2023: 5 Reflective Questions To Kickstart The New Year

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2022 felt like a slap in the face for a lot of people. From the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the overturning of Roe v. Wade to the death of Queen Elizabeth, the UK’s longest-ruling monarch, to the murder of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, and the demise of Pele, the Brazilian soccer legend. Also, the Fed’s handling of the fastest inflation in a generation caused mortgage rates to double, which scared buyers away from the market. The stock market was mostly down in 2022, and the FTX market crashed. Employee experience remains a top priority for company executives—employees are kicking against the hustle culture and sticking to their job descriptions as workers transition from the Great Resignation to Quiet Quitting. The general outlook appears to be “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” as the new year approaches.

On a brighter note, the Covid-19 pandemic that brought the world to its knees has been contained. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the end of Covid-19 is in sight. The US had its first Black woman Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, on the Supreme Court in its 232-year-old history. From a climate perspective, US physicists made a groundbreaking discovery by solving one of nuclear fusion’s greatest mysteries. It will bring carbon-free energy without many of the radioactive headaches of fission-driven nuclear power. In a display of climate leadership, Patagonia’s owner, Yvon Chouinard, gave the company away by making the earth its only shareholder.

It’s the time of year to reflect on the past 12 months and plan for the new year. When things get tough, remember what Henry Ford said: “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” The following are five questions to ask yourself to make 2023 a meaningful year:

Who do I want to become in 2023? Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Similarly, you can’t become the person you need to be unless you know where you’re going. So what gets in the way? Too often, we constantly seek validation and allow what other people think of us to determine how we behave, pursue opportunities, and live our lives. Note to yourself that you won’t need anyone to treat you a certain way for you to feel special in 2023. You are a person of value. Period!

It’s imperative that you answer the question of who you want to become in 2023 because it eliminates constraints from your past and other people’s expectations and allows you to pursue your best self. Whoever you choose to be, remember that an apple tree doesn’t eat its fruit. The apple tree expresses its maximum potential when it bears fruit. Similarly, your life’s purpose is not about you. Adding value means making your gifts available through the services and solutions you offer. What daily actions can you take to ensure you’re on track to be your best self in 2023? What can get in the way? What are you going to do about it?

What are my 2023 priorities? You probably have a ton of goals you want to achieve. That’s a good thing! Remember, searching for meaning rather than busy work will yield greater rewards. Are your goals aligned with who you want to be in 2023? If 2023 is a wildly successful year for you, what are the top three goals that made it to your list? What actions can you take daily to ensure you stay focused on what matters? How will you hold yourself accountable? Ultimately, your aspirations, ambitions, and actions should align.

What mindset will I require in 2023? The lion is the king of the animal kingdom even though it’s not the strongest, most intelligent, tallest, or fastest animal. The lion is king because it is fearless. As you start your journey to become your best self in 2023, what stories or beliefs do you still hold onto that aren’t helping you? Marshall Goldsmith, the world’s premier executive coach, reminds us, “What got you here won’t get you there.” The results you see in your life are a product of your thoughts. What books, relationships, or experiences do you need to have to influence new thinking in the new year?

Who do I need on my bus in 2023? A lion attacks animals that are 10 times its size. It leverages the power of the pack to achieve the impossible. Similarly, lasting success is never achieved alone. You need people in your life to make it happen. Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Who are the people on your bus in 2023? Are you headed in the same direction? Do they light up when they see you? Do they speak the truth even when you don’t want to hear it? Do they energize or drain you? Do you respect their opinions? If life is not about the destination, but the journey, then it’s important to have fellow passengers that make the trip memorable. Who will you need to bring on, keep, and deselect on your bus in 2023?

What outcomes am I hoping to see in 2023? The results you see in your life are an outcome of understanding your purpose, articulating your value proposition, focusing on your prioritized goals, and having the right mindset and relationships. These will require the courage to put yourself out there, ask for help, learn along the way, and persevere through the discomfort. Do you have systems, processes, and people that will hold you accountable in 2023?

Closing:

Do you have a dream you’ve been putting off? Do you want to do work that gives your life meaning? Are you letting the fear of being watched, judged, or self-doubt stop you from living your best life? You’ve got one life; there are no returns, refunds, or exchanges. So, doubt your doubts and have faith in your dreams. Go for it!



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