How to Kickstart Your Year with 12 Key Questions

At the time of this recording, it’s the last week in December 2021. What a year it’s been. In some ways, it was a lot easier than 2020 and, in other ways, it was a lot harder. We might have gained clarity on what we control and what we don’t control, and what to hold on to and what to let go of. And we might have wanted certain things to snap back, but they didn’t and probably won’t, at least for now.

The start of the new year is an ideal time to take stock and reflect. January 1, the 1st of every month, or the start of a new season are temporal landmarks. This is when many of us set goals or recommit to goals.  

A review of the year gives you insights on how to move forward in the next. It’s better to do it in the first week of the year, but no later than before you start planning for the upcoming months.   

In episode 45 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1. How much time to invest in the Yearly Review. 

2. You get to decide where to review your year, such as at the dining table, at your work desk, on your couch, or outdoors if the local weather is ideal.

3. The Peak End Rule is a cognitive bias that affects our memories and shapes our behavior. We remember fragments of an event or experience. The fragments are the peaks, the pits, and the beginning and ending. 

4. Don’t rely on just your memory when you do your review. Go through your personal records, like journals, planners, calendars, notebooks, videos and photos. 

5. 12 questions to kickstart your year: 

Question #1: What made you feel the most joy? 

Question #2: What made you feel the most discontent?

Question #3: What was your biggest win? How did you celebrate it?

Question #4: What was your biggest setback? How did you recover from it?  

Question #5: What do you wish to do or experience more? What would happen if this came true? How can you make it come true?    

Question #6: What do you wish to do or experience less? What would happen if this came true? How can you make it come true? 

Question #7: Which habit or activity renews your energy the most?

Question #8: Which habit or activity drains your energy the most?  

Question #9 What did you do to make life for your [spouse, partner, child, sibling, parent, friend, colleague] more easeful?        

Question #10: What did you do to make life for your [spouse, partner, child, sibling, parent, friend, colleague] more difficult?  

Question #11: What did you receive from each person that made you most grateful? 

Question #12: What was the biggest lesson you learned and are afraid to apply?  

6. If these questions do not resonate with you, be sure to come up with your own to reflect on the past and plan for the future. 

7. Remember the 80/20 Rule: 20% of what you do creates 80% of the results, either 80% of your joy or 80% of you discontent. 

8. The huge benefits of reflecting on the past before you plan for the future. 

9. Asking the right questions will lead to more informed answers. Sometimes we avoid questions because they are inconvenient and they hold us accountable or responsible. But if we don’t bring them to the surface, they will linger and keep us from growing and making good decisions.    

Check out the new YouTube channel at The Incrementalist - A Productivity Show! If you're visual learner, there is a video on Episode 45

Read the transcript.


Sources cited: 
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Check out the book: The Incrementalist, A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps
Email: dyan@dyanwilliams.com
Visit website: www.dyanwilliams.com
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© 2021 Dyan Williams