10 Questions To Ask Yourself To End 2016 Feeling Positive And Powerful
It’s true: 2016 was stocked with many moments of horror and outrage that affected us as a collective. Most of us are in a daze, feeling completely overwhelmed, certain that 2016 was a hellacious travesty. But before you toss out your old calendar, I want to encourage you to take a step back and look at the year for what it truly was. Nothing is wholly bad, just like nothing is completely perfect. I guarantee that there were some bright spots in your year.
I love this quote from Sophia Loren. She was originally talking about birthdays, but it applies beautifully to December, too:
“It is a good reason to talk to yourself, to ask yourself what you have been doing, what you are doing and what you will do. Girls who can’t go off and talk to themselves stay girls and never become women. Women who can’t take stock turn to drink, take pills or worse, but I can take stock. I can send for the bill of life and add it up too. If I ever feel depressed I consider what I have done and what I have accomplished — starting from nothing and arriving now with so much happiness.” – Sophia Loren
The truth is that if we don’t examine our lives, we are living on autopilot. I think that’s one of the reasons why so many people wake up at age 45 and go into crisis mode: they haven’t been continually assessing, planning, and course-correcting. However, if you can look honestly at what’s going on and make adjustments, then you can make sure you end up where you want to go.
This isn’t always an enjoyable task, but it is an essential one.
Here are ten questions that you might like to ask yourself as 2016 comes to a close. Some are mine, and others were inspired by a thread on my friend Dhru’s Facebook page.
WHAT WERE YOUR TOP FIVE MOMENTS OF THE YEAR?
No matter what awfulness went down on the world stage, I know that there are things you achieved or experienced that were uplifting, transformative, and expansive. What were they?
WHAT ARE YOU REALLY GLAD IS OVER?
It could be that toxic relationship, a stagnant job, a shitty living situation, or a frenemy showdown. We all have stuff that we’re oh so glad is now in the rear-vision mirror. What’s yours?
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT TODAY THAN YOU WERE 365 DAYS AGO?
What did your life look like a year ago? How did you act, stand, and talk, and how is it different to the you sitting here today? For me, this list is as long as my arm… And yet, there is always more to change, to strive towards, to become.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU ACHIEVED THAT YOU FORGOT TO CELEBRATE?
A lot of us are very guilty of this: rushing from moment to moment, without taking a moment to acknowledge how much we’ve done. The result? We end up exhausted. Take a minute to congratulate yourself for all that you accomplished this year.
WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THIS YEAR?
Did you make a friend, have a conversation, or watch a documentary that changed how you see the world? Was it a shift that was a long time coming, or did it take you by surprise? Do you think it will guide your behaviour in 2017?
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT REALLY CAME THROUGH FOR YOU THIS YEAR?
Sometimes we’re surprised by the people that stand by us, and the ones who drift away. Let’s take some time to be thankful for those who stayed true, who gave us their attention, and loved us just as we are.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU TOLERATED FOR A LONG TIME, BUT NOW YOU WILL NOT?
Was there a straw that broke the camel’s back this year? What unacceptable behaviour do you now draw the line at — both your own and other people’s?
WHAT OLD BELIEFS DID YOU LET GO OF?
Did you shed some old stories and opinions this year? Did you begin to see yourself in a different — hopefully more positive — way? What old bullshit did you finally throw in the trash?
WHAT WAS ONE THING THAT YOU FOUND REALLY CHALLENGING, BUT CAN NOW SEE SUPPORTED YOUR GROWTH?
Extra bonus points if you can find more than one example of this! What gruelling experiences did you have that actually ended up helping you become a better, stronger, braver person?
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOURSELF THIS TIME LAST YEAR?
What words of love or wisdom would have helped you face 2016 with more dignity and grace? What advice would you have given yourself?
Give yourself a day of downtime before January 1st, grab your journal and answer these questions. I promise you that it will give you a sweeter view of everything you achieved, and will give you the strength to strut into 2017 with much more confidence.
By the way, if you loved these questions, I have a whole end-of-2016 worksheet in the 2017 Radical Self Love Almanac!
Photo is a close-up of Chanel haute couture.