How Do You Want To Feel?


Do you make resolutions or goals for yourself each year?  I do.  Over the past few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about 2021 (I am sure I am not alone in this).  What is it that I want to accomplish, learn, or achieve in the next year?  The possibilities seem endless and, admittedly, a smidge daunting.

A family affair

My family does group goal setting each year towards the latter part of December.  We sit at our dining table and take turns identifying goals we each want to reach.  I spearhead the conversation and they mostly willingly participate in the discussion.  One of us keeps track of what everyone says and then we make a poster to hang listing our goals.  We look at the poster a couple times during the year to track how we are doing. 

Tangible goals

I had three goals for 2020, namely: (1) learn how to use our outdoor grill; (2) create another product to help those going through divorce; and (3) do more yoga.  Sadly, I did not reach goal #3 which troubles the perfectionist in me a great deal.  Covid disrupted my yoga classes and I just could not get into virtual yoga or videos.  As I pondered whether to keep goal #3 for a 2021 goal, I realized that I always choose tangible goals – an action or habit with an achievement at the end.  There is nothing wrong with this and yet, I think there could be more.

High-end goals and Collaborative Divorce

At the first session in a Collaborative Divorce, the professional team (ie. the lawyers involved) usually asks the divorcing spouses to identify their high-end goals.  We ask them to think globally rather than positionally.  For example, instead of a spouse stating that he or she wants $10,000/month in support for the next 10 years, he or she is encouraged to think what that statement or ask really means.  Is the meaning financial security, stability or feeling respected for contributions the spouse made to the family during the marriage?  High-end goals are not necessarily tangible but broader and often represent how a spouse wants to feel or where they emotionally or mentally want to be at the end of the divorce process.

Think expansively in 2021

I plan to make my goals for 2021 more “high-end.”  Yes, I will have a tangible goal or two, but I will also think expansively.  I want to feel brave and peaceful, more daring, and joyful.  I will say yes to experiences that promote bravery and peace.  I will say no to people and requests that deplete me.  This will not be perfect or stringent but a practice through the year.  What about you?  How do you want to feel in 2021?

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