What Do You Desire For The New Year?

new-yearAre you setting New Years goals or making resolutions? Maybe lose 20 pounds? Exercise 3 times a week? I think many of us look at the new year as a fresh start.

Have you had problems keeping your resolutions? I know I have. In fact I often set goals for myself at other times of the year too. Somehow I often end up feeling bad about myself when I didn't meet my goals or I only partially reached them.


This year I am trying a new approach. I recently heard about and read the book Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. She advocates making goals based on your desired feelings.

Instead of losing 20 pounds, your goal might be feeling vital and energetic. You can then consider all the ways vitality and energy can be felt in all aspects of your life. What would it mean for your relationships? How would it change your work or business life? 

Then you begin looking at the ways to make it real. This approach opens the door to the multiple ways in addition to losing the 20 pounds that are important to reaching your desired feeling. 

I spent a couple of weeks going through the exercises in the book which encouraged me to explore all aspects of my life in a variety of different ways. Here are my desired feelings. I want to feel: At Ease, In "the flow", Vibrant, Connected, Freedom, Deep Love, Successful, and Joyful. The great thing about these goals is that I can already find many ways I am experiencing my goals. I already feel good about them. I look forward to finding more ways to bring each one into my life.

These goals can help me make many choices across all areas of my life, my friends and family relations, my livelihood, my body and health, community involvement, my hobbies and other activities, personal growth and learning, and spiritually.

These goals can help me make decisions on a day-to-day basis. Will this help or hinder me in reaching my desired feelings? How have my past decisions prevented me from feeling the way I want to feel?

I think this is especially important for us as people of Afrikan descent. So often the events and experiences we confront can cause us feelings we don't want. What decision can we make to counteract those feelings? What and who can we bring into our lives to bring more of the desired feelings? My desired feeling of freedom includes among other things the freedom to explore and celebrate my Afrikan culture.

One key to whatever type of goal you make for yourself is to keep it visible. If you write your goal down then just put it away somewhere it is easy for business as usual to take you off course.

Instead make these goals a part of your daily or weekly to-do list. What can I do today to help you meet your goals or create your desired feelings? Post your goals or desires on your computer or on the bathroom mirror. Put it in your calendar to review them from time to time. Make a collage or other artistic expression that captures your goals and desires. Hang it where you will see it.

Don't forget to remove the roadblocks to your success as well. Get rid of that junk food in the pantry. Put your workout clothes in a bag by the door before you go to bed. What ever it is that will help you choose YES! to reaching your goals.

Do you have a New Year planning process? Do you make resolutions? What has worked (or NOT worked for you?) Tell us in the comments.

Happy New Year! And stay warm!

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Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Supporting you by bringing you flavorful and satisfying vegan and raw vegan recipes, inspiration and online training and one-on-one coaching to help LOVE YOUR VEGAN LIFE! I am an educator and revolutionary who has teamed up with my physician/dietitian husband, Nana Kwaku Opare, MD, MPH, CA, to address the growing health problems in the Afrikan/Black community by building a Nation of Black Vegetarians and Vegans.

4 comments on “What Do You Desire For The New Year?

  1. I haven’t made any resolutions but I really like the idea of making goals based on my desired feelings. As I am learning more about African culture, I desire to incorporate it in my every day life. I saw a video of Dr. Marimba Ani lecturing to a group, and the brother who introduced her poured libation into a plant in remembrance of the ancestors. Well, I have lots of plants so when I water them, now I pour libation to the ancestors. I really enjoy this because it gives me a chance to reflect on the ancestors and show appreciation, and it gives me ‘homework’ to do also by learning about more ancestors I can pour libation to. I really love the feeling of connectedness I get when I pour libation to the ancestors and practice an African ritual. I want to learn more about the Orishas and pour libation to them as well. This is what I desire for myself for the new year: a greater feeling of connectedness to African culture and rituals.

  2. I love the idea of shifting goal setting to reflect how you want to feel! This is something I’ve been exploring but hadn’t quite put it into words. Thanks for sharing this. I’m grabbing my copy of The Desire Map this week!

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