Pre-planning goals for 2018

These questions come from Inc. at in an article titled “31 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Setting Next Year’s Goals“. Inc. says “Asking ourselves reflective questions can jump-start our learning. When we’re more aware of our interests and desires, we can create goals that align with what we want — not what we think we’re supposed to want.” The questions are designed to be taken one per day but I did them in one sitting. The responses may change as I take more time to reflect.



  1. What are the first thoughts that come to mind about the past year? Mostly positive, negative, or neutral?

Mostly negative. I hit some obstacles I wasn’t expecting and have not solved as of year end.

2. What was one of the most interesting things I learned this year?

That “finding the money” was not the easy part as my advisers had suggested at the last stage of business planning.

3. Who was one person I met that I’d like to get to know better? Why?

DC. Recently I recruited a powerful consultant to help with an introduction.

4. What was one of my most challenging moments? Why?

Having the year’s big fundraising and social event a “wash out” due to bad weather.

5. What was one of my favorite accomplishments?

Pulling together the crabbing cooperative.

6. What was one personal strength I used this year? How did it benefit my work or life?

Being credible and persuasive; it works when I talk face to face with people who were formerly opponents.

7. What hurdle came up more than once? (time, money, attitude, location, knowledge, etc.)

my attitude. It is a lot of work to maintain optimism.

8. How well did I communicate with the people who matter most to me?

Not well. We agree to disagree on our life goals and visions.

9. What three events or accomplishments were made possible by the help of others?

1. Attending the aquaculture convention in Rhode Island in January

2. Launched crab business in June

3. A marketing brainstorming session organized by Sara

10. What advice would I offer someone else on the basis of a lesson I learned this year?

Have a commitment on some of the money first before investing time in developing a business plan or a business.

11. What are three problems that came up at work? How did I approach solving those problems? Are there any trends in those problems or solutions?

  1. mental problem of key person – had to replace him
  2. abandonment by key partner and broken business contract. I let it go.
  3. Dramatic drop off in income. I was open and honest with creditors.

12. Who needed my encouragement this year? What did I say or do to help them along?

B. – that we are committed to working together

13. If I were writing a memoir, what would I highlight in the chapter about this year?

Arielle’s graduation in December at Hershey.

14. What was I doing when I forgot about time and was able to be “in the moment”?

grant application writing

15. What frustration seemed to come up again and again?

investors declining interest

People who do not follow the social norms of social engagement or reason. It is tough to learn to disengage.

16. What did I start and not finish?

QB advanced certification

several books

17. What did I try and fail?

launching a tax prep business

having my own boat

crab business

grant applications for education and wastewater

18. What three things am I curious to know more about?

What influences law firms to hire accountants

NJDEP’s plan for sea level rise response

Marketing that works today

19. If I could wave a magic wand and master one skill, what would it be? Why?

recruiting investors

20. Who is one person I could help right now? How? What would it “cost” me? What would I gain?

D.C. – I could grow his business. It would cost me about 40 hours. I would gain a business tenant, possibly more.

21. When did I slow someone else’s progress? Why? What was I worried about?

I often told D to slow down because of his apparent mental handicap. I was worried he would wind up alone and broke.

22. What’s one thing I made or created from scratch? How did that feel?

Stairs. I feel like an accomplished carpenter.

23. What’s one thing I did that left me exhausted at the end? How did that feel?

Dock repair. I feel accomplished.

24. What’s one thing I was a part of this year that I’ll remember for the rest of my life? Why?

My birthday celebration at MI on July 1.

25. What was the nicest thing someone did for me this year?

hired me

26. What was the nicest thing I did for someone else this year?

tax representation

27. If I could change one thing that happened this year, what would it be?

Would not have hired DJ.

28. What felt difficult one year ago that now feels easy (or easier)?

bankruptcy. I’ve overcome my fear of it and won’t be afraid if I have to put another business into bankruptcy in order to reinvent it.

29. Of the books I read this year, which was my favorite?

Charles Hall’s book “Preparation of Financial Statements & Compilation Engagements”

30. How did I capture my thoughts and feelings? (journaling, writing, social media sharing, talking one-on-one with friends or family, etc.) Was that method helpful?

Blogging, here. Also in daily diary.

31. What are six adjectives that best describe this year? What would I like those adjectives to be next year?

this year: tough, lean, stressful, painful, lonely, scared

next year: relieved, calmed, restful, successful, connected, confident


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