It’s that time again. You know what I’m talking about – New Year’s Resolution season! We’re drawn, quite naturally (and historically, if Wikipedia is to be trusted), to the idea that the New Year is a perfect time to make a change, to shake things up – to be better! I couldn’t agree more.
But, most research reveals that very few people – something around 20% – actually achieve the goals they set at the New Year. There are thousands of articles and blog posts that claim to know why this is. I’m not really going to venture to guess. It seems quite simple to me – what works for one person would drive another individual to give up after Day One. We’re all different and your guess is as good as mine as to why some people find the New Year’s Resolution system to be inspirational and others find it to be a giant, looming, impossible invitation to failure.
I wouldn’t be one to say, “Don’t waste your time.” There’s certainly something to be said for setting goals. And, creating a framework for achieving those goals really works for some, maybe even most, people. If you know it works for you – then go for it.
But, if you’ve tried to set New Year’s Resolutions in the past and failed (repeatedly) – you’re not alone. Maybe it’s time to try something different. Here’s a list of questions that might point you in the right direction. They’re in no particular order and I don’t claim to know what you’ll find on the other side. Nor will I make recommendations for what you do with the answers you find. But what I can say is this – regardless of what you resolve to do – no one fails at reflection, exploration or contemplation. So if you must resolve – maybe just resolve to be…curious.
20 Questions to Ask Yourself in Lieu of New Year’s Resolutions
1. What do I really, really, really, really want?
2. Of all the things I do, what do I enjoy doing most?
3. What am I afraid of?
4. What part of my self am I working hardest to hide from others?
5. What am I both good at and enjoy doing?
6. What am I good at, but don’t enjoy doing?
7. Who are the 5 people in my life that most inspire me? Why?
8. What are 3 times in my life when I was faced with a decision and I made the right choice for me at that time?
9. Who am I judging? What does it say about me that I’m holding that judgment?
10. What aspect of my life gives me the greatest sense of purpose?
11. Who are the people in my life with whom I feel the most me?
12. What are 3 things in my life that I am tolerating?
13. Where do I want to go that I’ve never been before?
14. What do I want to say that I’ve never said?
15. Who in my life loves me most of all?
16. What emotions or feelings freak me out?
17. What would I prefer to do less of?
18. What would I prefer to do more of?
19. When do I feel closest to God? (God, as you define it – whatever draws you closer to your spiritual center)
20. If tomorrow were my last day, what would I let go of?