The New Year is here and NOW is a great time to begin thinking about how you’d like your year to be. Here are nine powerful questions to ensure that you begin 2011 with enthusiasm and joy:

1. What MUST OCCUR for you to feel like 2011 has been a success? This question is a vital to ask yourself. Be brutally honest with the expectations you are carrying about this year. I want you to set yourself up for success by getting clear on what you want, at a minimum, so that you will look back on New Year’s Day 2012, feeling gratitude for the year.

3 year old Annabella in awe of the Holiday Lights

3 year old Annabella in awe of the Holiday Lights

2. What is your dream for 2011? This question will allow you to dream about what you’d LOVE to create before the end of the year. I want you to feel giddy and gleeful.  I want you to feel as filled with awe and wonder about your year as my daughter, Annabella, did when we brought her to the Winter Wonderland Merry-Go-Round (pictured right).

Also, take notice of the difference in your answers to questions 1 and 2. Most of us have a spectrum for success. On one end we have the minimum that MUST OCCUR and on the other end there is your DREAM for the year. Make sure you are going for the gold and working towards your dream. And remember that the ENTIRE spectrum and all its outcomes are to be declared a ’success!’

3. What are you WILLING to do? Notice the word WILLING in this question. Be honest with yourself about what you want to do and are willing to do to manifest your dream.

4. Who do you need to BECOME to reach your 2011 dream? This question is powerful to examine. When you think of a person who is LIVING a dream like yours, what are the qualities, mindsets and strengths they exude? How do they differ from who you are today? The answers to these questions will help you envision who you will become in the next 365 days.

5. What are you committed to STARTING? What are the actions, beliefs, habits and thoughts you are ready to start living today? Make an action plan for success.

6. What are you committed to STOPPING? We all know there are things you must begin, but what about the actions, beliefs, habits or thoughts you need to release to make this year a success? What about your Inner Mean Girl/Inner Critic’s actions that keep you on the hamster wheel running as fast as you can, but getting nowhere. Your Inner Wisdom knows what isn’t working. List what you will release and commit right here and now to stop.

7. What is the mindset you are READY to live for the next year? Your mindset, perspective and ‘come from’ for the next 12 months will determine your success. Your mindset is the soil in which you are planting each and every dream seed. Without the proper soil, nothing will take root and grow. So be mindful of your mindset and choose an empowering one for 2011.

8. Who is your support team? You must claim a support team for yourself. Studies and history shows us that human beings thrive with support and community. So go public with your 2011 dream, vision and goals, and gather a support network.

9. What accountability structures will you implement? The American Society for Training and Development study on goal completion shows us that 95% of people achieve their goals when they have a specific accountability partner in place. Need I say more?

Please share your thoughts and answers by commenting on this article. I’d love to hear what’s inspired your and what your 2011 dream is!