Come the end of the year we generally start getting reflective. We start to think back on our accomplishments and maybe lament the things we wish we did. We also start to look forward to the coming year and plan for how we’re going to keep growing, be better, and make resolutions to make it happen.
This can be a great time of year for journaling to help us reflect in specific ways. Sometimes journaling can ironically feel stressful or overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Try some of these reflective journal prompts to get the gears turning as you look back on 2019 and look forward to 2020.
What did I accomplish?
If you reached any major milestones this year whether it be a big promotion at work, running your first marathon, getting married, or making a major move, by all means celebrate these in your journal prompts!
Also, take this time to dig deeper and consider any smaller scale, less obvious accomplishments. Especially if you had a hard year and feel like you didn’t quite reach some of those bigger goals you set out towards at the start of the year, this can be an opportunity to spin your end of year narrative and be kinder to yourself.
Maybe you didn’t run that marathon, but in preparation you ran a lot more this year than last. Maybe you chose to leave a relationship that was no longer serving you. Or maybe you implemented a new sleep routine that’s left you feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Celebrate those smaller victories that might not garner Instagram likes or LinkedIn comments, but that you know were meaningful and improved your year.
What am I grateful for?
Gratitude journaling has become one of the trendier journal prompts this year, and it has a lot of merits. Rather than focusing on what you wish you’d done or what you hope to do differently moving forward, this journal prompt allows you to focus on the things that bring your joy and add richness to your life.
What are the nicest things people said to me this year?
We tend to be our own harshest critics. Take a minute to think about the kind things that people in your life have said to you that lift you up.
Maybe your boss sent you a really complimentary email or you got a birthday message from an old friend that warmed your heart. If you can, dig out those things and write them down word for word. If people said things to you in person that really stuck with you and made you feel good, write what you remember.
It will be great having all of these positive comments from the people who matter most in one place to look over when things get tough. And these journal prompts provide another positive look back on the year whether you had a great one or whether you’re ready to leave 2019 in 2019.
Are my goals still important to me?
If you set New Year’s resolutions at the start of 2019, you’re probably reflecting on how you did and whether you achieved them. This is a good time to stop and consider how meaningful those resolutions really were. If you achieved them – did they add value to your life? If so, that signals these are important practices to continue implementing moving into 2020.
If you feel like you “failed” at your New Year’s resolutions, that might mean you need to reevaluate how important they were to begin with. Did you set a goal because it was trendy or because you really wanted to make that change? Consider this before kicking yourself for any New Year’s resolutions that fell by the wayside. If they are still important to you, create new strategies to reach those goals next year. If they aren’t, say goodbye and save your energy to tackle more meaningful goals.
What would I like to do next?
Here’s your window to set 2020 resolutions if that’s your thing. Whether you want to set specific resolutions or not, it’s a good idea to consider your values and goals for the upcoming year. Taking a moment to think about this question and write down what you want can help you set your intentions and go into the new year ready to move towards your goals.