31 Dec Ready to finally say goodbye to 2016 but want a better 2017? Ask yourself these five questions.
If you are like me, you might be thinking, “When will 2016 ever end?” Losing Princess Leia (and her mom) was well like the cherry on top of a perfectly terrible year. I have had some pretty major personal challenges so I was already quietly feeling that way myself but when I started to see major outlets like CNN, the New York Times, and the LA times say the same thing, I knew it was time to say goodbye to 2016. Just google terrible 2016 and you will see how many of us felt this way.
But regardless about how you felt about 2016, it is about to end. So that means looking to 2017 and thinking about what comes next. I like to use my holiday time to set intentions for the new year. These aren’t resolutions. They are questions to myself for myself. The answers help me set a course forward for where I put my priorities. Several years back, I decided to take this new approach and have loved it ever since so I am sharing it with you.
Here are five questions to help you set a good course for 2017!
1. How do you want to feel this year?
Surely life isn’t just about things we want to accomplish and stuff we want to acquire! When you think about what you want for 2017, ask yourself, “How do I want to feel?” Calm? Free? Inspired? Hopeful? Once you hone in on how you want to feel, then think about what you need to do in order to achieve that feeling. For example, if you want to feel more energetic then look at diet and exercise goals. If you want to be inspired, then consider activities and people that inspire you.
2. What is your definition of success?
I am pretty sure that for several of my formative years I defined my success based on a totally distorted view of what others (namely my father and a handful of peers) thought was success. But then, I had this AHA. Oh wait, it’s my life! Now I define success based on my own unorthodox-but-inspiring-view-of-the-world. How do you define success? You might look not just at the quantitative factors (time, money, stuff) but also an quality. For example: What do I want to learn? What attributes would I like to foster in myself? How do I want to give back? What kind of relationships do I want to pursue?
3. How will you create time for what you love?
So many of us create personal goals but then never achieve them. Why? Usually it is because we do not make personal goals a priority in the same way we do work and family. Somehow, we make some things non-negotiable but when it comes to ourselves, we become a distant second. Here are two tips that will help you make a personal goal a priority: 1) Carve out actual space on your calendar for that personal goal and then be vigilant to protect that time; 2) To ensure long-term success, work hard to make it a habit (it takes 21 days to form a new habit!). Once it is a habit, you and everyone around you will be able to more easily adapt to it being a regular part of your life.
4. What can you pursue that challenges you?
Life motivates and inspires us when we try something new. Consider pursuing something that you view as a significant challenge. Do not necessarily shy away if the challenge makes you feel uncomfortable or fearful. Indeed, we grow when we explore and experience new things. Do you want to learn an instrument? Sing in a band? Write a book? Seek a leadership position at work or in your community? Start a blog? Achieve a fitness challenge? Think about what your challenge might be and consider going for it.
5. What can you not do?
New Year’s Resolutions often fail because people are trying to jam new things onto their already insane calendars. Start the new year by asking what you can drop or reduce. Many of us waste a lot of time in our lives on things that don’t move us forward. We multi-task arguing we are getting a lot of things done. We surf the net thinking we are researching. We watch copious amounts of TV. We make commitments to others that drain our energy. What can you drop?
I hope you get as much out of these as I did. Happy New Year all. To a better 2017!
P.S. If you haven’t already, grab my new ebook (it’s FREE!) if you want a recharge in your life in 2017! It’s called Life Refresh: Make Time for What Motivates and Energizes You. Grab it HERE.