10 Questions to Ask Yourself As You Start the New Year

Reflect Long Enough on Last Year to Plan for This Year

Today is the first day back at work for many after the New Year holiday.

Chances are, you are probably headed back to a “mess” of stuff to clean up at work.

Many people were probably stressed yesterday about which tasks were leftover from before the break, as well as what new things they were running into starting the new year.

Yet, before you let the mad rush of the New Year overwhelm you, it’s a good time to get a little perspective.

Getting Perspective Before You Begin

Before you charge into the New Year, it’s a good time to take stock of where you have been and where you are going.

It’s time to look back and time to look ahead.

The new year calendar start-point is a great time to assess how things have been going, as well as what you want to do differently moving forward.


Here are 10 Questions to Ask Yourself as You Start the New Year:

  1. What were your wins in the past year? – People tend to overlook their successes and focus on their failures. Don’t neglect the things you did well. What accomplishments were you most proud of in the past year?
  2. What did you do wrong? – What mistakes did you make that you don’t want to repeat in the new year? You can’t change the past, but you can change your actions for the next time.
  3. What did you learn? – We learn from our successes and failures. (From both #1 and #2.) Take a moment to write down what you learned in the past year. Use your journal to document life lessons that you or others could benefit from in the future.
  4. What did you do too much of? – Excess of anything can be detrimental. What did you do too much of in the last year? Did you put too much time and focus on certain areas of your life to the detriment of others? Chances are, looking back, you will identify some imbalance in your time and attention.
  5. What do you need to do more of? And to the contrary, which areas of your life didn’t receive enough time in the last year? Did your physical fitness, relationships, or hobbies suffer? No one looks back on their life and says, “Gee, I wish I had spent more time at the office.”
  6. What are your forward looking priorities? – Looking ahead to the new year, what are your top three priorities? You should be able to quickly recite them. If not, you need to spend some time on that activity alone, defining your focus areas for the coming 12 months.
  7. What are you current goals? From question #6, make sure you have concrete goals to back up your priorities. Saying you are going to put your finances first, is a good priority. Saying you are going to have $20K in savings by the end of the year is a specific goal to make it real.
  8. What habits do you need to work on? – What you do every day moving forward will define who you are in the new year. What habits do you need to institute? Include bad habits that you need to drop. Make a daily habit list to make those daily actions stick. Yours could be… to eat healthier, to meditate, or to read every day.
  9. What is one thing you would like to change about yourself? No one can change you, except you. It’s time to look in the mirror and ask yourself what one thing you want to change about you. Many people never ask themselves this question (nor take action on it), and then they wonder why they never change.
  10. If you could accomplish one big thing in 2017, what would it be? When you look back next year, what is the one big accomplishment you want to have done? It doesn’t matter if it is to change careers, write a book, or to get into better shape. What does matter is that you call it out, and put all of your effort, energy, and resources behind it.

Looking Back, and Always Looking Ahead

Looking back is only useful to celebrate, learn, and remember. You can’t change what you have done until this point.

However, each New Year brings a new perspective and a sense of purpose and energy.

Look back at your past year, so that you can launch yourself into the new one with a renewed level of motivation, purpose, and goals.

Best wishes to you in the new year!

Question: What do you want to change from last year? What is your top goal for the new year? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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