12 Questions for a Great New Year

I always enjoy this time of year, on the verge of a fresh new year of possibilities.

Many people make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve never been a fan. For the most part, they turn out to be more of a wish than an actual resolution. Without some real intention, resolutions don’t seem to hold much resolve. In fact, I heard on the radio the other day that only 8% of the population keep their New Year’s resolution.

Why is that?

It’s because we spend a good deal of our time on auto pilot (as much as 95% according to some estimates). Once we are in a mode of operation, we tend to stay there. Adding focus and intention can yield great benefits in all areas of our lives.

As Albert Einstein said, “Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.” If you’re old enough to remember the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, you may also recall one of my favorite movie quotes, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Both are so accurate.

Our lives reflect how we spend our days and the choices we make. Great leaders recognize this and are intentional about living and planning their days accordingly.

I developed the 12 questions below for my coaching clients as a tool for self-reflection on the past year and focused planning for a meaningful new year. I am happy to share it and hope that you find it a valuable resource as you plan for your new year.

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. Make 2020 your best year yet! In the new year, I will share an end-of-day check-in to help you stay on track. In the meantime, happy holidays to you, your family, and friends.

12 Key Questions for a Great New Year, Personally and Professionally                        
  1. On a scale of 1-10, how happy am I with my past year? What would make it higher?
  1. Where did I succeed? – What am I most proud of from the past year? Where did I make a difference?
  1. What did I enjoy most?
  1. What are my top 5 Values? Did my calendar reflect this? 
  1. What do I wish I would have done differently? (Be honest with yourself about where you were not so successful, missed opportunities, where you wish you’d have shown up differently, spent more time, etc.)
  1. What challenges did I face and what did I learn from them? (We often power through without reflecting on lessons learned from the tough times). 
  1. What progress did I make on my professional and personal goals? 
  1. What do I need to keep doing? 
  1. What do I want to stop doing or do differently? (Rather than focusing on the negative, think about the positive behavior you want to move toward). 
  1. What key relationships do I want to build, enhance?
  1. How will I generate the energy I need to be vibrant in all key areas of my life?
  1. What are my top priorities for the new year and who can help me achieve them?
Kathy Gibala
About the author

Kathy Gibala is a leadership coach and strategic advisor with 25 years of healthcare industry experience encompassing leadership, consultant and operations management roles with premier academic medical centers, non-profit health systems, and hospitals.
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