I read this a few weeks ago and decided it would be a good exercise to reflect upon 2013 so that I may have a fresh outlook for 2014.
25 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the End of 2013
1. What am I most proud of this year?
Making decisions based on what is right for me vs what is right for others. This has been an exhausting and often painful experience, but in the end I feel at peace with my choices. This is the first year I can really say that.
2. How can I become a better _____________?
yogi, friend, girlfriend, aunt, sister, niece, human, etc…. I have to be careful with this one. The last thing I need is to shower myself with expectations so that I feel burdened by them. However, I do think the answer to any of these comes down to another question – how can I be more compassionate?
3. Where am I feeling stuck?
Motivation! I worked on understanding my seeming lack of internal drive last year. I can’t say that I have figured out how to be “more productive” but I have learned to be more accepting on the path to understanding. We’ll see what 2014 brings….
4. Where do I need to allow myself grace?
When I think I need to have it ALL figured out RIGHT NOW. I don’t. I can’t. I can be grateful, compassionate, and present.
5. Am I passionate about my career?
Yes. and no. I’m always struggling with the “purpose of my life” question. I must be living it, because I do get a lot of satisfaction from my work. And people seem to benefit from working with me, because I’m busy. But I also respect there are things I’d like to see change. And at the end of the day, I will have to make those changes; I can no longer wait for things to change around me. [see #3!]
6. What lessons have I learned?
To trust my instincts more.
To limit or just throw out my expectations of others, especially those I love. “Expectations are just premeditated resentments.” I heard that on LA Shrinks. Go figure. 😉
To accept those who act in ways I don’t understand.
To make decisions that are right for me and no one else.
That communication is an exchange of gifts and I get to decide which gifts I accept and which I send back.
These are definitely works in progress!
7. What did my finances look like?
on track. not where I want them to be, but on track to where I want them to be. that is a good thing.
8. How did I spend my free time?
With my love. By myself. With a book. With my writing.
9. How well did I take care of my body, mind, and soul?
Overall, there were some great improvements in diet and activity level. I feel a little less connected to my spirituality, however, so that will be a focus for 2014.
10. How have I been open-minded?
I would like to say I have tried to be open to understanding the things I’ve seen that I disliked or confused me in the last year. I’m sure I’ve been somewhat successful but also could’ve exercised more of that acceptance and compassion stuff! I’ve tried to be helpful and thoughtful when others have come to me. I hope I acted without judgment. Or at least, with limited judgment. I think I’m working on reconciling what it means to be both self-ish and self-less.
11. When did I feel most creatively inspired?
After spending time with my creative friends and having inspiring conversations about their work. After hearing – and believing – that they have an interest in mine. After doing some work on myself and allowing myself to do different kinds of “work.” This all seemed to happen around the summer and fall.
12. What projects have I completed?
er….I did finally complete a draft of a couple/marital workshop powerpoint I’d been thinking about for ages. That’s about it.
13. How have I procrastinated?
see #12 and #3. Something is standing in my way. Old stuff. New stuff. I don’t quite have a handle on it.
14. In what ways can I re-structure my time?
Are you kidding? In what ways can’t I? After two years, I’m still struggling with my second shift schedule. The world operates for the 9 to 5-ers and god knows I’m not a morning person unless someone is telling me to be. I probably need to set aside time for writing and make myself do it. With a manageable goal in mind. I need to set aside time for yoga/spiritual practice. I need to stop thinking that the more I do, the less freedom I have. That one’s a long story, folks.
15. How have I allowed fear of failure to hold me back?
see #12? When I think of my most recent and in some ways most important project, I wonder if I’m still worried about failing at it somehow. I feel like humility is important here. If I can humble myself to the project, maybe it will open up to me….that just occurred to me. I think I need to meditate on that a little.
16. Where has self-doubt taken over?
I think I still question my own sense of reality, of what’s right or wrong. I assume that what I’m told is true and become angry when it clearly isn’t the case. But the more I have learned to trust my instincts, the more I can step back and be a witness. I’m not saying I don’t get angry or frustrated or sad. I just see a bigger picture and how I do or don’t fit into it.
17. When have I felt the most alive?
When I was actively engaged in the writing process and conversing with my friends about their creative processes. It’s clearly something I need to get back to.
18. How have I taught others to respect me?
By making my decisions and not letting myself be emotionally manipulated into backing down. I let go of what does not serve me. I try anyway.
19. How can I improve my relationships?
More compassion, acceptance, and kindness. Fierce loyalty. Less expectation. Less borrowing trouble. Less worrying.
20. Have I been unfair to anyone?
I would like to say that I haven’t, although others may have a different perspective. I feel like – whatever my emotional reaction to events – I have done my best to be respectful and kind in my handling of others.
21. Whom do I need to forgive?
Those who have hurt me. I need to let them go. and if they are still in my life, I need to accept that they are who they are, offer compassion, and examine and change my expectations of them. I would hope they’d do the same for me.
22. Where is it time to let go?
Expectations. I cannot expect people to be or feel the way I do. I wouldn’t want people to expect that of me. Anger. My overactive sense of justice.
23. What old habits would I like to release?
Lashing out when I’m feeling down or frustrated. Those are my feelings and I don’t need to throw them at anyone else. Not taking care of myself just because I’m down or frustrated. Not practicing yoga or exercising or eating healthy does not make those feelings go away any faster.
24. What new habits would I like to cultivate?
I want to be more compassionate, kinder, more fierce, and more driven. Which means I want to treat people well, treat myself well, and dive into my passions. Just writing that made me tired. I’ll have to work on this, clearly.
I want to give time to my writing. I want to maintain consistency with any good habits I cultivate – yoga, exercise, eating whole and raw foods… I want to offer gratitude. To pray. To give of my time.
25. How can I be kind to myself?
When I occasionally falter in #24, which I will – let’s just be honest! – I want to be compassionate and accepting and non-judgmental to myself. I want to look forward to taking care of myself, rather than feeling like it’s a chore. I might have to fake it till I make it for a little while 😉