Seven Questions to Ask About Last Year

The week between Christmas and New Years is one of the most unproductive times of the year. While retailers are as busy as ever, many businesses just shut down. Even businesses that stay open run on a skeleton crew. Many employees take the week off, benefiting from the additional holidays for an extended vacation.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/BrianAJackson, Image #6409322

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/BrianAJackson

However, as a leader, this can be an incredibly productive time—a quieter time—when you reflect on the past and look forward to the year ahead. Today, I want to focus on reflecting on this past year. It is important that we complete that before we move on to the future.

I suggest that you find a quiet place with just a journal, a pen, and a cup of coffee. It might also be helpful to have access to your calendar, so that you can review the major events of the year. Now write out the answers to the following questions:

  1. If the last year were a movie of your life, what would the genre be? Drama, romance, adventure, comedy, tragedy, or a combination?
    • One of my friends who lost a son, said simply, “Tragedy.”
    • Another, who got engaged and married said, “Romance.”
    • Still another, who experienced one misfortunate after another, said “Comedy—in fact, slapstick!”
  2. What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring? These can be single words or phrases. For me, they were:
    • Deeply moving times with friends and family
    • Making difficult decisions in the face of the economic crisis
    • Learning to get along with less and enjoying it more
  3. What did you accomplish this past year that you are the most proud of? These can be in any area of your life—spiritual, relational, vocational physical, etc. Be as specific as possible. Here are some of mine:
    • Running the half marathon in April, even though I almost didn’t at the last minute
    • Cutting our company’s expenses to maintain the health of the business
    • Having eight of the top ten books on the November Christian bestsellers list
    • Getting my oldest daughter married and seeing her relationship with her new husband flourish
  4. What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t? Okay, this is a little too personal for me to respond to directly. But here are some examples of what others might say:
    • Working two jobs as a single mom to provide for my family
    • Not giving up on my marriage when it would have been easier to quit
    • Making time to workout, even though I wanted to sleep in.
  5. What disappointments or regrets did you experience this past year? As leaders, we naturally have high expectations of ourselves and others. Where did you let yourself down? Where did you let others down? Here are some of mine:
    • Laying off so many of our employees, including some very dear friends
    • Failing to articulate the vision and be a better source of encouragement to my team
    • Not really unplugging from my vacation in October like I had planned
    • Losing focus on my exercise regimen and having to keep re-starting it
  6. What was missing from last year as you look back? Again, look at each major area of your life. Don’t focus now on having to do anything about it. For now, just list each item. Here is my list:
    • More time spent on strategic planning, particularly vision and strategy
    • More time reading offline (i.e., books)
    • Time to really unplug and not think about work
    • More time with my parents
  7. What were the major life-lessons you learned this past year? Boil this down to a few short, pithy statements. For example:
    • There comes a point in every experience where I am too far in to quit but almost certain I can’t finish. If I keep moving forward I will eventually get to the other side.
    • Being present with the people I love is the most important gift I can give them.
    • Don’t over-think the outcome; just do the next right thing.

It took me about an hour to go through this exercise. But it was well-worth the effort. So often, life goes by so fast that we don’t take time to process it.

Now that you have your list, it is time to acknowledge the past and complete it. It’s over. There’s nothing you can do to change it. This is hugely important. What was done was done. It’s time to close that chapter and turn to the next one.

I suggest you write at the bottom of your list, “This year is over. I declare it complete!” Now double-underline it for emphasis. Tomorrow, I plan to write about looking toward next year.

Question: What were your major life lessons from this past year? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Lindsey_Nobles Lindsey_Nobles

    It is funny. I feel like life has been pretty constant, unchanging until I begin to look back. I really feel like a different person than I was this time last year.

    Life lessons – some I learned this year, some I have known but was reminded.
    God has a plan. He is in control. I need to trust in that.
    Sometimes you have to let go. Walk away. Get perspective.
    That being comfortable is not a sufficient life goal. Rather I want to be a part of an EPIC story that will have its fair share of conflict.

