Questions Worth Asking (Self-Elicitation Questions)

Five-Minute Journal Questions

  • Morning
    • I am grateful for…
    • What would make today great?
    • Daily affirmations: I am…
  • Evening
    • What are 3 amazing things that happened today?
    • How could I have made today even better?

Morning Questions (5 minutes)

  1. What’s one thing I’m grateful for?
  2. What’s one thing I’m excited about?
  3. What’s one virtue I want to exhibit?
  4. What’s one thing I’m avoiding?
  5. What’s the one thing I need to do?

Evening Questions (5 minutes)

  1. What were my biggest wins of the day?
  2. Did I have any major realizations?
  3. What’s on the agenda for tomorrow?

Bottleneck Breaker

  1. What’s the biggest bottleneck to achieving my next goal?
  2. Why aren’t I working on it today?

80/20 Analysis

  1. Where am I feeling satisfied?
  2. Where am I feeling dissatisfied?
  3. For each of the above, what are the 20% of places, habits, people, beliefs, etc. that are responsible for 80% of the positive and negative results?

Compounding Projection

  1. If I repeated every action from today for one year, where would I end up?
  2. Is this the place I want to be?

Course Correction Questions

  • What do I need to spend more time doing?
  • What do I need to spend less time doing?
  • What do I need to schedule?
  • What do I need to do?
  • What do I need to be more mindful of?
  • What unresolved issues am I overlooking?
  • What opportunities are in front of me?
  • What obstacles are in my way?
  • Am I going in the right direction with my commitments?
    • What do I need to add?
    • What do I need to delete?
    • What do I need to expand?
    • What do I need to shrink?
  • What have I done well recently?
  • Source: The Productivity Project

Forty-Nine Questions to Improve Your Results, by Josh Kaufman

  • Do I use my body optimally?
    • What is the quality of my current diet?
    • Do I get enough sleep?
    • Am I managing my energy well each day?
    • How do I manage daily stress?
    • Do I have good posture and poise?
    • What can I do to improve my ability to observe the world around me?
  • Do I know what I want?
    • What achievements would make me really excited?
    • What “states of being” do I want to experience each day?
    • Are my priorities and values clearly defined?
    • Am I capable of making decisions quickly and confidently?
    • Do I consistently focus my attention on what I want vs. what I don’t want?
  • What am I afraid of?
    • Have I created an honest and complete list of the fears I’m holding on to?
    • Have I confronted each fear to imagine how I would handle it if it came to pass?
    • Am I capable of recognizing and correcting self-limitation?
    • Am I appropriately pushing my own limits?
  • Is my mind clear and focused?
    • Do I systematically externalize (write or record) what I think about?
    • Am I making it easy to capture my thoughts quickly, as I have them?
    • What has my attention right now?
    • Am I regularly asking myself appropriate guiding questions?
    • Do I spend most of my time focusing on a single task, or constantly flipping between multiple tasks?
    • Do I spend enough time actively reflecting on my goals, projects, and progress?
  • Am I confident, relaxed, and productive?
    • Have I found a planning method that works for me?
    • Am I “just organized enough”?
    • Do I have an up-to-date list of my projects and active tasks?
    • Do I review all of my commitments on a regular basis?
    • Do I take regular, genuine breaks from my work?
    • Am I consciously creating positive habits?
    • Am I working to shed non-productive habits?
    • Am I comfortable with telling other people “no”?
  • How do I perform best?
    • What do I particularly enjoy?
    • What am I particularly good at doing?
    • What environment do I find most conducive to doing good work?
    • How do I tend to learn most effectively?
    • How do I prefer to work with and communicate with others?
    • What is currently holding me back?
  • What do I really need to be happy and fulfilled?
    • How am I currently defining “success”?
    • Is there another way of defining “success” that I may find more fulfilling?
    • How often do I compare myself to my perceptions of other people?
    • Am I currently living below my means?
    • If I could only own 100 things, what would they be?
    • Am I capable of separating necessity and luxury?
    • What do I feel grateful for in my life and work?

Testing the “Impossible”: 17 Questions That Changed My Life, by Tim Ferriss

  • What if I did the opposite for 48 hours?
  • What do I spend a silly amount of money on? How might I scratch my own itch?
  • What would I do/have/be if I had $10 million? What’s my real TMI (Target Monthly Income)?
  • What are the worst things that could happen? Could I get back here?
  • If I could only work 2 hours per week on my business, what would I do?
  • What if I let them make decisions up to $100? $500? $1,000?
  • What’s the least crowded channel?
  • What if I couldn’t pitch my product directly?
  • What if I created my own real-world MBA?
  • Do I need to make it back the way I lost it?
  • What if I could only subtract to solve problems?
  • What might I put in place to allow me to go off the grid for 4 to 8 weeks, with no phone or email?
  • Am I hunting antelope or field mice?
  • Could it be that everything is fine and complete as is?
  • What would this look like if it were easy?
  • How can I throw money at this problem? How can I “waste” money to improve the quality of my life?
  • No hurry, no pause.

By joshuapsteele

The Rev. Dev. I solve problems with a pastor's heart for people and a programmer's eye for detail. Learn more at

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