Six Questions to Kick-Start Your New Year’s Resolution

This post is from The Coach’s Corner which is part of the January issue my monthly eMagazine, The Leading Edge, for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

As we enter a new year, we often write down or at least think up a number of New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions may be personal, career or business related. Too often we do not fulfill these resolutions because they seem overwhelming and hard to achieve.

In coaching it is not so much about the answers—we have the answers within each of us—it is about the questions. The questions keep us thinking about outcomes, goals and successes we desire. The questions help shift our thinking patterns to explore the variety of options that are available to us. The questions assist us in keeping the focus on the goal.

What are the important questions that will help you to keep that important resolution? With each important question that is asked of you, there are supplementary questions that will help you zero in on what you truly want.

Here are six questions with some related questions to help you get started on your most important resolution.

1) At the end of this year, what is the most important thing that you want to achieve? This is about your vision for your or your company’s future and it is important to consider one resolution at a time. Subsequent questions may be: Why is this important to you? What does this success look like?

2) How ready are you to take action? This speaks to your commitment and willingness to take some risks and leads to some other questions. What is holding you back? What are some challenges that you see?

3) What would you need to be successful? As you start to figure out your path, other questions may arise that help clarify the ultimate goal and help you reflect. What have you learned from past experience or success? What resources are available to you? Who can help you with this?

4) What is the first small step you can take? This question is clearly about breaking down the ultimate goal into manageable steps and getting started. A couple of other questions may be: What are three different ways to reach your goal? When will you start?

5) How do you stay inspired and motivated to fulfill this dream? This question is about keeping the focus on your resolution until you have succeeded. How are you going to stay accountable to fulfilling this promise? Who have you shared your passion for this resolution with?

6) How will you celebrate your success? It is important to acknowledge your accomplishment with some sort of celebration. It is also advisable to find suitable mini-celebrations as you fulfill the “small steps” along the way. Who will you invite to celebrate this success? What will each celebration look like?

Whatever the resolution, try to keep it in the forefront every day—make it a habit. Write down your resolution and the answers to the questions you have had along the way. Share your resolution with others—a member of your family, a good friend, your coach, your mentor, your colleagues— and keep them informed as you proceed.

Happy Questioning in 2016.