4 Questions to get 2013 off to a roaring start

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I love planning.

It could be a Virgo thing, since the smell of flip chart paper and new pens is almost as sweet as fresh leaves on a fall day.

With November at our feet, it is a great time to start to plant some seeds for your 2013 career and business plans.

I recorded a video to help you do this exercise.

If you cannot bear to watch me enjoy American Idol winner David Cook, skip ahead to 0:52. I won’t be offended.

To do this exercise, I suggest getting nice and comfortable, and grabbing a paper and pen. Answer these questions:

  1. I am at my very best when …
    What conditions bring out your very best work? What kind of work are you doing when you are kicking major bootie? What people bring out your best work? Without overthinking it too much, brainstorm the factors that bring out your best work.

    From this list, circle one thing that you will AMPLIFY in 2013.

  2. These things drove me crazy in 2012 …
    Have you been spinning around with the same annoying patterns in your head? Do you have any people in your life that make you nuts? Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired?

    Brainstorm the things that have really made you batty this year.

    From this list, circle one thing that you will ELIMINATE in 2013*

    *If this thing is a person, I am not suggesting homicide. Maybe something less dramatic like unfriending on Facebook.

  3. I really want to make/do this in 2013 …
    Is there an experience you are dying to have next year? Do you want to run your first marathon, write your first book, have your first baby or make your first product? Brainstorm the things or experiences that you would love to accomplish next year.

    From this list, circle one thing that you will CREATE in 2013*

    *If “making a baby” is on your list, the homework is really fun.

  4. Even during tough times this year, I appreciated …
    Even the most optimistic life coaches have really crappy days. Life can be hard sometimes. If you had a whopper of a year, what are some things that you appreciated as the proverbial doo doo was hitting the fan? Brainstorm the big and small things that kept you grounded in 2012.

    From this list, circle one thing that you want to APPRECIATE in 2013*

    *Since one of the things I have appreciated in 2012 is a plant, I am going to make sure to send waves of gratitude. I think plants have feelings, but you be the judge. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_perception_%28paranormal%29

With these four key elements you want to bring forward into 2013, now you can start to work on the nuts and bolts of planning your career or business. Stay tuned for more video updates on the topic, although I can’t promise a musical intro to each one. Unless you request them, at which time I will be happy to comply.

Feel free to share your four answers below!

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37 Responses to “4 Questions to get 2013 off to a roaring start”

  1. […] I think offer some intriguing ways to look at the past and the future. I started with the following four questions to help me […]

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  3. […] like vines. We must prune ideas to focus on the best ideas to move forward. Pamela Slim introduced four questions to help with 2013 business planning, and these questions helped me identify five things we must do to identify the opportunities to […]

  4. katie says:

    Great questions! I’ll have to work on these. I can’t believe 2013 is almost here already, time flies!

  5. John says:

    Thanks, Pam! Very excited about 2013. I’m encouraging my readers to think about the way they want to portray themselves in 2013 and prioritizing their activities now. With the year winding down, there is time to reflect, so it’s a great opportunity to do that now rather than starting in January.

  6. […] review. … find your life purpose. … set goals. … don’t set goals. … amplify, eliminate, create, and appreciate. … differentiate the urgent from the important. … focus on working better. … […]

  7. […] 4 Questions to get 2013 off to a roaring start (escapefromcubiclenation.com) […]

  8. Lisa says:

    Pam, you know I love, love, love seeing you use that flip chart with the smiley face. Your visuals were great!

    Amplify – Learning new techniques in art and working with new materials
    Eliminate – Doing it all myself, especially website stuff.
    Create – a network of sponsors
    Appreciate – my church and give back with my gifts

    Great post. The video really made it engaging and I felt like I got so much more out of it ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. […] 2012? – I took some projects in 2012 to bring money in for my business, but they are now not really a part of how I want my business to look in the future. I am using my experience to develop business ideas […]

  10. Janice says:

    Hi Pam, I also live in Germany and would love to watch the video. Is it(or similar) available to see on another site?

  11. Cate says:

    This video really resonated with me, Pam. Much more than a lot of planning videos I’ve watched. My husband and I just went through the 4 questions together, and it was fun to be able to do some planning and dreaming together even though our work is totally different.

    Here are my answers:

    AMPLIFY: Creating.

