9 Questions We Should All Ask Ourselves Before The New Year
It is the end of the year, which for many is hectic and chaotic, but it is also one of the best times to reflect and re-evaluate. In the spirit of making 2018 your best year yet, ask yourself these nine questions:
Am I who I want to be?
Most of the time we are so busy just trying to catch up that we don’t give ourselves permission to actually sit down and examine our life and the choices we’ve made leading up to this moment. Think about your big picture and who you want to be in this world. Are you taking steps each day to create this vision, or are you stuck in a routine? 2018 promises to be a year of abundant success if we go forward courageously and choose to embrace the next phases of our life.
Have I released the anger at my parents, my ex, myself?
We sometimes hold on to anger because it is the only thing we have left of the person. I spent almost two years angry at one of my exes until I recognized that the rage was the only thing that kept him in my life. It wasn’t until I turned to forgiveness and released the energetic hold that I was able to feel more free.
So many of us live for others.
The same goes with family and friends—are you holding on to anger because it makes you feel justified and right? Sometimes the healthiest thing you can do is let go of the situation by forgiving the other person. When we are willing to forgive others, we aren't saying what they did is OK. We are saying that we value ourselves too much to waste any more time on this situation.
Do I worry too much about what other people think?
So many of us live for others. We actually put other people’s ideas, perceptions, and judgments in front of our own. But playing small serves no one. When we worry about what other people think, we relinquish control of our own future.
Ask yourself how much time you spend thinking about others’ reactions to something you haven’t even done yet. Then, instead of obsessing about what might happen, pay attention to what is happening right now. If you are stuck in worry, you could be missing it.
Am I living where I want to live?
This is a question most of us don’t always ask because we get so busy paying the bills and mortgages, just trying to stay afloat, but studies show1 that our environment plays a large role in our personal happiness. As we enter the new year, think about locations and places you’ve thought about going to or living in.
What do I really want to do with my life?
Are you in a job that fulfills you—or one that leaves you feeling drained? Choosing a career that uplifts you, one that you are passionate about, is a big part of crafting a fulfilling life. Don’t be afraid to listen to that inner voice, the one that says to start that blog, train to be a coach, change careers, etc. This is the year to go for it.
What am I avoiding or afraid to look at?
Most of us have areas of our life we don’t really think about, things we sweep under the rug. But ignoring certain aspects of ourselves can cause us to overeat, overspend, and overwork, you name it. This vicious cycle causes us to stay stuck in guilt, shame, and fear. Ask yourself, "What part of my life have I been ignoring?" Go deep into the situation you’ve been afraid to address and allow yourself to feel the pain and recognize there is purpose to it.
Trust that who you really are is who the world needs.
Am I prioritizing my health?
Staying healthy and practicing self-love is paramount to a successful life. Self-love is simply an appreciation for and acceptance of who you are, as you are. It is embracing who you are in each moment. When you practice self-love, you feel more balanced, you live with more joy, and you feel a natural peace within you. Start the year by asking yourself how you can cultivate more self-compassion and practice self-love.
How do I want to be remembered?
How do you want to be remembered? Being you requires courage, but the freedom that comes from it will be worth it. The more you show up as your authentic self, the more your life will flow. Trust that who you really are is who the world needs.
What's something I've always wanted to do but haven't given myself permission to?
This question, when answered honestly, can radically change your life for the better. What is something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t yet? The inner critic, the fear part of us, always tries to sabotage us. It says that now isn’t the right time, or you don’t have enough money or clarity. These are just excuses for keeping us small. When it comes to your dreams, recognize they are signatures to your potential. The more you trust them and take steps to live them, the happier and more fulfilled you will be. And the happier you are, the happier those around you will be too.
The new year is the perfect time for a new mantra. Find yours here. And get more insights from Shannon in her mindbodygreen class, How To Find Your Calling.
Shannon Kaiser is the best-selling author of 5 books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment including The Self-Love Experiment and Adventures for Your Soul, Joy Seeker, and Unshakable Inner Peace Oracle card deck, and the forthcoming book Return to You. She has a B.A. in journalism and communications from the University of Oregon. As an international life coach, speaker, and retreat leader, she helps people awaken and align with their true selves so they can live their highest potential.
She's been named top 100 Women to Watch in wellness by mindbodygreen, alongside Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kris Carr and Gabriel Bernstein, and was listed as of the freshest voices in mental health and wellness by Chicken Soup for The Women's Soul. She's been named one of Entrepreneurs Must-Follow Instagram Accounts for Inspiration and Top Facebook Accounts for Daily Motivation by Mind Body Green.
Her website Playwiththeworld.com has been names top 75 Personal development websites and top 100 self-help websites by the institute for the Psychology of Eating. She's an international life coach and author mentor, and a full time world traveler with a home base in Portland, Oregon with her best friend, her Golden Retriever Chance, who she flew to China to Rescue.