Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Questions to ask yourself as you begin a new year

The news we received in the final days of 2010 were a huge reminder to keep one's priorities in order.  The news heard was the worst kind.  First a friend and former co-worker died of cancer.   Then a favorite high school math teacher was diagnosed with terminal cancer and likely only has a months until he goes home.  Then we lost a very special person to myself and many people, my Grandma Kaster.

Two lives cut short because of cancer, and one long life with a sudden ending.  We all know our time on this spinning rock is short.  Some live in denial of death, and some choose to live each day to its fullest. 

This year I will set goals knowing that my life is finite.  The theme of 2011 is "intentional"... I aim to do what I say this year.  No regrets.  Below are questions I will be asking myself as we begin a new year.  I post these so that maybe they may help you reflect on your goals for 2011.

There are seven areas in life we all should be reflecting on consistent basis.  A new year is a good time to remind yourself of your priorities.
  • How much debt do I want to pay off this year?
  • How can I save 3-6 months worth of expenditures for an emergency?
  • What can I sacrifice to receive financial peace?
  • What non-fiction books can help me in my parenting, my marriage, my children, and career?
  • What podcast can I listen to while I commute in my car?
  • How can I spend more time with my children?
  • How can I lead my family better?
  • How can I date my wife again?
  • Who can help me on my spiritual journey?
  • How much of the bible can I learn from this year?
  • What changes in my diet can I make permanently?
  • How many 5K races, half-marathons can I run this year?
  • What do I want to be known for when I leave?
  • How can I do more of the one or two things I love to do?
  • What is my career legacy?
  • What friends have I lied to and not set a date to hang out with?  
  • Which friends have I been neglecting?
Other important questions
  • What are my passions and strongly held beliefs?
  • On a daily basis you should ask yourself, Why am I doing this?
  • What one sentence would describe my main focus on life?
It is my hope that these reflection questions will help determine my goals (maybe your goals too) for the year.  Some rocking advice on achieving goals are below.
  1. Attack the goals with intensity and passion, without intensity and passion, you are likely to fail.
  2. Goal must have a big "Why" behind it.  If you don't have a good reason for setting the goal, it won't happen.
  3. Goals must be specific... instead of I want to lose weight, the goal should be, I want to lose 10 pounds.
  4. Goals must be measurable... you need to know when it is accomplished.
  5. Goals must be yours...  Don't lose 10 pounds because your wife thinks you should.
  6. Goals have to have a time limit... I want to lose 10 pounds by May 1st.
  7. Goals need to be written down, and shared with someone who will support you.  Put your goals in a place where you will see them often.

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