    ELIMINATE: Doing lots of random things that drain my energy and don’t support my overall goal, even if those things are fun (e.g., I’m actually scaling back on public speaking and live workshops in 2013)

    CREATE: My Re-Entry Reality book that helps travelers and expats re-launch themselves after being abroad

    APPRECIATE: My husband, my family, and the flexibility and technology that makes it possible for me to do the work I love, how I love doing it!

  12. elise says:

    Hi Pam,

    Didn’t quite catch you at WDS but admired you from afar!

    Loved this simple yet intentional video. It’s so good to be reminded to take a moment to pause and think about what matters and be clear about your intentions.

    AMPLIFY: the creative force and collaboration

    ELIMINATE: lack of autonomy

    CREATE: my book and business

    APPRECIATE: relationships

  13. […] could be thinks toย stop doing. Here are some great questions to begin thinking about for 2013 via 4 Questions to get 2013 off to a roaring start | Escape From Cubicle Nation. To do this exercise, I suggest getting nice and comfortable, and grabbing a paper and pen. Answer […]

  14. Tonya says:

    You rock!

  15. I love the idea of centering my business planning on four major topics. So, here we go:

    AMPLIFY: Mentoring

    ELIMINATE: The need to catch up

    CREATE: Online classes

    APPRECIATE: The people in my life

  16. […] So before you hustle, try finishing the following four sentences to ensure you are hustlin’ in the right direction. (A modified exercise by Pamela Slim, Escape from Cubicle Nation) […]

  17. Farnoosh says:

    Love the emphasis: “This is the time of your life. Right now!” Loved it. Thanks for being SO REAL, Pam.

    The exercise was hard and necessary.

    AMPLIFY – Is it OK if this one has something in common with you? I’ve said for months that 2013 is my year of speaking and getting out there, since 2011 and 2012 were years of building foundations. I also have specific speaking engagements in mind.

    ELIMINATE – Hmmmm. I had to deal with some personal issues but those are behind me, but I do need to get a full-time assistant in my business, even though I am hiring a full-time employee soon (My husband!) so it should be a lot easier.

    CREATE – Finish my Crack the Code to Get Promoted at Corporate which launches in January and finish the book that goes with it. Write 2 more books and 1 more product (AT LEAST).

    APPRECIATE – Travel, we have Africa in February and more crazy wonderful travel with my husband, as well as continue my Ashtanga yoga practice.

    OK this is short list ;)!
    Thanks so much for the exercise, Pam! You rock!

  18. Brandon says:

    Thank you for the guidance, Pam. I’m very excited about 2013.

    AMPLIFY: Writing. It gives me confidence and helps me establish/strengthen my positions and thoughts.

    ELIMINATE: Not feeling healthy or in shape.

    CREATE: Another income stream. A few of my other items on this list would fit the bill.

    APPRECIATE: The opportunity to make a life fit for me.

  19. […] a recent post she argues that this time of year is perfect for sitting down and reviewing how the past twelve months has been for you as an individual. Are you fulfilled? Harried? Productive? Then you must begin laying down some goals for making the […]

  20. Ruth Davis says:

    Loved the video. That you show up so real. Great questions.
    My answers:
    AMPLIFY: creating/leading intimate coaching groups, teaching/training large groups of Mac users

    ELIMINATE: the piddly work I haven’t yet delegated to my VA

    CREATE: my book and book tour and a specialized Mac training/support program for entrepreneurs. There is lots of info on WHAT to do in your biz but not HOW to do it efficiently with Mac technology without tech-no-whelm.

    APPRECIATE: all of the love and support from family, friends, clients, my dogs…

    Thanks for this great exercise. Can’t wait to work with you to make it all happen! xx

  21. […] a recent post she argues that this time of year is perfect for sitting down and reviewing how the past twelve months has been for you as an individual. Are you fulfilled? Harried? Productive? Then you must begin laying down some goals for making the […]

  22. Silja says:

    Pam, I can’t watch the video.
    “Unfortunately, this SME-music-content is not available in Germany because GEMA has not granted the respective music publishing rights.”
    So the bureaucrats censor you for having a little David Cook fun in the beginning. So mean ๐Ÿ™

  23. […] a recent post she argues that this time of year is perfect for sitting down and reviewing how the past twelve months has been for you as an individual. Are you fulfilled? Harried? Productive? Then you must begin laying down some goals for making the […]

  24. ronda says:

    Pam – YOU are the Rockstar!

