The mind is a garden. How does yours grow?


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!