Three Questions to Ask for a More Balanced New Year

Is 2019 the year you’ll attend most of your kids’ recitals and ball games, get to the gym more than once a month, and rekindle deeper friendships? Is it the year you’ll apply for that promotion or choose to lead that high-profile project because you’re confident that a career boost won’t bust your home life?

If it’s important to you, I hope so. As we’ve all heard, hope is not a strategy. Asking a few simple questions is. So, if you’re ready for a more balanced, rewarding new year, here are the three questions to ask:

  1. What is success?
    Our idea of success is often an outdated concept formed by parents, teachers and other influences in our early years. Pursuing someone else’s goals or what you think you should do is a sure way to stay out of balance. Take a deep breath and ask yourself what success means to you. Allow that wise, inner voice to guide you. Think numbers, including salary or revenue. One job seeker recently told me she had a choice of two positions and chose the less prestigious and lower-paying one that didn’t require excessive travel or a long commute. She’s never been happier. Consider how you want to feel, like confident, strong or peaceful. 
  2. What can I let go?
    “Having it all” is overrated and an impossible expectation that leads to exasperation. Don’t confuse being busy or over-scheduled with necessarily being important or productive. Each time you let go of something that doesn’t serve you or drop or delegate an unnecessary obligation, you create the space for something better. Which brings us to…
  3. What can I add?
    Let’s start with what brings you joy and helps you relax and recharge. Is there a hobby you want to explore or resurrect? Would you enjoy more travel or time in nature? For me, I made a conscious effort this year to scale back on business commitments that weren’t fruitful so I could schedule more time with my closest friends.

If you’re fortunate to have some downtime over the holidays, reflect on these questions and, if possible, ask your family, friends and team members to do the same. Let it spark meaningful conversations about what really matters. Give yourself and others the gift of a more balanced new year. 


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