20 New Year’s Journaling Prompts: Reflect and Prepare!

Young Woman Pondering Journaling Prompts for the New Year with Notebook

We’ve had another challenging year… #MeToo, Social Justice issues, lethal racism and the treatment of indigenous peoples, along with environmental issues and major country politics like a change of political leader or the UK’s Brexit have all been added to by yet another year of COVID…

I remember writing back in March 2020, thinking it would all be wrapped up by late summer at the latest—as with most colds and flus. Yet, here we are, still in the liminal stage of this pandemic crisis (Omicron anyone?), where things are still changing and the outcome is still unclear.

Something to ponder as you reflect…

Whilst I know for most of us reading this, it’s easy to think that a world war or the great depression of the 1930s would have been so much worse. BUT. And this is a huge but: in those times, people came together in person! They supported each other and became tight communities. It was terribly hard, but they got to hug, sing and dance, team up and find solidarity in their struggles.

The VERY thing we want to do in times of great stress and challenge is come together. But for us it’s forbidden or has constantly changing rules! We can’t party and “let go” over the holidays as this may only make the situation worse!

In addition the divisiveness over “vaccinated” or “not vaccinated” has become corrosive, in many cases turning friends and family against one another. So as extremely social and co-operative creatures, the difficulties we all still face should not be underestimated…

It’s reflection time!

Below I offer some journaling prompts for you to reflect on the year (you’ve probably done more than you realise). And there are also some prompts to consider what you’d like to be different in 2022.

The quiet time between Christmas and New Year or in early January is an ideal time to reflect, ponder and review. You can do all of the prompts (taking as long as you want!), or just pick the prompts that grab or interest you.

A thought: if you notice you’re avoiding one of the prompts below, it may mean there is an important realisation or learning in there for you… So if you’re feeling brave, take on that challenge—and be Fiercely Kind with yourself to face the truths within.
Journaling Prompts to Reflect on Your 2021
  1. What are my biggest achievements in the last year? What am I most proud of (big or small)?
  2. What challenges did I overcome? What was hard? (be specific)
  3. What did I learn about myself? (eg. strengths, weaknesses, needs, wants, values, hopes, fears)
  4. What did you bring into the world? What did you create?
  5. What did you learn? How did you grow?
  6. What relationships did you create or deepen?
  7. What relationships shrunk or have reduced their depth?
  8. How did you make a difference in the world and/or your community and/or your family/friends? (big, small and everything inbetween)
  9. What are you disappointed about?
  10. What fun did you have? What made life enjoyable?
Journaling Prompts to Prepare for 2022
  1. What will be my top 3 priorities in 2022?
  2. What do I want to achieve in the coming year?
  3. What challenges do I anticipate in the year ahead?
  4. What will you bring into the world in 2022? What will you create?
  5. What do I need to learn? What do I want to grow about myself?
  6. What relationships will I grow and what relationships will I lessen my focus on? How will I stay in touch with people?
  7. How will you make a difference in the world and/or your community and/or your family/friends? (big, small and everything inbetween)
  8. What are you excited about for 2022? How will you have fun and enjoy yourself?
  9. ow will I take care of myself in the coming year?
  10. Which of my strengths and skills will serve me best in the coming year?


I hope you enjoy these thought-provoking journaling prompts.

With the new year comes a refueled motivation to improve on the past one. Gretchen Bleiler

Change the world. Start with you!

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  1. Jeanette Harris

    Thanks Emma-Louise for this resource. These are great reflections questions and I will definitely use them to reflect and prepare for the upcoming year. Have a blessed holiday vacation/time off.

    • Emma-Louise Elsey

      Dear Jeanette, I am so glad you find these questions helpful 🙂 Enjoy and wishing you a wonderful 2022!


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