8 Questions That Will Help You Get Ready For the New Year

Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash

Right now you are probably very busy. Your calendar is filled with performance reviews and budget rounds while you have to keep everything else going as if nothing has been added to your already busy schedule. And here I drop into your mailbox telling you that it is a good idea to carve out some time to answer 8 questions that will help you get ready for the New Year. I don’t blame you for thinking: “What the hell, Gerdi! Can’t you see I’m overstretched as it is?”

The answer is: “No, I can’t. I sure can imagine it though!!”

I remember well how busy it was during the last quarter of any year when I was in corporate. I imagine it is similar, the same or worse for you.

October may still be relatively quiet. Pretty much all your work time is consumed by your clients and their projects.

By the time November hits everything has changed. Now you are asked to schedule multiple budget meetings and a lot of performance reviews. This means also finding time to prepare for all of this. It can feel as if your workload has doubled.

And December isn’t even a real month. At least it isn’t if you’re somewhere in Europe because usually you get at least a week off around the Christmas and New Year’s! So it’s very likely you’re trying to cram a months or more worth of work into three weeks.

And here I am suggesting you find time to sit down and seriously answer 8 questions! Carve out time for what is basically your personal performance review. What the hell?!?!

I’m dead serious though!!

Sure your performance will be reviewed by your manager i.e. boss, but will they look at the larger picture that is you? I don’t think so! They will focus on how you performed at work. Reviewing how you did in all of your life is totally up to you!!

Especially if you’ve come to that point in life where you’re wondering if there shouldn’t be more to life than just work and a career that doesn’t make your heart beat stronger.

That point where you are starting to wonder what your life will look like when you live up to your own expectations.

Doing a ‘performance’ review on yourself is really helpful, when the new year is the year in which you will take the first of many steps towards living your own life.

So my suggestion to you is that you look back at your year and ask yourself these 8 serious questions about your life!

I also suggest you sit down with pen and paper and use longhand to write your answers down.

There is something especially revealing and empowering about working it all out that way.

What went well this year?

Our minds find it easy to focus on the negative, so it can be a bit of a challenge at first to find all the things that went well. The big ones may come easy, but really make an effort to go back and find the little things that went well too. Put your focus on the positive in your life and you will be astonished how much of it there is!

When I was answering this question for myself I was surprised to find this list to be much longer than I expected. It really felt good to read back so much positivity and see it win out over what didn’t work for me.

What really stood out this year? What surprised you the most?

A bit different from what went well as these moments really have been the highlights of your year. What made them feel so absolutely right, so incredibly good? How did you feel in those moments? Which of your qualities, strengths were put in the limelight when you were in those stellar moments? What lessons can you take from these peak moments in your past year?

What didn’t work out as expected, as planned? What would you have done differently?

Take an honest look at the things that haven’t been working in your life. Naming the big ones will probably be easy enough, but go all the way down to the little stuff too. No need to judge. Just take note of what didn’t go as you wanted, planned, expected and draw lessons from it.

Now compare it to all that went well. Who wins: the good or the ugly?

What have you discovered about yourself?

Now that you’ve looked at the lessons from the good and the ugly, what have you learned about yourself? What strengths, talents, and abilities have you discovered? What will be the things you are letting go of?

What will you take along into the next year?

Of all the wonderful things that happened to you, discoveries you made, things you learned, people you’ve met. You probably want to take some of it (or them) with you into the next year. Identify what (or who) you want to bring along and what you need to do to make sure it (they) keeps on ‘working’ for you.

What will you leave behind?

Just as there are things you will want to continue into the next year, I’m sure there are a couple of things (or people) you want to leave behind. Identify those too. Get really clear about the reasons why you want to leave them behind. It can be really liberating to say goodbye to things or people that have been dragging you down or holding you back.

Who do you want to acknowledge?

Who have been the people that played a part in all that went well for you this year? Why not thank them for their contribution? Expressing gratitude towards someone is a wonderful gift. It brings joy to receiver and giver both!

You might even find you want to express gratitude to people who played a part in something that didn’t work out for you. Maybe because you learned an important lesson about yourself or the direction you want to go in?

How will you move forward from here?

Take a look at your answers to the previous questions. They have probably given you a whole lot of perspectives you didn’t have before you started this performance review.

Now take some time to think about what you will be taking with you into the New Year.

Maybe you’ve learned a particular valuable lesson. Or you’ve discovered a strength that you want to further develop.

Maybe you’ve established relationships with new people that you want to grow further.

Whatever you will take with you into the New Year, be sure to give it a special place in your life and nurture it.

That wasn’t so bad was it?

How did it feel to do this ‘performance’ review? What was your biggest takeaway? I would love it if you were to share that in the comments below!

Share your thoughts and let me know what you think. Other people, people who are just like you, will be inspired by your ideas and actions.

Thank you for reading and adding your voice to the conversation.

As always…

Go dare greatly!