2014 Reflections, 2015 Projections

Here we are in 2015! Hope yours started well.

Forgive the wordiness of this but after reading last year’s posts I realize that I’m posting this largely for me, for later reference. It would be awesome if you got something out of it too, but this is very much what I refer to in a semi self-depreciating way as a “Dear Diary” blog post.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions though in the last couple of years I’ve started doing goals. I also set goals & undertake new activities in the fall, and start new things on Mondays. Fall feels like a time for renewal and on Mondays the week is full of possibility.

On 2014

In late 2013 I went through the exercise of core desired feelings, or The Desire Map method created by Danielle LaPorte. Basically, it’s a process in which you sit down with a notebook or with her Desire Map book and assess how you want to feel each day in different areas of your life. I think it’s a cool idea, I think that Danielle is a cool chick, and I think that her and Jann Arden look like they could be sisters.

What if we got clear on how we actually wanted to feel in our life, and then we laid out our intentions? What if your most desired feelings consciously informed how you plan your day, your year, your career, your holidays — your life?

At the end of the exercise you’re left with 3-5 words, your core desired feelings for the year. My core desired feelings for 2014:

  • Generous (who can I help today?)
  • Inspired / inspiring (because you can’t get the feeling without extending it here)
  • Balanced
  • Healthy
  • Energetic/charged
  • Abundant (in experiences)

Those were the foundation for my “intentions for the year, resolutions and central focus”:

  1. Equilibrium/balance- mental, emotional, spiritual.
  2. Health – Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial.
  3. Untangle (ego) – going easy on myself.

My intention for 2014 was to stop getting in my own way, to stop fighting myself.

Resolution: See friends more often.

How did I do in 2014?

First of all, I got too bogged down by the process of it all. I mean, look at all those words! I read and “learned” how to set intentions, which seems sort of silly now. Ever stuck in research mode.

Some of my “words” were achieved more than others. It’s life.

Despite having a sheet of paper with it all laid out on my desk – my Core Desired Feelings and my 3 words –  I didn’t check in often. I didn’t follow up or do the work beyond the initial process. I set it and (mostly) forgot it, which isn’t bad but made the process less effective than it could have been. That said, 2014 was an amazing year.

Some fond 2014 memories & achievements

  • Achievement unlocked: My financial health still isn’t great (my financial “detox” lasted about 6 weeks) but 14 years after graduating university I finally finished paying off one of my student loans.
  • Lots of camping with my man and dog, starting in May and going until Thanksgiving weekend (October). This included 5 campgrounds on a 10 day vacation, during which I saw Tobermory and its clear waters, stayed at some amazing – and not so amazing – campgrounds, enjoyed Wasaga Beach, saw The Big Nickel (what the heck else is there to do in Sudbury?), drank some beer fresh out of the tank, drove the beautiful Manitoulin Island, and dreamed of a trailer in a seasonal campground. Our Thanksgiving campsite was the nicest site on the campground (as such, it was the only time we could book it with its high demand).
  • Rode in a sweet Camaro convertible, thanks to Klout.
  • Lots of catering, most of which were weddings out of town. Some weddings took place in cottage yards, one at a summer camp in late September. The leaves were turning to fall colours and it was warm enough to swim. It reinforced that I love this sort of work.
  • Discovered a nearby day spa. Some good manicures, pedicures and other treatments happened. So, I treated myself pretty well, sporadically.
  • Drank good beer and good wine.
  • Discovered some amazing walking trails around the city for us and the dog. Nature is beautiful.

My Instagram feed captures some of it.

Fairbank Provincial Park

This was our campsite at Fairbank Provincial Park.

10 photo attempts to get a photo of the dog with her head in the nickel

10 photo attempts to get a photo of the dog with her head in the nickel

There are some friends I did see more often, some that I saw less.

In some ways my year was stagnant, in other ways I moved ahead.

Looking forward to 2015

Fewer words, less process. Paring it down.

When I overthink and get stuck in research mode I get in my own way and one of my intentions last year, an ongoing struggle, was to get out of my own way. Going through a specific process is sometimes the easiest way to do something for the first time, like reading a recipe the first time you make a dish and improvising every time after.

I started jotted down some notes for this post a few weeks ago and without overthinking it, I captured this before deciding that I’m not going to do “words” this year:

2015 goals

-Take a new course/class every 3 months.
-Move my blog to a different host.

2015 words-
-moving forward – progress? driving?
-Growth (personal and business)

Already I’m making progress on the first two but since the second is more of a “to do” than a goal, it’s out of the “official annual plan”.

