What would happen if you let your heart lead the way this year? If you do what you really want to do?
This time of year I always have this excited buzzing feeling thinking about my goals and dreams for the coming year. While I’m a firm believer we never have to wait for a new year to change things up, the official new year does give us a good opportunity to reflect on the past year, look forward to the next, and create space for whatever you want more of in your life.
Setting goals and resolutions can be a really powerful way to get clear on what you want to accomplish at any given time, and it’s something I do every year (and throughout the year). But in the first half of 2017, I noticed despite achieving several of my goals, something still felt misaligned. I was rarely feeling a true sense of joy -- the kind that comes peacefully and quietly and tends to stay for a while. For me it was really fleeting! I also became emotionally drained, and by mid-summer, I felt stuck throughout most of my life.
After a lot of reflection, here’s what I realized:
When I was setting goals for 2017, I was letting my mind do the talking. I was planning my year according to what I thought would be best for me while totally ignoring what I really, truly wanted deep down (my heart).
For example: One of my goals was to start my own business. I did that, and I’m so thrilled I did! But pretty soon into the venture, I realized I was doing things I “needed” to be doing or “should” be doing. I was letting my brain take the reigns vs. letting my heart lead the way, and it left me feeling totally out of whack both in my business and throughout my personal life.
Sometimes (or maybe often) our minds may think they know what’s best for us, and I do believe there are times when using our rational brains is necessary. But I’m talking about when our brains lead us in a direction according to the “shoulds”, “have tos”, “need tos”, etc.
I need to work like crazy at my job so I can get a promotion this year.
I have to find a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife this year.
I should work out every day so I can lose weight.
If you find yourself thinking these sort of thoughts, try asking yourself these questions:
- Why? Why do you need to get a promotion this year? What do you really want?
- What if you let your heart lead the way?
Of course we need our brains to tap into this, but the point here is to lean into your heart a little more. I think this is our inner compass that rarely leads us astray.
After recognizing I could afford to let my heart do some talking in 2017, for the second half of the year I set the intention to experience more joy and ease throughout my life. I didn’t know how I’d do this or what it would look like, but I knew deep down it’s how I wanted to feel.
So every single day I set that intention-- to feel more joy and ease no matter what came my way. Letting those feelings lead the way guided me to a place I don’t think I’d otherwise end up, and it all started with letting my heart do the talking. I took up tennis again, I re-evaluated what could stay and go in my business, and I pared down on my belongings... and more! Then, joy and ease naturally followed.
Our minds can only take us so far, but leaning into our heart can lead us to unexpected, amazing, magical places. I think doing this may actually be as important or even more important than setting hard goals.
Letting your heart lead the way takes courage (that's for sure), but it has the potential to be one of the most fulfilling things you do this year!
What’s your heart saying?