Note: This is a guest article by Nischala Murthy Kaushik. More details about her after the post.

Kick-Start Your New Year: 12 Honest Questions to Ask Yourself

It’s the start of 2013. It’s a new calendar year. It’s a new beginning. One, which you should welcome with an — open mind, positive energy, new passions, fresh dreams and new hopes…

The New Year is a great time to pause, reflect, and introspect on life’s many dimensions. And then decide what you would like to focus your energies on during 2013 – With the right intent, great enthusiasm, positive energy and in good spirit.

In this post, I have listed the 12 New-Year-Worthy questions that you should ask yourself and answer in all honesty again to yourself. If nothing else, the answers will show you the real picture and burst a few bubbles.

Here are 12 honest questions to ask yourself to kick-start your New Year 2013

1) Am I doing things that I love?

If you are doing things you love, then great. If not, then you probably would give one of the following reasons –Circumstances out of my control, Other Priorities, Unplanned / unexpected situations, Never ending Constraints, Commitments to be honored, Personal Limitations. Well, do remember that every human being anywhere on this earth (either today or generations ago) had / has one / many of the above at one / many phases in life– So you are not alone. And yet, some people always find or make the time to do things that they love. Maybe you need to just squeeze in that little time to do things you love or make a vocation of the things you love. Doing things you love will make you happy.

2) Am I learning enough?

Learning is a very important dimension to personal growth and development. It does not matter what you are learning, from whom you are learning, how you are learning, how much you are learning – But what’s important is that you learn consciously and invest some time and effort regularly to learn new things. If in your own assessment you are not learning enough, then it’s important to identify what you want to learn in 2013 and set aside time on a regular basis for learning.

3) Am I content with the current state of my overall health?

The fact is that your overall state of health and well-being will determine the quality of your life today and tomorrow. Hence, it is imperative that you take time to invest in your overall health and wellness. In reality, you know your state of personal health the best, and hence you would be the best judge. If you are not content, then it’s time to ask yourself what is it that you need to, want to do and should do to improve it?

4) Am I really happy with myself?

Another very profound question – But the answer to which can sometimes be a revelation to you. Simply because you try to make everyone around you happy; and end up unhappy with yourself. While it is great to make other’s happy, it is also important that you invest in your own happiness. So do mull over this and see if you need to change one / many aspects of your own life.

5) Am I spending time with those who matter to me?

Again, time is one of your most valuable personal assets. So use it wisely, and ensure that you earmark some time periodically for those who matter to you – It can be your family, friends, staff, acquaintances, colleagues, soul mates, etc. But sharing your life with those who matter strengthens relationships and does wonders to your happiness quotient.

6) Am I living life to the best of my potential?

You are endowed with infinite potential – Some you are aware, some unexplored and some ignored. But if you ask yourself this question again and follow it with Why? Why Not? – You will get the answers. Not just a Yes or No kind of answer, but more importantly answers which will enable you to live life to the best of your potential.

7) Am I content with my current state of personal finances?

Your current state of personal finances is a function of how much you have earned, how much you have saved, how wisely you invested and most importantly how much effort you took to understand and review your finances periodically. And your state of personal finance will determine the choices that you can make today, and in the future. So if this dimension of your life needs attention, give it the attention it deserves now.

8) Am I happy with the current state of my immediate living environment?

Your current living environment – be it at work or office or anywhere else affects your thoughts, your energies, your productivity and your creativity. So make sure it is clean, well-organized and the way you want it to be – to get the best out of yourself.

9) Have I made peace with my past?

Many of us tend to hold on to our past; and however hard we try we are unable to let-go. And in life it’s important to let-go and make peace with your past – especially the negativity. Just accept it and release the baggage (Easier said than done, but it is not impossible!). Of course, it is wise to take the lessons along. And then focus your energies on the present and future.

10) Am I giving enough?

In life, you give some and you get some. Most of us tend to receive more than we give. In the long run, it’s important to give – To friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, an unknown face, a needy soul, someone less fortunate, another living being. And what can you give? A smile, an advice, a thought, a good deed, an idea, a motivation, an inspiration, time, knowledge, support, a shoulder, a ear, a helping hand, a life lesson, wisdom.

11) Do I need to review the state of my online / offline data?

Over the years, most of us have gigabytes of data, which we have accumulated – on hard disk, mails, social media profiles, etc. etc. And along the way, you have not spent enough time in maintaining them and hence today they are crying for maintenance. And you never get around to doing it – simply because it can wait, it’s boring and it takes time. Well! The reality is that it is only going to get worse with time and before it gets completely unmanageable, you might as well begin with regular up-keep and maintenance. Hence, the New Year is a good time to critically review, clean, and organize all your online and offline data – Simply by deleting unwanted content and organizing useful content better.

12) Am I really experiencing life?

Are you really experiencing life – Love, Laughs, Romance, Tears, Cultures, People, Heart-breaks, Passions, Rainbows, Disappointments, Failure, Trials, Experiments, Cuisines, Technology, … Because the more open you are, the more your experience, the more you enjoy and the more fulfilling life is.

*Image credits –> Title: Image courtesy of FrameAngel at | End: Pixel Art Factory

Wrapping up

And on that note, I hope 2013 brings your way good health, joys, happiness, new passions, gratifying relationships, loads of wealth, success, prosperity and dreams fulfilled.

Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

So, what are you going to do to make this New Year *2013* your best year ever? We would like to hear from you in comments below. Let’s discuss!

Author box:

Nischala Murthy KaushikAuthor name: Nischala Murthy Kaushik

About: Philosopher | Mother | Writer | Blogger @ Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions and Guest Blogger in sites of global repute | Work @ Wipro | IIMB Alumni | Scholar and Guru of Life for Life | Chief Happiness Officer (CHO) of my LIFE | On Twitter @nimu9

P.S. If you would like to contribute an awesome guest post on, please contact me HERE with the subject line : Guest Post (or) send me a DM on Twitter @arkarthick.

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  • Terri Nakamura

    This is a great list of thought-provoking things to consider as we begin a new year. Thanks for assembling them in one place for easy reference, and happy new year to you and A.R. Karthick!

    • Nischala

      Thanks Terri… Happy New Year 2013! And hope its the BESTEST ever!

  • Steven Hughes

    The best piece I can remember reading of late. Shared on all my networks, I think it’s that important. Incredible job Nischala. You have my head spinning now…

    • Nischala

      Thanks Steven.. Well I think its better to have your head spinning at the start of a new year, than to have regrets at the end of your life.. Anyways Happy New Year, and hope you have a GREAT One! Thanks much for sharing.. Appreciate it. – nischala

  • Frank Wächter

    As to be honest “no” was my prior answer. Yes, it is true, looks like we/I do live a parallel life somehow.
    I will print out your list right away and stick it right to the wall above the screen. Thanks for the food for thought and meditation.

    • Nischala

      Frank – Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment… Happy that you found the list useful enough to print and put up on your wall.. I personally find it useful to go through the list at regular intervals.. say a month; and re-align my priorities around areas that I need to work on… Happy New Year 2013! And hope its a great one for you. Nischala

  • Deone Higgs

    Thanks to Steven Hughes for sharing this piece. It’s awesome! The questions were on point and caused me to deeply reflect over my answers. In fact, I may need to pull out a sheet of paper to write down what I’m thinking right now. Great job and thank you, Nischala!

    • Nischala

      Deone – Happy New Year to you! Glad that the list of questions made you reflect and introspect about your own life.. That really was the intent of the post.. Personally, answering them honestly to myself always always helps… Nischala

  • AnnTran_

    Hi Nischala

    All Fantastic questions and I particularly like these two:

    1) Am I doing things that I love?
    5) Am I spending time with those who matter to me?

    Number 5 was something I worked really hard with last year. I got rid of the guilt factor and so much happier now.

    Great post!

    *Peace* Happy New Year!
    – Ann

    • Nischala

      Hey Ann – Happy New Year to you! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.. Well great to hear that you worked on (5) last year.
      Actually if anyone can answer YES to all (or most) of the questions above, they will be in a Happy and Peaceful place in Life.. And to get to that state needs conscious effort and work. I’ve personally found that you can’t have more than 2-3 priorities at a time in life.. but when you hit the mark when you yourself are content , then that’s wonderful! – nischala

  • Tami

    Fantastic post! Very thought-provoking and exactly what I needed! Happy New Year!

    • Nischala

      Thanks Tami. Glad it helped! Happy New Year 2013. – Nischala

  • SId

    Liked the post. Much needed insight.

    • Nischala

      Thanks Sid.. Happy New Year to you too – Nischala

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  • Debbie Devita

    Great things to think about in the coming year. They are very though provoking questions and made me think a lot about the goals I have set and where I am at in the process. Thanks.

    • Nischala

      Hi Debbie – Glad you found the post thought provoking.. It surely helps to draw up your goals based on honest responses.. Happy new year 2013. thanks for sharing and leaving a comment. Nischala

  • Braden

    Great info for 2013 soul searching advice, I think doing things that one has great passion is the best cure for long life good health. It keeps motivating you to move forward. I am enjoying this every moment.

    • Nischala

      Hi Braden – Happy New Year 2013! I sure agree that if you are doing something you are passionate about.. It is the best mantra for life.. Sad reality is many people don’t know where their passions lie.. It is a long process of self awareness and self discovery which takes you there.. Glad that you are enjoying this moment.. That’s a great spirit to live by.. – Nischala

  • Suchismita Pai

    Great questions.. a lot better than resolutions that get broken time and again. Asking questions and particularly ones that pertain to the self are a surefire way to grow, to evolve. And what could be better than growing each day,each year. A wonderful new year to all!

    • Nischala

      Yes Suchismita – I agree! It also makes sense to draw up some resolutions based on your own answers to these questions.. Happy New Year 2013 – Nischala

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  • Sunil Jain

    Hello Nischala :)

    I would’ve never learned so much about LIFE as I did in 2012. At last I always end up asking myself only 1 question “Have I made it LARGE” (Inspired by TV Ad) :D, but seems like I missed few more questions mentioned by you!!

    I hope 2013 brings more sunshine to you and all others who are reading this comment ;)

    Thanks for this inspiring post :)

  • Nischala

    Hey Sunil – Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Yes! Life is the BEST teacher and glad that you learned from life… Happy New Year to you too. – Nischala

  • Lisa

    Great post and perfect questions to ask at the start of the year. The first one, “Am I doing things that I love” really hit home for me. I am re-evaluating those things now and making adjustments. I want have a lifestyle and not a J-O-B!
    thanks again for making us think deeply!


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