Desire Map: CDF Update

Desire Map: CDF Update

Following up from my review of Danielle Laporte’s book ‘The Desire Map’, I thought I’d write a bit about how I’m using it daily, the after effects I’ve experienced and how finding my CDFs has really made an impact.


I have set up Pinterest boards of inspirational and aspirational images to remind me what I’m trying to feel for each of my CDFs.

In my bullet journal, as my cover page for the month I’ve set some goals based on my CDFs. They’re not time-bound or really measurable/achievable things I can tick off as ‘done and dusted’, and they’re not even something that will only take me though the month – they’re more big-picture mindsets to remind me of what’s important to me and guide me daily towards living the life I want.

My CDF-based goals are:

I want a clean, airy, bright, simple, tidy and natural home
I want to treat myself well and without judgement and guilt
I want to let my hair down and have fun without guilt
I want to feel joy for creating again
I want a job that lights me up and pays me well
I want my body to feel lithe and healthy

I’ve adjusted my trackers and integrated them with my dailies. The things I want to track have evolved from cultivating self-awareness to forming habits that support the changes I want to make.
I have a coloured bar across the top of each day that represents if I had a good day or not, and then 7 little symbols underneath representing daily dos that I put a star above if I’ve done it:
Bed before midnight, take my vitamins, do yoga, self-care, tidy up, DM & water my plants.
In the star above DM I initial which of my CDFs I feel I’ve supported that day: F/C/S/M

Fresh has changed my environment and diet

  • Everything is white and my life smells of oranges which makes me deliriously happy.
  • I really struggled taking my vitamins but am so much better at taking them now and staying hydrated, which makes me feel much cleaner, more energetic and more alert, and I’m currently trying to wrangle my bedtimes which have got totally out of control. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m definitely better than I was.
  • I have got rid of even more stuff as I am embracing minimalism even more.
  • I’ve started project 333 (although currently it’s more like project 463) and don’t feel like I’m just wearing an old potato sack and mismatched socks every day which is doing wonders for my self-esteem.
  • I take time to have a skincare routine for the first time ever which is also helping my self-esteem because who doesn’t love a little bit of pampering?
  • I have become much tidier and more on top of chores, and change my sheets often because I love the feeling of fresh clean sheets and knowing that I don’t have a stack of paperwork and ‘stuff’ building up.
  • No matter how cold it is I throw my windows open for a bit and get outside more often.
  • I revel in scents I love, using orange essential oil around my home and wearing perfume daily rather than saving it for best.
  • I eat far more healthily – eating whole foods and more veggies has become exponentially easier – cutting down cheese has always been a huge struggle and I just realised that since finding my CDFs, I’ve only had cheese maybe once a week instead of at least once a day! Which is great because it means I’m moving closer to a plant-based diet, which makes me happy. None of these changes has taken much effort – considering these are things I have been battling with most of my life, they’re pretty effortless lately, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

Contented has changed my mindset

  • I’m much kinder to myself and as a result I’m more patient and forgiving with others.
  • I have started yoga again and love getting my stretch on before bedtime because yoga makes me really relaxed and sleepy.
  • I had a terrible habit of stacking things on the side of the bed I don’t use – like my bag, pillows I don’t want and my laptop, and I’ve got much better at getting those put way so I can properly stretch out catlike in bed and luxuriate in those clean sheets!.
  • I always felt like I was in a rush to do things and showering was something that had to be done quickly and efficiently even though I used to love baths when I was younger. Now I make sure that once a week I have a good long soak in the tub with candles, essential oils and netflix, and slather myself with yummy smelling body lotion afterwards.
  • I generally take better care of myself physically – for some reason whenever I’m in a relationship, self-care kind of slides off my list of priorities – I start cutting corners like taking showers instead of baths, not using conditioner, not using body lotion and I stopped wearing perfume and scented creams because my boyfriend doesn’t like scented anything – but I really do, and how things smell is really important to me (I know, I’m wierd) so he can get used to it or learn to hold his breath. I also largely stopped wearing makeup because he kept telling me I didn’t need it (what a sweet man and what a lovely thing to hear!) but I actually really like the ritual of putting my face on and not looking in the mirror and thinking ‘god I look tired’, so I’ve started wearing makeup again.
  • I used to feel guilty for creating for the fun of it or reading or writing in my blog or my bullet journal because I always felt like I should be doing something more productive – I’m much more relaxed in general now, and doing these things is important to me so I do them. I recognise that these little things may seem silly, but they are actually really important to my general level of happiness and self-esteem.

Switched on is making me more engaged.

  • I’ve started reading again
  • I’ve picked up my guitar again for the first time in about 4 years.
  • I’m getting involved with design live streams on Behance and connecting with other creatives (which I have avoided doing for over a year, because I wanted a complete break from the industry).
  • I’m indulging my curiosity and learning  about psychology and lots of random things because it’s ok to question everything and learn stuff – it’s not wasting time if learning stuff means you feel more like you. Doing little things every day, or even every week that make me use my noggin is working wonders.


I matter is making me a priority in my own life

(I don’t have a pinterest board for this one, because it’s a little too hard to articulate with images)

  • I always put other people first, but I’m making sure my needs and wants are met, and I’m not letting them slide in favour of someone elses.
  • I’m speaking up because I have as much right to be heard as anyone else, and my opinions are just as valid as someone who is older/senior.
  • If I promise myself an early night because I really need it, I keep that promise – even when it means saying no to other people
  • I put my health before my social and work engagements. If I need to see a doctor/chiropractor I make sure I go and see one, and don’t put it off, because I no longer believe that everyone elses needs and wants is more important than my health.
  • If I want to do something like yoga, and I’m at my boyfriends’ house – there is no reason why I have to skip it just because he’s doing something else and I feel I should keep him company. It’s ok to be in the same place and each do your own thing. In fact, I think it’s healthy to not be joined at the hip.
  • My body deserves to be looked after, so I eat well and make sure I’m hydrated pampered, groomed and exercised
  • I no longer feel bad about bailing on things or people if I feel I need to look after myself
  • I call in sick when I feel unwell rather than gritting my teeth and soldiering on, spreading my germs to others and taking longer to heal than necessary
  • I say no to things I don’t want to do
  • I know it is perfectly acceptable to do the things that make me feel like I’m a worthwhile human being, I deserve to feel good in my own skin and I no longer feel guilty for taking time to do the things that make me happy.

It’s easy for the daily deluge of ‘shoulds’ and guilt trips and other people’s issues to drown out your wants and needs. Before, I was incredibly hard on myself – when someone asked me if I would talk to a friend the way I talked to myself I told them ‘don’t be ridiculous – of course not!’  so that made me look at being kinder to myself. Before, my goals were like to-do lists of big scary achievements, and I’d usually get most of them done and while I would end the year feeling like I’d achieved some great things, I never felt satisfied or particularly happy about it. It was difficult and demanding, and my goals would stare accusingly at me every day from the wall I’d hung them on as if to say ‘why haven’t you done me yet? God you’re so lazy!

If I’m not happy and healthy, inspired and energised then I am not in a good place to do anything for anyone else – I’m frequently ill, always tired, generally unproductive, creatively blocked, lethargic, antisocial, and unwilling to be open minded or open hearted.

Sometimes it takes someone else to remind you that the things you really want in your life are not difficult or unreasonable demands, and respecting yourself enough to make the changes to make sure your needs are met is a gamechanger.

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