21 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Next Birthday

21 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Next Birthday

Each year, when my birthday approaches (it’s tomorrow), I always find myself reflecting on the year leading up to it:

Big events, life experiences, transitions good and bad. Essentially, all of the moments that made up every minute of my days.

This year marked the first year of my 30s, and it was a big one.

I got married. I left one job and lept head first into a new one. I traveled to a new country (Belize). I watched my husband run the Boston Marathon. We moved into a new home that we love. I became a full time writer.

These were some big moments, all of which I am eternally grateful for.

Yet in between all of these great moments existed all the little ones that, when strung together, created a melody in my life whose harmony is more beautiful than I could have ever intentionally composed.

It’s comprised of the buzzing sounds of the voices of friends sitting around my dining room table, eating, drinking, and being merry. Trips up to Mammoth with the girls. Yoga retreats to faraway places. Trail runs with my amazing (and strong) friends. Saturday morning yoga classes and brunch. Skype calls with my dearly missed Canadian friends and family. Cozy nights at home on the couch with a good book. Taking in the views from the top of a ski mountain and then racing down to the bottom. Writing. Lots of writing. Walking hand in hand with my husband. Warm hugs, big smiles, the chorus of laughter, great conversations, and heart warming connections.

These are the moments that make all the big ones worth mentioning. For without these little moments that make my heart smile and nourish my soul, the big ones wouldn’t matter as much.

And so, as I sit here on the eve of my 31st birthday, I’ve come to realize something I’ve known all along:

Of great and equal importance in my life are all of my moments, big and small. For they all carry a certain weight and color, and with each stroke of their brush, they create the masterpiece that is my life.

My life, of course, is and always will be a work in progress. And as such, I like to check in with myself at opportune times, particularly on special occasions like birthdays and New Year’s Day.

So whether you’re celebrating a big birthday (they’re all big, as far as I’m concerned), or you just want to check in with yourself to see where you’re at with your dreams and visions for your life, here are some questions to ask, in no particular order. I will be asking myself the same ones tomorrow:

  1. Was I passionate about my career, my relationships, and my life in the last year?
  2. Did I nurture my passions this year? If yes – how? If not – why not? And what can I do differently this year?
  3. What were my top 3 goals for last year and did I accomplish them? If not – why?
  4. What are my top 3 goals for the coming year?
  5. How much did I laugh this past year? Can I laugh more this year? How? What am I going to do to make sure I do?
  6. Am I happy with my life right now? If not – what do I want to change and how should I begin to change it?
  7. What habits – if any –  held me back from achieving what I wanted last year (i.e. getting defensive, speaking too quickly, putting myself down)?
  8. If I had all the money in the world, and no limitations whatsoever, would I be doing what I’m doing with my life right now?
  9. What am I grateful for this last year?
  10. Is there anything in my life I want to change right now?
  11. What are my most memorable moments of the last year? Why? How can I create more of those moments?
  12. Did I try something new in the last year?
  13. What life lessons did I learn this year?
  14. What am I most afraid of?
  15. If I were my closest friend, what wish would I wish for myself for this coming year?
  16. What was my greatest learning of this last year?
  17. What was my greatest achievement of this last year?
  18. What is the biggest risk I took this year? Am I glad I did it?
  19. If somebody Googled my name today, what would come up? If I could change that for next year, what would it say instead?
  20. How do I define success and did I achieve that this year?

And, finally:

21. How old would I be if I didn’t know how old I was?


Love, love, love,