Posts Tagged ‘ New Year’s ’

A Thanksgiving Activity for Friends & Family

It’s easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Thanksgiving amongst all the parties, the rituals, the football games, the cooking, and the family dynamics.  And yet it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect a little on our lives and to acknowledge all the people and experiences that have positively impacted us the most!

Not to worry! I’ve found a way to do both.

Using selected questions from my book, Creating Authenticity: Meaningful Questions for Meaningful Moments, I’ve created a fun and meaningful activity for you to do with your friends and family at the dinner table that will make this a Thanksgiving to remember.

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Why do we need a Thanksgiving activity, you ask?

You don’t. However, if your Thanksgiving conversations with your friends and family have a tendency to migrate towards football, weather, politics, and gossip, perhaps it’s time for a change. Perhaps it’s time for some meaningful and introspective conversation with each other that come from the heart. After all, isn’t that ultimately what Thanksgiving is all about?

Below are 50 questions that will spark great conversation and gratitude. My simple suggestion would be to:

·      Copy this blog and paste it on a separate page.

·      Enlarge the type.

·      Cut out all the questions individually, or at least all the questions you want to be a part of this activity.

·      Place the questions in a container of some kind.

·      When it’s time to begin the exercise, pass the container around, having each person select a question.

·      Go around the table (once or multiple times) and ask each person to then read their question and answer it.

·      Feel free to alter this activity to fit your group.

Questions

1.     If you were told today that you had a month left to live, what would you want to do with the remaining time?

2.     What friendships have meant the most to you and why?

3.     What do you still want to do in your life that you haven’t yet done?

4.     What qualities do your closest friends have in common?

5.     What’s something crazy that you can still see yourself doing?

6.     What is one of the biggest obstacles you have had to overcome in your life? Please explain.

7.     What do most people who you know not know about you?

8.     What do you wish you were better at and why?

9.     What is one of your biggest regrets in life and why?

10.What kind of kid were you growing up? How have you changed?

11.What’s a recent accomplishment that you are most proud of and why?

12.What are you most passionate about in your life and how would someone know it?

13.What’s probably the biggest risk you ever took and how did it turn out?

14.What’s been the most meaningful feedback you’ve ever received and what did you do with it?

15.Describe your most meaningful possession.

16.When given the opportunity, what do you brag about most and why?

17.What is one of the best compliments you’ve received this year?

18.What memory still makes you laugh when you think about it?

19.When is the last time you felt most alive? What was happening?

20.What’s been some of the best advice you’ve ever received and how has it helped you?

21.What qualities do you find attractive in other people?

22.If you could clone yourself exactly as you are today, but have the ability to change one thing, what would you change?

23.Which of the television shows that you currently watch tells the most about you?

24.Who was your all-time favorite teacher and why?

25.Which of your physical features do you get complimented on the most? 

26.What past or present photograph in your home means the most to you and why?

27.If you could re-live (but not change) a past moment in your life, what moment would that be and why?

28.When was the last time you laughed so hard that your stomach hurt?

29.Describe the perfect romantic evening.

30.Which of your childhood possessions had the most meaning for you and why?

31.You have just commissioned a famous painter to do a painting for you. What are you going to have them paint?

32.Who, among the people your life do you admire the most and why?

33.Complete this sentence: Sometimes I wish…

34.Which of your hobbies probably tells the most about you?

35.What causes you the most stress? How would people know?

36.What’s one of the best decisions you’ve made in this past year and why?

37.How would you define a successful life? How does your life compare?

38.What was one of the most courageous things you have ever done?

39.In what ways are you misunderstood? 

40.Complete this sentence: Sometimes I pretend…

41.What is the most important thing you’d like to learn next?

42.What would you like to have more of in your life?

43.What would you like to have less of in your life?

44.Of all the cars you’ve owned over the years, which one holds the best memories for you?

45.If your life goes exactly the way you would like it to go, what will you be doing five years from now?

46.What would you like to hear more of that you don’t hear enough?

47.What do you think attracts most people to you?

48.What is one of your favorite traditions that you still observe today? Please explain.

49.What’s been the most exciting thought occupying your mind lately?

50.What three things are you most thankful for and why?

Remember, the idea here is to have an activity that everyone can participate in. With that said, it’s also important to allow people the option of skipping their turn if they are not comfortable playing. Simply leave it up to them.

Let me know how it goes.

