Questions to Ask Before Setting Goals

By Amie Mignatti

As the end of the year approaches, we start to think of a new start in the coming year, resolutions we can make to get ourselves back on track or forge new paths ahead.

Each year (and with each birthday), before I create my goals for the coming year or the coming months, I like to reflect on the past and get a feel for what worked, what has not and assess where I stand now.

Without reflection, it is hard to move forward. We want to accomplish our goals and what we set out to do, but in order to do that we must know very clearly where we stand and the actions we have taken in the past to reach our goals.

Below is a list of questions that you can use as a map to define where you are at now, where you have been and where you would like to go. Hopefully, they will help you as they have me.


Take the time, in stillness, in quiet- not in the middle of things- but at a time when can give yourself the space to reflect, and feel into yourself, and ask yourself:

  • How has this year worked within you (not the outer accomplishments, but what has happened in your inner world)? What has developed or changed?
  • How does this show up in your actions, results, feelings about your life and your own self -understanding?
  • What are you thankful for?
  • Is there something within you, that you know for sure, that is coming to completion (this can be a habit, a thought pattern, a previous way of doing things, a relationship, etc.) or is there something that you would like to bring to an end in yourself (a way of speaking to yourself, judgement, fear, etc.)? Is there something that you would like to close or that needs closure in your life? What can open because of this?
  • What holds you back, what have you failed at and what robs your power and energy? What aspects of these things are you often confronted with, in one form or another? How have they worked on you or stopped you? What have you not done, been evasive with or not accepted?
  • What would you like to be content about? What do you need to do this?
  • What do you want to let go of or change?
  • What do you need in order to reach the change that you wish to be?

These questions are by no means easy. They bring up uncomfortable feelings and they make us look at the shadows within us. However, once we start to shed light on the things that scare us, make us feel vulnerable, hurt us, make us sad, etc., we can then start the process of change.

True change can only come from confronting the parts of us that we don’t like, those that aren’t working and that need to be healed. Once we embrace them, then we can start to move forward in a more free and positive way. They no longer have the power over us to hold us back.

So as you set your intentions and goals for 2018, do so with mindfulness of who you are on the most intimate level and move from that space forward.

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