Commencing the New Year with impromptu New Year resolutions is not the way to achieve your goals. A quick decision on the spare of the moment on January 1st while chatting with friends does not generally result in meaningful achievements. The best way to achieve your goals is with focus. Yes, it is possible to achieve those meaningful life goals if you take the time to reflect on your past, reflect on the past year, and what you want to achieve in the upcoming year. Even if you do not write daily in a journal. Using journal prompts as end-of-year questions to reflect on your achievements helps uncover your true life goals and ways to progress on your new goals.
Grab a pen and paper or your journal to reflect on how the past year has been. Reflect on your achievements, your failures and your progress. Prepare for an amazing year.
Focussed journaling for goal setting
Reflective journaling for the new year takes time. Plan some quiet time with your journal so you can work through the journal prompts to create your best year ever.
Requirements for journaling.
Journaling requires a few materials.
- pencil or pen
- journal or notebook or paper if you are ready to start a journal and do not have a journal.
Do not delay reflecting and designing your next year because you have no journal. Grab yourself a pencil and something to write on, and start jotting down your reflections and thoughts.
The benefits of journaling when planning your New Year
Journaling has many benefits that help with personal development, though for goal setting, the benefits of intentional reflection on past achievements help with setting intentional and meaningful goals.
In the past, I have said a new years resolution or two which I have not achieved. Why? because very little thought goes into New Year resolutions. New year resolutions are often decisions made on the spot. Goal achievement requires reflection, setting goals and focused planning. If you are looking for goal success this year and are choosing between New Year resolutions or goal setting, choose the one that will help you grow.
Tony Robbins notes that the benefits of journalling help you achieve your goals faster and help you work out the challenges you face when working towards a goal.
Your past does not equal your future.Tony Robbins
New Year journal prompts.
As you start to write on the journal prompts below, keep an open mind and write what you think. An important part of journalling is to put your feelings into your writing. Some of the reflective questions have multiple questions, so you really can identify what something means to you. When you write, your gut will tell you if what you are writing is going against your core values. If you do not know what your personal values are, read how to write your list of core values.
Journal prompts that help with reflection on the past year.
- The big wins and small wins I achieved last year are…Try to write 10 things that you did or happened last year that are meaningful to you.
- My biggest achievement last year was … I felt … with achieving this goal. Describe this achievement and how it made you feel to have achieved the goal. What does achieving this goal mean to you?
- The 3 most precious moments in my life last year were… Why were these moments special?
- Who were the important people in my life last year, and why? How did these people help and support me throughout the year? How did I give back to them?
- To help me with work-life balance, what mindfulness practices helped me the most? Thinking of the upcoming year, what mindful activity would I like to pursue?
- What financial goals have I achieved over the past 12 months, and how do I feel towards my financial achievements?
- If you had to sum up your year in a sentence, what would your write?
- The biggest challenge I faced during the year was … and this is what I learned from the challenge.
- What is holding me back? We need to step through our comfort zones to achieve goals. Think deeply about the goals you set at the start of the year. Ask yourself what is stopping you from achieving your goals.
- What excited me the most last year? What disappointed me the most last year?
- How would I change last year? What would I do differently? What is something I would like to leave behind?
Quick Reflection Questions About The Past Year
- What am I most proud of last year?
- Three personal improvements I made in the past year are…
- What was the biggest risk I took in the past year?
- These things I need to do less of next year. List 3 things.
- These things I need to do more of next year. List 3 things.
- I need to stop this bad habit.
- What is the one thing I wish I had achieved this past year but didn’t?
- Who inspired me the most last year?
- My word for the year last year was … If you choose a word for the year, note it down, and then write a word that sums up your year. Is it the same word?
Journal Prompts for the New Year.
Now you have reflected on the past year, it is time to reflect on the upcoming year.
- What brings me the most happiness?
- My vision for the coming year is to achieve these goals. Write a list of goals you would like to achieve in your journal. Become inspired with this list o 100 goals.
