At this time of year, we often make resolutions of what we want to achieve--most of which fall by the wayside before the spring blooms appear.

Here's a different approach: Ask yourself a few powerful questions at the beginning of the year. Then check in with your answers weekly or monthly and adjust them when you need to. The focus becomes growth and development, not trying to meet an all-or-nothing ultimatum.

Spend some time with these questions before the start of the new year:

1. What should I start?
What new habits, skills, adventures, or ventures, do you want to begin? Remember you can always start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can. You don't have to be great, you just have to start. Don't hope for it; don't plan it. Get it started.  

2. What should I stop?
What's been keeping you stuck? Think about the things that kept you playing small--the bad habits, the negative thinking. It may be a matter of giving up something that isn't working to free yourself up for another option that might serve you better. Don't worry about failure or what you have to lose but focus on what you have to gain.

3. What should I do more of?
Sometimes it's exactly right to want more: More laughter, more love, more fun, more happiness, more family, more good times, more adventures, more playtime. More learning. More peace, more understanding, more forgiveness. Think of what worked for you and nourished you this year and how you made it happen.

4. What should I do less of?
What did you have too much of? You may want to give yourself less negativity, less fear, less busy-ness, less overscheduling, less overthinking, less stress, less anxiety, less lack of sleep. (You get the point.) Remember, the more of the bad stuff you let go of the more room you're clearing out for the good.

5. What should I continue?
Maybe it's something that's working that you want to make a habit of. Maybe it's an area where you haven't yet found success and you need to keep seeking. Success comes when you continue to do the things that work and continue to learn the things you don't know.

6.  What should I be grateful for? 
It's so easy to get busy and caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to take the time to say "thank you." Or "That's wonderful" or "How beautiful" or "Wow." When you express gratitude you notice that you have enough; you connect with all the ways you're wealthy--whether it's financially or being rich in love and friends and good colleagues, personal gifts like intelligence and talent, even having food on the table and a roof overhead. Finding time to reflect on gratitude is one of the most powerful practices you can begin.

The great thing about these questions is that you can apply them to any area of your life. Schedule a regular time to review and reflect on your answers and see how you can do better.

Here's to a successful year and a successful life.

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Published on: Dec 30, 2015
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