Ten Essential Questions That Most People Don’t Ask!

All successful businesses put themselves through an annual exercise of setting goals and plans for the year ahead.  Yet few individuals do this for themselves. Fewer than 1% of adults have clearly stated goals. In my experience, the main thing that separates the most satisfied people from the rest of us is that they have stopped to think seriously about what they want to achieve in their lives.

Most people have all the talent and ambition that they need, but it is often hidden under a cloud of disappointment and doubt, which can lead to a lack of discipline and consistency. Many others find that they’re too busy to think about what really matters to them. And they rarely take time to examine what they’re doing now or why they’re doing it.

What are the Ten (10) Essential Questions?

There are ten essential questions that you should ask yourself to define the way you move forward into the next year. As you work through these questions, make sure you think seriously about them. Perhaps you should carve out some quiet and uninterrupted time to devote some deep thinking to the answers. I always recommend to people that they get themselves a journal where they can write down the answers to the questions.

  1. What did I accomplish in the last 12 months?
  2. What were my biggest disappointments?
  3. What did I learn?
  4. How do I limit myself, and how can I stop?
  5. What are my personal values?
  6. What roles do I play in my life?
  7. Which role is going to be my major focus for the next year?
  8. What are my goals for each of the roles that I play?
  9. What are my top 10 goals for next year?
  10. How can I make sure I achieve them?

Remember to write down the answers to each one of these questions and to review them often.

Color Code Your Progress

I also suggest that at every stage possible (preferable weekly), you should use a color code system to indicate to you very clearly how each of your goals is doing. Use the traffic light colors so you can see the state of each very quickly.

GREEN if your goal is in good shape.

YELLOW if it needs attention.

RED if your goal is in trouble.

Looking at these goals with their respective colors each week will alert you as to where you need to focus your attention during the next period.


I Use This Technique Every Sunday!

This is a technique that was introduced to me in 1998, and I have completed this same process every year since then. I carry that annual journal around with me everywhere I go throughout the year – referring to the answers to the ten questions and the quarterly, monthly, and weekly application of the decisions I made based on those answers.

For me, it serves as an accountability tool.

I recommend that you check out last week’s  Progress Principle.