50 Questions for Reflection and Personal Growth

Do Not Disturb Snail

The following questions are for reflection and self growth.  Use them as a tool to enrich your life . Create a happy and peaceful journey.

1. Have you spent time in silence today, meditating, journaling, praying, or writing morning pages?

2. Have you in the last 10 days called or visited, a grandparent, parent, aunt or uncle?

3. Have you in the last month left an extra large tip for someone?

4. Have you spent time playing, laughing, and smiling in the last three days?

5. Have you planned a vacation or play date with the people closest to you in the last six months?

6. Have you sent a hand written note to someone you take for granted in the last 60 days?

7. Have you looked around and expressed deep gratitude for everything around you in the past week?

8. Have you forgiven yourself for making a mistake or the wrong choice in the last 10 days?

9. Have you forgiven your parents or other care takers for their poor choices in your life time?

10. Have you called an old friend to connect in the last 30 days? 

11. Have you sat with a trusted friend/coach/therapist in the last 90 days and poured your heart out?

12. Have you asked for what you want lately?

13. Have you read a book from cover to cover in the last two weeks?

14. Have you looked in someone's eyes and said, "I love you" in the last seven days?

15. Have you paid someone a compliment today?

16. Have you decided what your life will look like five years from now?

17. Have you praised a child or young adult in the last 24 hours?

18. Have you unexpectedly picked up the tab in the last month?

19. Have you stopped to smell a flower in a garden in the last year?

20. Have you been spontaneous in the last five days?

21. Have you spent an afternoon daydreaming in the last 7 days?

22. Have you helped out a neighbor in the last 2 months?

23. Have you sent someone flowers in the last 3 months?

24. Have you surprised someone with a visit in the last 30 days?

25. Have you saved any money since January 1st, 2011?

26. Have you asked for what you wanted today?

27. Have you eaten more vegetables and fruits in the last 24 hours?

28. Have you uncluttered your home in the last year?

29. Have you read a book to a child in the last four months?

30. Have you volunteered your time in the last 90 days?

31. Have you in the last 21 days changed a bad habit?

32. Have you in the last week recognized someone cooperating with you?

33. Have you spent quality time with your loved ones in the last 48 hours?

34. Have you told someone what you will do to improve your relationship in the last 14 days?

35. Have you donated money to a good cause in the last 2 months?

36. Have you made out your will yet?

37. Have you spent a weekend alone in the last year?

38. Have you in the last month really listened to someone?

39. Have you spent time in nature over the last week? 

40. Have you spent in the last year a full-day taking a personal inventory of your character defects?

41. Have you disconnected from all electronics for at least 24 hours in the last month?

42. Have you spent time creating something new that has nothing to do with work in the last 4 weeks?

43. Have you expressed your feelings honestly and appropriately to a loved one in the last 5 days?

44. Have you held self-love in your heart in the last 12 hours?

45. Have you released an unhealthy attachment to a person in the last 6 months?

46. Have you expressed compassion to someone in pain in the last 2 weeks?

47. Have you appreciated yourself in the last 24 hours?

48. Have you decided what you want to experience today?

49. Have you experienced joy in the last 24 hours?

50. Have you experienced inner peace in the last 24  hours?

Does a certain question speak to you? Please share your thoughts. or an answer.

{ 53 comments… add one }

  • Belinda February 28, 2011, 11:15 am

    Mind, body and soul. You always challenge and inspire us, Tess, to realize not only our potential for excellence but also the breadth and depth of our humanity. Thank you for these reminders that encourage us to grow, love, connect and live boldly.

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 6:59 am

      You’re so kind. I’m just doing the work I was sent to do. I’m here to be truly helpful!

  • Galen Pearl February 28, 2011, 11:27 am

    What a great list! I’m going to print if off and highlight the ones I can say yes to. I think that will give me a clear visual picture of where I’m on track and what I could focus on. This will be fun! Thank you!

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 6:59 am

      I often print and highlight lists for other bloggers for further reflection and journaling!

