The #1 Very Best Question You Can Ask If You Want to Feel GREAT about Your Life This Year

Copyright 2006 Cari Vollmer

Are you tired of starting the New Year with the same old goals as last year, goals that never seemed to manifest? As 2006 begins, take a new approach to goal-setting and ask the question that will have you feeling better about your life, than you ever have before. You’ll end your year on a HIGH NOTE and love the journey along the way. The question?

How do I wish to FEEL about my life this year?

I was working with a client who was ready to make BIG changes in his life. As he sat across the table from me, looking beaten-down and worn-out, I asked him what his goals were for the New Year. He couldn’t answer and I could tell, life had gotten the best of him.

Then I asked him, “How do you want to FEEL about your life this year?” He looked up at me and said, “I’ve never thought about how I want to feel about my life. I just do what I need to do and go from there.” As we sat together he became animated as he expressed his wish to “feel good”, “be happy”, “be at peace”, and “on track”. As he envisioned his life feeling “purposeful, happy, peaceful and on track”, he began feeling better. He got a sparkle in his eyes. He sat straighter. As if by magic, the life started pouring back into him when he realized honoring his desire to “feel good” was a smart strategy for creating a life that felt more like the person he wanted to be.

Honoring the way you wish to feel about your life naturally begs the question, “What can I do (what goals could I set or activities could I do) to bring about the emotional state I desire?”

For example, Mary wants to lose weight and sets a goal to do so. She begins working out, reducing her caloric intake and no doubt, depriving herself. How long does she stick with it?

Or, Mary could take another approach. She could reflect on her desire to lose weight and ask herself why this is so important to her. Her answer? She wants to FEEL GOOD about her body. She then sets a goal reflective of her desire to FEEL GOOD about her body and comes up with: I appreciate and honor the body I have.

Can you see the difference in each approach? The first approach certainly gets Mary to take action but does it really improve the relationship she has with her body? And, isn’t that what Mary really wants, to FEEL GOOD about her body?

Mary’s goal to “appreciate and honor her body” is a truer reflection of the emotional state she’s looking for in regards to her body. She’s tired of feeling “bad” and she wants to feel GOOD. Losing weight was what she thought she needed to do to feel better but upon closer examination she realized what she really wants is to feel better about her body NOW, regardless of whether or not she loses weight.

The next step for Mary is to ask herself what she can do to honor and appreciate her body. For Mary this may include eating less, walking outside, and getting more rest. Not only would doing these things help Mary fulfill her commitment to honor and appreciate her body, she’d probably lose weight too!

What about you? How do you want to feel about YOUR life?

Our feelings, or emotions, are a very accurate and built in barometer of whether or not we’re living our life in sync with our inner most self; the part of our SELF that isn’t as concerned with what we do for doing’s sake as it is in fulfilling our deeper life purpose.

If you live life without honoring your feelings, chances are you’re not living the life God (The Universe, Higher Power) intends for you to live.

What can you do to become more aware of your feelings?

* Understanding the common misconceptions and obstacles many face when it comes to honoring their feelings, is a good place to start.

* Feelings are seen as weak, where “doing” is strong. We are a society of doers. “Doing” is still highly respected in our society and for some reason we think “doing and feeling” can’t work together. But consider the success secrets of the super-successful like Warren Buffet and Michael Jordan. They have said “trusting their gut” (their feelings about something) has lead to very wise business decisions, much more so than analysis. Oprah Winfrey has said many times if she feels “doubt”, she doesn’t act. To her, “doubt means don’t.

* Fear of appearing “emotional” or “flaky”. The act of examining and honoring your feelings doesn’t have to look or be dramatic. Rather, it can be a personal act no one is privy to.

* Thinking of ME first is selfish. Were you raised to “be nice”? For many of us “being nice” meant “giving in” to the wishes of others. Honoring your feelings first, is not a selfish act. In fact, it’s the first step in taking care of yourself.

* Feelings are scary. Yes, this can be true. But remember your feelings are very wise, even the not-so-good ones. If you’re feeling angry, jealous, resentful, or unhappy, there are reasons why. If you need help exploring your feelings, talk to a friend, coach or someone gifted in helping people sort through their feelings, like a therapist. Every feeling has a message for you – every one.

How do you read your feelings?

Every time you’re faced with a decision, your feelings (or emotions) kick into gear. The next decision (the bigger the better) you have to make, try this:

* Stop and Notice. Stop for a moment and tune into the sensations you feel in your body.

* Feel. As you pay attention to your body sensations, has your breathing become shallow or are you breathing easily? Do you feel a tightening in your shoulders, neck and jaw, or do you feel relaxed? Do you feel a tightening in your chest, or does your chest feel relaxed and open?

* Ask and Name. Now ask, “What is this sensation (ex: what is my tight solar plexus) trying to tell me?” Then name the feeling. Is your tight solar plexus telling you that you’re nervous, scared, or afraid? Does the fear you feel tell you to say, “NO”, or is it a normal reaction to stretching your comfort zone? Does the relaxation you feel in your body tell you you’re on the right track? Or is it simply an expression of the boredom you feel that moment?

* Don’t judge. Don’t judge your feelings as “good or bad”. They are what they are. Every feeling you have has something to tell you. Every one.

What will you gain from honoring your feelings?

Think of your feelings as an ON/OFF switch. When you’re turned OFF to your feelings, your life will feel dimmer, perhaps even dark. When you’re turned ON to your feelings, your life will sparkle. In other words, your LIGHT will be on!

Enjoy and FEEL your life this year. Don’t let your feelings play second fiddle to other things in your life. Your feelings do matter. They are important. And they are very wise. Trust and follow your feelings and you’ll end 2006 FEELING GREAT!

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