Asking Questions to Cultivate Change in 2021

As the year comes to a close, many of us step into January with new intentions for change in our lives. I wanted to offer some of my favorite questions shared by guests this year to help you embrace greater self-awareness, more mindful practices, and to support you in your own change process in 2021.

It’s been a year of changes for all of us—on a global, national and personal level. We’ve had a chance to consider what safety means for us, who is in our “bubble”, how we support and connect when we can’t be together, and how we find happiness in hardship.


This year also launched the My Innermission podcast, and through this work, I’ve had the opportunity to interview phenomenal people who have navigated their own change journeys, but who also support others in making meaningful change too. We’ve talked about our shadow sides, stepping out of our comfort zones, financial insecurities, battles with addiction, ways to sustain wellness, leading with empathy, and stepping into greater social activism in our daily lives.


As the year comes to a close, many of us step into January with new intentions for change in our lives. I wanted to offer some of my favorite questions shared by guests this year to help you embrace greater self-awareness, more mindful practices, and to support you in your own change process in 2021.


1.    What is the fear that drives you? Embracing your shadow side is essential for self-awareness and knowing what motivates you, whether it is the fear of being without identity, fear of being unloved, fear of being corrupt, fear of being without support, or fear of loss, is important to identify so you can understand what drives your decisions and actions. From The Enneagram and Self-Awareness with Cyndi Gueswel


2.    How can you listen to your body to make nutrition and fitness choices? When we think about diet and exercise, we often think about the logistics and plan for the food we eat and the physical fitness we want to achieve. But if we reframe this thinking to understand what our body is telling us about foods that fuel us and how physical fitness helps us train for life, we may find greater harmony and balance in our overall wellness. From Training for Life with Cassye Delphy.


3.    How can you move outside your comfort zone in a productive way? Sometimes we can identify a change that needs to be made, or a risk we want to take, but how do we know we are prepared to take the leap?We know that change is uncomfortable, but having some foundation in the mindset, skills, or experiences to step into new learning can help us more successfully navigate big changes in life. From Finding our License to learn with Anna Switzer.


4.    What is the worse-case scenario and how can knowing that lead to success? Making a big change in life is often surrounded by a lot of trepidation and fear of failure. If we take time to answer the question,“What is the worst thing that could happen?”, we can name our fears, think through if they are founded, and how we would confront them if they arise. From Reconciling our Relationship with Money with LeAndra Foster.


5.    What are your patterns of response to grief, trauma and emotional events? We all have ways that we often respond to others and ourselves when we face big life events or traumatic experiences. Knowing these emotional avatars and the ways they prevent us from leading with empathy(for ourselves an others) is an important tool for self-awareness and stepping into the discomfort of change. From Leading with Empathy with Liesel Mertes.


6.    What are high-leverage practices that could promote greater mental, physical, and emotional health? When we step into change that can lead to greater wellness, there are so many variables—food, hydration, exercise, mindfulness, sleep, etc. As you begin new habits around wellness, knowing some small, but powerful practices that can lead to greater health in all those areas can be an important, and rewarding, first step. From MovingTowards Greater Mental Wellness and Longevity with Dr. Nicole Marcione.


7.    When you look in the mirror, are you proud of who you are? Starting an honest conversation by looking at yourself in the mirror and analyzing your own addictive tendencies or those tendencies of others is an important first step in recognizing if you need to make a change. Identifying that need is the first step and there are many ways to support yourself or others to break the cycle of addiction. From Coming to Terms with Addiction with Laura Cook Boldt on her book Unraveled: A Mother and Son Story of Addiction and Redemption.


8.    How do your daily actions align with your values? You may have beliefs about what you want the world to be like, but how do your daily actions—your conversations, your purchases, your gifts of time and money—bring those actions to life in the world? Considering this values alignment, your own privilege, and responsibilities to others can bring clarity about how you can do more to create the world you seek. From Stepping into Greater Social Activism with Dinah Becton-Consuegra.


9.    How would your body answer the question, “Are you happy?” So often our brains may identify that something needs to change, but we might not be able to name why or how to take the first step. By focusing on our somatic responses and feeling our way into change, we can identify some of the root causes for change and learn how to navigate our stress responses and resistance to change in healthier ways. From Reflecting on Relationships and Self-Care with Ben Lotstein.


10.   How will you prioritize your time and energy to create the change you seek? New year’s resolutions are a time to name the goal or the desired end state of your change. But it is the daily actions and commitment that makes that change happen. By checking in on your physical response to change, your emotional state around the change process, your ambition to make the change, your connection with others and your energy to make the change, you can begin to live into your intentions every day. From My Innermission Journal PEACE pages.



Whatever your entry point for change in the new year, I wish you clarity, confidence, and the knowledge that you are worthy of creating thelife that you want in 2021. Cheers to you!