Our lives are a response to the questions we ponder. Toward the end of each year, I like to reflect on the year that has been and the year that is to come. I plan a little and dream a lot. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, I exchange questions with a group of friends. The questions are designed to encourage and challenge us to make the coming year amazing.
The right question is like a crystal prism — shine a little reflection into it and it shoots out light in a thousand different directions, allowing you to see things you have never seen before and things that you have seen too many times to count in a new way.
Here are the 25 questions I put together to share with my friends this year. I hope they lead you to new dreams and discoveries for 2021.
1. What are you proudest of in 2020? Tell somebody.
2. When were you happiest this year?
3. When was the last time you felt fully alive? What contributed to that? What do you have to do to experience that more regularly?
4. What about your past is keeping you from your future?
5. If you could only accomplish one thing next year, what would you like it to be?
6. What needs to be on your "not to do" list next year?
7. What are you dissatisfied with at this time in your life?
8. What do you need most from your friends next year?
9. How do you want to feel one year from now? Is that different from how you feel today?
10. How do you feel about 2021 right now? Is that how you want to feel about it all next year? What do you have to do to get yourself to a place where you feel how you want to feel about next year?
11. Are you serious about making 2021 the best year of your life?
12. Who do you want to help in powerful ways — large or small — in 2021?
13. If you retired on Dec. 31, what would you spend your time doing next year? What piece of that can you do even though you are not retiring?
14. Who do you want to love more and better than ever before next year?
15. Have you given up on some part of your life? Which part? Why?
16. What 10 books do you want to read in 2021?
17. If you could vacation anywhere in the world next year, where would you go?
18. If you knew you only had one year to live, what would you make sure to do in 2021?
19. If you gave one thing away each day for a whole year how would your life be different?
20. What do you do that requires only 10% of you? What do you do that leverages 50% or 60% of who you are? And what do you do that engages 90% or more of you?
21. What is something you have to do, for if you do not, your soul will start to die?
22. What's the one thing you could do every day next year that would make you a better version of yourself?
23. What is it that you really want? Do you even know? If you don't, that's OK. But if that's the case, isn't it time you spent some time in the classroom of silence grappling with this question?
24. What are you pretending not to know? And why are you afraid to acknowledge it?
25. What three dreams are most important to you in 2021?
These questions we gift to each other inspire us to look at ourselves and our lives in new ways.