What Do You Want to Feel More of This Year?

It's that time of year again. An opportunity to consider what matters most to you as you chart your journey ahead. A time to reflect upon what kind of person you truly want to be as the year progresses. Your chance to choose what colors you want in your life.

As I always do each year, I've been identifying feeling words for myself--what do I want to feel more of this year? And what intentions do I need to establish that will help me feel those words more deeply and completely?

Why is this practice important?

Why Using Feelings as the Foundation for Your Goals Is Crucial

I've learned that when goals and intentions are being driven by feelings, as opposed to only thoughts and ideas, we are tapping into the part of the brain that works hard to make it all happen.

Here’s how:  the brain pathways for emotions make their way directly to the areas that generate attention (and vice versa).  In other words, the way we feel – and our choices to feel certain emotions – can powerfully direct our attention.  And where we direct our attention produces that outcome – our brains automatically begin developing a map (“motor maps/action plans”) for how to make that happen.  Attention is what brings to life our intentions.

So it's way more effective to identify what you want to feel first, and then outline specific steps you can take that will help you enjoy those feelings. Feel it. Do it. And then vice versa: Do it. Feel it. And it continues as a beautiful synchronistic dance of transformation and joy, bringing wonderful color to your life.

My Feeling Words and Intentions for 2016

So I'm going to be a bit vulnerable and courageous right now and share with you my feeling words for 2016 and my corresponding intentions. These are the words I have printed out, hanging right next to my desk where I see them every day. And significantly, sharing this with you is actually one of my intentions for one of my words. So I'm pushing myself here. You'll see. :) And I hope this gives you some ideas for how you can do this, too.


Expansive, abundant, no limits, global, unrestricted, unconstrained, unrestrained, boundless, infinite, East-West-North-South-height-depth


Deeply impactful, inspiring, empowering, expansive reach, global platform, emotionally and behaviorally moving, followers, huge tribe, significant, powerful, persuasive, effective


Authentic, honest, vulnerable, confident, courageous, intuitive, deep, fearless, not looking for approval from others, voluntary, initiating without always waiting to be invited, complete, not always worrying about how it will make others feel, compassionate but firm, being willing to push back when needed, inviting


Magic, miraculous, delight, awe, wonder, powerful, outside-the-expected/usual, mystical, intuitive, Spirit, deep thrilling, deep satisfaction, dynamic, evolving

I don't expect you to have the same visceral reactions to these words as I do when I read them. I probably wouldn't react to yours the same as you do, either. That's why this is so powerful. We are choosing words that really call out to us. We have this deep connection to them for some reason. We're being invited to step more fully into them. It's a very personal process and experience.

So take a list of feeling words and go through them. Here's the list I use. Which words seem to really move you? Which ones speak to you? Which ones, that if you truly felt them this year, would bring you deep joy and satisfaction and meaning?



  • I will expose myself to media that increase my inspiration and vision (like Wired magazine, CBS Sunday Morning, GPS, etc.). And I will do specific reflection on what I’m feeling and what I want to do about it (set specific intentions) after reading/watching.
  • I will hold my desk globe every day and repeat this feeling word and its companions multiple times, reminding myself that I have a global calling.
  • I will tap into my Futuristic strength more intentionally.
  • I will repeat my Essence statements daily.
  • I will not let any limiting beliefs constrain or restrict my vision of myself and what I am called to do. So I will repeat daily my Empowering Beliefs: “I am fully and completely loved and accepted; I am worthy, powerful, and capable of all abundance and success to the honor of God and the blessing of the world.”


  • I will daily affirm that my greatest influence comes from authenticity and vulnerability.
  • I will join the National Speakers Association and attend the national conference this year (July 23-26, Phoenix, AZ).
  • I will send out 3-5 ships every week regarding my speaking and coaching services.
  • I will regularly visualize a global reach for my work – picturing myself traveling to and working in specific urban settings around the world.
  • I will put more time and energy into writing my book and blogging more regularly.


  • I will practice speaking my truth more often (expressing my desires and dislikes – “knowing what I want and learning to ask for it”).
  • I will practice being more vulnerable about my insecurities in my writing and speaking.
  • I will initiate expressing myself without always waiting to be asked or invited.
  • I will not allow my Empathy to keep me from using my Communication when truth, intuition, and perspective need to be shared.
  • I will write more. I will put myself “out there” to get more speaking opportunities.


  • I will develop more conscious awareness of life around me, paying more attention to what I see, hear, feel – honoring the Sacred and Divine moments I encounter along the way.
  • I will be open to, ask for, and expect miracles (“God, help me to see my situations differently”).
  • I will tap into my experience and intuition before calling upon external authorities ("trust my knowing").
  • I will regularly challenge myself, “Go Deeper, Go Bigger.”
  • I will continually practice an attitude of gratitude (using my iPad app several times a week) to foster a spirit of deep satisfaction.

I won't lie, a part of me feels very vulnerable to put all this out here. I don't know how you will react or what you will think or if you will misunderstand and misinterpret my words and intentions.

And that's why one of my words is Expressive--I need to practice putting myself out there and not worrying about what others think about me. I simply need to learn how to speak my truth believing that there are those who will relate and resonate and that should be enough. That's why this process is so important to me.

These words are a huge part of my spiritual practice this year. It's a map of self growth I'm feeling called to journey through. It's a snapshot of the kind of man I want to become as God takes me on a journey of being a blessing in this world.

So what are your feeling words for this year? What do you want to feel more of and who do you want to be more of? And what are you going to do about it? Why not join me in painting your life canvas with some bright colors too.


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Looking for a Speaker or Coach?

If you or someone you know in your organization is looking for a keynote speaker or workshop teacher for events in your company, congregation, or association gatherings, I would be happy to come speak on this theme or others like it. And interested in coaching for how to be an effective culture architect in your groups? Feel free to email me at greg@gregorypnelson.com or look at the Speaking or Coaching pages of this site.

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