5 Questions I Ask Myself at the Beginning of Every Year

January 2, 2020

There are 5 questions I ask myself at the beginning of the year. I do this instead of making New Years resolutions.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. I am big on the idea of change and transformation. I just don’t think New Years is the best or only time to set those big goals.

That’s why I like my 5 questions. Instead of the pressure of a single goal, I can  reflect on the past year and look forward to the year ahead. Then from these questions I can decide how to create a goal or a habit or an action that might feel more aligned.

Every year, I ask myself a series of questions to check in with how the previous year felt and how I want to feel in the year ahead.

These questions are fairly basic which I personally find helpful. The beginning of the year doesn’t need to be about complexity so much as understanding and vision.

The 5 questions I ask myself are these:

1. What are the words that defined the past year?

2. What are the words that I want to define my year ahead?

3. What actions do I want to start, stop, and keep? (I ask these in relation to body, mind, and spirit)

4. What kind of person do I want to be? Who am I becoming? (It’s more a fill in the blank: “I am the kind of person who______________” or “I am becoming a person who _______________”

5. What is my mantra of the year?

These questions give me a little guidance and perspective.

There’s also no judgment in these questions. Nothing about failures or successes or where I can improve.

Just straightforward and clear.

I also teach these questions during my Winter Retreat and we go a little deeper there. Question 3 and 4 are all about dharma and svadharma. You can think of dharma as your belief system. It’s the foundation you walk upon and what you use to make decisions. Svadharma is more like your personal purpose or what you’re meant to do.

I use the words exercise to create the mantra. And next week I’ll share my tips for crafting a clear, cohesive mantra that makes an impact in your life for the year ahead.

How to Get Started:

Take a few minutes and write out what you want to START doing for your body, mind, and spirit this year; What you want to STOP doing to your body, mind, and spirit this year; and what you’d like to KEEP doing for your body, mind, and spirit this year.

What you want to start are things you’d like to do, but don’t currently.
What you’d like to stop are things that no longer serve you.
What you’d like to keep are things that benefit you and make you stronger or more you.

You can also write them out in those statements in #4. For example, “I am a person who meditates.” That would be an example of what you want to start. Once you have an idea of what you want to start, you can come up with the actions, aka habits, that will help you become this person.

You can do this for what you want to stop and keep as well, changing the statement slightly to reflect whether it’s something you want to stop or keep.

These statements set you up with the opportunity create some strong habits in the New Year based on what you want to start.


Let me know what you think of these 5 questions in the comments!


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