wanting to feel better/feel good in our bodies, after all – so any goals you would be setting with a client need to be dedicated towards just that – feeling how you want to feel.
      And yes that’s exactly it – I think this is definitely a way to keep you accountable and aligned with what your heart is saying. Like a constant friendly reminder poke to make the kindest decision for yourself.

  3. Emily Swanson | 3rd Nov 16

    Having the right motivations is SO essential! 🙂 I’m glad that you identified all the negative things that were part and parcel of the ED. I think what motivates me is to love Jesus more and share the light of Jesus with others, cause it makes me so excited! And if I’m not peaceful and joyful about eating a certain food (even if it’s salad), I usually go for something that isn’t something that I overthink or think too much about, because my life just isn’t food or exercise anymore.
    Emily Swanson recently posted…Why I Want to Be a Child In A World That is HurtingMy Profile

    • Cora | 5th Nov 16

      When you find something that makes you feel excited – that is the best hint that this is what needs to be in your life!

  4. Heather @ Polyglot Jot | 3rd Nov 16

    What a great way to break things down. I’ll definitely sit down and do this!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…Thankful Thursday: Week 1My Profile

    • Cora | 5th Nov 16

      I hope you do. It can be surprisingly hard to think of the words actually…

  5. Lyss | 3rd Nov 16

    “what may make someone else happy and successful is not the same for us, and this requires us to really get intune with our own individual desires.”
    -LOVE that, and such a good reminder for me. Before making a goal, I always need to check my intention with that goal. And sometimes I am guilty of making a goal for the wrong intention. Such a great reminder- thank you for this Cora!
    Lyss recently posted…October 2016 recap My Profile

    • Cora | 5th Nov 16

      Exactly, Lyss. I think we all are.

  6. Jennifer @ Fit Nana | 3rd Nov 16

    Wow. Yes! I’ve been forced into a position where I’ve had to rethink some (career) goals and, you know, maybe I wasn’t making those my goals for the right reason. And no, I’ve never written down how I want to feel in my life. Why isn’t that an exercise that is a part of life? It’s so important! We do really need to identify how we want to feel – it legitimizes it.
    Jennifer @ Fit Nana recently posted…TOL #5: PATIENCE. IS. HARD. I SHOULD PROBABLY PRACTICE MORE.My Profile

    • Cora | 5th Nov 16

      I think it needs to be an exercise in our life – something we should be told as we are coming out of the womb :s. But it can be surprisingly hard, actually. I was surprised when I was having a difficult time figuring out the exact words that describe how I want to feel. But when you find the right words – it really is so powerful.

  7. Runwright | 3rd Nov 16

    This is a great topic. I make a lot of goals and the major feeling is probably accomplishment. Also, that this goal is a gateway to another goal. Like I am doing NaNoWriMo this month because I know I want to write another novel this year. The participation helps me belong to a community of writers. Completing will give me a sense of accomplishment and give me the momentum to do another one next year.
    I love your post. Made me think of my reasons.
    Runwright recently posted…Focus on the personMy Profile

    • Cora | 5th Nov 16

      Ah – yes, I love this! I call it my “short term goal list” vs my “long term goal list.” Often I can’t get to my meatier, life fulfilling goals (the long term goals) without focusing on the smaller, short term goals first. It can be hard when you are feeling impatient, but you just won’t get to those bigger goals without the other things first.
      I love that you are doing this for yourself – both to feel part of a community but also because you know it is leading you do that bigger goal of writing a new novel (double win I say)! This has inspired me. Thank you so much for reading and hearing your own testimony! I really appreciate it.

  8. Marie | 3rd Nov 16

    Thank you for writing this. My therapist actually challenged me on this topic (or very similar) last week, and it´s been a lot more difficult than I imagined to write – and say out loud – what I really want and what I am longing for in life. Without listening to the voices inside me that somehow manages to take control every. single.time. This is such an important topic, and I believe a lot of people would benefit from making room for those thoughts about desires and goals in life.

    When that is said: You have a great way of writing – and I love coming to your blog 🙂 I have never commented before, but just wanted to say that you have a reader from Sweden who appreciates your texts very much. Please keep on writing and sharing – it helps me to reflect on my own and similar situation to yours right now.

    • Cora | 5th Nov 16

      Marie – Than you SO much, both for reading and now for commenting. Really, this means the world. I’m so just happy to share these crazy parts of life with others. We’re in it together.
      I was also very shocked at how hard it actually was to write down the words. I mean, I could have just written down any thing, but to actually find those words that you can feel in your GUT are the right ones?…. its hard. But when you find them, it feels so powerful. And yeah – I absolutely hear you on trying to decide what you want without letting those other voices get in the way. Sometimes it can be next to impossible to tell them apart. It comes down to that little soft – scary – feeling I get in my belly. Thats when I know its the real one.

