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Sue WestBefore we all end our year and begin working on 2015 goals and resolutions (if you do), let’s pause for a minute. 

Take Stock: 14 Questions to Appreciate How You’ve Grown This Year” is a simple list of questions to carry around with you and consider. We need to appreciate this before we move onto the next thing. Appreciation will help with how we got to where we are now, which will help us get to wherever we are headed next. And besides, who doesn’t like a pat on the back? They are all too rare for too many people.

So, as you’re driving around looking for gifts, taking your walk, sitting for your quiet time in the morning, waiting on a carpool for kids/grandkids, or as you’re trying to fall asleep at night, choose a question and consider it. 

What have you been proud of, let go of, done so beautifully this year as never before, or stretched yourself by doing? There are 14 questions; choose the ones that you’re curious about.

When I start my coaching calls, clients know that if they start out with what has not gone well since we last talked, I’ll gently interrupt to remind them that we start with what DID work: insights, strategies, discoveries, accomplishments or observations. We do move on to figure out where the learning is from what did not go as expected, but starting out with the positive builds proof and evidence that we can do this, whatever the “this” is for each of us.

If time feels like it’s passing too quickly, take a minute and read last edition’s article for my 22 strategies to help time register for you a bit better (to give you some choices!). Click here for “Time Passes Too Fast. Or Does It?”

To your new perspectives – and possibilities because of them,

P.S. If you need support to figure out how to approach your challenges, please contact me at or 603 765-9267.



“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.

Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.“

- Unknown


Take Stock: 14 Questions to Appreciate How You’ve Grown This Year

Why fourteen questions? Simply because my birthday was on the 14th of November and it was a birthday that made me pause.

I remember when my father turned 40; we kidded him about hitting 40 old years. “I don’t feel 40 yet,” he said. When he turned 42, that was the year I remember him saying it was a marker year for him. I’ve never thought until now to ask him if there was a reason.

When I turned 40, a note arrived with gorgeous handwriting from a close friend, a little bit older than I. “My forties were the decade when I really hit my stride. You will, too; this is your decade.”

50 years old was when I had my first surprise party (that I can remember). And it WAS a surprise up until maybe 45 seconds before it started! Didn’t get brunch and a manicure, but something much better, a roomful of smiling, warm faces, all part of the big surprise.

This birthday year held some major transitions in my family: my parents moving to their retirement community, my grandmother, very important to me in my life since childhood, deciding she’d had enough of life here at the age of 102, adopting our new puppy (“What? At your age? So much energy!” said my neighbors.) and on and on. And that’s only half of it.  

Professionally, transitions included a wonderful, new role on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Challenging Disorganization; a bigger push towards coaching; a terrific opportunity to co-present with a coaching and ICD colleague at the international conference for Children/Adults with AD/HD; and getting to know some virtual colleagues in richer ways. I’ve also let go of some activities to focus and have a simpler work life.

So this is my fourteen question list (born on November 14th, late, and in the middle of a big Harvard/Brown football game, I think it was).

Take this list with you as you go about your days and think of one question every couple of days.
  1. Did you start your year with a theme (“community,” for example) or with goals? Take a few hours and figure out not only how you did, but also what helped you to be successful at the goals you are most proud of. Because that is your own playbook for how to continue to succeed.
  2. What are you most proud of? What makes you so proud of this? What’s different about you?
  3. What is the nicest gift, experience or comment you gave this year?
  4. What did you let go of which turned out to be healthy for you: A belief about yourself? Resistance? An attitude? An expectation of a relationship? An obligation?
  5. How did you get yourself ready for your next life’s adventure?
  6. How did you grow with your personal or colleague relationships?
  7. What new routine or ritual did you add?
  8. What new organizational system or process has made life easier?
  9. Where did you stretch and grow? How did you move through that?
  10. What was your best learning experience?
  11. Who are your mentors and why do you admire each person?
  12. When did you ask for what you needed or wanted? How did that go?
  13. How did you help yourself become even more of the person you want to be?
  14. What are you better at than you were earlier this year?
Change and transitions are what help us grow into the person we are meant to be. Never easy, this thing called growth. Very difficult if we resist it. Worth it, but difficult to move through.

Related Articles


In the Mood

Start off your new year with reflection.

Based on my 10 years and 10 months in business, I’ve created or adopted (with credits listed) several groups of questions which you might be interested in if you aren’t sure yet where to head next or are trying to figure out where your biggest issue you want to work on.

Each set of reflection questions is one to two pages long and is designed to get you thinking about what has worked well in that area, what might be changing or need to change, and where you want to focus next.
  • Values exercise
  • Your ‘time management’ wheel: pinpoint your specific challenges so you can focus and resolve.
  • Questions to think about before you start organizing
  • ADHD: How does it show up in your life
  • 5 Organizing Systems Every Home Needs
If you would like any of these, please email me directly at

Workbooks: Next Chapters & Downsizing

Ever since I opened my business, I’ve shared my expertise in workshops and by teaching classes. These two workbooks are available for purchase separately as well.


Downsizing Dilemmas – Solved!

You’re at a time of your life when you are ready to simplify and downsize – whether you are moving or not. But you’ve been in your home for 25-40 years, so where do you start? Maybe you went through downsizing with your parents … and want to make it easier on your children. Or maybe you just want to simplify your life. Perhaps there’s a move in your future, and perhaps not. Where do you begin?


What’s Next in Your Life? What’s Your Next Chapter?


You’re at a stage of life and you’re wondering: What’s next? Take some focused time to move forward. Changes in life often cause us to look at our purpose and life’s meaning a bit differently. You may be sending adult children off to college, recently widowed or divorced, considering semi-or full retirement, have adult children moving back home, making a career or a business change, or have a new health issue to manage.  The workbook covers:  Where to start, how to choose a goal among many, working out the steps, identifying obstacles you may put in your own way and some solutions, and then following through to make it happen.
This is not yet available to the general public. Please contact me to order your copy: 
cell 603-765-9267
office 603-554-1948

Drop by and chat online at any of my social media sites or on the blog.


“Organize my life.”

In person roadmap and follow-up on accountability, coaching or mentoring support by phone.

Not sure or not sure how we might work together? Talk with me for ½ hour at no charge; we’ll figure out your priorities if you need to talk that through, I’ll offer coaching or suggestions as you prefer, and we’ll discuss whether my skills are a fit for what you need or not.

Please contact me to set up your time: 
cell 603-765-9267
office 603-554-1948

Organize for a Fresh Start:
Embrace Your Next Chapter in Life

Organize for a Fresh Start

Reader's Review:

“Sue’s sage organizing advice is complemented by provocative coaching questions that will evoke and deepen each reader’s essential self-knowledge. Reassuring and comprehensive, this is a map of well-being and empowerment for those traveling the rough road of a chosen or imposed life renovation.”

Denslow Brown, Master Certified Coach
Founder, The Coach Approach for Organizers

More reader reviews.
Read a chapter.
Peruse table of contents.

Printed version:
Available locally at The Black Forest and major bookstores.
Also available at Amazon (print/Kindle), Barnes & Noble
(print/Nook), my blog site, and others.

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