In this 212th Episode of the Small Scale Life Podcast (and first episode of 2023), I am talking about 10 Goal Setting and Self Inventory Questions to Start 2023.

Where My Self Inventory Questions Began….

Family, Gatherings, Wellness, Taylor Family

I turned 50 years old on January 2, 2023. I was really wrestling with that number because I remember when my dad turned 50 years old. We had a GREAT birthday party for him and things were really looming up. He was a great salesman, had completed a big house project at their lake home and was looking forward to starting an early retirement at the lake. Like so many other men getting ready to retire (or finally just getting to retire), he was dead three years later. When he passed, it rocked my world and sent me into a tailspin for many years.

Reaching that 50 year old milestone really hit home and hit me pretty hard. It got me thinking: what have I been doing, where am I and how can I do things differently?

Before my birthday, our family gathered in Austin, Texas, to celebrate Christmas together. It was a chance to get away from the snow, ice and cold and enjoy time together. We also got to meet our baby nephew Declan and do things different after a tough ending to 2022.

The trip was great therapy for all of us and worth every penny.

With the travel, vacation and my birthday, I spent a lot of time thinking some deep thoughts. I was essentially asking myself a lot of self inventory questions and setting some personal goals for the New Year. I want 2023 to go A LOT differently, and given the changes that are in the air, 2023 will be an incredible chapter in the Small Scale Life story.

So what self inventory questions did I ask myself? While I was traveling in Milwaukee after my birthday, I started writing them down on my infamous (or famous) white board. Here’s what I came up with for this exercise.

10 Goal Setting and Self Inventory Questions (and a Bonus Question)

To help you with this exercise, here are the 10 Goal Setting and Self Inventory Questions, and yes, I did include a bonus question!

1. Where have we been?
2. Where are we right now?
3. How is it going (really, truly honestly)?
4. What is working for you? What isn’t?
5. What did we learn from our successes? What did we learn from our failures?
6. What are our goals for 2023? Really think about the big WHY behind those goals. Set the intention.
7. How do we make those goals happen? Give those goals some workboots!
8. What we are NOT doing anymore (or in 2023)? These are our “hell no’s.”
9. What can you do to change your current trajectory?
10. What is on your To Do List?


Bonus Question:

BONUS: What resources (time, money, material, expertise/skills, help) do you need to achieve the goals and complete your To Do List?



My Thoughts – Work Goal Setting vs. Personal Goal Setting

The Landing, Driftless Oaks Farm, Podcast Studio, Host Tom

I wanted to expand a little on this whole process. I didn’t say this in the episode, but when I was a younger man, I thought a lot of this goal setting stuff was more feel good hocus pocus. When I was a group leader and Assistant Vice President, I would set these goals for our teams and help set goals for our Division. I remember feeling the pressure to push the sales and profitability numbers higher for the teams and the Division, and I gave lip service to my own personal goals. To some extent, we go through the same exercise in my current job, but the goals are personal goals, and frankly they don’t mean that much to me.

That is the thing: in the corporate world and the public sector world, these are feel good exercises. Corporate management doesn’t really care about your personal development unless there is a HUGE potential profit on these new skills. There is no profit incentive in the public sector, so education goals and other personal development goals seem to be the start of a request to attend a conference or training. Public sector management gives some lip service about supporting personal growth, but they typically backtrack due to limited or cut budgets.

While it sounds like I am coming down as an anti-goal setting guy, I am not. Setting goals and (more importantly setting Guiding Words for yourself) gives you something to aim for and push towards. For example, it is amazing what Julie and I have accomplished by working together and working towards a shared vision. Julie and I sat down in 2019 and developed a one year, three year and five year plan for where we wanted to live, what we wanted things to look like and what Small Scale Life or another business would be doing. While some things did not come to pass, other things like where we are living and how we are living were achieved ahead of schedule. Now, there will be some adjustments to that picture, but we did a lot of things on our three year plan before this year. In fact, we have started elements on our 10 year plan already as well.

The funny thing is: these items on our long term plan were buried in a notebook until late last summer. I found them and was shocked to see what we had outlined and what we had completed already. I’ll talk more about that process in the future.

Clearly this works. Set the intention before you begin by completing the self inventory questions. Do what you need to do to break your patterns, get quiet and really start digging into your soul as to what you want and why you want it. Write those things down in a journal and assign a date to them. Break the big goals down and figure out what your To Do List is for each goal. Determine what you need to accomplish those tasks. Begin working on items incrementally.

Periodically review those items from your self inventory questions and goal setting work. See how you are doing and adjust accordingly. Keep going, bit by bit.


Rome wasn’t built in a day; neither will your big list of goals.

Good luck!

One More Thought….

If goal setting isn’t your thing, don’t worry. In the next episode of the Small Scale Life Podcast, I will be talking with Maria the Intuitive Energy Healer about Guiding Words for 2022 (how did that go?). We will also disscuss our 2023 Guiding Words, Maria;s mantra and my Mission Statement.  As with much in life, there are many paths we may choose to reach our destination. 

The path your choose for your Small Scale Life is up to you. There isn’t a right or wrong answer.

Stay tuned!


In Closing….Offering Prayer, Norse Pagan, Wellness, Blot

From the North to the South
From the East to the West and
Everywhere in between.

May the gods, spirits and folk
Be blessed at this place.
May we heal the land and
Protect the soil, animals and plants.
May we live in strength and love.

Leading the Way
As we learn, do grow and
Be a little better everyday!

This is Tom from the Small Scale Life Podcast. Have a great week! We’ll be back soon with another show. In the meantime, stay safe and take care everybody!

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Special Thanks

For Small Scale Life Podcasts, I would like to thank Sean at Osi and the Jupiter for the intro song "Harvest."  Sean wrote this specifically for us, and I really enjoy all of his work.  You can find more Osi and the Jupiter at their Bandcamp site:

I would also like to thank Austin Quinn at Vlog Vibes for the intro and outro music. For more information abut Austin and Vlog Vibes, please see the Vlog Vibes YouTube Channel:



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