We’re off and running into 2016, and rather than ask how your resolutions are going, or whether you’re on track to reach your goals, I’d like to pose a different kind of question in this post…What are you curious about in 2016?

I love the word curious. There’s an authenticity and wonder about it. It zeros right in on our hearts, and what’s calling out for attention.

When I pose the curious question to my coaching clients, energies lighten, bodies relax, and true contemplation begins. So I ask you to put aside thoughts of productivity, deadlines and achievement for just a few moments…take a deep breath…and let your curiosity guide you towards areas of interest.

Whether you’re curious about a new language or culture, a different investment strategy, a redesign for your business website, or a spelunking trip through the caves of Tennessee – take a few minutes and allow the ideas to flow into a journal or the ‘Notes’ section of your smartphone. Then I encourage you to honor and further explore what makes you curious, so you can reap these 5 benefits:

  1. Flexibility – Being open and adaptable are tremendously helpful qualities in life, however, many of us get stuck in a rut – always taking the same route to the mall, or having the same thing for breakfast every morning. Likewise, we have ingrained pathways in our brains that contribute to the, often limited, way we view the world. Indulging your curiosity can help expand your horizons and your neural pathways – fostering greater flexibility when it comes to taking risks and adapting to change.
  1. Getting Out of The Box – Being flexible and allowing curiosity to lead the way into new territory helps break through the boundaries of the proverbial “box” – keeping us moving forward and away from stagnation and stuck-ness.
  1. Getting Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable – While it can feel scary to follow your curiosity into unknown territory, the more you explore what interests you – getting comfortable being uncomfortable – the more you can grow and experience life as an adventure.
  2. Discovering What You Love – Many of my clients want to follow their passions, but feel frustrated because they don’t know what they are. In a recent talk on “Super Soul TV”, author, Elizabeth Gilbert, brilliantly addresses this very issue. In a nutshell, Gilbert gives us all permission to let go of the need to nail down our passions, and encourages us to allow the smaller, gentler voice of curiosity to take the lead. As she points out, and something I whole-heartedly believe, following your curiosity is really the key – the first step – to discovering your passions.
  1. Knowledge Building – Curiosity is learning. It’s expanding your brain. It’s being interested – which, in turn, leads to more meaning and engagement in life. Studies have found that people who continue to be curious and life-long learners often experience better health and longevity overall.

Albert Einstein said, “I have no special talents. I’m just passionately curious.” So what are you passionately or even not so passionately curious about? Our curiosity quotient can have a profound effect on the degree to which we enjoy our lives, so I encourage you to “follow your nose”, head out into life’s adventure, and let your curiosity be your guide!