by Ashley Logsdon

Desire-Driven Direction (Episode 285)

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We're about halfway through January, and of course the biggie on people's minds are all those goals and resolutions...and the obligation, dread and pressure that often roll with that. 

Goal-setting can be overwhelming, horrible, or...what fuels you forward. In the episode below, Nathan and I share about how we approach goals in a very different way - not writing out my list with specific details, but focusing on the feelings behind them. 

Goals are guideposts that move you forward, and do best when you allow grace for growth.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, TuneIn, YouTube, iHeartRadio or your RSS Feed

A different Approach to Goal-Setting

When it comes to setting goals, there are so many approaches to it. Where some people plot it all out with checkpoints and exactly how much money they might make or books they will read, others might take a little different approach - 

Yep, for some people, they are more inclined to live by John O'Donahue's quote, 

"I love to flow like the river flows;

carried by the surprise of its own unfolding."

Nathan is definitely more wired to let life come to him as it flows, and embracing the moments. For me, I have a tendency to want to plan and plot out every path. What I've learned, however, is that being too prepared can box me in to a plan that may not remain a fit as I'm moving forward. 

Our goals are ultimately there, not to be the looming punishment, but to move us toward the feelings we want to achieve in life. Ultimately, is it really about the goal, or the feeling you experience with it?

When we went on our ten year anniversary trip, we got sucked in to the book I was reading - the Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. And in this book, she talks about getting to the true root of the desires and emotions behind the goals we set. 

For us, that is way, way more important. 

You want a goal of a six figure income. What will that do for you? What does that really look and feel like in your life?

You want a goal of losing weight - Why? Because it's nicer to see a lower weight on the scale? For your health? How will you feel if you lost weight - would you be healthier? Would your self-confidence shift? What is deeper than the weight loss?

Be sure you integrate both head and heart

Get the hippie and banker together. Get them to talk to the little kid in your mind and let them know what's going on. If this is truly confusing, listen to the episode above! 

What I mean by this is that you have to address all parts of this - it's not just about logically laying something out on paper and adopting it as your goal. It's integrating the mind/body/soul approach. What is the deepest "why" behind the desire? What is the feeling you hope to step into? What will this open up for you?

Recognize your fears and hesitations and determine what is procrastination due to perfectionism or avoidance of struggle. Pay attention to your "wanter" and if the desires are truly logical. In our 48 Days Eagles community, one of our fabulous members, Roxanne, created an acronym for goals that spells out Eagle that I absolutely love:

E - Does the Goal give you Energy?

A - Are you in a place to take Action?

G - Is there opportunity for Growth?

L - Are you ready to Live it?

E - Do you have Encouragement from others?

When it comes to goals - and to sales - it's not just about the end accomplishment. It's building relationships and moving forward. Nathan shared about the bottom line goal...will you show up and still be a support if/when things get hard? Are you willing to go into relationships vs. just looking at the goal on the surface? 

In sales, relationship-building is key. Trust and rapport are so critical as the first step, and shifting perspectives on selling to be about relationship-building is a different strategy to reach a goal. Nathan might have made real-estate commissions as part of his work, yet when he would share the news with me, he would tell me, "I helped this family buy their home today!" While the goal wasn't the money, the deeper goal of connection through serving another well and showing up fully resulted in not only fostering a friendship - it also positively impacted our bank account. 

Breaking it down to the steps to reach your Desire

We have an exercise we do with our children to help them better understand a growth mindset. We lay out something they have accomplished or achieved in their life, and then break it down to all the little steps they had to learn and do before they could make that happen. The more you see that things are a process of taking those little steps forward, the more you can identify how to really reach those bigger goals by breaking them down into something manageable. 

And, when you start to break it down to the basic steps, 

with each step forward you gain grace for growth in your goals.

Yes, grace for growth. This is a critical component. Are you willing to course-correct? Are you willing to allow grace for the fact that you might gain new insights, and what you thought you wanted may change?

Remember Your Family Vision

Yes we do! Please click through and fill out the survey- you'll get access to Juliette's 12-min guided meditation on gratitude as our thanks to you! 

A family vision is a way for each person to be able to share their dreams and desires for what "home" looks and feels like to them, and then to use that as a framework to create a common ground where the family can move forward as a team with a clear vision versus everyone in their own lane. 

When we started with a family vision, we all got on the same page with our desires - what we all wanted in our lives in order to thrive. This helped us create a common theme that opened the door to what goals we wanted to create. Explore, respect, listen, connect, learn & love. Yes, that is our family vision in its entirety. It doesn't have to be complicated. It's to focus in on the theme of what emotions and goals we want to do to better connect - with ourselves and others. And then, instead of specific goal checkpoints, we focused in on a theme for each year. 

