Top Thirteen End-of-the-Year Questions
by Kevin Eikenberry
The questions we ask determine the answers we get. And it is from these answers that we create the actions of our day-to-day lives. This simple progression of questions to answers to actions implies that if we want more effective and productive actions, we can start by asking ourselves better questions.
The questions below are meant to help you create the actions you desire, and while you can ask these questions at anytime, the second half of December is a good time to ask, reflect on, and answer these questions.
Will it take some time? Yes it will. But it will be time well-spent. Read the questions now to get them in your sub-conscious mind. Then, schedule a two hour appointment (or schedule 10 minutes each day and do one question a day) with yourself in a quiet place, with your Journal, computer or just a pad of paper and record your answers to these questions.
- What did I learn this year? Clearly you learned a lot over 365 days. This question is meant to get you thinking about the new skills you learned, the life lessons you absorbed, and the knowledge you gained that was most important or beneficial to you. List at least five important things, but if you get on a roll, there is no need to stop this list.
- What did I accomplish this year? Make a list of the things you accomplished. These may be awards or promotions, but don’t limit yourself to these types of things. Any accomplishment large or small, public or private, should be on your list.
- Which accomplishments am I proudest of? Take a look at your list of accomplishments and identify the 3-4 things you are most proud of. Spend a few minutes thinking about, and making notes about why you are proud.
- Knowing what I know now, what would I have done differently in the past year? This isn’t a question to make you feel bad or guilty. This is an important learning question. Your answers to it will be among the most valuable you write.
- What will be my greatest lasting memories of this year? Sort through the memories you want to hold onto for the rest of your life, and write down at least three.
- In what ways did I contribute? Think about the people you helped and the ways in which you made your workplace, your neighborhood, your community and your world a better place to be.
- What were my biggest challenges or obstacles? Thinking about our challenges and obstacles is important. Perhaps these were several months ago, are ongoing or you have just recently encountered them. Identifying them is one step towards overcoming them.
- What obstacles did I overcome? And how did you do it? These triumphs may be listed as lessons or accomplishments, but think about them here too – make sure you capture what you learned in overcoming those obstacles.
- Who are the most interesting people I met? Make a list of these people. And think too about when and under what circumstances you met them. These follow-up questions will help you intentionally meet more interesting people in the future!
- How have they changed my life? It is great to meet interesting people. This question helps you think about how those people have impacted you. Think about what you learned from them, how they have helped you, the enjoyment and pleasure you have gained from knowing them.
- How am I different now than I was at the start of the year? What a powerful question this is! Use your answer to help you catapult yourself in the direction of your dreams for the coming year.
- What am I most grateful for? Your answer here may be a recap of some of your other answers and if so, that is OK. It also might help you highlight something you hadn’t yet thought about.
- What else do I want to reflect on? This last question is yours. You can literally use this question or create your own. You’ll know, especially after working through the other twelve questions what you want to think about now.
These are thirteen powerful questions. But the power comes not from asking them, but from answering them. I have provided you with the start. The rest is up to you.
Make the time to answer these questions and enjoy the process. Savor the chance to reflect, knowing that this time investment will repay you many times in the coming year.
Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved, Kevin Eikenberry and The Kevin Eikenberry Group.
Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. To receive your free special report on Unleashing Your Potential go to http://www.kevineikenberry.com/uypw/index.asp or call us at (317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER.
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