Ten Questions to Get the New Year Started Right

Christmas celebrations are mostly over, and we’ve got a week before we welcome 2015. A great way to use part of that week this year is to take stock of 2014, and to think about what you can do to make 2015 more successful. Monica Pirani provides some questions to guide your thinking. I hope you include Toastmasters in your plans, and I’d really like to see your suggestions in a comment here both for other ways to guide New Year’s planning and ways we can enhance the success of the club.

  1. What did I learn this year? There is a difference between activity and achievement. Every day can be full of mundane tasks or situations: what did you get out of them? Within those actions there were successes and failures; focus on those and take lessons from them.
  2. What was my greatest accomplishment? What are you most proud of? Taking time to celebrate your achievements builds your contentment and confidence. It also helps you track your progress.
  3. Where did I fail? Where did you come up short? People who take credit for their success and place blame their failures are not people who succeed. Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Embrace humility and admit your failures; be wise enough to learn from your shortcomings.
  4. Is there anyone who deserves a big thank you? Who helped you this year and why? Your battles are personal but you never fight them alone. It is important to thank the people who have been there for you and to acknowledge the support that you have.
  5. What moment was most memorable and why? What did you enjoy the most this year? Was it the people, the scenery, something else?
  6. What are my fears? What is holding you back? You can’t win a war unless you know your enemy and fear is your biggest adversary. The longer you wait to face your fears, the longer they will control your life. By facing them, you gain the confidence and strength to overcome them.
  7. What do I need to do more of? Is there anything that deserves more of your time and attention? What matters most that’s been shoved to the side?
  8. What do I need to stop doing? What isn’t benefiting you? Maybe it’s an activity or a relationship. What clutter or distractions can you remove from your life?
  9. What are 3 goals I want to accomplish next year? Now that you have had time to reflect on the last year, scan the phase of life that you are in. As you do this you will find aspects of your life that you wish to improve upon. Use this moment to form your goals.
  10. What will I do to achieve those goals? The first step to achieving your goals is realizing that what you want to achieve is already who you are. If you want to run a marathon, you are a marathon runner, you just need to run. If you want to be a better listener, you are a better listener, you just need to listen. Success is merely a matter of studying and practicing. First acknowledge you have everything you need, then make an action plan to study and practice.

2 responses to Ten Questions to Get the New Year Started Right

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