  • Cathy | Treatment Talk February 28, 2011, 11:36 am

    This list is amazing! The first one speaks to me I am trying to implement quiet time in my life everyday. It makes a difference. Disconnecting from all technology for 24 hours is important. We can easily become preoccupied with it all and not so healthy 24/7. Great to get back to the basics.

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:00 am

      Yes on no.1 for me as well. I’m taking baby steps and moving forward. Eventually it will snowball.

  • Bryce Christiansen February 28, 2011, 12:08 pm

    Thanks for the excellent list. Point 49 has been a big one for me, I’ve been studying emotional intelligence lately and joy can have such a powerful effect on our lives.

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:01 am

      Yes no one is going to put joy into my life except me!

  • Sue Alexander February 28, 2011, 3:36 pm

    I love it that you have a great combination of action and attitude. My personal growth is currently swimming through a lot of new territory. It would be easier for me to choose something pragmatic, but the truth would be that what speaks most to me is in the area of self appreciation. When my self-love is ebbing everything else is harder. Thank you for this inspiring list!

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:01 am

      Such words of wisdom! Thank you.

  • Mike February 28, 2011, 4:05 pm

    Hey Tess!

    Right off the bat, I find the first thing to go for me, is “finding time” to meditate and focus on controlling and/or improving my reactions to outside events. It is important to spend (or invest) time in yourself, because improving yourself is the only way you can improve your life.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:02 am

      Oh yes Mike and when I’m off center I know exactly what I”m NOT doing;)

  • Jane Rochelle February 28, 2011, 7:33 pm

    Thank you, Tess, for the list. I’m so full of gratitude as I read the list and see that I can answer “yes” to so many of your questions. My son was here for a visit this weekend. Just in the past three days, I’ve experienced so much peace and enrichment. I love spending time with him whenever I have a chance, and I’m glad that I can carry that growth into the rest of my week.

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:03 am

      Don’t you just love spending time with your children. I love my family and would do anything for them. They are never a problem but sometimes I create my own problems around them> LOL

  • Evita February 28, 2011, 7:55 pm

    Hi Tess

    Wow, quite the list!

    A BIG YES to #9. It was very liberating. #1 sort of… does watching deer in standing around in stillness and eating count? ;) Oh it was such a magical experience!

    Tess, this was really good. I read a few out loud to Markus and we made them happen :) And I really want to tackle more of these questions, they are great reminders to keep us on our toes and not stagnate on our spiritual growth paths.

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:05 am

      You walk your talk and immediately put into practice what resonates with you. You’re a hard act to follow, sometimes;)

  • Debbie Hampton February 28, 2011, 8:33 pm

    I am gonna print this out and check them off. Thank you for the reminders!

    I had thought about sending some people thank you notes just because. That is the best reason! This will motivate to me to go ahead and do it.

    BTW- Luv the pic! :)

  • Betsy at Zen Mama February 28, 2011, 9:21 pm

    Love these Tess! Worth printing out and rereading daily! I also love your photo of the snail!

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:06 am

      Every once in a while I find a great photo that resonates with me. Thanks for you kind words and visit.

  • Sandra / Always Well Within February 28, 2011, 10:18 pm

    My goodness, Tess! There’s so much here! It’s all good and some is so profound.
    #11 struck me – pouring your heart out to a friend. I use my blog in that way to a certain degree, but it would be very good to do in person too. Then #36 – not just my will but also preparing information for medical emergencies.

    So much brilliance here. Thank you!

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:07 am

      Yes I know what you mean and so many of the little things mean the most. I usually pour my heart out to hubs but when he’s not available or if it’s women stuff I have a blogging buddy.

  • David | Listen Feel Breathe February 28, 2011, 11:11 pm

    I answered no to way too many of those questions- that’s not good for me but it means that your questions are right on.

    Thanks, I have printed out the list and I am working through it :)

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:08 am

      I’m glad I could be of service. We all need reminder once in a while. I think the thank yous are BIG.

  • rob white March 1, 2011, 6:59 am

    Wow! A ton to ponder here… These are all worthy questions to set up a consciousness of prosperity in any domain of living. Our best laid plans are preceded by intelligent questions that give us a broader perspective of life. Higher lessons are learned when we stop protecting our vanity and start asking new questions.

