Seven Questions That Will Change Your Life

Self reflection should be more than a minor consideration if you’re serious about personal growth. I can testify that it’s worked wonders for me, for grounding myself and evaluating my life’s progress. How else am I supposed to make improvements, if I don’t know where I’ve gone wrong in the past? Many people try to ignore past errors, but then history repeats itself, as we all know.

Here are some questions that I find useful to use for self reflection. The format that I use is that of a weekly self assessment and reflection journal. Try it yourself, ask yourself the following questions Sunday night, when your week is complete.

1. What will I try to improve on next week?

2. What was I most proud of this week?

3. What was my biggest accomplishment this week?

4. What have I done to get closer to my life goals this week?

5. What was hard for me this week, and why?

6. What was my biggest waste of time this week?

7. What did I do this week that made me ashamed?

By answering these questions for myself in my writing journal, or journal diary as it is sometimes called, I force myself to take a hard look at myself. I may spend months or years treading water, not getting anywhere, if I didn’t take this time to analyze myself.

For me a week is enough time to pull myself back if I’ve gotten too far off-course. If I’ve stopped exercising for a week, I would be ashamed of myself, and my weekly review would get me to the gym first thing Monday morning.

By recording things that made me proud and that I consider my biggest accomplishments, I can emulate them in the future. The benefit for me is that these are the things that make me feel good and are likely taking me towards my life goals.

I record the activities that I’ve found to be hard during the week. Maybe it was a test, or a work out at the gym. I can then analyze where I went wrong, or right. A test being hard could mean that I wasn’t prepared enough, or it was meant to be a challenging critical thinking exam. A hard day at the gym could mean that I’ve let myself get out of shape, or I’m over working myself. I can make adjustments for the following week and plan accordingly.

What things will you discover yourself if you stare these seven hard questions dead in the eyes?

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Another post that StumbleUpon users love is How To Become an Outstanding Person In Twelve Weeks.

Posted by in Goal Setting, Personal Development | March 21, 2007 | Digg | | Stumble | Print | 86 comments

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  • SaiF

    Hey Alex!

    I think your last question is rather negative.. What’s the answer you’re looking for with that question?

    If my understanding of the question is correct, maybe we should replace it with “What should I have done differently to get BETTER results?”

    Really GREAT questions for us there! Thank you so much!

    I’ll be sure to add this to my blog!

    To CANI,


    • Alex Shalman

      I like the question the way it is. That is a great follow up question though.

  • SaiF

    Ooops.. You sound offended.. Sorry, mate! Just a suggestion 😉

    • Alex Shalman

      Not at all my friend! I just really wanted to answer you, but I kept it short because I’m concentrating on an article I’m writing.

      Keep on commenting, as you were… 😉

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  • Mayank Rocks

    You have scared me now. I find “nothing” to most questions, or I am just not able to think. I have to re read it… Very nice post Alex…. I’ve subscribed to the blog already.

  • Flimjo

    Alex, you should be a motivational speaker. Between that and blogging, you won’t have to work ever again.

    • Alex Shalman

      Working on it buddy. =)

  • http://link james

    good post man thx

  • http://link arni

    hi great site 10x

  • Adam Sicinski


    Your post reminded me of a time when I use to carry around a small flash card of questions that I read throughout the day and at night before going to bed. These questions grounded me and focused me on what was most important in my life when everything else seemed so out of control.

    I truly believe that questions are the keys that separate the most fulfilled and successful people from the rest. They are indeed the doors that unlock many opportunities and insights that we would normally not be aware of if we didn’t take the time to stop and reflect for moments throughout our day. Your questions are indeed powerful if utilized consistently and reflected upon in a manner that encourages deep insight and self-reflection. After which of course, we must act upon these reflections to move towards a happier place in our lives.

    I do believe that I will now return back to that list of questions that got me through a difficult period of my life. I’m in a very different place now, however you can never fully understand or comprehend the insights that can be gained without first asking the right set of questions. I will also be adding the last of your 7 questions to my list. Believe it or not, I had all the rest (phrased somewhat differently) there already.

    Thanks for your deep insights.


    Adam Sicinski

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  • dexter

    people should do these more often… 🙂

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  • komodo dragon

    these are some great thought provoking questions … I am especially loving this one : What was my biggest accomplishment this week? haha mainly cause i have a pretty good answer for it

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  • Caleb

    I’ve naturally been doing this for along time. Though,lately #6 and #7 has been the most recurring questions 🙂

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  • Krista

    Hi Alex
    John Chow posted these 7 questions in his post and I had to come by because like you, I am always journaling. Having these questions allow me to journal with a purpose and allow deeper insights into myself. This is a good way to chart one’s progress (or eeek… non-progress) over a week or a month. Most people live Life as if they have forever. We don’t. We don’t have forever – that’s why reflection is important. It gives us an impetus to life a Better Life which encompasses meaning and purpose. Thanks Alex for the brilliant way to poke ourselves into mindfulness!

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  • moserw

    Good thoughts and good questions. Only quite sure not many will be able to ask themselves such tough questions. Internal probing is missing in our society and we can only find fault with others, but never ourselves.

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  • Beautiful Scraps

    Yeah, Wonderful points..

    But I couldn’t make out.. We should just avoid thinking of the embarrassing situations we had been right ? We should make sure.. it doesnt happen again!

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  • stepfact

    This type of posts stay timeless. I like to do things as simple as possible.
    Will condense this to:
    1. What will I try to improve on next week?
    3. What was my biggest accomplishment this week?
    4. What have I done to get closer to my life goals this week?
    6. What was my biggest waste of time this week?
    7. What did I do this week that made me ashamed?

    “2” is for me already covered by “3” and “4”. Didn’t see really the purpose for “5” and wanted to make it shorter.