A few years ago I stumbled across the concept of living your life based not on what you want to ‘have’ or what you should ‘achieve’, but instead focusing on how you want to feel day in, day out – using your soul as a compass rather than your mind.
When we make goals in our lives about how much money to earn, how much weight we need to lose or what car we want to drive, we think that when we get these things (the money, the skinny jeans, the car) we will be happy. The reality often is, though, when we get the thing we have always wanted, the outcome isn’t as life-changing or amazing as we thought it might be and we don’t always feel as good as we thought we would. Then, we move on to the next thing; there is always more you can do, buy and have – the question is, does it actually make you any happier?
I am sure you all know someone who seems to have ‘everything’ but isn’t as happy on the inside as you think they would be. The things they are surrounded by might make them feel powerful, in control and safe, but it doesn’t make them feel loved, supported or treasured, which deep down is what so many of us really want. Happiness is far more to do with how you feel on the inside than what you have to show on the outside.
Happiness in my mind is an inside job
When you make decisions about what you eat and drink, how much you sleep and what exercise you do, as well as what you say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to – based on how you want to ‘feel’ about those things – you will be amazed by the results. You will be able to shift the kilos, complete the bike race, spend more time with your friends and family or whatever it is you really want. When you focus on feelings first, it means your motivation comes from a positive place.
Often, when we set goals and write lists of things we ‘should do’ to get there, the motivation is actually coming from a negative place, a place of fear or not wanting to let yourself or other people down. I find that self-sabotage can creep in a lot more when this is the case.
So, how do you want to FEEL this year?
Close your eyes and take 10 slow, deep breaths and visualise yourself looking how you want to look and doing what you want to be doing.
Start to notice, what does good really feel like? Give yourself a good few minutes just to see what words come up. Write down any words that spring to mind about how you feel in this place: Relaxed? Calm? Energised? Inspired? Peaceful? Creative?
Please don’t rush this – take as long as you need.
What can you do this year to help you FEEL more like this each day?
Now you have figured out how you want to feel each and every day, I want you to think about the things you need to take action on to help you feel this way. When you do these things (like go to the gym, say ‘no’ to dessert, etc), rather than thinking ‘I am doing this to lose weight because I have to fit into my bikini’, think ‘I am doing this because I want to feel energised, radiant and strong’.
That’s being motivated from a positive place and it’s powerful.
Make focusing on how you want to FEEL the goal this year – it changes everything.
This is an adapted extract from Feel Good for Life. For the full extended version and more help on setting goals which really can happen; if you want to feel good this year and have more energy than ever, grab a copy of Feel Good for Life today.
Love, Claire x
Claire Turnbull, BSc (Hons) Dietetics UK, NZ-registered nutritionist. Managing director of Mission Nutrition, and Healthy Food Guide nutritionist.