CelebrationsHappy 2013 to everyone!

The end and beginning marked by the New Year provide a useful point to stop and reflect on our daily lives.

I don’t subscribe to the ‘give something up’ approach to New Year’s resolutions. But I do like to identify a theme for development – a kind of big-reaching goal that has a year to unfold. Of course, the hard part is identifying which areas of change are significant and supported, and what we can do with them. Not unlike a retrospective, really.

Part of my facilitation toolkit is Deborah Preuss’ downloadable set of Powerful Question Cards. I use them whenever I need to come unstuck from a problem.

Powerful Questions are tools for exploring our world from a new perspective. Using subtle shifts, they help us to see our situation differently, and open our minds to options we might otherwise miss – which makes them inherently creative.

I was flicking through my set on New Year’s Eve and noticed that a few were particularly fitting for a personal retrospective. These gently thought-provoking questions provide great insight for an annual reflection and planning session:

  1. What new skill can you learn?
  2. Who can you partner with?
  3. What’s incongruent?
  4. What brings the most value?
  5. Who wants you to succeed?
  6. How do you get your energy?
  7. A small game is safe; a big game is meaningful, exciting. What’s your Big Game?
  8. What would a simpler way look like?
  9. What’s your bottom line?
  10. What’s the theme song today?
  11. Where is the fun?
  12. What could be scrapped without loss?
  13. Where is courage needed?
  14. What if it’s good enough?
  15. What offer can you make?
  16. What’s already working that you can build on?
  17. Where are you rushing to?
  18. Where’s your growing edge?
  19. What’s so important, you’d leave your comfort zone to make it happen?
  20. What would a wise person whisper in your ear?

Loosely themed, these questions cover:
– What is calling for your attention?
– What’s exciting to you?
– What’s non-negotiable?
– What possibilities are lurking around the edges?
– What themes are present already?

Without stepping into cliché or worrying about resolutions, spending some time chewing on these will help to surface trends and frame intentions, which is a great way to start anything…

Here’s to finding meaningful insights and exciting paths for the year ahead.

4x5 Powerful Questions