Powerful Questions for the New Year

By Terri Klein

December 19, 2018

When you make mental wellness a priority—you lay the foundation for a beautiful life. An important statement, no doubt, but what does it mean to you?

My greatest teaching from the field of coaching is the importance of a powerful question. Every powerful question, meaning one that makes you think in a new way, has the capacity to open a new door within the mind, even if only ever so slightly. But there’s always a choice: You can shut it down if it feels too uncomfortable and choose not to go there OR you can choose to get curious, invite it in, and somehow embrace the discomfort knowing full well that this is how we grow.

My gift for you, this holiday season, is a list of powerful questions. The quality of your life depends on the quality of your mind, and the quality of your mind depends on the quality of your questions.

I have divided the questions into categories to make it easier for you to move through them. Select only those that resonate and then dive in. Give yourself the gift of time for self-care and deep introspection. As well, give yourself permission to be vulnerable, open, honest, and real as you delve into your answers. Use your favorite journal and write—no edits necessary. Note that these questions can also be used as topics for meaningful conversation.

Do you understand the importance of your mental wellness? Do you PRIORITIZE your emotional health?

  • What do you do when you’re suffering, feeling bad, and your overthinking mind is taking charge? Is your self-talk kind or harsh?
  • Do you take time to train your mind and manage your emotions? What practices, habits, and tools do you frequently use or use at all?
  • Do you make time for yourself or do you bypass self-care in order to take care of everyone else first, leaving little or no time left for you?
  • How do you feel you can best support yourself in the New Year and going forward?

How comfortable are you with experiencing ALL of your emotions?


  • Does your “beautiful life” consist only of happy and positive emotions? Is this what you strive for—to be happy 100% of the time? Is this a healthy approach?
  • Do you tend to avoid negative emotions—and find yourself turning to food, technology, and/or to other addictions to numb and buffer your uncomfortable feelings rather than experience them?
  • Are you more reactive than you’d like to be? What do you do with excessive anger and resentment? Are you carrying grudges into the New Year?
  • What else are you carrying into the New Year that you would like to release: shame, guilt, and/or regret? How many New Years have to pass before you realize the importance of forgiveness, not just to others, but, first and foremost, to yourself?


Are you living a mindful, meaningful, and balanced life?


  • Are you mindfully engaging with the present or are you stuck in the past or anxious about the future?
  • Are you prioritizing what truly matters to you? Do you know what your core values are? Are you living in alignment with them and therefore living a meaningful life?
  • Do you regularly practice meditation, gratitude, yoga, or other similar mindfulness practices?


What does happiness mean to you? What is your definition of success?


  • Do you understand the difference between being happy and being emotionally healthy?
  • Can you only be happy WHEN all of your “happy conditions” have been met? Can you be happy only once: you’ve achieved your ideal state of physical health, lost your ideal weight, received your ideal promotion, married your ideal partner…?
  • Is it only the destination that counts for you or does the journey matter too?
  • What would make you truly successful and your life truly beautiful in 2019?

Are you nurturing positive relationships and frequently connecting with others?


  • What is your relationship with yourself? (Self-loathe, self-dislike, self-aware, self-appreciate, self-like, self-compassion, self-love)
  • Do you feel worthy and good enough—no matter what? Do you make these non-negotiable? Do you feel perfectly imperfect and whole as you are?
  • Are you living from an authentic place or wearing daily masks, a suit of armor, and/or protective layers depending on who you’re with and what you’re doing?
  • How are your relationships with others? Are you expecting too much and/or giving too little?



  • What is your greatest WANT/your ultimate dream? What does your heart ache for that feels so out of reach?
  • What are the obstacles that are getting in your way?
  • When you look back over your life, what do you most regret not having done?
  • Who is your future-self begging you to be? What is your future-self begging you to do?

Your answers to these questions will guide you. They will help you to create your necessary support system for 2019—one that will allow you to grow into a better version of you—into a future-self who can gracefully step into your “bigger life.”

Think about some of the hard questions you’ve been avoiding and I challenge you to go there in this New Year. Remember these famous words:

“If not now, then when? If not you, then who?”

Happy 2019!


Coach Terri

PS – “Ask the compelling questions; prioritize your truth; live your essential answers.” ~ Terri Klein


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