  9. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 3rd Nov 16

    Wow, Cora. I think this is a really insightful post. I had never really thought of goals in terms of making working toward accomplishments because we want to feel a certain way, or how we choose eating disorder behaviors and thoughts sometimes because those also make us feel a certain way. But I think you’re really right. It’s also really insightful that eating disorder behaviors can give us the short-term illusion that we feel better, but don’t really help us continue to feel this way in the long term.

    I also think it’s important to keep in mind that at times, it’s okay and healthy to feel uncomfortable, scared, anxious, scatter-brained, disorganized, if it’s part of challenging ourselves and moving toward healthy growth. In some cases, allowing ourself to sit with anxiety, for instance, helps us overcome that anxiety and be more calm in the future.

    <3 Hang in there!
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…No-Shame November #1My Profile

    • Cora | 5th Nov 16

      Oh absolutely!! Not only is it okay, but its necessary in order to teach ourselves that they are – just – “feelings” and that we can overcome them. I mean, it sucks in the moment and feels totally uncomfortable…. but I’m told time and time again that this is where we learn the most. I think we have to overcome these hurdles in order to learn how we really want to feel, and to finally arrive there for long term. Thanks, Joyce <3

  10. chasetheredgrape | 4th Nov 16

    I really like how this is done and how it gets you to truly think about goals in your life. I have tended to shy away from calling my aims in life ‘goals’ as I know that I put an insane amount of pressure on myself and then when I don’t achieve them I beat myself up. But this goes deeper and really gets to the crux of things. When folk come to me with goals I keep on asking them one question until we get to the core of the issue – that question is ‘why’. Just one word but it has so much power when you ask it over and over. You need to know your why before you can do anything.

    • Cora | 5th Nov 16

      Yes – I have also shied away from/completely stopped making “goals” for myself – more so because if I do make a “goal” I want to feel it down in my core – not just something that I will forget about in a months time. Hence where asking this question – and asking “why” – comes in. A goal becomes much more prominent (and maybe far less of them) when they mean that much more. I love love LOVE that you keep asking “why” with your clients. That one word has soooo much power and can really really break down some powerful insights.

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  12. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table | 4th Nov 16

    This is such a great reminder to step back and reflect. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately as I contemplate career paths… it’s clutters the mind to choose between fun, money, and independence.
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted…Easy Apple Cider Sangria [Recipe]My Profile

    • Cora | 6th Nov 16

      Its crazy how much time we can let pass by without taking that moment to stop and re-reflect how things are going, eh? I’d say if this is time when you are contemplating career paths etc., this type of question is going to be pretty vital for making your decisions. It’s definitely overwhelming to have all those elements going in and out of your mind. Choose whatever feels best in your gut, my dear.

  13. Kat | 4th Nov 16

    This is a really great post and definitely a question that I will have to ponder more of. I make goals pretty much weekly of things I want to accomplish but I never set goals in regards to my feelings. It’s more so”need to make this, shoot that, write this, etc” and I suppose it has become so mechanical that it almost has no feeling to it anymore.
    Great post girl. I’ve got some thinking to do now! <3
    Kat recently posted…My 3 Favorite BOSU Ab ExercisesMy Profile

    • Cora | 6th Nov 16

      I think it also differs between short and long term goals. Our weekly goals may be a little less “deep” – more so what we just “need” to do – but any long term goals we have for ourselves are when this question really, really needs to be asked. Heck even our short term goals can have an element of this mindset – why busy our weeks with things that we feel we “need” to do if they are for the wrong reasons or aren’t leading to a long term goal that will get us to where we truly want to be? I can see that its a tough balance, and there will always be priorities we just need to get done, but what if we lived our lives by making EVERYTHING we do have meaning toward our greater goals in life?

  14. Kristy from Southern In Law | 4th Nov 16

    What an incredible realisation – and what a great thing to do to remind yourself of where you want to be and who you want to be. I LOVE that grounded is one of your wants as that’s SO important!
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recent Things: Mystery Directions, Video Games and Joy!My Profile

    • Cora | 6th Nov 16

      Ah I love this – not just “where” you want to be, but WHO you want to be. Yes. What’s one of your desired feelings??

  15. Leah M | love me, feed me | 5th Nov 16

    Yes yes yes. Love this! So happy Danielle Laporte was able to help you, sweetness. Have you actually gone through the Desire Map?? It seriously has changed my outlook so much. Through it I discovered my core desired feelings are creative, mindful, connected, and flow. Making decisions and creating goals is easier with these feelings in mind! I was surprised at how tough it can be to really nail down why you want to reach a goal, but so incredibly helpful.

    • Cora | 6th Nov 16

      I’ve been reading through the book but haven’t touched on the actual exercises yet (Ive just been downloading the resources from her site…). I’m so, so happy you mentioned this in your blog. Its such a simple concept but so powerful to really think of those words. Connected and Flow also really, really resonate with me. And yes you are so right – once we have these words – making decisions actually becomes so much easier! Thank you for your inspiration!!

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