    When you first sent this I passed it over, thinking I didn’t have time or need. But after listening to you on the coaching call last night, i decided I better check it out, and I’m so happy I did.

    thank you! wonderful process and very helpful.

    AMPLIFY: Contact with all Montessori people, places, & things

    ELIMINATE: or at least reduce dramatically, stress of corporate job. Especially compared to the majesty of interacting with Montessori educators, now dealing with corporate clients makes my skin crawl, want to scream, puke, etc. (‘nuf said)

    CREATE: Make my Montessori Family Connection biz a reality.

    APPRECIATE: My creative nest – in Israel, in the country, wide spaces and breathtaking beauty all around.

    AND I APPRECIATE YOU PAM – and your amazing mentoring and giving spirit which inspires me to be all that I can be!

  25. Tamara says:

    LOL, that song is kinda dope tho i have no idea who the guy is cause I dont watch American Idol lol.

    Here are mine:


    Ignoring fear and helping someone


    My job


    My business fulltime, quit my job, become pregnant, travel to Anguilla


    My husband, still times, my faith, small reminders

    Oh and i do relate to you appreciating and watching your cactus bloom and change (useda to live in AZ), i do the same thing with animals apparently. I appreciate the birds doing their thing (they are the epitome of freedom to me and that’s how I want to be) and the cows (Texas here lol) doing their thing and feeding us season in and season out (even through this drought).

  26. Yoneco Evans says:

    This will take a bit of time, I have fairly long lists for each category and it’s going to be hard picking just one.

    Oh, and I did watch the first minute on mute…it is very funny.

  27. Carol Ross says:

    Thanks for these questions, Pam. Great eye-opening exercise that will get me primed for the coming year. My answers:

    AMPLIFY: Playfulness

    ELIMINATE: The stress of aging (e.g., feeling unfit, mixed feelings about being an empty nester soon)

    CREATE: A lifestyle and business that supports travel and adventure with my family (e.g., vacation to New Zealand next summer)

    APPRECIATE: My husband and sons and extended family (parents, siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews)

  28. Giovanna says:

    Loved the video Pam. Tks to present this in such a structured way. It helped me to answer questions I needed to since long time ago.

    The feeling now is of more clarity and some relief.


  29. faisal says:

    Aren’t we too early to get into 2013 mode, we still can try to accomplish our 2012 goals ;p

    • Brandon says:

      Not at all. With the year winding down, now’s a great time to get cozy, reflect on the past year, and dream up the new reality for the coming year.

  30. Thank you so much for this great video, Pam. When you said that this is the time of your life, I had tears in my eyes, too. Too often I forget that on the treadmill of life!

    Amplify – more rest
    Eliminate – non productive time such as internet browsing
    Create – my first program
    Appreciate – the love & support of family & friends

    I’ll be on the WEMastermind cruise so looking forward to touching base there!

  31. I loved and was right with you at every whip of your fist and turn of your head during that musical intro! After all, this IS the time of our lives – yes!

    What a cool exercise this is. Thank you. I actually just shot a video for my blog in which I offer up 3 different questions for planning 2013 (in my case, during a working/planning retreat.) I love that I found these questions of yours right after working through my own! Here are my answers:

    Amplify – workshops and speaking
    Eliminate – mindless Facebook time
    Create – Quit Wasting Your Breath book (staring with email series)
    Appreciate – that I get to be involved in my daughters’lives throughout the day – school functions, after school, getting to the bus AND do work I love. (it’s a struggle, but I love it grounds me, too.)

  32. I love this, Pam (I’m 100% down with the inspiring music – rock on!)

    My responses to the above:
    1. Amplify teamwork and outside support.
    2. Eliminate working solo.
    3. Create infrastructure and delegation.
    4. Appreciate the learning process.

    This is a great activity — thank you!

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Jen

  33. Nikole Gipps says:

    I still have to work through the questions. I just wanted to say the beginning of this video is hilarious!

    • Pamela says:

      Are you saying that you are not judging my taste in music, or that it is so bad it is humorous?

      Enjoy the questions! And have a great weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