15 Questions To Lay The Foundation For a Successful 2017

This week, our Founder and CEO Therése Gedda was interviewed in award-winning newspaper and online publication Epoch Times. In the feature, Therése offers powerful tips on how to make the new year your best year through reflection, celebrating successes, reviewing your habits, and, of course, setting new goals for the year ahead.

Below is a translation of the feature originally written by the wonderful Andrea Elvhage and published in Swedish:

15 Questions To Lay The Foundation For a Successful 2017

A new year often creates a desire to start new and fresh with goals and aspirations. Therése Gedda, who has been working as an entrepreneur for 15 years and also conducted research in entrepreneurship, stresses the importance of reflecting on the year that has just passed and what has been accomplished before setting inspiring goals for the new year.

– To stop and reflect on what brings joy, energy and wellbeing is a fantastic tool to continuously develop and grow as a person. The time for reflection doesn’t need to be during Christmas and the New Year, but can be done anytime during the year. However, many see a new year as a new opportunity and a new chance, and therefore it can be a valuable time to reflect on what you’ve learned, says Therése.

To lay a new foundation

If the past year has been tough or if you have experienced some losses, it can be tempting to skip the evaluation and reflection, trying to simply forget what has been and to just look forward in the hope that the new year will bring more happiness and success. But by taking the time to consciously reflect and go through the choices needed to change, minimizing the risk of continuing to be guided by unhelpful habits and old truths, says Therese.

Habits and events that have created joy and felt meaningful in previous years may no longer create such sensations. By pausing to reflect, you will be able to take the opportunity to reassess where you’ve been and where you are going. Usually, Therése makes a thorough review of the year between Christmas and New Year. It has been a consistent routine of her life for the past ten years.

– It’s both about looking at what has gone well and what challenges you’ve experienced during the year. When did you feel on top and on what occasions did you feel you accomplished something extraordinary? Also, ask yourself how you can avoid relapsing into habits that are not positive or meaningful to you anymore.

When you think about the past year, you get a better perspective on what worked and what you want to do differently. You create better conditions and opportunities when you set goals for the new year, says Therése.

So, how does one do it?

There are many ways to capture your reflections, she says. You can look at your calendar, diary, blog posts or social media to go back month by month to remind you of what you did. You can also start by exploring specific areas of life. List professional successes and failures you experienced at work or with your business. Do the same with personal events such as relationships, physical and mental health, finances, interests, and other areas of your life.

– It is important to take the time to write down the lessons and insights. Whether you do it by hand or digitally, it doesn’t matter. What’s important is that it suit you as an individual, and feel natural and inspiring to you.

Therése recommends that you are in an environment where you feel creative. While some feel inspired in a hotel lobby or a cafe, others prefer to sit at home in an armchair and listen to peaceful music while doing their year’s assessment.

– The reflection can take 15 minutes or 5 hours. It should be in any amount of time that you set aside for yourself. Turn off any notifications and put away the phone. Focus only on the reflections.

Another important aspect is to acknowledge and celebrate the successes, she says. Look at what you’ve accomplished and how it makes you feel. It may be that you have deepened a relationship with a good friend, which you made the trip of your dreams, that you took on a process or task that was outside your comfort zone, that you learned new things, or that you read books that are important to your personal and professional development.

– Include the small victories, not just the big ones. Give yourself room to feel satisfaction and joy over everything the year gave you and you have accomplished, she says.

15 questions to ask yourself

The time for retrospect and reflection is a powerful process. To get the maximum benefit from it, the structure below may be helpful. Therese offers suggestions of some questions you can ask yourself when making your assessment:

1. What has worked well during the year?
2. What have you liked the most?
3. What accomplishments gave great satisfaction?
4. When were you on top and at your best?
5. In the areas that you wanted to, where do you feel you succeeded?
6. What were the positive and meaningful moments and experiences?
7. What were the challenges during the year and why?
8. What opportunities stand out and feel especially important?
9. What have you learned this year?
10. What would you like to change for next year?
11. How have you grown and evolved?
12. Which habits have been positive and fulfilling?
13. Which habits have held you back?
14. How can you avoid falling back into the habits that are not helpful for you?
15. Which of the goals you set for 2016 were you successful with?

– Based on your reflections and lessons learned, you’re now able to generate better questions to assist in the planning of the coming year, such as: What can I take with me in 2017? What goals do I have? What habits do I want to have? What is important to me? This is step two. People don’t necessarily need to do both their reflections of the previous year and their goals for the new year at the same time, but it is valuable to do both to start 2017 in the best possible way, says Therése Gedda.

Therése Gedda is a professional keynote speaker on topics such as business culture, entrepreneurship, and design thinking. She is the Founder and CEO of the award-winning company 30minMBA, an innovative service in mobile learning; which is designed for high-performing organizations who want to give their people an opportunity to develop their business skills “on the go”, when and where it fits them.