Ask Yourself These Simple Questions to Find Out What You Want in the New Year

With the holidays just around the corner, now is as good a time as ever to take stock of things and figure out what you really want in the new year.

Sometimes, all it takes is a few simple questions to find out what you need, and figure out how to set a course toward a happier, healthier you. Spend a few moments with the following questions, and you just might find that you already have a game plan for all of next year.

What's One Thing That Always Puts a Smile on Your Face?

What makes you really, truly happy, without any regret and regardless of the situation? If you can identify something like that in your life, see what you can do to have more of it in the new year. This might mean dedicating more time to a hobby, investigating a topic that sparks your interest or simply spending more time with a person you love. Sometimes, pursuing it will mean sacrifices in other areas, or buckling down and getting your mandatory to-dos out of the way to create more free time in your schedule. Whatever it is, if something brings you joy with no strings attached, then it's worth having more of it.


(Riverdale via The CW)


What Accomplishment Makes You Proudest?

Is there something you've achieved that made you feel like you were on top of the world?  Having a sense of accomplishment is amazing, but an even better feeling is to repeat it by continuing to succeed. Maybe it was a performance or a big sports win, leading you to keep pursuing those extracurriculars this year. Maybe it was an academic success, so you'll want to keep doing your best in school, or it was something altruistic, so you'll continue to volunteer your time to the causes you care about. By filling your year with the potential for achievement, you can bolster your confidence and become happier in the process.


Who's the Most Important Person in Your Life?

One really simple way to focus your efforts in the new year is to think about the people who matter to you and make sure that they continue to play a major role. Maybe that means more amazing one-on-one time with your bestie, or that you're really going to stop and take time to appreciate a family member who makes your life special. Let this person know how important they are to you and you'll both feel great about it. And if you are an important person you need to focus on in the new year, don't be afraid to make yourself a priority.


(Stranger Things via Netflix)


Does It Ever Feel Like Something Is Holding You Back?

This question can be a little difficult to answer, but if you can get to the bottom of it, you'll learn a lot about yourself. Most of us have small things that hold us back, and they can come from a number of places. Sometimes, these things will be external forces that are out of your control, but understanding them can help you maximize what you can do despite your constraints. Other times, they're a matter of having enough time or energy, and it's a matter of pacing yourself. But if you discover that you're the only one holding yourself back, see if you can give yourself that extra little push out of your comfort zone. You might suddenly find that you're able to accomplish incredible things.


What's One Thing You've Always Wanted to Get Better at?

This is perhaps the most straightforward question on this list, because it's simply asking yourself what you want to learn and improve upon. Once you figure that out, you can make concrete steps toward making that desire a reality in the new year. It's not always easy to stick to your dreams, but if you can break up the process into manageable chunks over a period of time, there's no telling how good you might become.

Still shot from "Mulan"

(Mulan via Buena Vista Pictures Distribution)


What Do You Waste Time on That Makes You Unhappy?

While the other questions will help you connect with how to spend the new year, this one will help you hone in on the things to eliminate. While some of the tedious parts of life are necessary and unavoidable, others are simply bad habits that will free up your time and make you happier if you can get rid of them. Maybe that means turning off some of the notifications on your phone so you use it on your own terms and only engage when you say so. It could also mean to stop putting effort into a friendship or relationship that's completely one-sided. If something doesn't make anyone happier or make life easier and you're not obligated to do it, then just cut it out.


Committing to a full-blown New Year's resolution is hard, so click HERE for a list of health-related micro-resolutions to make.