Goal #1: Learning through training
-In late November I began an online social media course. Even though I’m an expert, even experts need to keep up. I have learned some things and gotten a needed nudge. It won’t force me to promote myself better but it can give me more tools and fewer excuses and knowing that I spent money on the course is motivation to do the work.

-I read every day and try to learn something new every day but I want more formalized learning. Courses, for example. Perhaps certifications. They don’t have to cost money.

To this goal I add 4 more, which I’m also making progress on:

Goal #2: New experiences
-There’s something I’ve been talking about doing for years and I’m finally going to be doing it early next month. It’s a required course for a specific new hobby – or set of hobbies, so I’m hitting two goals in one weekend and setting in future new experiences in motion. It’s the sort of hobby in which every experience is unique.

-Our big camping trip next summer will take us back to the north, as we’ll be catering a wedding in Sault Ste. Marie. Fewer campgrounds but perhaps the same number of days.

-New experiences can be small, too. Last week I finally played Cards Against Humanity for the first time.

Goal #3: Less reading about enlightenment/self-improvement/personal development.
I love reading that stuff and have my favourite experts but in the end I don’t always do the work, or do it consistently. I get stuck in research mode and there are only so many “self-improvement” things I can do. Will it be meditation this week? More reading or more writing? Wouldn’t I rather stay in bed and cuddle with my dog? Priorities. Life.

I pick this stuff up and drop it like other habits. I’m self aware enough to look inside myself and see what I really need without all the noise clouding my intuition. I’d rather free up my time and energy for other pursuits. It’s what I need right now and that’s being true to myself.

Maybe another way to phrase this goal is “Be less of an information junkie” or “Beware of information overload”. I crave it and gorge, then I find myself with an information hangover trying to untangle. It’s time to simplify.

Goal #4: Be charitable
I ended 2014 with 3 donations. I want to earmark a small amount every month. It feels good to give and some say when you put that out into the universe you get back.

Goal #5: Less clutter

Literally. Get rid of it. We have old sheets, pillows and towels that are ripped that need to be thrown out. My new rule: If it’s damaged and can’t be fixed, throw it out. I have piles of books that can be donated.

desire map

2015 Core Desired Feelings

I’ve reread the book. I discovered where I went “wrong”. I was reminded that I need to plan my week or month by my core desired feelings, to recite them, to review them.

In order to pare down this year I’m not doing goals and “words” and core desired feelings. The CDFs and goals ARE my intentions.  I’m still working these out but the list in progress:


1. Peaceful – do what I need to do to let peace in. Watch my ego.abundance

2. Abundant – feel what I have. Feel and express gratitude.

Lit Up

3. Lit up – be excited about something every day. Every day is a new adventure.

(As opposed to “Litt up“.)

A couple of days ago at my “living room bar” the I semi-joked that my one resolution would be to decline free whisky shots. They never end well and I don’t even like whiskey. Maybe that’s a metaphor for other areas of my life.

None of this is good if I don’t check in with myself, though, and I feel I need a better method of doing so. The Desire Map book suggestions monthly check-ins with weekly action lists. I need to find something that works for me. I’ve tried paper journals but all of my calendars are online now so the habit isn’t there.

How about you?

Intentions? Goals? Dreams? Desires? If you track your progress, then how? Comment or link to your blog post.

Have a look at the beautiful images in the Core Desired Feelings library for inspiration.

Updates: Three days after I’ve posted this a few things have changed:

1. Because goal #3 isn’t measurable, it’s more of a background goal, something to keep in mind.

2. I added “Joy” to my core desired feelings. It came to my mind and I’ve found myself thinking it, meditating on it and smiling on it. The word instantly lifts me up. “Am I feeling joy in this moment?” It’s an easy question to ask.

3. I’ve been conscious that tiny actions contribute to my goals.
Two ways I’ve “decluttered” today: 1) Threw out a piece of plastic that looked like the cover of something and that was sitting in my desk drawer without. I moved offices with it thinking that it probably belongs to something. 2) Unsubscribed to a newsletter I never read. These two  small actions make me feel good because they contribute to something.

I had charitable thoughts this morning: I heard a subway busker singing Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, one of my favourite songs (but not the Guns ‘n’ Roses version). I really wanted to toss him money, but couldn’t get back to him because of the crowd of people. I thought best wishes hard.

4. I was trying to figure out where to fit “Growth” and wasn’t going to do three words in addition to the goals and feelings but I think that “growth” can be my word to help inform my actions “Does this action contribute to growth? To one of my core desired feelings? To my goals?” We’ll see.

5. I mocked up a journal format. Then I discovered that there is a brand new Evergreen Desire Map Day Planner available for pre-order, shipping next month. At this point think I’ll use my own because I can customize it to my own needs without spending the money.



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