    • http://www.flurrycreations.com/theblog John Bergquist

      I get a kick out of lookingback at my Journals and realizing how ueless I was tothechanges ahead. He isindeed in control.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/success2you John Richardson

      Lindsey, I like your idea of an Epic Story.

      2009 was certainly epic in many ways and not real comfortable for many people, but I truly believe that challenging times are where we learn about who we really are and that it is important to remember that God is in control.
      My recent post Goals: The Difference Between “Want To” & “Have To”

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I like your EPIC story concept, too, although it is difficult to chose. Comfort is usually more appealing!

  • http://www.flurrycreations.com/theblog John Bergquist

    Mike, what I like about this post is that once the self reflection is done, you encourage the readers to move on and not wallow in it. These are great questions and many times I find I spend too much effort in unorganized contemplation that results in either regret or anxiety over what could have been. We often magnify the bad and minimize the good when reflecting on our leadership. By giving this exercise the needed time and space I believe a truer picture of the past emerges. We reflect, remember, adjust, then move forward. As with Deb, I plan to take this list to heart and carve out some time this week as well. Thanks.
    -John

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, John. I mostly create these kinds of tools for my own use, because my thinking tends to amplify the bad and minimize the good. This is a good way to keep it in balance.

      • http://flurrycreations.com/theblog John

        Mike, I would love to hear some of your #4's offline sometime. I just started Derailed (thanks to you) and so much can be learned from the kings that have gone before us and how they perceive the derailments.
        My recent post A three part series on listening.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/RolfIssler RolfIssler

    Michael, your questions are thought provoking. I've been reviewing the year from a buiness perspective. However, I realized while reading your post that I also need to be including other aspects of my life in this annual review.

    I think these same questions can be asked as we look forward to 2010. Imagine that we are doing this exercise one year from today, and answer the same questions. It would be interesting to pull out the responses in a year to see how close we got to accomplishing the goals.

    Thanks for your contribution.
    Rolf

  • http://blog.inspiredfaith.com Angel

    Thanks for sharing! I love the way you worded your major life lessons, especially "Don’t over-think the outcome; just do the next right thing." I think that will become one of my lessons from this year as I mull it over for the next few days.
    My recent post Soaking at His Feet

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That's one I am having to learn and re-learn!

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    A few of my many life lessons (some I’ve learned myself, some I’ve been reminded of by the actions of others):
    ::Put God first. If God isn’t first in my life then what is He?
    ::Responding is different than reacting. Responding requires some thought.
    ::The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.
    ::It is what it is. Don't sugar coat reality. Face it and make the best choices you can with what information you have.
    ::Perfection is subjective. Strive for excellence but don’t let a desire for perfection stop you from taking action.
    ::Technology can allow you to be anywhere at any time, except where you are. Be balanced so that you remain present.
    ::Security can be an illusion, be proactive versus comfortable. (Contracts end, jobs get terminated, etc.)
    ::Encourage others. It's not about me.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

      Something to consider–Deuteronomy 30:20 encourages us to cleave to God because He is our life. In Him we have our being.
      My recent post #23 UNDERSTANDING CHRIST: HIS WALK ON EARTH

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    Weird. The "S" in Security next to the : turned it into a frown. Supposed to be S. :)

  • http://pathfromtheheadtotheheart.wordpress.com Chrystie

    Really great post! I have spent the last several weeks pondering 2009 and this will be a great exercise to add to my process. I especially love your idea of declaring this year complete. Great, practical application. Love it! Thanks for the post!
    My recent post Merry Christmas!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/success2you John Richardson

    A very insightful post, Michael.

    After some contemplation, here is my list.

    1. Movie Genre: Adventure. Through the trials and travails of self publishing, opening a new high school and middle school at work, moving to a smaller home, and to the US financial downfall of the century, this has been a roller coaster year.

    2. Three Major Themes: Troubled times = opportunity, other people have done it-so can you, and it's great being called grandpa.

    3. Accomplishments: Finishing my first book, completely changing our database system at work, and learning how to feed my new grandson. We also moved to a smaller home which taught me all about organizing and throwing things away.

