In 2012, I started asking myself a simple, delicious question: what do I want?
What do I want today? Tomorrow? Next week? This year?
It started simply enough. My answers for each day were things like Asian food, peace, a long nap, or to go dancing.
Then, as I graduated onto the larger question of what I wanted for the next month and the next year, the question morphed into who do I want to be? And I discovered a quiet, fierce longing for confidence, excitement, and strength. A longing that took the form of a simple answer: I want to be sexy.
And so 2013 became the Year of Sexy, full of building confidence, taking risks, and falling in love with myself and my life.
It was life changing.
Now, of course, it’s time for a new year with a new set of challenges and opportunities, a fresh perspective, and, perhaps, new goals.
I love the new year because I love the clean slate. I love that we make space in our lives to think about what we want out of life. I love that we are bright-eyed believers in our power to change everything.
So this year I have been again asking myself that question: who do I want to be?
And as I’ve been asking that question, thinking about my life, and dreaming about what comes next, I’ve stumbled upon something beautiful. Another way to ask the question. Possibly an even more true and accurate way to see ourselves and set our goals.
It’s Danielle LaPorte’s theory (as laid out in her book, The Desire Map, which I haven’t read yet, but looks amazing) that true contentment comes not from achieving our checklist of goals for the year, but understanding how we want to feel and working toward that feeling.
Instead of what do I want to do?, what do I want to change?, or even who do I want to be?, Danielle asks us to ponder the question:
How do I want to feel?
Today. Tomorrow. In 2014. Always.
Maybe I love this path because it’s really what last year was about for me. Wanting to feel sexy. And in pursuing that feeling, my year felt so much more successful and authentic than those years where I made checklists.
In fact, at the end of the year, as I was taking stock of my goals, I realized that even the goals I hadn’t quite reached in the way I expected, I had reached in the sense that I had succeeded in catching the feeling I was after.
For example, one of my goals was to fill my schedule with ongoing contracts. Why? Because I didn’t want to feel stressed about money. I didn’t want to feel anxious about finding new clients all the time. I wanted to feel free. Instead of filling my schedule as I had originally planned, I learned to reframe how I think about money and abundance. I changed how I felt without actually hitting the external goal.
And so when I heard Danielle’s question, I knew that this would be how I planned my 2014.
I’d still think about the things I want to leave behind in 2013 (self-shaming, aimless internet surfing, rushing, and waiting for someone else to make things better, to start) and the things I’d like to replace them with (spending more time outside, journaling by hand, listening to more music). I’d still write out a few tangible goals (to write and publish The Good Girl’s Guide to Living a Badass Life, to make my living from travel and inspirational writing).
But at the end of the day, this year will be, as the last year was, about how I want to feel and who I want to be.
So, how do I want to feel?
Sexy. Brave. Loved + Loving.
Because sexy is magnetic, strong, beautiful, confident, and empowered.
Brave is expansive and determined. Brave means that anything is possible.
Loved means valuable. It means that I’m enough and that I matter.
Loving is fierce, powerful, and generous. Loving means that you’re enough and you matter.
And so 2014 is a year of intentional sexiness, bravery, and love. A year to expand, to go big. A year that is poised to become even better than those that came before.
How do you want to feel in 2014?