Last year I came across The Desire Map book, dove right in, and LOVED it. I was so excited then, and now, I’m ready to tell you all about it.

The Desire Map is a book (and program) by Danielle Laporte, best selling author and inspirational speaker. It’s not a juicy fiction novel if that’s what you were thinking. But it is juicy, in a can’t put it down, I want to take it all in kind of way. It’s self-help, but it’s practical self-help. Stuff you can really do and apply to your life. It’s a plan for living your life based on your core desired feelings (CDF’s).
How do you want to feel? It’s a simple question, but one that has the potential to change your life. Imagine if you had a guidance system to empower you in your decision making. It would be a game changer, don’t you think? I’m not sure you could even put a price on something like that. Well, our core desired feelings are our guidance system. We already own the system.

The premise behind The Desire Map is that we have goal setting backwards. Danielle Laporte says that we set the goals, make our to-do lists, and then we hope to feel good afterwards. But then sometimes we still feel empty. Or worse, we don’t achieve the goals and we feel bad about that. Do you know what I’m talking about? Have you felt this way? Instead of starting with our goals, Danielle asks us, “what if we set goals based on how we wanted to feel?”

“Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life.”
– Danielle Laporte

Everything we do is based on how we want to feel. But we don’t necessarily plan our actions or intentions based on our feelings. The first time I read The Desire Map, I devoured it, because I wanted to finish it right away. But in doing so, I didn’t quite come up with the CDF’s that were true to my core. When I actually went through the whole process, giving it the attention and reflection it needed, I was able to fully uncover and embrace my CDF’s. It gave me a whole new perspective on goal setting. When I dug deeper, I realized the CDF’s I first came up with were more like surface feelings – you know, the ones we all say we want to feel. I loved the process so much that I decided to become a facilitator for The Desire Map. The first part of the Desire Map is doing the inner work to uncover your core-desired feelings in each area of your life, and the second part is about using those feelings to set your intentions in the different areas of your life. The book itself, is really two books in one. The first book is all about theory and the second, is the workbook. If you work with a licensed facilitator you will learn the theory and be able to work through level 1 (discovering your core-desired feelings) and level 2 (intentions/goal setting). Some facilitators like to break up the levels while some combine the two in their offerings.

The process of uncovering your core-desired feelings is a deep one. It takes us through five of our life areas, Livelihood and Lifestyle (career, money, home, space etc.), Creativity and Learning (self-expression, education, artistic, interests, etc.), Body and Wellness (healing, fitness, food etc.), Relationships and Society (friendship, romance, community, family, etc.), Essence and Spirituality (soul, inner self, truth, etc.), There is an entire section on gratitude. Because realizing what we are grateful for helps us figure out what we already have and what we want to have in our lives. Gratitude also helps us to get real about what is working and not working in our life so we can make changes. Gratitude just plain, makes us feel good. In a nutshell, The Desire Map is a practical guide to designing your life so you are not on autopilot.

“Because feeling good is the primary intention.” – Danielle Laporte.

But, what does that really mean to you? Don’t we all want to feel good? Don’t we all want to feel happy? What if you first discovered what your core desired feelings were, and then took conscious actions each day to live in alignment with your feelings?

By focusing on the things that are important to you, you are more likely to stay inspired and feel fulfilled afterwards. How many times have you set a goal, achieved it, then afterwards felt empty still. You were chasing the goal- the shiny reward, but it wasn’t necessarily in alignment with who you are. When you focus on your core-desired feelings, you will feel good on the journey, as well as when you achieve your goal. And if you don’t achieve your goal, well, you will still be okay. By tuning in to your core-desired feelings, you are better able to answer the question, “What do I want?” and then, “What do I need to do?” While the Desire Map is all about feelings, it’s about action too. Desire meets action.

“Feeling good along the way doesn’t mean you don’t work your ass off to get what you want. It means you joyously work your ass off.”
Danielle Laporte, The Desire Map

Get some clarity on your feelings first, then use those feelings to guide your every day actions around them. I find that my CDF’s are easy to slip by me unless I have them anchored around. So I put little stickies on my lap top with my CDF’s. I also have them around the house, in my planner and on my computer, so they are always on my mind. I find even with some of the smallest decisions, tuning in to my CDF’s help me decide a lot quicker. And, I had never been one to make quick decisions.

Joy, Connected, Centered, Creative, Strong. These are my core-desired feelings. In 2017 this is what I’m doing to live my CDF’s: I’m growing my business. I’m allowing more time for fun with family and friends- connecting. I’m making new friends. I’m taking care of myself. I’m becoming more socially conscious. I’m jumping in without over analyzing. I’m decluttering (no small feat for me!) I’m working on tuning in to my feelings every day, using them as my guide. It’s a work in progress. But so is life.

How about you? Do your goals reflect how you want to feel? What are you doing RIGHT NOW to feel the way you want to feel? Comment below. I’d love to hear from you.