    4. Things I should have been acknowledged for: Completely converting over a 100 access databases to SQL. Data can be a thankless job… when it works nobody says anything… but when it doesn't work… yikes!

    5. Disappointments or Regrets: Not asking enough questions about self publishing or data conversion. Losing our little dog, Sadie.

    6. Missing from last year: Time to get away and just be with my wife and family. A sense of security… everything seemed to be in turmoil.

    7. Major Life Lessons: God is in control, As much as I hate tedious details they do eventually complete themselves, and it's great to be a husband and granddad.

    It was also great finding your blog this year. Articles like this have truly changed my life.

    Have a great 2010!

    My recent post Goals: The Difference Between “Want To” & “Have To”

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing so much detail, John. Great job!

  • http://www.godhungry.org Jim Martin

    Michael, a great post! Your seven questions have given me a good way to close out this year. In particular, I like the way you end this — declaring the year to over and done with. No need to wallow in it (as I am prone to do! :)
    My recent post Seeking to Be Liked (Chasing After an Elusive Prize)

  • James

    The main lesson I learned was too continue focusing on who I am as a person. Not what I have, what I make or what I do for a living. I did this by constructing a personal mission statement and writing it twice a day. Regardless of what happens, it is how I respond that determines the outcome.

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com Kim

    Michael, I think this a great life exercise. It lends closure while giving perspective to the future. I have looked back and determined the impact of my actions and the role(s) others have played in my 2009. What worked–didn't work in my life, and am now setting goals and implementing positive plans. Joyous New Year to you and yours.
    My recent post Tackling The Four C’s With A Dash Of Color For The New Year

  • ag1808

    Thanks for making me think. God uses you/your blog and insight, to grow me spiritually and educationally every time I check your site.

    My Life lessons for 2009 -

    A wise person listens more and speaks less.
    (still working on this but finally believe it)

    You can’t choose for other people, only for you. (knew this but took it personally anyway. Now focusing on what God is showing me to do, help, learn, love and accepting His control over what happens from there.)

    Getting beyond my fear of being great, or more accurately, being greatly used by God. (shutting up that voice that tells me I have no right or ability that makes me able or worthy of being so; as in the quote from Marianne Williamson, in part here “You are a child of God: playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the Glory of God within us.”)see the whole quote here – http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/17297.Marianne_Williamson

  • http://www.facebook.com/gyttrup Ginny Yttrup

    Thank you for another thought provoking post and the suggestion to bring this year–this chapter to a close. We can look back as a means of learning, but to languish there keeps us from growth and forward momentum. I needed that reminder as this year draws to an end.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Ken_Summerlin Ken_Summerlin

    This post is the very reason that I follow your blog. Good job.
    My recent post "Who are her people?"

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  • http://www.rachelheldevans.com Rachel H. Evans

    New to the publishing industry, this year I learned A LOT about patience!

    My recent post On New Year’s Resolutions and Channeling Henry David Thoreau

  • Anna

    God is real.__I'm happier when I don't have expectations.__The past is the past. *Move on.*__I am who I am because of who I was__Ideals are not always constant__Being lazy doesn't "rest" me — It is lost potential.

  • Christianne

    Michael, this is a truly exceptional list of questions. Thank you for sharing them. My hub and I are going to take your advice: at the same time, we're going to sit down with our pens and paper and mugs of tea, answer the questions for ourselves, and then come together to share our reflections. Then we'll celebrate our New Year's dinner by looking ahead to the coming year and what direction God is leading us.

    BTW, been meaning to ask if there is a way to enable the comments section so that it always defaults to show all the replies to each comment from the outset, similar to the way Anne Jacksons's show up on Flowerdust, instead of clicking on the "Reply" hyperlink for each comment as you go. Is this a preference readers can set for themselves on your blog or is it something you control on your end? Just curious.
    My recent post A Bit of Housekeeping Detail

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words.

      I use the IntenseDebate as my comment plugin. It has some really nice features, but the one they don't have is to have all the comments open as you suggested. I made this request of their developers last week. While they didn't promise a fix, they did assure me that I was not the only one who had requested this.

