Is This Simple Question the Secret to Making Better Decisions?

Is This Simple Question the Secret to Making Better Decisions?

Jessica Estrada
Sep 13, 2016
(Image credit: Who is Danny/Shutterstock)

Have you ever reached a big goal only to feel unsatisfied and not at all how you thought you'd feel once you achieved it? We've all been there. Turns out, the problem is we've been setting goals and making decisions totally backwards.

I read Danielle LaPorte's book "The Desire Map" last summer and it completely rocked my world. Her method for goal-setting and decision-making is simple, yet brilliant. It can be summed up with one simple question:

How do I want to feel?

Asking yourself this one question allows you to really get clear on the most important part of big decisions—how you want to feel after you've made the call—and that sort of personal clarity is key to making more empowered, and more satisfying, choices.

You can apply it to literally anything in life. For example, how do you want to feel at work? How do you want to feel when you enter your home? How do you want to feel in your relationships? Once you get clear on how you want to feel in every area of your life, now you can set goals and make decisions that will actually satisfy your soul.

Mapping Intentions for Both Big and Small Decisions

Although LaPorte's method works wonders with making big life decisions and setting life-changing goals, it can also be used for the little things in life, too, such as redecorating a room in your home. When I began the process of redecorating my bedroom a few months ago, I felt overwhelmed with choices and had no idea what look and feel I wanted for the space. My indecision provided the perfect opportunity to try out LaPorte's magical method, and let me tell you, it worked like a charm.

Instead of turning to Pinterest, I started my decorating journey by busting out a journal and free-writing—not about how I wanted my room to look, but rather how I wanted to feel when I was in it. After a good 10 minutes of just writing, I read through what I wrote and narrowed down the overall vibe I wanted: light and calming with a touch of glam.

From there, the rest was easy. I rounded up dreamy images that best captured the vibe and aesthetic of those three words from my journaling exercise. Then I used my words—or, as LaPorte likes to call them, intentions—again as a qualifying decision-making tool while I was shopping. Are these curtains going to make me feel light? Are these fuzzy throw pillows going to make me feel calm? Is this sparkly lamp going to make me feel glam?

I'll admit it sounds silly, but it works. Shopping with feelings-based intentions in mind stops you from buying things that aren't aligned with your biggest goal for your space: The vibe you want to channel when you're in it.

So the next time you find yourself with a decision to make—big or small—ask yourself: How do I want to feel?

Have you ever used a process like this to make big choices?

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