Today’s Meeting

Margaret Collenberg told a spellbinding tale of Fenway Park this morning, and it called to mind for me this Micaela Murphy story not of Fenway Park but of the Red Sox and more.

Our holiday theme fueled our table topics session, inspired in part by some of these sources. Enlightened Leadership introduced me to this set of questions a long time ago, and they’ve been part of my New Years planning ever since. See if they work for you.

Completing and Remembering 2013

Before beginning a new year in full force, it can be supportive to complete and acknowledge the previous year. We hope the following effective questions will help you complete 2013 and start 2014 on a strong note. Have fun!

What was your biggest triumph in 2013?
What was the smartest decision you made in 2013?
What one word best describes your 2013 experience?
What was the greatest lesson you learned in 2013?
What was the most loving service you performed in 2013?
What was your biggest piece of “unfinished business” in 2013?
What are you most pleased about completing in 2013?
Who were the three people that had the greatest impact on your life in 2013? Have you acknowledged them?
What was the biggest risk you took in 2013?
What acknowledgment would you have liked to have given but didn’t?
What else do you need to say or do to be complete with 2013?

Creating 2014

May your New Year be the most meaningful, healthy, happy and prosperous ever! May you be the change you wish to see in the world!

What would you like your biggest triumph to be in 2014?
What advice would you like to give yourself in 2014?
What is the major effort you are planning to improve your fiscal fitness in 2014?
What would you be most happy about completing in 2014?
What major indulgence are you willing to experience in 2014?
What would you most like to change about yourself in 2014?
What are you looking forward to learning in 2014?
What risks are you planning for 2014?
What about your work are you most committed to changing and improving in 2014?
What one yet undeveloped talent are you willing to explore in 2014?
What brings you the most joy and how are you going to have more of that in 2014?
What can you do more of to support your co-workers in 2014?
What can you do to express more love in 2014?
What one word would you like to have as your theme for 2014?

I also looked at this list of spiritually literate New Year’s resolutions by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat. Number 7 looks especially important for Toastmasters.

  1. I will live in the present moment. I will not obsess about the past or worry about the future.
  2.  I will cultivate the art of making connections. I will pay attention to how my life is intimately related to all life on the planet.
  3. I will be thankful for all the blessings in my life. I will spell out my days with a grammar of gratitude.
  4. I will practice hospitality in a world where too often strangers are feared, enemies are hated, and the “other” is shunned. I will welcome guests and alien ideas with graciousness.
  5. I will seek liberty and justice for all. I will work for a free and a fair world.
  6. I will add to the planet’s fund of good will by practicing little acts of kindness, brief words of encouragement, and manifold expressions of courtesy.
  7. I will cultivate the skill of deep listening. I will remember that all things in the world want to be heard, as do the many voices inside me.
  8. I will practice reverence for life by seeing the sacred in, with, and under all things of the world.
  9. I will give up trying to hide, deny, or escape from my imperfections. I will listen to what my shadowside has to say to me
  10. I will be willing to learn from the spiritual teachers all around me, however unlikely or unlike me they may be.

Finally, I was disappointed that I read Charles Blow’s op-ed about resolutions in The New York Times this morning but didn’t have time to incorporate them into the session.

Happy New Year!

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