As 2022 winds down, it’s useful reflect on the year with some new year journal prompts. It’s an opportunity to consider the positives, disappointments, and challenges, as well as set intentions for the new year ahead.
When we move on too quickly, we don’t fully examine how these experiences have impacted us and the ways we’ve changed. It’s important to feel our feelings and reflect on our experiences. When we do this, we can use what we’ve learned to help us move closer to our goals and celebrate our progress and successes.
To help you reflect on the past year and use these experiences to improve your life, I’ve written some end of year journal prompts. Let’s start by acknowledging what was positive about 2022.
Remember what went well in 2022
Sometimes we have to look harder for the positives, but they are there – hidden among the struggles or the simple pleasures that we take for granted. Other times, they are the people who helped us cope with uncertainty and sadness or overcome challenges.
- I accomplished __________.
- I feel good about __________.
- I took care of myself by __________.
- I’m grateful for __________.
- A book/movie/tv show I enjoyed was _____________.
- A happy memory was __________.
- Something positive that I wouldn’t have normally done __________.
- Something funny that I want to remember is _____________.
- I was challenged by__________.
- I learned __________.
- I felt passionately about _____________.
We certainly don’t want to ignore the challenges and painful aspects of 2022, either. By considering both the positives and negatives, we can keep a balanced perspective.
Acknowledge the hardships of 2022
Collectively, we’ve experienced natural disasters, war, inflation, and mass shootings. We continue to experience the effects of COVID, as well as other illnesses. For many, this includes being seriously sick, worry about a loved one’s health, and canceled plan.
And, of course, we also have personal struggles with health, mental health, finances, relationships, and safety. This is why it’s important to take some time to acknowledge what you’ve lost, your struggles, fears, and disappointments. Processing our feelings and experiences helps us move forward and avoid getting stuck in our pain.
- 2022 was hard for me because _____________.
- In 2022, I missed doing these things _____________.
- I missed spending time with these people _____________.
- I was stressed or anxious about _____________.
- I’m grieving the loss of _____________.
- I struggled with _____________.
- I feel sad about _____________.
- I feel angry about _____________.
- I feel anxious about _____________.
Notice how far you’ve come
When we face great challenges, we usually learn a lot. You may already be aware of some valuable lessons from 2022 and probably others will be revealed in time. Answering these questions may help you recognize the ways you’ve grown and what you’ve learned from 2022.
- As a result of these struggles, I learned _____________.
- I can cope with stress and uncertainty by ______________.
- Some things I learned about myself are ______________.
- Some things I learned about others are ______________.
- I didn’t know I could ______________.
- I learned that I like ______________.
- I learned that I don’t like ______________.
- For the first time, I _____________.
- As a result of last year’s struggles and learning, going forward I will ______________.
And now on to planning for a healthy and fulfilling 2023!
New year journal prompts
The next set of questions will hopefully get you thinking about how you want to spend your time and resources, how you might improve your life, and ways to grow into a healthier and happier version of yourself.
- This year I want to focus on __________.
- In 2023, I’m looking forward to __________.
- A habit or activity that I started last year and want to continue is __________.
- A habit I want to change is __________.
- I want to strengthen my relationship with ___________.
- I will connect with others by _______________.
- I will work on accepting others as they are by __________.
- I will help others or give back to my community by _____________.
- I will grow in or strengthen my faith/spirituality by _____________.
- I will take care of myself by __________.
- I will show myself compassion by __________.
- I will save money for ______________.
- I will splurge on ____________.
- This year I want to add more __________ to my life.
- Every day I plan to __________.
- My career goals for the coming year are ___________.
- To be physically healthier, I will _____________.
- To be mentally healthier, I will _____________.
- I will ask for support, help, or accountability from _____________.
I hope these journal prompts and questions help you thoughtfully reflect on 2022, feel your feelings, acknowledge your successes and growth, and set a course for a fulfilling year ahead!
©2022 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved. Photos courtesy of Canva.com.
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