By Jay Forte
A new year is just ahead. The best way to continue your successes, or make important changes, is to reflect on 2018 and to use its lessons to see and do things differently in 2019.
I personally find the best way to reflect on most things is by asking questions. Questions guide you to explore and investigate, both of which are important to give you the information you need to determine your direction and plan for a new and great year.
Here are three questions I spend time with at the start of the new year that help me develop greater clarity and a plan to make the most of my time, effort, energy and impact.
1. What are my strengths?
We each come equipped with unique and amazing abilities. These abilities help us to be great at some things and not great at others. Having a successful year requires that I know and lead with my strengths. This knowledge helps me identify the areas in work and life that need what I am best at – I feel capable, confident and competent. Without this information, I may find myself in areas I struggle in, which leads to disengagement, disappointment and frustration – not the way to have a great 2019. Discover, develop and live your strengths in 2019.
2. What is a good day for me?
Each day, we get a blank canvas to add to it in a way that matters to us. We own our choices. Taking the time to reflect on what a good day is for me prepares me; I know what makes a good day for me so I can intentionally look to achieve it. Without this information, I move through life with less intention and therefore don’t make the things happen that really matter to me. Notice the language there as it means I take accountability for having a good day. I work to make good things happen for me, on purpose. Only you know what makes a good day for you; work with intention to make it happen, resulting in a better 2019. Define what makes a good day for you and build a plan to have it.
3. How can I make a difference?
I believe we are here to do more than just show up each day. We are not here just for ourselves; we each have a higher purpose – a requirement to know ourselves and to bring our best to our world to make a difference. Our uniqueness is what enables each of us to contribute something that only we can contribute, and by its contribution, we make our world better. It may be in how we teach, coach or parent. It may be in our ideas or thinking. It may be in our empathy and in the quality of our relationships. It is ours to discover and to live. Reflect on what difference you are here to make in 2019.
A new year is a great time for reflection, and questions are a good way to start the thinking and reflection process. Having a plan helps you navigate the speed and amount of daily change.
Be aware of what you want for yourself as you approach a new year. You are your life’s owner – you have the ability and responsibility to define what you want and the abilities to go get it.
How will you use these three questions to prepare for – and have – a great 2019?