Our Words for the Year

So, for us, instead of specifically writing out all of our goals for the year, we started looking at what words could become a theme for intentionality in our year. Here are some examples (and links to dig deeper) with words we've themed our years around - 

  • Letting go of "one day" - (2015) - The constant theme of "it'll always remain 'one day' until you put a date on it" became a year of making things happen, not putting it off, and getting really intentional about what was truly a dream of ours we wanted to make a reality. 
  • The year of awe - (2016)- wow, was this a year to really focus in on the feelings behind the goals. The feeling we wanted to embrace - with so many goals - was an emotion of awe and curiosity, of being present and appreciating what was. 
  • Getting our FOCUS - (2017) - I really pursued clarity on what I was offering and coaching on this year, creating acronyms to keep me on track, and we had many conversations around where our focus was and what was serving us well, and where we might better direct our attentions. 
  • The year of "and" - (2018) - this definitely became a theme that has stuck, as it's rare we see either/or solutions in life. Our year of "and" opened up a ton of doors, and definitely pushed us outside the box of what we thought was possible.
  • Unhurried Spaciousness - (2019) - looking back, how incredible that we focused on the themes we did, as each built on and better prepared us for the years to come. As we slowed down this year after some of our whirlwind travels, we were able to open the door to new opportunities, and experience some incredible things just by slowing our pace enough to make time to support others.
  • 5 Senses to Break the Cycle of a Negative Mindset - (2020) - how fitting for us to have focused on our most basic senses as the way to walk through a year of complete upheaval and uncertainty, and people actually losing their senses of taste and smell...we set the direction at the beginning of the year to truly focus on and find gratitude in all the senses - and yes, we don't take taste and smell for granted at all, and are truly grateful we were able to engage all  of the senses to keep us steady through the storms. 
  • Nurture what is growing - (2021) - last year, we chose the word nurture, as we were looking at our new house purchase in Venice, Florida, and what we might create and foster there. We purchased a house in Florida because we were tired of the "campground shuffle" every winter when we'd come here in our RV. Yet, ironically, once we'd done that, a new door of opportunity opened with volunteering in the Florida Keys at the State Parks down there. We nurtured a different spark, and built beautiful relationships with rangers, volunteers and more down in the Keys. While our focus shifted, we implemented our word in a different way, and have nurtured an experience in the Keys that is so wonderful we committed to a full six months of volunteering there again this winter. 
  • And again, Nurture (2022) - The word "nurture" was there all along, yet we didn't know what all would show up for us to nurture that year! While we thought we'd nurture Clara's love of herping here in Venice, we jumped at the opportunity to work in the Keys, and we nurtured a deep education not only on snakes (yes, she added to her snakes for a total of five and has plans for breeding), but also working with the bird rescue in Marathon, tracking, rescuing and learning all about sea turtles, learning about Keys life and the ocean world, steps toward SCUBA certification, and many relationships down in the Keys meeting people of all walks of life and differing perspectives, and nurturing growth and support in relationships. When I asked Nathan what the word meant to him on this podcast episode above, he said, "nurture means all those little spaces in us that we've forgotten about that need our attention. Now is a time to dig and sit with those and see what comes out of it. It's amazing when you give something that might have been neglected/forgotten about a little attention and to see what truly blossoms."

Our word for 2023

So...our word for 2023? This one took us a while! We've had company and not a lot of time for us to sit and discuss together. So this past weekend we finally took the time to sit together as a family and go through ideas. 

We had many we pondered. You all weighed in with your own amazing words of the year all over social media where I asked. And finally the word came to us. Not a phrase this year, just one clear word. 


As our children have pointed out repeatedly, this is both literally and figuratively. We've decided to start driving again. To take off on another RV adventure across the country. As I'm typing this our oldest is plotting out destinations on a map she has taped to our fridge for our cross-country travels. She's very driven and excited with what we want to explore, so she covers both right here!

And our middle has been deep into ideas for a further off dream we have as a family of a campground/retreat center we create together. We've got an ideas scrapbook started already, and we've all been driven to brainstorm and create together - new ideas as well as exploring where we might want to create this.  

What It Opens Up

So drive is our word of the year. We've had a few years of nurturing what we want to create, while feeling a bit uncertain on our next path. When we finally agreed on this as our word, within 24 hours of making a decision, one thing after another started falling into place. 

We secured a tenant in our Nashville house. We saw a renewed energy and excitement in our children (as well as felt it ourselves). We got some interest on renting our house here in Venice while we're gone. And each of these are more confirmation of the path we're choosing. 

Is this the only way? The "right" way? I don't believe it's about making the perfect decision. It's about finding a sense of desire-driven direction that keeps moving us forward. And drive is doing just that. I'm eager to see what all this year brings down our path as we move forward. 

Your Weekly Challenge:

What is your focus this year? What do you want to accomplish? Can you truly identify the feelings behind the goals and desires you have? 

Have you explored what the point of money is in your life? Of your work? your relationships? 

Are you setting goals that allow grace for growth, so you aren't doggedly sticking to something that no longer aligns with the new insights you've gained?

Remember the point of goals. It's not to bog you down; it's to move you forward. A goal is to fuel you forward to the next step of growth. And with every step forward, you have the opportunity to assess those goals and your intentions, and if they continue to align with the growth you have along the way. Give yourself grace for growth, and keep your goals and intentions as support to move you forward; not lock you down. Nurture the roots you want to establish that bring forth your best fruit, and celebrate along the way how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.

Nathan and Ashley Logsdon

Questions or comments?

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About the author, Ashley Logsdon


Ashley Logsdon is a Family and Personality Styles Coach and Lifelong Learner. She and her husband Nathan are RVing the States and unschooling their 3 girls. Her mission is to shift the mindsets of families from reaction to intention, and guide them in creating the family they love coming home to. Looking deeper than the surface, we assess the strengths, triggers, and simplifying your lifestyle so you truly recognize how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.

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