“The greatest gift is not being afraid to question.” – Ruby Dee
It’s an understatement to say that the past years are filled with the unexpected and unpredictable.
But there’s also untapped potential in the current climate.
Sure, we’re living in a different time with a new set of challenges. For example, we’re exploring and adapting to new ways of connecting and living.
But in the process, we have the chance to design and visualize a future that would not have been possible 12 months ago.
It’s with this positive perspective that I offer you some planning questions in this article.
There’s a lot of power to be found in figuring out a way to make the most of challenging situations. With that in mind, explore these questions through a lens of positivity and optimism - even if resistance shows up.
In the process, you could find yourself making plans and dreaming about goals that excite you in a totally new way.
But before I reveal the questions for planning your future, let’s explore why this approach is so powerful.
The power of questions.
“A wise man’s question contains half the answer.” – Solomon Ibn Gabiro
Questions are powerful self-development tools that are easy to access.
Questions work due to a neural process called instinctive elaboration. In short, your brain is hard-wired to answer questions!
Here’s how you’ll benefit from asking better questions:• Engage your mind. Challenge your brain to create, innovate, and problem-solve.
• Direct your focus and attention. When you ask a question of yourself, you guide your mind down a specific pathway.
• Pattern interrupt. Ask a different question, and you’ll invite a new thread of thought, which can inspire you to think differently and unlock fresh ideas.
• Curiosity. Leading to new points of view.
• 95% of your brain’s activity is subconscious. Questions can help you unlock knowledge you didn’t know you had.
• Innate wisdom. Questions help you discover more about who you are leading to heightened self-discovery, self-awareness, and ultimately self-trust and self-love.
The Six Questions
Now you understand the power of questions; it’s time to grab your journal, reflect over these deep-dive prompts, and unlock insights that will help you finish the year strong.
- What actually matters to you?
The previous year has shown us that a lot of things we prioritized weren’t as important as we thought.
Use this question to pull away all the fluff and get to the core of what’s most important to you. This question will help you reset and rethink; creating the space to plan a future based on what’s truest for you.
- What are your new goals?
Given where you are now, what do you want to achieve, and why?
You may have to rethink your direction because the world has changed. A lot of people have been ‘cheated’ out of their pre-COVID goals. That said, it’s empowering to put a line in the sand, embrace the current climate, and create something beautiful regardless.
What could you do next?
Start by writing a list of possibilities. In the process, you’ll uncover the new opportunities that exist for you. And when you’re ready to commit to a goal and dive into some in-depth planning, the Self Journal has your back.
- Where are you slipping at the moment?
After the year we’ve had, you’d be forgiven for letting things slip! But there comes a time when you need to dust yourself off and get back into focus mode.
Be honest! Where have your standards slipped?
Where has your energy or effort dropped?
Where has your commitment waned?
If you’re meeting resistance as you think about this question, get clear on what slipping has cost you. It will give you that extra bit of incentive to get back on track.
- What can you do to get back in control of your life?
One of the scariest things about the past years is the falling apart of so many things we took for granted. Change on this scale is scary - and it can leave you feeling out of control.
Here’s the truth…
You may not be able to control external circumstances and events, BUT you can always control the way you react to them. Your mindset - i.e. your beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors are always in your control.
With that in mind, what actions can you take to feel as though you’re back in the driver’s seat of your life?
- What routines and habits will you adopt?
Change rarely happens overnight, and this can get frustrating. We’re impatient! As a result, we undervalue the power of daily baby steps.
This is the power of your habits and routines.
If you can distill your goals into small daily actions, you can put the compound effect into your life.
What could you start TODAY to move the needle in the direction you want to go?
- How can you find peace and happiness in your life?
Stress, anxiety, burnout, worry etc. All these challenging emotions can throw us off balance and leave us feeling unsettled.
Even when chaos surrounds you, there’s always something you can do to reclaim a sense of peace. There’s always something you can smile about to feel happier.
What are these for you?
Time to step up
There’s still time to turn it around and enter the new year with a feeling of progress and a sense of optimism.
With the help of these planning questions, you’re in a position to move forward powerfully.
Whatever you decide to create next, know you’ve got this.