Sunday Blog 18 – 2 Jan 2022
For the last six years, I have used a Desire Map – an actual paper journal. The work of Danielle La Porte, the Desire Map methodology encouraged me to think about how I would feel once I achieved my goals. Sort of a feminine way of setting goals – turning them on their head by focusing on how they would make me feel once achieved. It also encouraged me to bring that feeling more into every day. It helped me stay in touch with both work commitments as well as my dreams for creativity, my home, loved ones, community. Pictured is my set of journals from 2016-2021.
In 2021 I was given the bombshell news by Ms La Porte that Desire Maps would no longer be produced. And just like that, the methodology just didn’t seem to work for me anymore. The weekly reflections I have long praised felt like an endless chore. It petered out in June. There was a brief reprise in October, but the die was cast. It made looking back on 2021 a little difficult – there were only snatches:
-A February trip to the seaside town of Busselton in the glorious warm of February in Western Australia (WA), when everyone has gone back to school and work. I am walking along the beach, darling husband is off for a long cycle. Our paths cross unexpectedly and he calls out to me, raises his arm in greeting in a way that lifts my heart.
-An almost perfect late March/April trip to Albany in the South of WA, staying in a cute cabin, my biggest issue that I haven’t bought enough warm things with me. It is usually so cold but every day was swimming weather.
-An April entry straight after letting me know the week of work washed away the break in no time.
-In September I am trying out other journals, knowing I need to find a Desire Map alternative. I am briefly excited about a journal that I think has caused a personality revolution and had helped me stop doing too much, but that was just a false alarm. Plus it was A4 and I just can’t be dealing with that.
-February and September entries both assure me that I probably need to leave my job to break the hypnosis of the overwhelm. Luckily, I eventually listened.
Cast adrift from Desire Mapping, I have become more and more enamoured of the work of James Clear on forgetting all about goals and thinking more about the habits you need to create to achieve those goals. As his quote highlights, we don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems. In his book Atomic Habits he advises “Don’t plan to run a marathon”, (I wasn’t, ever) “plan to be a runner.” Once the marathon is done the motivation to run disappears, but being a runner is forever (except in my case when it’s a not ever to the running thing.)
“Don’t plan to write a book”, (I am), “plan to be a writer”. Now he’s talking. He suggests you make the goal so small it can easily be achieved. Write for two minutes a day. And once the habit is there, you can expand it and develop it.
So here’s to binning New Years’ Resolutions and building good habits instead!