- If you were to visualise your ideal day, what would it look like? To write about your ideal day, include your feelings and what you would do throughout the day. Include all your senses in your writing. You’d be amazed at the many small things you can commence now to start living your ideal day.
- One new hobby I’m going to try is … Write a list of hobbies you’d like to try. The hobby I plan on starting is learning to paint with watercolour pencils.
- If I choose a word for the year, I would choose this one word. Write why you would choose that one focus word for the year.
- This is one bad habit I will stop this year. I plan to stop this habit by taking these actions.
- I plan to read these books this year. Write a list of 5 books that you would like to read that will help you achieve your goals.
- This time next year, I’d like to be … and would like to do… Write a letter to your future self describing the past year’s achievements and how you feel. Give yourself some advice for the upcoming year. Write in your journal or write yourself a letter on future me.
Journal prompts to assist with goal setting in all areas of life.
Life has many areas, and if we focus on only one area, we can become unbalanced in other areas of our lives which can cause unhappiness and unfulfillment. Below is a list of journal prompts to help you set new goals for the new year in each area of your life.
New Year journal prompts for health goals
- What are my health goals for the next 12 months?
- What is something I am doing positively for my health that I wish to continue into the new year?
- What is something I can start to improve my health and well-being?
- What exercise or sport do I enjoy the most?
- What food do I enjoy that contributes to my health goals?
- What do I need to stop eating as it hinders my health goals?
Discover the top 10 healthy habits that reenergize.
Financial goals for the New Year.
- What financial goals do I have for the year?
- What practices can I put in place to achieve my financial goals?
- How would I feel if I achieved my financial goals?
- Where would I like my main source of income to come from?
- What priorities can I put in place to help me achieve my financial goals?
- One way I can save money is?
Many of us have items around the home we don’t use which are sellable, recyclable and reusable. There are many ways you can turn your clutter into cash to help you with your financial goals.
Journal prompts to reflect on business and career goals.
- This is how I feel about my business/career achievements from the past 12 months. What does your current workplace look like? Is it an enabling environment?
- This is how my work fosters personal growth. List skills you have built on over the past years and skills you would like to improve.
- I love my job, and this is why. If you do not love your job, write 10 positive things about your job.
- If I could do anything, this is what I would be and what I would do. Know the environment you would like to work in and how your work integrates with your life, your family and your personal goals.
- These are 2 things I would like to achieve in the next 12 months for my business/career.
If you feel you need a career change, take time to reflect on your values and what you really would like to do. It is important to enjoy your job. Think beyond the year and ask yourself, ‘In 5 years, I would like to be … and would like to do … Describe your ideal day, what you are doing and how it makes you feel. For an example of how to write about your ideal day, read a letter to me, my ideal day.
You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.Maya Angelou
Journal prompts for setting goals on relationships
- How did I invest in myself over the past year? What will I continue to do for myself?
- What does love mean to me? What is my love language?
- Who did I enjoy spending time with last year, and who drained me? Why did I feel drained in that relationship? Why did I enjoy spending time with that person or people?
- These are 3 qualities that are important to me in friendship.
- Write 3 qualities that you bring to friendships.
- What am I grateful for in my family and friendship groups? Aim to find 3-5 things you are grateful for in your different relationships.
Read about the 3 types of friends you will have throughout life.
Questions to ask about lifestyle goals
- If I could buy anything, what would I like to own? Do you want to own things or experience things?
- An adventure I’d like to go on this year is … This is why this adventure is important to me.
- Day trips I plan to go on and who I’d like to invite to join me on these outings. Write about what attracts you to these day drips. What do you need to do to make these day trips happen this year?
- This is a list of local trails I’d like to participate in throughout the year. There are many local trails across the world. For some ideas, here are a few; go on the edible garden trail, take part in the harvest trail, and walk the sculpture by the sea.
For many people, a new year is about setting and planning new goals
To plan the action steps for your goals, refer to how to write down your goals for a balanced life.