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4 Questions to Ask Yourself if You Want to Become Successful This Year

Through this series of questions, you’ll have a clear picture of where you’re ready for growth, and where you’ll face the most challenges.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself if You Want to Become Successful This Year

With a new year comes a list of dreams and aspirations. You begin planning the next twelve months with a fresh ambition, with lofty goals and a hustler’s mindset.

But before you ever arrive at success, you need an accurate account of reality.

"Taking stock at year-end gives you an opportunity to [focus] and help you to adjust your approach to work."

-- Juliet Murphy, executive career coach in Orange County, California.

It’s time for an Ambition Evaluation.

Through this series of questions, you’ll have a clear picture of where you’re ready for growth, and where you’ll face the most challenges.

1. What goals did I accomplish this past year?

Most professionals are incredibly self-motivated -- it’s how they’ve come so far on the path to success. So, I can assume you set plenty of goals for yourself this past year.

Find a notebook where you wrote some goals over the past 12 months.

Did you finish that big project to grow brand awareness?

Did you land the promotion you worked so hard for?

Did you slack off and not get much progress?

As you can tell by the last question, this step isn’t just about feeling good about yourself. It’s also going to point out areas where you failed, and that’s excellent.

It’s only when we see our strengths AND weaknesses can we feel intrinsic motivation.

"When you see what you've done or half done, it gives you motivation,"

-- Caroline Stokes, founder of Forward

Get a clear picture of where you stand. It’s the space you’ll build the foundation for your successful year ahead. Acknowledge last year, then let it go and start looking forward.

2. How am I stronger this year than last?

“Your strength doesn't come from winning. It comes from struggles and hardship. Everything that you go through prepares you for the next level.”

― Germany Kent

You’ve no doubt experienced many hardships throughout the past year, both personally and professionally. Take some time to reflect on the strengths you’ve picked up along the way.

It could be more intangible characteristics like more courage in sales.

Or you can take a more tactile approach.

"Think about what you did this year to increase your expertise and learning in your position and industry.”

-- Jessica Hernandez, president of Great Resumes Fast

Writing down these sorts of “wins” provides a look into where you should focus time in the New Year. You can learn all sorts of qualitative and quantitative data during this process.

Here’s a few questions to get started:

How many conferences, events and meetups did I attend this year?

How many hours did I invest into studying, training and learning this year?

How well did I keep up with (and ahead of) industry trends?

Did I earn any additional certifications or win any awards?

And if you’ve got courage, and want a truly enlightened understanding, ask your boss and coworkers for feedback. You’ll be amazed at what a different perspective can reveal.

3. If I could change one thing about work this year, what would it be?

We all have things we’d like to change. But we often don’t realize how much insight we can glean by evaluating this feeling.

What’s the situation you wish you could go back in time and do differently?

As you realize there are MANY thing you wish would (or wouldn’t) have happened last year, you’ll start understanding important lessons. And these lessons can shape how you approach similar challenges in the year to come.

Write them down, along with goals for how to ensure it’s not back on this list next year.

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”

-- William Butler Yeats

You have a great potential success, but you have to start acting this year. Stop waiting for the perfect moment. It will never come. Instead, get out there and make things happen.

So many let their chance pass because they were too afraid to jump.

Don’t let yourself be counted in their number.

4. Am I happy while I’m working?

If you answered ‘yes’ to this one, congratulations. Getting to truly find happiness in your work is a great blessing. I’d also encourage you to dig into why your job makes you happy.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

-- Steve Jobs

Is it the people you work around? Is it your clients or customers? Is it the intellectual and interpersonal challenges? Whatever your why, find ways to incorporate more of it this year.

"Whatever makes you happy in your job, be aware of that and keep that in mind as a key driver as your career grows. Not everything will make you happy at work, but always keep an eye out for some components that create a happy work environment for you, and be sure they are included in your work now and in the future."

-- Juliet Murphy

For those of you who are unhappy, you have a different exercise.

Write down all the things that make you unhappy about your job.

Is it the people you work around? Is it your clients or customers? Is it the intellectual and interpersonal challenges? Whatever your why, find ways to incorporate less of it this year.

"Know that you have the power to change things. Once you figure out the reason, take some time to think of what needs to change and how."

-- Juliet Murphy

Figure out how you can adjust your circumstances to find more happiness.

Or, ya know, start looking for a new job.

Conclusion

By asking yourself these four questions, you’ll understand exactly what steps you need to take in the coming year. Finding clarity of this magnitude may even change the way you do business.

Best of luck in the year to come. What is your #1 GOAL?


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