      Thanks again.

  • http://www.piersoncci.com Deb Pierson

    Thanks for the great post. The questions provoke an insightful and personal look, which I appreciate. I plan to do this first thing tomorrow morning when my mind is fresh. I love the combination of focusing on the positive as well as the disappointments. Twitter @piersoncci.com

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, this is an exercise that really demands that you are fresh, since you need perspective. That's usually the first casualty when you are tired.

  • http://twitter.com/mfeatherson @mfeatherson

    This is a great post. I tend to spend so little time in reflection of past accomplishments and failures that it's hard for me to appreciate how these events have shaped me as an individual over the last year. Your list provides a framework to approach this in a streamlined yet very comprehensive and thoughtful way. Thanks! I'm planning to set aside some time today to work on it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    Michael, this has been a year of adventure for me. At school, I was able to convince our administration to loop non-college bound students with me for both Jr. and Sr. English. I was seeing so many seniors approaching graduation with no plans that I decided I could make a difference. Developing the curriculum is ongoing, but overall the looping looks like it's going to successful. Meanwhile, pursuing my writing "career" has taught me my greatest lesson. I went to the Write-to-Publish conference and saw my dream burn to ashes as I discovered the reality of today's world of publishing. However, God opened new doors for me and now I am writing my book online via my blog. And, best of all, before I was really technical and professorial, now I find myself being able to write like I'm having a conversation.
    My theme this year has been that love is a great choice. God chose to love us to life, and as we grow in that love, the world will understand that God's love is absolute–perfect, complete, and real!

    My recent post #23 UNDERSTANDING CHRIST: HIS WALK ON EARTH

  • http://www.raisetheeup.com/blog Michael Holmes

    To be honest, last year was a very challenging year for me.

    I was severely tested financially. It was one of the years I wondered, “Where is God?”

    But it was also a great year and as I grew closer to Him–learned to depend on Him even more. I wrote a book that is touching others and, I believe, is going to touch the world. I got serious with a blog that is helping more and more people everyday. And have seen a new window open up even in the middle of closed doors.

    I must say this year also brought a greater love and appreciation for my wife. She braved these times with me, encouraged me, and didn’t once complain. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a woman…but I’m glad I have her near me.

    So you can say 2009…has been an interesting year:)

  • http://christinakatz.com Christina Katz

    These are great questions, Michael. I actually spent a lot of time last year asking myself similar types of questions (so I guess my year was an adventure-drama complete with lots of soul-searching).

    And you are also correct that spending time on this kind of reflection has prepared the groundwork for a very productive and exciting week this week (after taking last week mostly off).

    I think 2010 is shaping up already like an action-adventure with a splash of romancing my writing career and asking others to do the same thing. :)
    My recent post Both of My Books are Available in Digital PDF Downloads Via Writer’s Digest

  • http://www.ronlane.wordpress.com Ron

    Michale, this is a great exercise. I spent this afternoon thinking about an answering some of these questions. It really is a great way to get in you in the 2010 planning and goal setting mode.

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  • http://www.shrinkingthecamel.com Bradley J. Moore

    Yeah, another year in the can. It's funny, because I often do this reflection exercise in the Fall, after summer is over, like it's "Back to School" again. So the year-end review is just an update. I like your questions, and I agree it's so important to stop sometimes and not just acknowledge our accomplishments, but even to admit the things we regret. Many times we just want to gloss over the difficult stuff without processing the why and what will we do different next time.

  • http://www.jennicatron.tv Jenni Catron

    What a great list of reflective questions. I have been privileged to work at companies that shut down the week between Christmas and New Year’s… I say privileged because I thrive on the open space to plan, dream, and strategize for the coming year. I’m going to add your questions to my usual routine!

  • http://forrest-long.blogspot.com Forrest Long

    Very good! I keep a journal and usually review the past year as well as focus on the coming year. Today or tomorrow I will sit down with this list and use it for reviewing the past year. Thanks for sharing this. And I like the redesign of your blog.

