The Inverted Goal

#Goals. You probably have a few, right? Most of us do. Close your eyes and think of some of them. Off the top of your head, what comes up? That career, that country, that house, that second language, that body, that certain amount of money. The WHAT is easy. Most of us know what we want.

But have you considered the WHY? Take a moment to think about why it is that you want to attain these things (and dig deeper than “to be happy”, because.. duh!). 


Starting up a business may mean creativity, accomplishment, or flexibility.

Obtaining a certain amount of money may mean freedom, certainty, stability, or ease.

Travelling may mean adventure, inspiration, colour, or excitement.

Your dream body may mean vitality, acceptance, strength, or worthiness.

Notice a pattern? Oui! These "whys" are all FEELINGS! Feelings are the root of why we do the things we do and this leads us to the basis of what I call an “inverted goal”. I learned about this alternative to goal setting a few years ago when I read “The Desire Map” by Danielle Laporte. And let me tell you, it sent my anxious, goal-orientated mind spinning! Danielle is a wonder woman from Vancouver who created the idea of “Core Desire Feelings”.  Basically, knowing the way we want to feel is the most important knowledge we can have. The way most of us set goals is BACKWARDS. Here’s a better way of doing it:

  1. Decide how you want to feel. Choose 4 or 5 top feelings. Here are mine: Magic, Meaning, Beauty, Momentum, Grace.
  2. Ask yourself “What can I do to feel the way I want to feel?”. What can you do within this moment, within today, within this week that will bring yourself closer to these feelings?? This is exciting stuff. Feeling the way you want to feel does not have to be at the end of the goal rainbow- it can be attainable within our everyday decisions and then naturally flow into the bigger picture.
  3. Act accordingly, using your desired feelings as your guide. This may mean completely changing your trajectory. Perhaps now that you know the why behind your goals, you’ve realized that there are much better ways of achieving your desired feelings. Is there a more resonating, more aligned way for you to feel how you want to feel?

Your life will blossom for you, as a result of turning the goal setting process inside out. The specifics of your goals are not important. The FEELINGS you want to generate as a result of obtaining these goals is the real key! Evaluate WHY you want the things you do, you may be surprised by what you discover! 

Alternatively, this process works like a charm for those feeling lost and directionless (I’m looking at you, fellow young adults). You may not be able to decide what it is you want to do next, but I’m sure you can identify how it is you would like to feel. So start there! Don’t bother yourself with nailing down a specific career path or university degree- Figure out how you want to feel and then connect the dots. 

Everyone go check out Danielle Laporte because this is really just me sharing her genius, from my perspective! Figure out your “Core Desire Feelings”. Keep them in the notes on your phone, tape them to the mirror, put them on the fridge, spray paint them on buildings, tattoo them across your face . Maybe don’t do those last two, but find a way to remind yourself to constantly lean towards what you want to feel. It is so, so important! These feelings are inner wisdom that will not lead you astray.

If anything, this process will bring awareness to the essence of who you are and what is important to you and that can truly be considered #GOALS for everyone!




Emotional First Aid

       A few weeks ago I cried on a hotel room floor for 11 hours straight. Crushed with anxiety, rumination and loneliness, I didn't sleep for that entire night. I wrote a text message to my best friend but deleted it without sending... I was in pain and the mere existence of my hurt made me feel guilty and ashamed of myself. I tried to distract myself in any way I could, hoping it would all leave me.

Now let’s pretend that it was the same day and I had fallen down the stairs and broken my leg, trying to get to the hotel  gym. I would have called one of my crew members, who then would have helped me get to a hospital. From there I would have gotten an x-ray, a cast, and pain medication. I wouldn’t have felt guilty or ashamed of my injury. I would have taken the action needed in order to take care of myself. I wouldn’t have been alone in my hotel room, hoping the pain would disappear and my leg would magically heal itself.

    With mental health problems ever prevalent within our society, it is time to start giving the same attentiveness we give to our physical well being, to our emotional well being. When most of us are dealing with a sore throat, we go to the drugstore to buy medication. When we break a bone, we go to the doctor to reset it. But what are we doing to reset our broken hearts? Despite efforts to heighten awareness and acceptance, the stigma, secrecy and shame surrounding emotional distress is still VERY much a thing. That is why I believe in the idea of “Emotional First Aid”.

    Emotional First Aid is being a first responder to yourself. It is about being self aware enough to know when you are hurting and brave enough to investigate why. It is then about taking the steps, in order to get the help that you need.

What might be in your Emotional First Aid Kit?

  • Allow yourself to feel. Sit with your emotion without judgement and without the need to change yourself. Let your symptoms be whatever they may be. 
  • Do an activity that you know will make you feel a bit better. I go for long runs and listen to my favourite music. You could meditate, read, walk, journal, watch your favourite movie, go out in nature, etc. (Just make sure that it is not something unhealthy, that could make the problem worse.)
  • Connect with someone. Someone you can trust, someone who loves you. For me that’s my family and a few really great friends. They can often help to remind you of your wonderfulness. You are always so loved and so supported! We all need each other.
  • Go to therapy. I am a huge fan of therapy. Everyone can benefit from a calm, educated, unbiased perspective. EVERYONE CAN. It  is not weak or unnecessary to see a registered psychologist or counsellor. 
  • Get yourself some pills. This is something I don’t have personal experience with but I do believe that there is NOTHING wrong with a brain chemical balancer, if it helps you feel good again.

I think a lot of us (myself included) struggle with thinking that our emotional pain is somehow not serious enough for help and attention. We compare ourselves to others with “bigger” issues and feel ashamed for feeling the way we do about the things that effect us. It is always good to have a healthy perspective but really,  all you have is YOUR  reality that YOU’RE experiencing. If you are hurting, you are hurting and your pain is just as valid as anyone else's. Get the help you need in the ways that you need it, for whatever it may be that is bothering you.

If you are struggling right now with something not immediately evident to others, like mental health, you have full permission to do whatever it is you need to do to heal. Take care of your emotional health in the same manner you would take care of your physical health. Treat a broken heart the same way you would a broken bone. Be open and vulnerable with yourself and others. We are all in this together. It is my hope that the more we do this, the more we will ALL collectively be able to mend one another. And remember to be patient, time heals all wounds, after all.