So, the beginning of a new year always has a kind in a candy store feeling for me. It’s like… Man! What-to-do with these fresh 525,600 MINUTES!!!! Or if you go by hours, 8,760 hours. I prefer the 525,600 minutes measurement. It has a nice ring to it and its even more dramatic! A little drama is good. Anyway, back to 5 Questions You MUST Ask Yourself To GUARANTEE Happiness In The New Year.
I have a number of exercises that I like to engage in before a year ends and a new one begins. And one of my exercises is asking myself some brutal and revealing questions and scoring my answer. And that’s where these 5 questions you must ask yourself to guarantee satisfaction this are coming from. Now, honestly, there’s more questions than the primary 5 for reflection. But the first question in each section is where you can start.
And here are the questions:
Question Your Spirituality and Spiritual Practices
How satisfied was I with how I grew Spiritually last year, and what 2 – 3 actions can I take this year that will help me grow in the ways that I want? Was I satisfied and happy with my spiritual practice(s)? What are the 2 – 3 things that I knew I should have done that I can and will do this year? If you’re not the spiritual type. You can ask how has my life philosophy grown and been reinforced this year? Have I been in integrity with its principles and values? If not, what 2 or 3 actions can I take to bridge the gap.
Now to make things real specific, I have a 1 – 5 scale that I use to reference to quantify satisfaction and happiness. You can see them below. Please feel free to use it to score your answers to this and the next 4 questions. It’s very helpful in that it keeps the answer to this question and the ones to come from being starry farry and nebulous. When you score yourself you get concrete numbers that you can do something about vs. the cloudy alternative of words and descriptions of how you’re doing.
My Rating: 4, this year, I doubled down on my meditation practice and went from 1 hours a day to 2. Now, I wasn’t as consistent at times as I wanted but it made a big difference. I went from 1/2 hour in the morning and 1/2 in the evening to 1 hour in the morning and then the same in the evening. I felt like I stopped rushing my meditation when I went up to 1 hour in AM and PM. That was my breakthrough. And I plan on doing that in the upcoming year.
Question Your Relationships with Others and Yourself
How satisfied was I with my relationships this year? Did I make real new connections and grow depth with my existing relationships or did they stay shallow and surfacy? If not what will I do this year to build deeper bonds? Will I host more dinners, go out less to noisy events and take camping trips instead. You get to say.
To be fair, I do look at myself and also ask how satisfied was I with my relationship with ME? Did I have enough alone time to reflect and refresh? Again, these should be answered and collectively given a number (1 – 5) rating using the emoticon legend shown above. The quick and dirty way to do this exercise is to ask the questions and use your gut to give a number that represents the area of life you’re looking at. Give yourself permission to identify the number that represents how you did in this area this year.
My Rating: 3.5, This year, relationships were a strength and a weakness. Some of my strife came from long term relationships that I wondered if it was time to let go off. And I also had some really great connections with potential for deepening. Them, I event went out to a couple networking events which I’d sworn off because of my allergy to shallow “Who are you? and “What do you do?” chatter. (finger in throat gesture)
Question Your Money and Financial Behavior
How satisfied was I with my financial accomplishments this year (i.e. savings, investments, getting training to earn more etc.)? What 2 or 3 things can I do to move the needle on the financial areas that I fell short on last year? What tools or resources do I need to support me in reaching my goals this year? Think – Should I finally sit down with my financial advisor, get different insurance products etc. Open an online investment account? Start a small business? Also, when it comes to tools, think in terms of financial management tools like Quicken, Quickbooks Turbo Tax, and Mint for example. Would getting any of these help you in the future? Or if you already have them, are you using them to the max? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself.
For me, this year, I finally started using mint.com to track expenses and create budges. I also started using Betterment.com to start contributions into an IRA account. What actions will you take? I can’t wait to hear. Feel free to leave a comment when you confirm them.