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Kathy_Nicholls Kathy_Nicholls

    This is such a great list for us to reflect on and I am doing it today. It's been a good year, with a new marriage and some good success in what I was doing in my work, and yet a challenging one as I ended the year not having that cherished job and having to make a very unexpected move. In all of that I am learning that I have to rely on the fact that God is in control and has a plan, even when I don't understand it. Sometimes that's challenging, but it's so important to keep that focus. I do love the part about moving on once you've looked at it as it's important to get on to doing the next thing right. Thank you for your posts, they often touch a topic that I need.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/keithjennings Keith Jennings

    I'm a new-ish reader of your blog. Just discovered it in the past few months, and really enjoy your authenticity and insights.

    Life lessons in 2009…

    Dealing with the second year waiting to adopt our daughter has been an emotional roller-coaster for me, my wife and two sons. It's taught us that God's vision and timing, although we may not like it at times, is beyond ours.

    Eighteen months into the sleep-depriving drive to birth a new business, I was offered a job that has turned out to be the greatest opportunity I've ever had. Looking back, I'm thankful I didn't let pride and ambition blind me from that opportunity. Giving up on something as personal as a business brings very mixed emotions. I won't lie, I've had to deal with feelings of failure. (I keep listening to Seth Godin's The Dip to reinforce that I quit in a strategic way.) That said, I know I'm blessed to have had these opportunities when so many are struggling to find an income source.

    I wish you, your family and your Thomas Nelson family a successful year in 2010!
    My recent post Keith Jennings updated Thu Dec 31 2009 1:00 am CST

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/chrishuff chrishuff

    My major life lesson… volunteering too much equals overcommitment which effects relationship with my family.

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  • http://twitter.com/ajelwind @ajelwind

    Great questions, Michael. Thanks.

    Here are some good ones to ask yourself for the year ahead:

    http://sojournerblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/dangero

    Happy New Year! — Michael Warden
    My recent post On the Edge of Life

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1749803388 David Moore

    You always keep me thinking even when I try to avoid it. Reflection can be hard, but is necessary for moving forward. Thanks for all you have done for me thru your writings and resources. God bless and Happy New Year.

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  • http://twitter.com/CptRoo @CptRoo

    Love the idea of relating the last year to a movie genre. Adventure. Definitely and adventure flick. At times it was quite suspenseful, navigating the white water rapids of publishing. But thrilling opportunities to learn new things and grow just because you had to in order to survive!

    I love the life lessons question as well…I've done that for the past few years when reviewing the year into the back of my diary. Most significant life lessons this year: accept your imperfection. Seek excellence, not the bat of perfection. Along that note, accept that rich relationships sometimes have tension. It's not the end of the world. Ride out the storm. You will survive.

    Peace, Michael. Thanks for the vulnerability. Thanks for sharing great nuggets all year. Blessings to you and your family in 2010.

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  • http://www.theresepatrick.com terri

    My life lesson this past year was bringing big projects to completion. There were huge lessons learned but for me this past year wasn't about new lessons for myself as much a there were lessons about leadership and why my personal growth – matters.

    I personally don't agree with everything you say, Michael, or see value in everything you promote. I know my opinions are based on my experiences and goals. We're all individuals. We're all connected.

    It's been a huge value for me to follow you through another blog redesign. Your Twitter feed is fun, when I check it, but the most important thing this past year – as I've observed your life journey is – your personal growth. It's authentic and of merit.

    That's also my goal, to be authentic and of merit.

    So my greatest lesson this past year has be in regards to the public persona, and how to keep it clean and simple. My private persona is exceptional but few care about that unless I take it public. How fun is that? You are a leader and may be one who's private life will bear a scrutiny that news hounds will find boring for lack of drama. How cool is that? Keep up the good work.

    Good stuff here. Go forth and blog or redesign. Face new challenges.

    I'm happy to follow your journey because I learn tons.

