21 Questions to Make Your Year-end Goal Setting More Effective

three pens on white paper

A blueprint to craft a successful 2022

Two weeks ago, I shared the framework I use for goal setting and future planning. Based on the feedback, many of you found it helpful to have a starting place to organize your goals.

In addition to goal setting (future-looking), I find that reflecting on the year is helpful to maintaining a healthy perspective in the many facets of life.

This year was hard for many. As we say goodbye to 2021, we can choose not to dwell on what’s been lost or lament over the difficult and negative. Instead, we have the opportunity to reflect on what has been won and appreciate all that has been given. So as you enter 2022, take some time to consider these 21 questions as a means of reflection and planning.

Reflective Questions:

  1. What were my big moments, memories, and milestones this year?
  2. How could I be a better _______________ (son/daughter, employee, boss, manager, partner, friend, mentor)?
  3. What are some things that weighed on me this year? How can I best release them in 2022?
  4. How did I grow as a person? (New habits, new priorities, new preferences, new perspectives)
  5. What things do I look back on most fondly? What brought me energy and joy? (People, relationships, places, habits, experiences, etc)
  6. What things do I look back on less fondly? What was draining or reduced happiness? (People, relationships, places, habits, experiences, etc)
  7. What were my biggest achievements this year?
  8. Where did I fall short?
  9. What is on my “Best Of” list? (Books, podcasts, newsletters, purchases, habits, etc)
  10. What am I most grateful for in 2021?

Consider these questions as they apply in the various categories of life:

  • Health
  • Financial
  • Relationships
  • Experiences
  • Business
  • Household

Dig into the second layer of your answers. What did you learn from those things that weighed you down? How can you do more of what energizes you? How can you minimize those things that deplete you? What drove the achievements you made? Why is your Best Of list comprised of those items? What can you cut to focus your efforts on the most productive and fulfilling categories?

Forward-looking Questions:

  1. What is the single biggest bottleneck to my continued growth?
  2. What am I doing that may set me up for a bad year?
  3. Where am I taking myself too seriously?
  4. Am I spending my finite resources wisely? (Time, energy, attention, finances)
  5. How am I complicit in creating conditions I don’t want?
  6. What were the five most difficult conversations of the year?
  7. If I had unlimited financial resources, how would I invest today to increase my time, my energy, or my happiness?
  8. How would I use those same resources to benefit others?
  9. If I repeated my five weekly actions for five years, where would I end up? Is this where I want to go?
  10. What is currently limiting me?
  11. What can I automate? Eliminate? Delegate?
  12. How can I acheive my 10 year goal in 1 year?

I don’t expect anyone to have “the answer” to each of these questions. Instead, use it as a starting point for your planning. We often find ourselves in a rut – mainly out of a lack of creativity to change our habits – and limiting belief rather than actual constraints.

This week, between Christmas and New Year, take a couple of hours and intentionally plan your upcoming year. The tiny investment will pay dividends in your future.

All the best and the very best 2022,

-Shaun


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