A new way to set resolutions: Focus on your feelings

It’s a new year! And a new year means that it’s time to set new resolutions.

 Photo Credit: Brett Jordan via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Brett Jordan via Compfight cc

But we’ve all set resolutions with the best of intentions only to have them fall away by the wayside within a month. And for this reason, a lot of us have simply given up on them. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Resolutions aren’t about setting goals and then beating ourselves up when we can’t achieve them.

We’ve all of us set goals
“Lose 10 kgs in time for the annual beach vacation. Which is in, like, 2 months!”

Or thought about plans that we want to achieve
“Buy an island in Greece”

But how often have we thought about how we want to feel?

Yeah. Think about it. Now, quick: How do you want to feel?

Ok, but let’s go beyond just happy, shall we?

How about this:
Get a pen and paper
Put on your thinking cap
Turn on the timer for 5 minutes

Write all the good feelings you can think of.
Then, look over that list and choose four feelings that matter the most to you.

 Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc

Yes, yes. I know you came up with a gazillion feelings, all of which are really, well, nice (because I did tell you to list out all the nice feelings you could think of, remember?). But if you actually tried to work towards living with those gazillion nice feelings every single day, you’d soon find yourself heading towards a nervous breakdown. And we really wouldn’t want that now, would we?

OK, should we get a little serious now?

Why did I ask you to write about your feelings? Because, though our goals may constantly change, the feelings we want to experience – to live with – are likely to remain pretty constant. And if you judge your success by how you feel, you’d get a very good sense of the areas that are bogging you down and making you feel meh! So, let’s call these feelings that we want to experience our “core feelings”. Once you’ve figured out the ones that rock your world, use those as a litmus test to guide your life and your choices.

For example, these are the core feelings I use to guide my ship down this journey of life.

Be it through art, doodling, stitching, writing, cooking, or decorating the house. The sense of creating something with my own hands, using my imagination, is what I’m after.

Taking time for myself – to read, reflect, mediate, just be. Doing things that fill me up instead of draining my time and energy.

To me, this means taking charge of my life. Being more decisive and pro-active instead of just procrastinating and putting everything off for another day.

Regaining my wonder for life…surrounding myself with people and words that motivate me, that make me reach up beyond myself, that make me dream again.

Any time that I’m feeling out of whack, it’s easy for me to figure out which feeling is missing in my life, rather than wondering if the thought of those awesome Manolo Blahnik shoes that I can never, ever, afford is what is making me feel out of funk. Pretty cool, huh?

And when I realize that it’s not my lack of super-freaking-crazy spending power that’s bogging me down, but rather a lack of excitement that’s got me in a funk, I can do something to remedy that. Like jumping into the car and heading to Mango to buy those cool, sexy boots that I can totally afford!

OK, kidding!

But you get the drift, don’t you?

So spend those 5 minutes – now – if you haven’t already and tell me – what are the feelings that you want to live with every day?

Also, be sure to check out the Soulful living page for more articles with soul.

And before I sign off, here’s wishing you a year of awesomeness!

Posted in Soulful living and tagged , , , , , .

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. Pretty interesting. The blog and the write up. Coming here for the first time. Manolo Blahnik? Ahaan I smell a carrie bradshaw fan 🙂 and yes writing about feelings often helps de-clutter a lot of things. Because you never go wrong in them. And yes I do that a lot of times. If I am bored I try to understand what I really need, one of the latest books or perhaps another re-read 🙂 .


  2. Is it really “Goals vs Feelings”? Couldn’t “Feelings” (achieving a state of some feeling, e.g., contentment) also be a goal? Setting aside the quibble on vocabulary, I like the examples you gave about the typical goal-setting and your encouragement to think about it in a different dimension. If I can make that switch, I would be CONTENT. How about that for a feeling-centric goal?

  3. Oh I like the focus of those four words. I know when I am feeling down I definitely slack on the empowered one the most, just often shutting down and not getting much done. I really feel so much better on the days that I do take a little extra time to make sure I get the things done that I need and invest some time into my spirituality. Thanks!! Oh and it is nice to meet you, I am part of your SITS tribe 🙂

  4. I think that’s a great idea, just writing. I tried something similar early last year when I recorded the first and last thoughts of my day on paper. The results were staggering, it really served as a reality check and helped change my thinking. Like Emmy, I too am part of your SITSah tribe. I look forward to exploring your blog more…

  5. I’ve never really thought about writing my feelings down and focusing on them. I think that is a very good idea and one I’ll work on. I think sometimes we are afraid to confront feelings in order to move ahead. Thanks for bringing up this topic. I’m also part of your SITStah Tribe and look forward to reading more of your posts.

  6. This is a great post and I really enjoyed it. I try to write as much is possible and I will continue to do so. We are also in the same SITS Tribe and I look forward to getting to know you and your blog.

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