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New year 2013 written on the sand while 2012 gets washed away by the water. (KaeArt/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
New year 2013 written on the sand while 2012 gets washed away by the water. (KaeArt/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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12 questions to get the jump on the year ahead Add to ...

Each December, like many other people, I reflect on the year past and the year ahead. I focus this reflection with 12 questions. I note highlights and lessons learned; how I have evolved; the memorable moments and the various goals I’ve advanced toward – and more. Often, I’m surprised by how much I achieved. As we trudge through our busy lives we are often thinking about all we have not done or achieved. So I invite you to use these questions to take stock and consider your intentions and aspirations for 2013.

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THE YEAR PAST

1. What went well?

Identify the goals you accomplished or advanced towards; and note anything else that went well and is worth highlighting.

2. In what ways did I grow and evolve?

How were you tested or challenged and how did you grow as a result? What new skills, knowledge, ideas and insights (in your work and personal life) have made you better or different this year?

3. What were my favourite moments of 2012?

Savouring positive experiences has been proven to be a successful strategy for building optimism, resilience and mojo – all essential ingredients to personal and professional well being.

4. What do I need to clean out or let go of now to be ready to start fresh in 2013?

Consider both your physical space (your office, your home) as well as your emotional and mental mindsets.

5. What and who am I most most grateful for right now?

Consider the people in your life, including co-workers, family and friends; the events; the unexpected surprises; make this a juicy list!

6. If there were a theme for me in 2012, what was it?

Think of the year as a whole, and fill in the blank: “This was the year of -----.”

THE YEAR AHEAD

7. What are my goals for 2013?

Consider professional goals as well as personal goals. Consider small, medium and “big-hair audacious” goals.

8. Which of my strengths and assets will I tap into to realize my goals?

Consider your personal strengths but also your assets such as your network, knowledge, experience and more. Make a plan.

9. How will I foster my personal well-being to maintain or boost my mojo?

Mojo involves resilience, energy, inspiration and an overall sense of well being. Take time to reflect on your physical state as well as your mental and emotional well being. If you were operating at your peak, what would that look like? What needs to happen to bridge the gap from where you are today to where you want to be? Make a plan.

10. How will I foster my professional well-being to boost or maintain my career aspirations?

What new skills will you acquire or deepen? How will you foster or build your network? What new challenges will you take on? And what support might you call on to help you achieve your professional goals?

11. How can I contribute to the ‘greater good’?

In what ways will you go beyond yourself, and contribute to the greater good of your family, workplace and community?

12. What will be my theme for the coming year?

If the year ahead were to have a personal theme, what would that be? Think big: “This will be the year of ----.”

Here’s to celebrating the past and gearing up for the future. And making each day count along the way.

Eileen Chadnick is a work-life and career coach and principal of Big Cheese Coaching in Toronto.

Have a question about careers, labour law or management? Send it to our panel of experts: careerquestion@globeandmail.com Your name and address will be kept confidential.

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