  • http://www.theresepatrick.com terri

    My life lesson this past year was bringing big projects to completion. There were huge lessons learned but for me this past year wasn't about new lessons for myself as much a there were lessons about leadership and why my personal growth – matters.

    I personally don't agree with everything you say, Michael, or see value in everything you promote. I know my opinions are based on my experiences and goals. We're all individuals. We're all connected.

    It's been a huge value for me to follow you through another blog redesign. Your Twitter feed is fun, when I check it, but the most important thing this past year – as I've observed your life journey is – your personal growth. It's authentic and of merit.

    That's also my goal, to be authentic and of merit.

    So my greatest lesson this past year has be in regards to the public persona, and how to keep it clean and simple. My private persona is exceptional but few care about that unless I take it public. How fun is that? You are a leader and may be one who's private life will bear a scrutiny that news hounds will find boring for lack of drama. How cool is that? Keep up the good work.

    Good stuff here. Go forth and blog or redesign. Face new challenges.

    I'm happy to follow your journey because I learn tons.

  • http://twitter.com/acbaker1 @acbaker1

    Reflecting on, "More time with my parents." This is the one thing I left out of my story on caring for my parents before they died. (Slow Dancing at Death's Door). I was so busy caring for them, I was often around them but not present with them. Here's to new beginnings and eternity with the Saints!

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  • http://twitter.com/adrianwarnock @adrianwarnock

    Great questions @michaelhyatt I had a go at answering them over at http://adrianwarnock.com/2010/01/the-year-that-wa

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Cindy_Graves Cindy_Graves

    I read this post when you first published it and I've re-visited it often over the past few days. I'm still working my way through the questions. I love this exercise.

    Between finding your blog (along with a few others) this year and reading Donald Miller's Million Miles, I think 2009 was a foundational year for something fantastic God has planned for 2010. And I can't wait! I'm more excited about this year and new beginnings than I've been in a very long time. Thanks for your influence. Looking forward to learning more from you this year.
    My recent post Wii Fit™ and the Word of God…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JeffHolton Jeffrey Holton

    These are awesome questions! Thanks, Michael.

    I'm actually not generally very reflective, but I should be. Knowing how I got where I am now would be remarkably insightful to explain where the heck I'm supposed to be going next.
    My recent post Top five posts for December 2009

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/AaronArmstrong Aaron Armstrong

    Great questions, Michael. I took a stab at answering them here: http://hardwords.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/conside

    Thanks for taking the time to pose these questions.
    My recent post D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Be Different from the World

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  • http://christopherscottblog.typepad.com/blog/ Christopher Scott

    Great post Michael.

    At the end of every year I ask two main questions:
    1) What do I want to keep doing?
    2) What do I want to stop-doing?

    My tendency as a leader is to always be doing new things. I find myself starting new projects and habits throughout the year, so by Dec 31st, I need to purge a few activities or habits. This also allows me to make sure I am working in my strength areas.

  • http://christopherscottblog.typepad.com/blog/ Christopher Scott

    Great post Michael.

    At the end of every year I ask two main questions:
    1) What do I want to keep doing?
    2) What do I want to stop-doing?

    My tendency as a leader is to always be doing new things. I find myself starting new projects and habits throughout the year, so by Dec 31st, I need to purge a few activities or habits. This also allows me to make sure I am working in my strength areas.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Michael for sharing these questions.

    Major life lesson in 2010 for me – the incredible power of conversations. I launched a podcast show this year and the tag line is “through conversation, life happens and finds meaning.” Now more than ever I believe this to be the case. I’ve discovered that when I am open to the conversation wonderful things happen.

    Blessings to you and your readers in 2011!

  • Shari Henry

    My major life lesson from last year is that I have a breaking point. So, I need to adjust. Thanks so much for this post. I will print it out and take it with me to my quiet spot tomorrow as I reflect & pray & plan for 2011. As an aside, it reminds me of a great question a sweet friend asked when I moved from Alabama (after living there for 15 years) to Virginia a few years ago. She said, “What will you take with you to Richmond that you learned in Huntsville, and what will you leave behind?” Thanks, Michael, and I need to go thank Charlotte too! Happy New Year.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Your friend asked some very good questions!