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:09 am

      Hi Rob,
      Oh yes my vanity….that does get in the way sometimes;)

  • Angela Artemis/Powered by Intuition March 1, 2011, 9:07 am

    You amaze me! These 50 tips are priceless. You’ve left no stone unturned here. We can use these to great tips to mature spiritually and emotionally. Thank you!

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:10 am

      Yes and I have some maturing to do! Always.

  • Dandy March 1, 2011, 9:53 am

    What a beautiful list Tess. I feel calmer just by reading it. I love everyone. I’m going to print this out and use it as a resource for when I start to feel stuck or in a rut. Thanks for the great inspiration Tess!

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:11 am

      Me too! I’m the only one who can get me out of a rut and this is an excellent source for me as well.

  • Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord March 1, 2011, 2:47 pm

    That’s a great list, Tess, and there are some great reminders on there. I’ve done about half the list (give or take), but the ones I haven’t done have inspired me. Thank you!

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:11 am

      Thanks for being my friend. I appreciate your support.

  • Joe Wilner March 1, 2011, 5:12 pm


    Wonderful list of questions! This really does give me so much to think and consider. I would have liked to answer some differently, so the post really offered me some reflection and call to action. Questions are so important it’s easy to neglect what we ask ourselves. If we want a new solution or answer, we need to consider what type of questions we are asking. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:12 am

      Oh yes and usually those questions are to myself and followed by action. Buying my thank you cards today.

  • Universal Truth - Code 2 Live By March 1, 2011, 10:30 pm

    Great post! On the question relating to tipping generously how about extending it as follows: Have you been an anonymous benefactor to someone in this last 30 days? For me this is where the ultimate rewards of generositu are hidden…

    • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:13 am

      Yes I so agree with you. Amazing power that type of action has.

  • Kim March 2, 2011, 5:22 am

    Sounds great, but who has time for all that crap? Where do you fit in working, sleeping, showering, eating, taking a dump, getting groceries, having sex, paying bills, putting on makeup, picking out clothes, picking up kids, dropping off kids, doing homework, cleaning the house, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, taking the car to the shop, doing dishes, driving to work, driving to school, parent-teacher meetings, eating breakfast, eating lunch, eating dinner, etc, etc??

    I could see if your parents or your spouse is supporting you and you have nothing to do but sit around and stare at your navel, but this list just stressed me out more….

  • Tess March 2, 2011, 7:15 am

    Didn’t mean to stress you out. I have always had a spouse to help me. It was a choice. When my four girls with four years of each other were growing up I got up 2 hours early and spent time journaling, reading and meditating.

    If there’s anything I can do to help you let me know. Seriously.

  • Satisfyingretirement March 2, 2011, 7:20 am

    Looks like I am joining a long line of happy people. This fabulous list has been printed and added to my “check everyday” folder. I won’t (or can’t) do everything here, but enough to make me excited to choose one or two items each morning.

    Thanks, Tess. I’m only sorry it took me 2 days to get here!

  • Amit Sodha - The Power Of Choice March 2, 2011, 8:17 am

    I absolutely loved this post Tess because the day I read it, I thought to myself that I really missed meditating and I hadn’t been doing enough of it lately, then I saw your very first point…talk about providence!

  • Marci | Liberating Choices March 2, 2011, 9:02 am

    Your reflective questions remind me of the tiniest moments that make me feel the most connected. Reading an entire chapter book to my young kids. Meeting a friend to talk for 2+ hours about everything with no distractions. I used to think it was the big moments in life that made it rich, but now I think it’s the tiny moments, the interactions, the connections, the solitude…

    And, the question that sparks me to action is the one about creating something that isn’t related to work. Even though my blog is a creative outlet, incorporating all of my passions, it is still work-related. I haven’t created in a long time just to create…

  • Rand March 2, 2011, 10:06 am

    Hello Tess!

    #2 I never knew my Grandparents…I have no Parents or Aunts and Uncles any longer. I did spend three hours yesterday with my ‘Little Mother’. I told you about my friend that lives on his boat in Malaysia…well I had coffee and banana bread with his little mother… 4′ 6″ and 82 years old. We had a great conversation…she is so vivacious, interesting, and kind.

