How to Navigate New Year's Overwhelm
The short answer I invite you to consider: instead of creating an arbitrary set of goals that feel overwhelming, tune into how *you* want to feel instead. With support, set up the conditions to feel that way most of the time in the New Year. Cool... and... how?
First, we have to realize that we've been setting goals in the reverse order since forever. That's part of why sometimes we don't feel the way we thought we'd do after achieving certain milestones. Ultimately, they didn't lead to the feeling we unconsciously hoped for. For example, when our goal is marriage, the feeling we might actually want is feeling loved and loving. Promotion? Feeling appreciated. 'Healthy'? Feeling well and in control. Having more friends? Feeling connected. More money? Feeling secure. Graduating? Feeling accomplished. More sex? Feeling desire and desired. Try it out: pick a goal people tend to go for and think of the feeling that might be truly desired behind it.
Second, we make the unconscious conscious and invest a bit of time figuring out how we actually want to feel. When deciding how to transition into the New Year, I invite you to decide on the Feeling Goal to aim for after answering the questions below.
Why? Based on what I've learned about trauma-informed goal-setting, overriding your body's cues of overwhelm and forcing yourself to come up with arbitrary goals is not sustainable in the long-term. Because you're the expert in your own life, I believe in the power of your own answers to create inner and outer change. And. I believe that life changes when you connect with your inner knowing and start to realize the power of your own answers, too.
Here's the 5 part Feeling Goal Process I invite you to try out:
Identify or guess your Feeling Goal
Imagine what's possible when feeling this way
Pick an area of your life to focus on
Notice what already helps you achieve your Feeling Goal
Create a mini-plan to connect back to this feeling when navigating overwhelm
*Bonus: Consider what changes in your life when you gift yourself a few minutes to complete this thought experiment
Part 1: Identify or guess your Feeling Goal
To get started, *guess* what could be making you experience overwhelm about the New Year? Notice which area of your life seems most pressing: relationships, career, or health, for example.
Instead of that overwhelm, how would you like to feel most of the time throughout the New Year? That's your Feeling Goal.
Part 2: Imagine what's possible when feeling this way
When you think about that feeling, what does it look like? What does it sound like? How would you describe it? Play with tuning in with your body's sensations. Over time, that will become more available as you practice interoception.
Part 3: Pick an area of your life to focus on
When you think back to feeling overwhelmed, what life area seems most pressing?
Why is experiencing your Feeling Goal in this area most of the time important to you?
Part 4: Notice what already helps you achieve your Feeling Goal
Start by identifying/guessing one thought, one behaviour, one person, one place, and one experience that already helps you feel this way. List these 5 clues.
How might you set yourself to up to access this thought, behaviour, person, place, and/or experience often?
Part 5: Create a mini-plan to connect back to this feeling when navigating overwhelm
How might you practice loving kindness when your Feeling Goal seems out of reach?
How might practicing your Feeling Goal in small doses now help you feel this way most of the time in the future?
If you're looking for a free tool that can deepen this process, check out YearCompass After going through my own process and identifying my Feeling Goal of ease, I started working on my YearCompass. It's been neat to explore just how much is possible in the New Year after so much happened this year. That one does take hours to complete though. So, 10/10 invite you to get extra comfy!
For 1 on 1 coaching support on setting up the conditions of your life to live into your Feeling Goal more and more of the time, book a Discovery Call with me today.