As 2022 ended, I think we can all agree on one thing – it was a weird year.
With the worst of the pandemic (hopefully) behind us, many people have emerged blinking into the light from two years in survival mode, looked around and wondered: What do I want to do with my life now?
That confused determination to chart a new course is reflected in persistently high quit rates, ballooning interest in entrepreneurship and digital nomadism, a surge in labor organizing and millions of posts, articles and think pieces about just how many of us are rethinking our priorities and our relationship to work.
"It's not easy to nail down a movement that spans striking nurses and unionizing strippers, Amazon warehouse workers and work-from-home Wall Street bankers," writes Helaine Olen in The Washington Post.
"But what's increasingly clear is that the March 2020 decision to partially close down the American economy shattered Americans' dysfunctional, profoundly unequal relationship with work like nothing in decades."
How to get started on creating a new you for the new year
In short, a whole lot of people out there are determined to reinvent themselves and their lives in 2023. Where should they start?
But one of the most thought-provoking resources I've stumbled across recently is a set of questions from Thought Catalog.
The simple list of 31 questions is designed to get you thinking about what lights you up, what drains your energy, what's holding you back and where you ultimately hope to end up in life.
You can check out the complete list here, but I've selected twelve of my favorite to get you started:
- If the obstacle of money was removed, how would my life look different?
- What productive activities do I spend time doing for no other reason than they make me happy? (Bill Gates has recommended asking yourself a version of this question as well).
- What traits and values do the people I most admire have in common?
- How much money do I 'really' need to be happy? (There are plenty of exercises and experts to help you zoom in on a number).
- How would I most like someone to describe me?
- What things do I only do because it makes other people validate me?
- What do I most look forward to each day?
- When was the last time I felt a big rush of satisfaction?
- What did I like doing when I was younger that I've lost touch with? (Reconnecting with these is a great way to fight back against exhaustion and impending burnout, according to experts.)
- Which habit do I most wish I could work on getting rid of this year?
- What do I want to be remembered for?
- What would I be most sad to have never tried? (This reminds me of Jeff Bezos' famous 'regret minimization framework').
Give these questions a think and you'll already be at least a few steps down the path to inventing a new you for the new year.