It’s the end of January and the first month of the year is almost gone. I host a monthly meeting and have been reflecting about our discussion on effective goal setting. With a faint lingering hangover of New Year’s Resolutions and the sad fact that 97% are abandoned by January 24th; we were confronting the sober reality of wanting to have meaningful goals which would be sustainable and attainable. How to do that successfully was high on everyone’s list of expectations.

In our cars, or on our phones, most of us have a GPS which we use to get to places that are new and unfamiliar – outside our comfort zone.  We plug in our destination and the GPS spits out road maps and ‘hopefully’ proper directions to have us arrive at our destination.  I am sympathetic to the fact that all of us have arrived somewhere expecting a different outcome – cursing the GPS gone awry.  Majority of the time however, in computer monotone (we’ve named ours Maggie Magellan); it effectively guides us turn by turn to the place we want to be.

Well, goal setting is much like that when it works well.  Turn by turn we eventually arrive at our destination.  Unfortunately, for the 97% who give up by January 24th they don’t realize their goals. So, what’s keeping them from arriving at the terminal of their desire?  Perhaps, it is just that there’s an overlooked an important ingredient for the recipe.  Perhaps they’ve not added the secret ingredient of desire to keep their feet to the fire.

Desire is a teacher: When we immerse ourselves in it without guilt, shame or clinging, it can show us something special about our own minds that allow us to embrace life fully.

                                                  Mark Epstein, Open to Desire

Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map     has been a great source of inspiration for me this resolution/goal setting season.  Danielle reasons: “Something phenomenal happens when you start to examine your desires.”  I so agree.

I believe that the blueprint for goals and resolutions is how we feel in our body and heart AND that our joy is the architectural rendering. That said when building our ‘structure’ for successful resolutions and goals there must be the following elements:

The foundation is framed by asking ‘what do I really want more of in my life’?

The roof of our ‘desired 2013 structure’ comes from examining carefully ‘if I were to take 5% more action on this goal/area of my life, what would that look like?

The outside walls of our desired 2013 goal oriented space is the built from the material of, ‘what one thing can I do routinely?

The inner design of this sacred space is crafted by answering, ‘how can I make these actions come together in specific and measurable steps?’ Or what can I do to track my successes.

The landscaping around this inspirational building then is grown, nurtured and shaped by ‘how will I be accountable and to whom’.

These are the design elements for our ‘desired’ experience in 2013.  And now I wish you action, action, action and remember to check in with your feelings and heart to assure you stay on track.