This is the time of year when everybody wants to set new goals, and new years resolutions are being made like they are going out of fashion. Personally, I don’t make resolutions as much as I use the end of a year/ start of a new year to take stock of the year gone by, reaffirm goals that I am currently working on, review my core values, and make course corrections to align my activities and goals so that they reflect what makes me happy in life.

Making new years resolutions willy-nilly is a sure road to failure. Mostly because new years resolutions are made on a whim, and are not deeply rooted and connected to your happiness. Often they don’t even have a clear purpose, are not inspiring for you, or there is no solid plan that can be implemented to achieve the overall goal.

Asking yourself the right questions is a great way to help yourself find appreciate what you have achieved so far, and to help you find inspiring and motivating goals that will make you feel excited, challenged, and successful. I have gone through this process at this time for the last few years, and it has always helped my establish my goals and spend my time doing things that I enjoy, and spending time with the people that I want to spend time with. The purpose of these questions is not to finish with a definite plan, but to get some stuff down on paper that get you thinking about what you love in your life, what you would like to change, and how you want to spend your time.

Here are the questions that I asked myself this week:

  1. What am I most happy with in my life at the moment?
  2. What were the highlights of the last 12 months?
  3. What are my 3 most important core values?
  4. What small things do I spend time on that I would like to spend less/ no time on?
  5. What are the top 3 things that I want to spend more time doing each week?
  6. What 5 people give me inspiration?
  7. How can I get to spend more time with those people?
  8. Do I have any specific goals I would like to achieve in 2016?
  9. What 3-5 words describe how I would like the people I care about to think of me?
  10. What 3-5 people do I want to reconnect with or strengthen ties with this year?
  11. Is there anything that I would like to change about myself?

This article is by Ainle Ó Cairealláin MSc CSCS.

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