10 Questions to Create Your New Year Resolutions
New Year Resolutions usually begin with a list of achievable and measurable goals. They usually resemble a to-do list that is externally facing. Instead of making a list, I think the end of the year and the beginning of a new year is a wonderful time for introspection. A time to get to know yourself more and to ask yourself questions to make a list of goals that are truly in alignment with yourself.
Question 1: The first question and the most important question that you need to ask yourself is are you following your soul? Don’t wait for a midlife crisis. If you don’t believe in a soul or don’t understand this question, then you need to hit pause and take a long hard look at yourself, your life, and what has led you to this point.
This is the only question and the only goal that matters in life. If you’re making a good wage but really want to do something else, those desires will never go away. You will simply become more resentful over time. Answer honestly and be honest with your emotions.
If you’re following your soul, GREAT JOB! Following your soul means expressing and discovering your inner essence. Are you truly being yourself in the world, following your interests and passions, or are you wearing masks and living by circumstances? How authentic are you to yourself?
Are you staying at a job for the money even though it saps your soul? If you believe that you can’t be your authentic self in the world and have to compromise who you are in order to live, I suggest hitting pause and seeing how you came to this conclusion and how you can change it.
Question 2: What is your relationship with money, abundance, power, and love? Your relationship with these inanimate ideas and resources makes up the quality of your life. Answer honestly. Is it healthy or do you have anger or fear of these things? Do you feel guilty about coming from a wealthy family? On the other side of the coin, are you resentful of those who are wealthy?
Sometimes the answer may take multiple days and years to appear. Keep digging. You can add other keywords to this question, such as intuition, self-trust, etc.
Question 3: What is your relationship with yourself? What is your relationship with your body and your emotions?
Before you start signing up for gym memberships and buying nutritious health plans or health bars, take a long hard look at your relationship with yourself. Do you want to become healthy for yourself or are you trying to fit into society’s definition of health? What does health even mean to you?
Are you physically forcing yourself to do something for someone else or is there an internal understanding and an internal drive to do it? Because if you’re physically forcing yourself to go to the gym, you might be able to trick your brain and your body for a few months, but all that means is that you’re further dissociating from your true wants and needs.
If it’s a real internal understanding that your habits are not healthy, you might need to physically force yourself to start a new habit at the beginning but it becomes a lifelong commitment to change over time. The difference is nuanced but there’s a difference so answer these questions and understand yourself before jumping into action. Listen to your body.
When people are overweight or underweight, there are lifelong emotional and eating patterns that started from a young age or started as the result of some sort of trauma. What’s more, there are identity and self-esteem patterns that are formed as a result of our relationship to food. When people talk about health and fitness, it has to be a holistic examination of one’s life. That includes how one grew up. So before you start getting that summer body, ask yourself, do you feel safe in your body? Do you love your body? Can you love yourself this minute without changing yourself externally?
Answering these questions will help you to listen to yourself and even prevent injuries from working out because it means you listen to yourself instead of listening to aphorisms like “No pain, no gain,” or “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” While these aphorisms are motivating in the moment, a misunderstanding of them can create a punishing and abusive relationship with yourself that leads to long-term injuries.
Question 4: Does your life spark joy? We’re going to use the Marie Kondo method to change your life. When I read her book, The Life-Changing Method of Tidying Up, I knew immediately that this wasn’t just a philosophy about the organization of things. It’s a philosophy about how to live one’s life.
If there are aspects of your life that don’t spark joy, you need to change them. So start by asking, where does your life spark joy? Where is it not? Are you willing to change it? When I started this journey, I wanted to be a filmmaker. But having grown up poor and still feeling financially unsound, I always thought that I couldn’t pursue these dreams. That’s one of the many negative core beliefs that I had. It’s taken over a decade of digging through my traumas and conditioning to become a filmmaker.
While my filmmaking career still feels precarious, at least I’ve started this journey and I am committed to making my own work. In addition, this new journey has trickled into other aspects of my life. I’ve gone no-contact with my toxic family.
For some of us, the road to happiness and fulfilling one’s dreams can mean a lot of pain before getting to a place of semi-okayness but it’s worth it. For me, it meant choosing between the safety of being an engineer and living with my family’s approval but not being myself versus living the life that I really want and realizing that my parents can’t look beyond their own issues to give me the emotional support that I need.
We have one life to live. Do you want to live it authentically without the approval of others or do you want to live unauthentically but with the approval of others? What’s more important? Self-actualizing or belonging to a group that refuses to allow you to be you? Living the life that you want requires making difficult decisions.
Question 5: Do you meet your wants and needs in healthy ways? This begins with knowing what your actual wants and needs are, and accepting them. Do you know what your needs are? Are okay with those needs? Then you need to ask yourself, can you meet them yourself, or are you expecting someone else to meet them? Do you meet them in direct and healthy ways or do you go about them in complicated ways?
Question 6: What is your relationship with your family and your primary care-takers? Yes, I know that you’re an adult, but you grew up with parents or primary care-takers and those relationships created a template for how you relate to yourself, how you relate to others, and how you relate to things. This is where an understanding of attachment theory comes in.
If you had a healthy attachment, congratulations! If you had unhealthy attachment patterns and attachment trauma, it’s important to learn about them and see how they might be playing out in your life today. With awareness and new understanding, you can change them and have happier, healthier relationships.
Question 7: What do you know about love? Do you have a positive attitude or a negative attitude about love? Does love mean pain or does love mean happiness, care, acceptance, and more? If you have a positive attitude towards love, how are you sharing that with the world? If you have a negative attitude towards love, how are you sharing that with the world? Do you need to share that with the world at all or is it time to go to therapy?
Question 8: Are you living by your values? When I first started my self-help journey, I didn’t understand this question. Of course I’m living by my values. But I wasn’t. My values were my parent’s values. My values were obedience over all else. My values were to have no wants and no needs. I thought that this was the way to enlightenment but it made me a martyr instead.
My values were to save money at all costs and to buy the cheapest dress in the store on sale even though I wanted the dress that cost $250. I thought that wanting expensive things made me narcissistic and vain. But it’s not. Buying a dress that I love, even though it’s $250, is better than buying 10 dresses that I don’t like. I didn’t understand that. I still have difficulty spending money and buying things that I want. I understand that some people might have the opposite problem, such as overspending. But ask yourself, why do you overspend? What are you trying to fill?
Question 9: On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love yourself? Why? How much do you accept yourself? I’m at a solid 6, and I’m wondering why that is and what I need to do to, mentally and emotionally, to increase that number. I ask myself this question a lot, and every few months, I begin to realize and truly internalize that valuing myself for who I am is much more important than how others value me. Asking this question helps me to see that my own judgment of myself is the most important and also why I value other people’s judgments more than my own.
Question 10: Are you willing to pursue your goals alone? If no one is on your side and no one is there to help you or to encourage you, would you still be willing to go on this journey by yourself? How committed are you to your own healthy ways of growing and thriving? Do you have a healthy support group? These questions can help you to see what goals you want to achieve and if you need to change the people around you.
Some of these questions might be triggering. They might cause resistance or perhaps, they are the exact questions that you need right now. These questions are a way of achieving your goals and resolutions by prioritizing your inner world rather than the outside world. They ask if your goals are actually yours and if they matter to you at the core level. Do your external goals match your inner goals? This list of questions is about attaining your goals through self-awareness and a full understanding of yourself. It’s about psychology and then taking actions instead of taking actions without understanding. Anyone who tries to sell you a shortcut is not going to work. I hope that you approach your life and your goals holistically in a way that’s individual and healthy for you.