3 Quick Questions for a Simpler and Happier 2017

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights”
Hamilton Wright Mabie

This year is coming to an end. Just a couple more days to go.

But before we step through that doorway I’d like to quickly share one last article with 3 of my favorite questions of all time that can help you shape 2017 into 365 days that will be simpler, happier and self-kinder.

Stay safe, enjoy your New Year’s celebration and see you next year!

1. Is this useful?

It’s very easy to spend a lot of time on things that do not really matter much. To spend hours, days or even weeks on being angry at someone, replaying a mistake or failure in one’s mind or to dwell on something negative and feeling more and more like a victim.

So I try to ask myself this question as often as I can to question and confront my own thoughts.  To catch myself and to wake myself up when I get stuck in negative thought loops going round and round.

By doing so I:

  • Suffer less.
  • Waste less time on going round in circles.
  • Spend more of my time on finding a practical solution.

2. What is one very small step I can take right now to get the ball rolling?

This is my favorite question for when I want to get started with something or if I want to get going again with something that have fallen to the side for some reason.

Because it makes things easier. Makes them feel lighter.

This question prevents me from trying to escape into procrastination and helps me to avoid the side-effects of that such as sinking self-esteem and simply a lot of time being wasted on trying to hide.

3. Will this matter in 5 years? Or even 5 weeks?

This one helps me to simplify.

To let go.

To not make a mountain out of a molehill.

To find the healthier and happier perspective.

To not lose my focus and energy to crippling worries.

To find a lightness in life where I do not have to carry around 5 tons of unnecessary mental baggage.

It is a truly wonderful question.

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • These tips seem so obvious yet I actually needed to read them to consider asking myself these questions. Thanks so much; I’m sure these will be useful all year long and many years to come.


  • Anjallee

    Hi Henrik, I have been receiving your email newsletters/ articles for about3-4 years now. I have always benefitted/ felt great /and been set back on course by your writing. I wanted to thank you for the positivity that you have sent my way. Look forward to more! Happy New Year!

  • Sindhu

    All your articles were highly inspiring and enlightening . Wish you a happy & prosperous new year.

  • It has been a couple of days that 2017 started yet I haven’t able to ask myself these quick questions. Every year seemed to be the same yet after asking my self these queries, I am hopeful to have a better year this time. I am with you to make this year simpler, happier and healthier! Happy New Year to all of us!

  • Great questions, Henrik! ;) #keepgrowing #keepcreating

  • Really love your blog,
    Thanks for all the inspiration**

  • I love these tips! Am starting to think about how I can incorporate them into 2017.

  • Brenda

    Great Henrik!
    positive stuffs make us feel happier and lighter
    great questions though

  • Great questions. We all need at the start of a year to think about what we would like to have happen in our life this year and to make New Year’s goals to make these happen.Then we have to show the determination to live fully in the year making the most of every opportunity.

  • jack roark

    Thank you from Boston!

  • Wil

    Great questions looking forward for more. Thanks!

  • Thanks for all the inspiration. I hope 2017 is good for you, family and friends.

  • I’ve used the “Will this matter in 5 years?” question a lot. It really helps with putting things into perspective and better decision making.

    Great piece :)