7 Questions to Ask Yourself at the End of the Year

2015 is coming to a close - whether we are ready or not; whether we like it or not. I am not ready, and I wish I had a few more weeks, but here are a few reflections to ponder: what worked and what could possibly change?

1. Was I happy?
For many the automatic answer would be yes. But honestly ask yourself, were you happy? I am not asking if you made others around you happy. I am asking for you to take a moment to reflect on the overall big picture. If you are leaning towards a no, that's ok! No need to start playing the Adele 21 album. Breathe. Take some time to make a checklist of what you need to do to make yourself happy. It is about time you start putting yourself first. You deserve to be happy. Just like everyone else.

2. Did I live in peace?
With all the darkness and negativity in the world, it is important to be at peace with ourselves and those around us. If you have an unresolved issue, beef with someone or need to get something off your chest, now is the time to do so. Don't start the new year with unresolved drama, pettiness or unsaid words. Let it all go. It will help you more than you know.

3. Did I extend kindness?
As Gandhi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." This question is extremely important. We cannot wish for others to be kind and to spread love if we do not do it ourselves. Something as simple as a smile, holding the door open, or making eye contact when listening to someone are simple acts of kindness that can go a long way. It says, "Hey, I see you and yes I do care about you."

4. Did I live in the present moment?

2015-11-28-1448743072-4875045-BostonBlackMasspremiere.jpgPhoto Credit: Getty (Boston-Black-Mass-Premiere)

This is something that I have to remind myself on a regular basis. As a photographer, my natural instinct is to grab my camera whether it is my Canon or iPhone 6 and start capturing the moment. I am snapping away because I don't want to miss a single moment. But in reality, I am not even fully enjoying what is going on around me. All those missed seconds due to adjusting the camera, repositioning myself, and uploading...add up. I want to be more like this lady pictured above at the Boston Black Mass premiere. If I were to define 'living in the present moment' with one photograph it would be that.

5. Did I take time for myself?
I think it is safe to say that most of us fall short with this every year. If you're reading this then give yourself a pat on the back. You are currently taking a little bit of time for yourself. But I hope this was not the only time or going to be the last time. It is human nature to want to help others, have FOMO (fear of missing out), get busy and the list goes on. I cannot stress enough how important it is to schedule in at least an hour a day to do something for you. Yes, you. If you like reading then pick up a book. If you love to create then get out the drawing board. I think an hour of TLC (tender, loving, care) is doable right?

6. Did I accomplish at least one goal?
With each new year, most of us create a list of new year resolutions. How often do we accomplish what's on the list? I don't even know where my list is or what I had on it. I can imagine it had the most generic goals ever: travel more, read more, start working out and bla bla bla. Don't get me wrong, it is important to have goals and even better to write them down. Often what happens with new year resolutions is that it becomes a bit overwhelming. Don't think about the 30 goals you wrote down- I want you take some to think about that one major goal that you accomplished. Got it? Now give yourself another pat on the back. That is not an easy task.

7. If not, what stopped me from accomplishing the goal?
As I said in #6 accomplishing a goal is not an easy task. If your goal was to travel more and you only made it to city limits, it is ok...if you are going to do something to change that. Let's do a brief exercise courtesy of Boss Babes Inc.

Get out that pen and paper and title it:

Removing all the excuses from my life.

Now proceed to list everything that stopped you.

One by one.

There you go. Keep going. You will soon see results once the excuses stop. I promise you.

Have anything to add?
Please let me know in the comments or tweet to me @pollyirungu.