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:
- What new skill can you learn?
- Who can you partner with?
- What’s incongruent?
- What brings the most value?
- Who wants you to succeed?
- How do you get your energy?
- A small game is safe; a big game is meaningful, exciting. What’s your Big Game?
- What would a simpler way look like?
- What’s your bottom line?
- What’s the theme song today?
- Where is the fun?
- What could be scrapped without loss?
- Where is courage needed?
- What if it’s good enough?
- What offer can you make?
- What’s already working that you can build on?
- Where are you rushing to?
- Where’s your growing edge?
- What’s so important, you’d leave your comfort zone to make it happen?
- 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.