    #14 Looked into my two daughters eyes and said “I love you”.

    #45 I did this. I send my “blessing” that she be well. In my heart I leave room for an accepting understanding of each other that we can share.

    Thank you Tess for these…my love reflecting your love.

  • Jannie Funster March 2, 2011, 4:01 pm

    Dearest Lovely Tess…

    I did call Mom and Dad today, not no answer.
    Did leave a large tip.
    Have written letters today, and last week.
    Smell flowers at least once a week.
    Have been spontaneous, yes.
    Did spend time in nature.
    Did exercise today.
    Want to eat more fruits and veggies today!
    And call my aunt in Toronto.

    You are lovely!!


  • Kendra March 3, 2011, 6:08 pm

    Thank you for these ideas. Sometimes you need a little reminder to get centered and focus on what’s important.

  • Christopher Foster March 3, 2011, 6:25 pm

    Fine questions to ask myself Tess.No 5 is almost painful. My wife JoAnn and I need a vacation. A move has taken a lot of our energy the past year or more, but beyond that economics has kind of discouraged such irresponsible thinking.

    But what does life want us to do? I know it wants me to smell the ocean again. (And you have to bear in mind that as you age your life expectancy shrinks a little bit…I don’t think we can afford to wait any longer…a call to action it is. Hawaii it is). Thanks for the nudge.

  • Gemma March 4, 2011, 5:58 pm

    Saved it. It’s a great list, it sums up virtually everything you’d have to ask yourself in order to really know whether you’re living your life as happily as you should.

    Have to say, been neglecting some areas. It sure was a wake-up call :)

    My checklist would also have questions about my goals, sorting them out, having a deadlined goal and working towards it. Also, creative activity, and regurarly adding something new and exciting into my life.

  • Davina Haisell March 5, 2011, 5:53 am

    Hi Tess.
    Spending time in nature is a regular thing for me; I couldn’t imagine not doing that. This weekend I’m making soup for a neighbour and looking forward to that. He’s quite elderly and this will be my pleasure to do this for him. Forgiving myself for a mistake… that hasn’t crossed my mind… very good idea to actually focus on the forgiving as part of the letting go, rather than just shrugging it off as a learning experience.

  • Andrea DeBell - britetalk March 6, 2011, 9:07 am

    Hi Tess,
    What an awesome list. #6 (Have you sent a hand written note to someone you take for granted in the last 60 days?) really touched me because I’ve been meaning to write to my mother-in-law for a while and keep on postponing it. She loves handwritten letters and she is always sending us cards and notes in the mail. I try to keep up with it but sometimes I fall behind. Thanks for this beautiful reminder. I’ll get right on it. :)
    Loving blessings

  • Nea | Self Improvement Saga March 6, 2011, 10:49 pm

    This post is amazing, Tess. The questions are quite thought provoking and one really took me aback. It was #9 and my answer is…….Yes, I can finally, finally, finally say that I have forgiven my parents.

  • Thea Easterby | Write Change Grow March 8, 2011, 3:26 am

    Hi Tess

    Love this post! Asking thought provoking questions can be extremely powerful. Thanks for sharing your insight and wisdom.


  • Talia March 8, 2011, 1:20 pm

    Wow! What a powerful list. I am going to print and carry with me as a gentle reminder to be the very best version of myself – always.

    Thank you for putting together such provoking questions…

  • Bryan Thompson March 10, 2011, 10:07 pm

    Hi Tess! I love #48! “Have you decided what you want to experience today?” This question alone can answer 80% of the problems with our society these days! Thank you for your post!

  • JenP March 13, 2011, 4:07 am

    I love this list!
    I love that there’s things on it I already do so it kind of makes me feel that I’m doing ok.
    And there are things on it that I haven’t done or even thought of doing so it makes me feel inspired to do better!
    Thank you!

  • Sean July 3, 2011, 2:57 pm

    I’m practicing silence right now! Every Sunday in fact, today being the third one, I’ve already noticed major benefits and look forward to even more! Highly recommend it! Great list!



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