The following questions are intended to get you thinking about your life as you write down your life history. You can answer these questions directly for the Q&A Personal History format, add your own questions, or simply use these as inspiration for a Memoir.
Download a copy of the Life Questionnaire Here:
Part I: Childhood (0-12 years)
1. Where and when were you born?
2. Who were your parents? How would you describe them? What did they teach you?
3. Did you have any siblings? How would you describe them?
4. Where did you live as a child? How would you describe your family home?
5. What is your earliest memory? Share any stories.
6. What did you do for fun as a child?
7. What illnesses or accidents did you experience as a child?
8. What were your favorite books, films, and music as a young child?
9. What fun outings or trips do you remember from your childhood?
10. Where did you go to school as a child? How would you describe your school and teachers?
11. Which languages did you learn to speak? What cultural activities or traditions do you recall?
12. Who were your closest friends? Share any stories.
13. What sports or games did you enjoy as a child? Share any stories.
14. What were your interests/talents as a child? Share any stories.
15. What were you afraid of as a child? Share any stories.
16. What do you recall about your grandparents or other extended family?
17. Do you remember getting into trouble as a child? Share any stories.
18. What was the funniest thing that you remember happening to you as a child?
19. Did you have a pet? Share any stories.
20. In what ways did you use your imagination as a child?
Part II: Teens and Young Adulthood (12-25 years)
21. Where did you live during your teen years? How would you describe your family home at that
22. Where did you attend Jr. High / Middle School? How would you describe that experience.
23. Who were your best friends in your early teens? Share any stories.
24. What sports, clubs, religious, or social groups did you participate in your early teens?
25. Where did you go to high school? How would you describe that experience?
26. Who were your best friends in your late teens?
27. What sports, clubs, religious, or social groups did you participate in your late teens?
28. What did you learn about yourself as a teen? Share any stories.
29. Did you attend university or another form of higher education?
30. What did you study in college or higher education?
31. Who were your best friends as a young adult? Share any stories.
32. What sports, clubs, religious, or social groups did you participate in as a young adult?
33. What crushes or romantic relationships did you have as a teen or young adult? Share any
34. What jobs did you have as a teen or young adult? Share any stories.
35. What were some of your favorite activities as a teen or young adult?
36. What books, films, or music did you enjoy as a teen or young adult?
37. How was your relationship with your parents as a teen or young adult?
38. How was your relationship with your siblings as a teen or young adult?
39. What were you passionate about as a teen or young adult? Share any stories.
40. What do you think were your greatest achievements as a teen or young adult? Share any
Part III: Adulthood – Personal Development & Work
41. What do you consider your talents to be? How have you developed these as an adult?
42. What persons (if any) influenced you in your study/work choices?
43. What was your first job after college / higher education? Where did you go from there?
44. What friendships have you made as a working/active adult?
45. What sports, clubs, religious, or social groups have you taken part in as an adult?
46. What creative pursuits have you enjoyed?
47. What activities have kept you busy?
48. How have you balanced your work with social or family life?
49. What illnesses or injuries have set you back in your work?
50. What types of recognition have you received for your work?
51. Did you earn any degrees?
52. Have you been more of an introvert or extrovert as an adult? Share any stories that
53. What challenges have you faced in your work? How have you overcome them?
54. What values have been most important to you as a working adult? Share any stories that
55. Have you had the opportunity to travel for your work? Where have you gone? What did you do
there? Who did you meet there? Share any stories.
56. What ambitions or dreams have you had in your work? How have you reached them? Share
57. What books, films, music, or speakers have inspired you in your work?
58. Who have been the most important people to you while working?
59. How have changes in technology affected your work over time?
60. What has made work meaningful for you?
Part IV: Adulthood – Family & Leisure Pursuits
61.Are you currently in a relationship, or have you had a significant other in your past? Who is/was
your partner? Tell their name(s) and describe them.
62. How did you meet? Tell the story.
63. When and where did you marry or make your relationship official?
64. What have been the most important aspects of your relationship?
65. What has your partner done to care for you?
66. Have you experienced heartaches, breakups or divorce? What has helped you make it through
67. Do you have children? Do you have pets? Tell their name(s) and describe them.
68. What have you enjoyed doing with your family, children and/or pets? Tell the stories.
69. What family trips have you experienced?
70. What family traditions have you maintained?
71. What values have been important in your family?
72. What have you found important to teach your children?
73. What have you learned from your children?
74. How would your family describe you?
75. What hobbies have helped you to relieve stress?
76. What would you say you are passionate about?
77. How do you best relax?
78. What are your favorite foods? What’s your favorite restaurant?
79. What books, movies, or music have you enjoyed as an adult? Do you write, photograph, or
make music? Share some examples.
80. What games or sports have you enjoyed as an adult? With whom have you played?
Part V: Retirement
81. At what age did you retire? Which company or group did you leave?
82. Where did you decide to retire to?
83. Were you living alone or with a partner when you retired? (Include pets if applicable.)
84. What did you decide to do with your time in retirement?
85. Did you move when you retired? Describe your home at the time of retirement?
86. How has your health been in retirement? What physical challenges have you faced?
87. How have you kept in contact with your children?
88. Do you have grandchildren? Name and describe them.
89. What trips or outings have you enjoyed in retirement?
90. Who have been your closest friends in your retirement years?
91. What creative pursuits have you been enjoying in retirement?
92. Looking back on your life, what accomplishments are you most proud of?
93. What have been the most valuable things you have learned in your life?
94. What have you enjoyed most about your life?
95. What challenges have been most important to overcome in your life? How have you overcome
96. What other experiences have been life-defining?
97. What role has humour played in your life? What is your favorite joke or humorous story?
98. What is something you wish you had known earlier?
99. How would you like to be remembered?
100. What advice do you have for future generations?