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New Year’s Resolutions vs. Intentions, and “The Desire Map”

What do you truly want?

Not externally, not on the outside, not in physical appearance or materialistically, but at the core of your being. What is your heart asking of you?

We all carry endless desires, whether we admit them to ourselves, let them surface, go after them, or stifle them. But more often than not, we aren’t even aware of what it is we actually want, and we chase superficial goals and wonder why we never feel satisfied.

There is a fabulous book called The Desire Map, written by Danielle LaPorte. It’s half workbook, half brilliant thoughts and ideas, and all wisdom. The focus is on really tapping into your heart to get to the root of what you desire to feel, focusing not on outside goals, but only on what you can create within your own self, which is your feelings.

Ask yourself what’s really at the core of your desire. Dig deep to uncover what you really need, instead of following the surface level want. The desires that live outside of you, the ones that usually have to do with appearance or materialism, are probably not the truths your heart longs for.

How do you want to feel?

It’s not about how you want to look, what you want to do, or who you want in your life, but how you want to be and feel.

New Year’s resolutions can be a mess of weight loss goals, gym strategies, and self punishment for not being “good enough” the past year. Shed those superficial goals and decide that you have always been acceptable exactly as you are, and perhaps you’ll realize that what you really need is to let yourself feel the way your heart truly begs you to.

Try shifting your new years resolutions instead to wholehearted intentions. Create the intention to feel better and more like yourself. Set the intention to let yourself feel exactly as you desire.

Let yourself feel the way you desire and release the superficial resolutions.

Perhaps you’d like to lose ten pounds. Maybe it’s because you want to feel healthier and lighter, in which case, great. And in that case, your real desire is to feel better and more comfortable and free in your body, a goal that may be achieved through losing weight, or through some other method that makes you feel just as satisfied.

On the other hand, maybe you actually realize you want to shed precisely 10 pounds because you want to feel beautiful in order to attract a partner in order to feel loved. What you really desire is not losing weight, but actually feeling lovable and loved.

Achieving your desired weight loss number may still leave you feeling dissatisfied perhaps because only allowing yourself to be loved when you look like you think you should attracts the wrong kind of partner, or maybe because you hated your body into losing weight instead of loving it the whole way.

If you get to the root of the desire, which is feeling loved, you can create that end goal at the beginning, instead of going after something that isn’t at the core of what you actually want. You can love yourself wholeheartedly exactly as your body is, and accept that you are just as you need to be. This allows you to feel loving and loved, and will most likely help you shed any extra weight as a bonus. 

The Desire Map details another example similar to the following scenario.

Perhaps you’re thinking about what you desire in a partner, and you come up with things like travel lover, plans unique dates, and some physical trait such as tall. However, if you think about what you really want, you realize that you desire someone who likes to explore, is thoughtful and creative, and who is attractive to you on a chemical level regardless of height.

Digging deeper, you understand that you desire these qualities in a partner because you want to feel adventurous, fun, and turned on. Then, someone comes along who hasn’t really travelled much, but takes you to new places in your own city that you’ve never seen before, leaving you feeling wildly adventurous and having loads of fun on creative and explorative dates.

The person doesn’t look like who you’re usually attracted to, and maybe they’re even an inch or two shorter than you. Yet, something about them draws you in because their personality and energy make them irresistible and they surprisingly never fail to turn you on.

You’ve just found an amazing partner who satisfies what you truly desire, and if you hadn’t gotten to the root of that, you would have written them off when they seemed not well travelled and too short for you. You end up feeling adventurous, fun, and turned on, and none of it came from the outside things you had thought you desired, but it’s so much better.

It is so important to admit to yourself what your heart is really begging for, so that you can create more wholehearted, lasting, and real joy in your life. Otherwise, you are left chasing superficial desires in circles and never really feeling fulfilled.

About the Author

Isabela Minogue

Isabela attended Lewis and Clark College, the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy. Her interests include ceramics, baking, being outside, poetry, and dancing. Her long term career goal is to do positive and loving work in the world to help people, and to inspire, lift, and spread as much light as possible to other humans.


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