How to Set Goals with Soul

We look to Danielle LaPorte’s ‘Desire Map’ for setting New Year goals that we truly desire


Danielle LaPorte flips intention-setting on it’s head. According to LaPorte, we think about the process around achievement upside down. Typically we come up with our to-do lists, our bucket lists, and our strategic plans — all the stuff we want to have, get, accomplish, and experience outside of ourselves. But what is often missed in this thinking is that all of those aspirations are being driven by an innate desire to feel a certain way.

The Desire Map’, created by LaPorte, seeks to identify how we want to feel instead of what we want to achieve. The premise is that we’re actually chasing a feeling—not an accomplishment.

‘Go after your intentions in ways that reflect your core desired feelings — Soul-affirming, not Soul-sucking. Constant racing for success creates habitual and unconscious goal-setting. We need to re-learn how to move toward our dreams — with the grace of trust, the grit of devotion, and the thrill of true presence.’

Considering this, what if, first, we got clear on how we actually wanted to feel in our life, and then we laid out our intentions for the year ahead? What if your most desired feelings consciously informed how you plan your day, your year, your career, your holidays — even your life?

The example that LaPorte offers is that instead of ‘The goal of “Make X dollars on X project’ shift to: ‘Get the message out to as many people as possible. Create liberation.’

From ‘Launch project Y by Spring” to: “Make project Y incredibly beautiful.’

‘No dates. No numbers. No status,’ says LaPorte. ‘And I took my three career intentions for the year and put them below the three intentions I have for my heart-Soul-relationships. My shoulders dropped. My over-heated brain felt spritzed. I felt so much softer. I felt my trust in life.’

‘Trust is crucial to creating goals with Soul. Without numbers and targets to hold on to, you’ll only have your heart’s satisfaction to steer by — which is the whole effing gorgeous point, of course.’