Questions to Ask Yourself at the New Year
Prompts to help you reflect on 2015 and decide what you want to do in 2016.
Posted Dec 31, 2015
At the New Year, we're urged to reflect. That may be easier if we have prompts to trigger our thinking. Perhaps one or more of these will help:
Career, What did you like and dislike about yourself regarding your career in 2015: your competence, work ethic, emotional togetherness, boldness, patience? What do you want to do more and less of in 2016? Anything new you want to do?
For example, some people decide they'll feel more confident if they improve their skills. If that's true for you, do you want to ask a coworker for guidance? Read articles you find by Googling? Take an online webinar or course? An in-person course? Attend a professional conference?
Relationships. What did you like and dislike about yourself regarding your personal life in 2015: Your romantic life? Platonic relationships? Parenting? Your relationship with family members? What do you want to do more and less of in 2016? Anything new you want to do?
For example, many people decide to spend more time with family members that bring out the best in them and less time with others.
Money. What did you like and not like about the way you spent and saved in 2015? Did you spend too much? Too little? Derived enough benefit from what you spent on? What do you want to spend more or less on in 2016? Do you want to invest your savings differently?
I personally invest in Vanguard Growth Index Fund. That gets me diversification among America's leading and growing companies at the very low fee of 0.2%.
Health. What do you like and not like about the way you've handled your health in 2015? Your eating? Use of mind-altering substances? Exercise? Stress management? Anger management? Control of any chronic conditions, physical or mental? What do you want to do more and less of in 2016? Anything new you want to do?
I, for one, am trying to remember that the pleasure I get from excess eating is dwarfed by the liabilities. As they say, "A moment on the lips. A lifetime on the hips."
Recreations. Have your recreations, in quantity or quality, been a good use of your time? For example, 2015 saw increased use of adult coloring books, meditation, yoga, and walks in nature. Have those served you well? How about creative outlets and other hobbies? Anything you want to do more or less of in 2016? Anything new you want to try?
For example, many people find a creative outlet to be one of their life's greatest pleasures: writing, painting, acting, singing, etc.
The big picture. Has your philosophy of life and/or spirituality served you well in 2015? For example, has surrendering control to a higher power been helpful to you? Are you sufficiently valuing productivity? Pleasure? Are you focusing on what you can change and accepting what you can't? Are you sufficiently living in the moment? With regard to your philosophy of life or spirituality, is there anything you want to do more of, less of, or new in 2016?
I have found comfort in a life philosophy of trying to spend as much time as possible doing work that comes easily to me: writing, speaking, coaching, and playing the piano.
Tonight on New Year's Eve or tomorrow on New Year's Day, do you want to temper all that reflection with at least a bit of unmitigated pleasure-seeking?
In any event, stay safe tonight. I want to see you next year.
Marty Nemko's bio is in Wikipedia. His new book, his 8th, is The Best of Marty Nemko.