The first day of the year was filled with delights. A chance encounter with
the brave members of the Polar Bear Club of San Diego as they ran into the Pacific Ocean for their annual dip (cold, though not as frigid as Lake Michigan, where those dedicated Polar Bear members in Milwaukee, where I grew up, plunge themselves into!). Walking by an English bulldog named Einstein, who broadcast to all passersby his best wishes for 2016. And mostly, a wonderful conversation with a dear friend about the power of our questions. In many ways, the success and richness of our life depends on the questions we ask ourselves. When we do something we’re unhappy with, usual questions such as, “How could I have been so foolish to have done that?” aren’t as helpful as, “What need or desire in me triggered that action?” Instead of becoming critical of ourselves when we are struggling with something or haven’t produced our best work, we might ask, “What part of me is asking for support or nurturing?”
As we begin a new year, I hope you’ll find these questions helpful in harvesting the learning from 2015 and putting it to use in creating a year that reflects who you are and stretches you in exciting ways.
- Who did I meet last year that is now in my life? What do I value about this relationship? What does this say about what I want more of in my life?
- What emotion really caused me to grow?
- In what ways am I different than I was at the beginning of last year? What does this make possible in my life?
- What did I do that completely surprised me? What does this tell me about myself that I didn’t appreciate before?
- What is the biggest challenge I faced? What internal strengths and external factors were helpful?
- In what area(s) of my life did I really make some progress? What more do I want to do? What would surpass all of my hopes?
- Whom did I really help? How did that benefit me, as well as the other person?
- What were the most fun times I had? What made them so joyful?
- What am I most grateful for?
- A year from now, how do I want my life to be the same? How do I want it to be different? What do I need to do or change for that to happen?
Wishing you 366 days of life, fully lived, moment-by-moment.