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  • Velta Virginia KeckLong

    Lots of fun reading all the comments. I too have to review 2010 with all that happened. I do know starting November was a big change for me. Found out in ER that I have a brain tumor. Went in for surgery 12-3-2010. Dr. Hawk neurosurgeon at Kasiser, Sacramento. CA removed in in 2 1/2 hours. Was told a 6-8 hour surgery. I woke up immediately after surgery and asked, ” Can I go home now.” I had complete recovery. Not paralized, no numbness to left side. My surgery in right side of the brain. Dr Hawk did a good job. I had miminal swelling, not much bleeding and no pain. I recovery in ICU for two days and was doing excellent. I give God all the Glory, All. He alone directed in it all. I have excellent doctor A #1 team of doctors, RN and other staff at Kasier. I had appoint with onocologist Dr. B. C. Ark on Tuesday. She has referred me to Radiation treatments. In this all is what I want to tell you. God has given me inspired by God only two books to write and publish. I am not a writer. I had dexleia. He took it away when I started writing His two books. I am working with Thoms Nelson Publishing thought WestBow Press. I really don’t have the money to publish. I charge the money on a credit card. Praying for funds to pay for the monthy payments. God will provide, I am sure of it. I also enrolled in on line classes at South University for Health Care Administration. So I am excited for the year 2011. I am planning to work for Kaiser. So pray with me in getting a job with them.

    • VeltaVirginia KeckLong

      I forgot to spell check my comment. See some mispelled words. Oh well this will help me to spell check before I post again.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        No worries. It happens to all of us.

  • caroline c wilson

    awesome….

  • CAROLINE WILSON

    Hi Michael, my husband and I were at the Ken Davis Communication summit in October, and i have really just got my self to blob via wordpress. I have been trying for a while to subscribe to your blog, how do i do this? Caroline from New Zealand.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Just click on either the RSS button on the top right-hand side of any page or, if you want to receive my updates by email, click on the email button. I hope that helps.

  • Hilarybarnett

    These are wonderful questions! I will be using these for every New Year’s reflection. Thanks!

  • Toni

    These questions are really thought provoking.. i hope you don’t mind but I will publish it in my blog.. and link you to it.. thanks

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  • CindycHope7

    Great questions…worth honest responses. Thanks.

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  • http://justmerach.wordpress.com/ justmerach

    This exercise is very insightful, thankyou! I’ve saved it for a point when I had time to do it justice, so even
    though we’re way past New Year, here I go:
    1.
    Endurance resolved into Triumph.  I clocked up 4months of going 100% cold-turkey on gluten
    2. Health – getting beyond survivalChurch – the privilege of belonging to a healthy part of the church body
    3. I am proud of organising, financing (temporarily), and coordinating my first road
    trip
    4. Pain management – I’ve preferred to be in denial about how much I was suffering.  Finally getting relief from some of that pain has made me realise what a substantial additional tax I’ve
    been paying: and having more leftover energy as a result, to get caught up on things and enjoy activities during my time off. 5. Disappointment: informed of a significant delay to my greencard.Regret: Allowing myself to be overtaken by depression from time to time
    6. Mutual relationships.  I’ve poured myself out as a mentor, without getting properly filled myself.  Used to being almost empty most of the time, I took half-full as meaning I was overflowing… and got frustrated at the
    burn-out.7. I am not living in a holding pattern.Investing in myself is not wrong, and I should not feel guilty about it, or ashamed to admit it.

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  • Michelle Hoverson

    Perseverance is definely a verb.

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  • Evan Pham

    hey michael, i just listened to you on The Smart and Passive Income podcast and Beyond The To-Do list podcast. Excellent content you provided us! You mentioned your 7 questions, so I went back in history to look for them. I answered these for myself just now as an exercise to reflect on 2013 and reinvent for 2014.

    7- it’s important to be yourself. if you’re not being yourself, you have no chance of becoming the great at anything. don’t let others tell you who you should be, otherwise you’re no longer living your own life.