Celebratory drink

And, have a happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. If you like the process, go to www.thelaughingleader.com or CLICK HERE and download my free New Years Resolutions That Stick! workbook to get a similar New Year’s Eve activity. It’s free after all!

Top 10 New Year’s Questions…about this past year

New Year 

  1. What did you learn about yourself from this past year?
  2. Which relationship(s) meant the most to you this past year and why?
  3. What was one of the biggest challenges you faced this past year and how did you handle it?
  4. What was one of your proudest moments from this past year and why?
  5. What was one of the most meaningful compliments you received this past year? Why was it so meaningful to you?
  6. What did you do for fun this past year? What was one of your favorite memories?
  7. If you could change one thing from this past year, what would you change and why?
  8. What was the most meaningful thing someone did for you this past year? What was the most meaningful thing you did for someone else?
  9. If you were to brag about one of your accomplishments from this past year, which one would it be and why?
  10. Given all your experiences, insights, and lessons learned from 2012, what’s the best advice you could give yourself for 2013?

Happy New Year’s!

Geese

An Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions

New Years

What’s wrong with New Year’s resolutions? Is it because the word “resolution” has become associated with superficial, lofty goals that fade almost as quickly as our hangover from the New Year’s Eve celebration? Or could it be that there is simply no time between Thanksgiving and NewYear’s to do any serious goal-setting—given all the holiday parties, family obligations, and end-of-the-year work deadlines that must be met?

The answer is “yes” to both. The fact is New Year’s resolutions are a joke because we don’t take the time to do a thorough process of reflecting, assessing, transitioning, and goal setting. Instead, we latch on to any central theme that has been bothering us as of late and turn that into some sort of half-hearted resolution. Is it no wonder that 80 percent of people who make resolutions on the 1st of January fall off the wagon by Valentine’s Day, according to Marti Hope Gonzales, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota.

So what’s the alternative, you ask?

Let me answer that in two ways.

Your first alternative would be to turn the resolution process into a commitment process. This would require carving out some quality solo time to complete my complimentary workbook, New Years Resolutions That Stick!. The workbook comes with 30 thought-provoking questions about this past year and 30 thought-provoking questions about this upcoming year. This tested New Year’s process will help you come up with meaningful goals for 2013 as result of a thorough analysis of 2012. For your free workbook, go to www.greggiesen.com or click on the link above.

NewYearGiesenWorkbookLOW_RES

The second alternative is to follow the 4-Step process below; no downloads or workbook required.

Step 1:  Take some “me” time and reflect upon these questions about this past year.  Be sure to write down your responses.

  1. What were your four biggest personal highlights and why?
  2. What were your four biggest professional highlights and why?
  3. What did you learn most about yourself this past year?
  4. What were some of your biggest challenges and how did you handle them?
  5. What, if any, regrets do you have?

Step 2:  Take some “me” time and reflect upon these questions about this upcoming year.  Be sure to write down your responses.

  1. Based on this past year, what’s the best advice you could give yourself for 2013 and why?
  2. What’s one thing you’d like to change most about yourself?
  3. What unfinished business, if any, do you need to complete in 2013? What would that look like?
  4. What could possibly prevent you from creating the year ahead that you truly desire?  Is there anything you could be doing now to set yourself up to succeed? If so, what would that be?
  5. In a year from now, what do you want to be able to say about this upcoming year in retrospect? What do you need to do to make that happen?

Step 3:  Based on your insights from steps 1 & 2, identify all the things you are willing to commit to doing in the three areas below:

What I will continue to do in 2013:

What I will stop doing in 2013:

What I will start doing in 2013:

Step 4:  For any goal or commitment to be successful, it is critical that you enroll others in your process; be it by sharing your insights and results from Step 3 or by doing this 4-step process together. Either way, select an accountability partner and share with them what you learned from Steps 1 & 2 and what you are willing to commit to in Step 3.

Lastly, I recommend creating a quarterly process for reviewing your commitments instead of the annual process. Our lives change so much on a day-to-day basis that goals and commitments can lose their meaning if not regularly checked and updated. This means getting together with your accountability partner four times. Are you up for that?

In conclusion, every year of your life is essentially a chapter in your own autobiography. Make your life a best seller by capturing as much as you can from each and every year. It will not only give you a greater sense of self, but it will undoubtedly make each successive year that much better.

Aren’t you worth it?

-Geese