It’s time to say goodbye to this past year and hello to a new one. I’ve mentioned before that I adore a fresh start. But looking back – well, to be honest, I’m not a fan of the rearview mirror. I’m more of a full steam ahead kind of girl. However, while I may not want to review the past year, I am aware that it is worthwhile. With that in mind, I’ve tried to create a way to thoughtfully (yet quickly) review the past year because I know it will help me plan better for the future.
Below are 12 journal prompts that make it easy (and almost painless) to review the past year and then look forward to a new year. I’ve even created a pdf that you can download and complete. You’ll see that the year is blank so you can use it over and over again – year after year. Download pdf here.
Here’s the list of 12 journal prompts:
- Best Part of the Year
- Discovery I Made
- What Worked Well
- What Didn’t Go As Planned
- People That Helped Me
- Best Conversation I Had
- Favorite Place I Visited
- Entertainment I Enjoyed
- Grateful This Happened
- Something I Accomplished
- What Challenged Me
- Hopes + Dreams for The New Year
And, away we go…
Best Part of the Year
This one should be easy and fun, so it’s a great place to start. For me, it would be watching my grandson grow and learn. He turned one in 2022. I could watch him play ALL. DAY. LONG. He is just taking so much in and learning so many new things.
Discovery I Made
Hmmm…the best lessons are unfortunately, sometimes the most painful ones to learn. So this prompt might be a little more tough, but likely a very important one. In 2022 I discovered that having difficult but honest conversations with those I love (and who love me, too) is worth the effort. While they may not be easy, they will undoubtedly strengthen the relationship.
What Worked Well
This might be a goal you set for the year that you met; a new time management strategy that worked; a system that helps control a part of your life that was previously chaotic; a decision to improve your personal health – physical, mental, emotional or spiritual; leaving something behind that you needed to let go.
What Didn’t Go As Planned
Again, not a fun prompt here, but a necessary one. Was there something you were expecting to be a highlight of the year and it didn’t turn out to be so great? Was this something that simply didn’t work out due to things outside your control? Or were your expectations not realistic? Don’t just record what didn’t go as planned – consider why it didn’t go as planned.
People That Helped Me
This could be someone you know personally, an author of a book you read, a therapist that helped you work through some stuff or an influencer that provided you with tips. It might be tied to What Worked Well above. Simply consider and write down a list of those who made a difference in your life this past year. Maybe even take the time to express your gratitude to them. My husband, Jeff, would top the list for me. You can read about our secret to a happy marriage here.
Best Conversation I Had
This one might be tough to pin down, so it’s ok if you have more than one. What’s important is taking note of the ones that impacted you and that you want to remember.
Favorite Place I Visited
This is another fun (and easy) prompt to complete. It doesn’t have to be some far away place; maybe it’s a trip to the local zoo with your kids or a day trip with some friends. Again, don’t stress if you can’t narrow it down to one place – just jot down the ones that come to mind.
Entertainment I Enjoyed
Again, have some fun here! A book, a TV series, a concert…I think it will be fun to look back at this one years later and see what was recorded.
Grateful This Happened
This one might require a little more thought and reflection – or maybe it will be a quick and easy prompt for you to complete. I’m a big believer that gratitude is always a good choice.
Something I Accomplished
What’s something you did this past year that makes you proud? It might be something that no one but you is aware happened or it was on the front page of the newspaper or posted on social media. Take the time to pat yourself on the back.
What Challenged Me
Write down what made this year difficult. Record how you met the struggle head-on. How did you make it through to the other side? What did you learn in the process?
Hopes + Dreams for 2023
And, now, let’s move forward to a new year. Just quickly jot down a few things you are looking forward to in the coming year. It will be interesting to look back in 12 months and see what you wrote versus what happened.
I'm hoping in 2023 that the truths in this book will help me see myself like God sees me.
I am committed to believing these truths (aka positive affirmations) about myself in 2023. To get off on the right foot, I plan to spend much of January focusing on these truths and posting about them on several platforms - including more blog posts in the future. You can join inAWE Handmade in all these places - Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. We also have an email subscribers list that you can join here.
In 2023 I want to set my mind on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and trustworthy (Philippians 4:8). I will also be sharing a phone wallpaper each month that will highlight one truth to focus on during that month. I would be honored if you would join me on this journey. You may purchase your own truth book here.
Here’s to a 2023 full of truth, love and AWE!