12 Jan 12 Great Questions to Ask Yourself in the New Year
Don’t you just love January? It’s a month filled with beginnings, and in between all the Happy New Year wishes and talk of resolutions, I’m reminded that it is in indeed a chance to start anew.
Last week, it snowed at our house. The snowflakes fell noiselessly from the sky overnight, and when we woke up a canopy of white covered the ground in a winter wonderland.
The landscape looks different covered in snow. The buildings, houses, and trees suddenly stand out in a new way, as if all the angles and stones have been searching for a way to be noticed all along. I like the perspective. It renews my outlook on life and inspires creativity. Plus, I just love the sound of laughter. All the kids are outside, and the grownups too. The snow that comes (maybe) once is year is novel. I feel as if I’m being transported to some other place and time far, far from here instead of sitting in front of the exact same office window for the last eight years.
And I’ve had more than a few days to think. We live in Georgia, so the kids are out of school—four days straight full of togetherness, plus an extra day with one home sick from school today—so I’ve had ample time to reflect on the past year and make plans for the new year.
My husband and I have been watching the West Wing, thanks to a tip from my friend Jeff Shinabarger. He told me it’s the only show you’ll watch where at the end of it you’ll actually feel smarter. At first, I didn’t believe him but it’s true. Who says TV isn’t real?
The first 100 days is used to measure the successes and accomplishments of a president during the time that their power and influence is at its greatest. We’re getting ready to usher in a new president, and I like thinking about stuff like that so of course I’ve been pondering my own goals for the year. I don’t need 100 days to figure out if I’m being productive or not. The first 60 should do the trick.
I don’t want to waste a single day.
Do you do this? Do you make a list of your accomplishments from the previous year and make resolutions to guide your decision-making in the new year? Rather than make statements, I like to ask myself questions—and believe me, I have a lot of them!
To give my questions focus and clarity, about five years I begin choosing one word that would be my focus for the entire year. Now all my many questions point back to that one word. This year, my word is OPPORTUNITY, and while on the surface it can sound like a very self-serving word, I remind you that indeed it is very personal.
A word, by itself, is just a word, after all. It doesn’t mean anything. That’s why I created this list of questions to help guide my resolve in the new year. And while I know that your word may be a noun, like mine, it could very well be a verb or an adjective. Your questions will undoubtedly have to be altered to make sense by filling in the blank with your own very special, very personal word.
- Will this opportunity enrich me personally? Help my family? Grow my business? (For more information about this one, check out this book by Andy Stanley.)
- What opportunity do I most want to be thankful for one year from now?
- Should I quit an opportunity I love if it’s not delivering the results I want?
- What are some opportunities I can work on this year that make me smile?
- Is there anything I can become an expert on this year?
- What do I want to learn more about?
- Is there anything I need to take a closer look at?
- Can I make more time for play?
- Can I make more time for thinking?
- Are there connections I haven’t seen before?
- What can I create with the opportunities I have in front of me?
- Who can I tell?
All of these questions circle back to my one word: Opportunity. A new connection. An exhilarating idea. An opportunity to do something new. Useful. Profound. Inspiring.
Last week’s snowfall was a rarity, a treasure. Just as each snowflake held the unique promise of something brand new and yet unimagined, so are our opportunities.
I’m excited about what this year holds.
What about you? How do you start your year? What do you hope for?
Purposeful Play, the nonprofit behind Forever We, will be moving forward this year with some new and exciting products. We invite you to join the conversation and come back anytime to visit and play with us. As always, you can gift the gift of play to a child in need by clicking here. Thank you for your support.