My Rating: 4, I really feel like I made to progress this year. I feel more empowered to be consistent in taking actions and supporting my future vision of financial independence that I have in a long time.
Question Your Emotions and Emotional Well-Being
When it comes to emotions, I like the definition I once heard about them a few years ago. And it’s this: Emotions are E – Motions. Where the “E” is for energy. As in, emotions are energy-in-motion. That said, the question to ask yourself is how well have I handled my internal and external expression of energy last year and was I happy with how I showed up? For me, questions like did I lose my temper or fail to speak up when I should have? Are very valid. And what 2 or 3 things can I do this year that will empower me to handle situations better? Do I need to meditate more or deepen my prayer habits to help me emotionally? If so, how much more time do I need to devote? You get the idea. This and the spiritual questions go hand-in-hand. Don’t skip this one. And rate yourself honestly.
My Rating: 4, I feel like I went through some of the toughest battles this year and stayed grounded beyond imagination.
Question Your Physical Well-Being and Health (Fitness)
My physical well-being is one of those area that I sometimes can be lax on. But this past year for example, I finally took it seriously enough to be consistent and capture progress. But even with that progress, I know there were some gaps. For example, I started working out with a notebook where I captured my workouts. I’d note what date I went, what exercises I did, how many reps, how much weight etc… At some point, I stopped and kinda winged it in the gym. As I look back, I realize that going without that notebook is not in my best interest moving forward.
I also had a diet regression. I started the year going in a Vegan-ish direction. But by September, meat and dairy products became more prevalent in my food choices. For you, I’m not sure what your situation is. Maybe you went to the gym. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe you had a diet commitment. Maybe you didn’t. Or maybe, you didn’t have a determination either way about what you wanted to do with your health and wellness. Well, this new year can be the one where you do come up with some solid goals.
And so a question you can pose would be: How satisfied am I with my physical well-being? (Make sure you rate your self on this question) What do I feel I want my body to look like and did I take actions last year consistent with that image? What actions will I take this year that are aligned with that vision?
My Rating: 4, Now. You may notice, I’ve rated myself 3.5 or hire on the 5 questions, but that would NOT have been the case a year ago. See, that how I know this way of looking at life works. And with regards to why I rated myself a 4 – You have to look at the before and after body pictures I took and shared in the recent blog post – How Do Men Deal With Body Shame (& Other Self Image Challenges)? The picture is at the bottom of that post.
Overall, the goal of the exercise above is to help you quantify your level of satisfaction and happiness by asking qualitative questions. And when you add up the numbers you’d rate yourself from each of the areas: Spirituality, Relationships, Money (and Finances), Emotional and Physical Well-Being and divide by 5, you’ll get a number. And that number will be an average of all the areas mentioned. THAT number is your lifestyle satisfaction score. And that’s where the work of the 24 Hour Blueprint method begins. The worksheets I use for this exercise are show below and they’re available in the all-new 24 Hour Blueprint playbook. This exercise works and really makes a difference if you struggle with creating clear concrete goals and concrete plans for improvement. Put it to the test and see how it works for yourself.
Thank you for reading. And here’s to an amazing year.
PS: So, if you do the math for my ratings. Here’s what my overall score would be:
Spiritual Rating(4) + Relationship Rating(3.5) + Financial Rating(4) + Emotional Rating(4)+Physical Rating(4) = 19.5
DIVIDE By (5) Areas of Life: 19.5 Divided By 5 = 3.9.
Based on that my overall lifestyle happiness score means I’m Satisfied or at the very least should be. But there’s room to move to Extreme Satisfaction. And that’s what I’ll be creating a plan to execute for the year to come using a 24 Hour Blueprint to make sure I follow through in specific measurable ways.
Here’s what the worksheet looks like in the newly released 24 Hour Blueprint 2019 Edition.
What the Sheet Looks Like in the Playbook
If You’re Ready for Major Changes This Year…
Today’s a Good Day to Start Using one of these…