skip to Main Content

The Janus Questions

The Janus Questions

Last year around this time, my colleague Anna Sicalides shared a very powerful tool in her newsletter.  She listed 12 questions to help us reflect on 2018 and then plan for 2019.  I call them “The Janus Questions” after the Roman god Janus.  He was the god of beginnings and endings.  He is depicted as having two faces, one looking at the past, one to the future.  (Think January.)  I want to share those with you so you can use them for 2019-2020.  This past year was one of my best ever.

I belong to a group of female solo-preneurs.  We used these questions last January and then did a mid-year progress review.  Some of the questions may feel a little confusing, so I’ll share excerpts of my answers to guide you.  I’d share more, but some of these reflections are deeply personal.  The individual questions are in bold font.  I’ve also included a link to Eileen Chadnick’s original article in the Huffington Post.  Anna is a Professional Organizer.  Her link is below, too.

THE YEAR BEHIND (Looking Back to 2019):

  1. What went well? Pretty self-explanatory.
  2. What surprised me? I’m a pretty good writer—and I enjoy it!
  3. What did this year teach me? That reconnecting with clients or colleagues I’d lost touch with feels really good and has had some surprising results.
  4. What am I noticing or even having hunches about? There are no coincidences.  I’ve met individuals and have had conversations at “just the right time”.  Some have nudged me to consider other ways of looking at situations.
  5. What needs to be left behind? Believing I’ll finally look good in a bikini.
  6. Wrap up the year with a name that fits: 2019 was the year of personal growth.

THE YEAR AHEAD (Looking Forward to 2020):

  1. Where do I need to go next? Deliver more webinars.  Do less stand-up, full-day training.
  2. How will I evolve in the year ahead? Listen to and act on my hunches.
  3. What are my top goals? Pretty self-explanatory.  BTW, these are NOT resolutions (which I don’t make any longer).
  4. With whom will I connect? For business:  members of ACEC/PA (American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania); for personal growth:  former colleagues who are having some very interesting conversations.  There are no coincidences!
  5. How will I navigate ambiguity and uncertainty? I will continue to express my intentions to the universe and trust that I will be taken care of—usually in ways I’ve never anticipated.
  6. What’s my mantra for 2020? This is the year of complete trust.

You’ll find Eileen’s article at

And Anna’s company at