How to know when to revise your Core Desired Feelings

Photo by Marlon Maya on Unsplash

If it feels right, now is the time!

You: Really? I can revise my core desired feelings.
 Me: Yes you can! Change your core desired feelings if you want to.

During workshops, I encourage the women who attend to create a visual reminder of their core desired feelings. But this does not mean that they are permanently etched in stone. Or tattooed on their body.

I first determined my core desired feelings, or CDFs, in March of 2015. Today, only two of my original five CDFs have remained the same. And that is perfectly okay.

My original CDFs were aligned, bliss, curious, hygge, and peaceful. In case you are wondering, hygge (pronounced HUE-ga) is a Danish word. Hygge is a concept that combines cozy, harmony, simple pleasures, and a lack of stress and annoyances.

After living with my original CDF’s, I revised them about six months later. I added creative and free and removed peaceful. I decided that the word hygge incorporated peaceful for me. In 2017, I also removed bliss for the same reason. I replaced aligned with connection. I also added the “wellthy”, which I will talk about more below.

Based on my experience, here are four tips on how and when to revise your Core Desired Feelings.

Review your Core Desired Feelings with the change of seasons and year

hygge is one of my core desired feelings
Photo by Pavan Trikutam on Unsplash

At a minimum, I review my core desired feelings every year in December. This is also when I set my intentions for the year. I also tend to assess them with the change of each season. Each season I create a focus list.

Sometimes during the seasonal review, I revise or change some of my core desired feelings. More often, I choose to place more of an emphasis on certain feelings during a season. For example, I almost always place less emphasis on hygge during the summer season. If I decide I may want to change a feeling again, I wait until the next season.

Revise if you catch a case of shiny object syndrome

There are so many wonderful feelings out there. It is very easy to hear a feeling word and get tempted to add it to your core desired feelings.

Guilty as charged! I did this after I read the book Wellth: How I Learned to Build a Life, not a Résumé. The concept of “wellth” versus wealth spoke to me. Jason Wachob, the author, defines wellth as “a life exemplified by abundance, happiness, purpose, health, and joy.”

I loved the word so much that I also set an intention for the year of having a year of abundant wellth. Yes, this is overkill. For next year, I will no longer keep wellth as a core desired feeling, but I predict that the term will remain with me as an intention.

Sometimes less is more

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Danielle LaPorte recommends choosing three to five core desired feelings. Even though I am a minimalist in many areas of my life, I found it difficult to have any less than five feelings. It was so hard to narrow it down. Right now, I have six. For most of the three years, that’s been fine with me.

Recently, I have changed my mind. (Did I mention that free is one of my core desired feelings?)

After a conversation with fellow Desire Map facilitators, I decided that I want to purge down my core desired feelings for next year. This does not mean that I no longer want to feel the purged feeling. Instead, the decrease will allow me to focus more of my energy on feeling a smaller number of feelings.

Sometimes more words are better

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

No, I am not contradicting myself. A word may need to be modified in some way to describe your feeling more accurately. While I plan to reduce the number of core desired feelings, I plan to add adjectives to better describe some of my core desired feelings.

For example, connection is one of my core desired feelings. As I was working one on one with a client, she chose “soulful connection” as her core desired feeling. This got me to thinking. For 2018, I’m going to change connection to deep connection. I know this isn’t a huge difference, but it feels right to me.


Have you ever changed any of your core desired feelings? Are you now thinking that your core desired feelings may need revising?

Kelsey Cleveland is Desire Map facilitator who helps women in transition figure out how to set goals based on how they really want to feel. She is also a freelance writer who writes articles, essays and blog posts. View her portfolio to see more of her writing.

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An earlier version of this article was originally published at Kelsey Cleveland LLC.