Instead of setting yourself up for failure with New Year’s Resolutions, spend your energy on self-reflection journaling so you can start your year with intention.
It’s the time of year that we hear a lot about making New Year’s Resolutions. Gyms, dieticians, life coaches and yoga studios offer “New Year, New You” specials.
Most resolutions are hastily made and broken within the first few weeks of January anyway, and journaling is a great way to move into the year ahead.
The Vast Benefits of Self-Reflection Journaling:
If journaling makes you think of your pre-teen years where you confided your darkest secrets and crushes to your diary with a small attached lock, then it might be time to reframe your thinking about what journaling is and the benefits it offers.
Studies have shown that journaling can have a significant positive impact on our mental health. Journaling, or expressive writing, helps to clarify thoughts and feelings, assists in problem solving, helps to reduce anxiety, improves cognitive functioning, counteracts negative effects of stress, and can even strengthen the immune system.
Self-reflection journaling is a great way to launch your year with intention. You’ll process the past year and gain clarity to set goals for the year ahead.
It turns out your mom might have been right when she told you to go write down your feelings when you were overwhelmed.
Why You Need a Mindful Journaling Practice + 6 Tips to Get You Started
31 Self-Reflection Journal Prompts for the New Year:
Use these writing prompts to help you self-reflect, review the past year, and plan for the next.
Past Year Reflection:
- What goals did I achieve last year?
- What challenges did I face last year?
- What skills did I strengthen last year?
- What from last year do I need to leave behind?
- What were my 3 biggest lessons from last year?
- How did my yoga, meditation, and/or breathwork practice grow over this past year?
- What caused the most stress and frustration last year?
- What provided the most joy or energy last year?
- What coping skills worked best for me last year?
- What did I use as a coping skill last year that was actually destructive?
- What surprised me most about myself last year?
- What 3 people could I not have gotten through last year without?
- What risks did I take last year?
- What risks do I wish I had taken last year but didn’t because I was afraid?
- What 5 things did I do this year that I am most proud of?
- What can I do today that I couldn’t do a year ago?
- What one word summarizes last year best? Why?
General Self-Reflection Prompts:
- The 10 things I love most about myself are ________________
- What do I need to make space/time for in my life?
- What am I allowing to take up too much space/time in my life?
- On average, how much time do I spend on social media vs connecting with others in-person? Am I happy with this balance?
- What 5 things can I do to maintain my most important friendships?
- What quick ritual can I implement throughout the day to help me be present in the moment?
- What self-limiting beliefs are holding me back?
Prompts for the New Year:
- What 3 small things am I manifesting for 2022?
- What one large thing am I manifesting for 2022?
- What can I do to keep the stresses and frustrations felt last year from having such an effect on me this year?
- What do I need to change in my daily and weekly schedule to make next year more successful?
- What self-care rituals work best for me? How will I continue with these this year?
- What risks will I take in 2022?
- What is my bucket-list for 2022?
Need Ideas for Self-Care? Create a Realistic Self-Care Routine From These 17 Simple Practices
Here’s How to Self-Reflection Journal (It’s Simple!)
There aren’t any rules when it comes to self-reflection journaling. You can respond to one journal prompt a day for each day in January, or sit down and answer a few together if you’re in the zone.
It’s helpful to not get lost in the details with expressive writing. You don’t have to worry about grammar or punctuation, or if one sentence flows to the next. Concentrate instead on expressing your thoughts and feelings and reflecting on those.
It is helpful to set yourself up to journal when you have at least fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time. Grab a glass of your favorite tea or drink, set your phone to do-not-disturb, and turn on some music that helps you concentrate.
The choice of paper or electronic writing is up to you, and there are merits to both. Start with what seems most natural.
Enter Your New Year With Self-Reflection Journaling
If New Year’s reflection journaling still seems a bit daunting, start with a simple gratitude list.
For tips on how to make your gratitude list impactful read Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes When You Write a Gratitude List
Self-reflection journaling is a great way to launch your new year with intention. You’ll tap into a range of emotions, process the past year and gain clarity to set goals for the next year ahead.