End-of-Year Journaling Prompts

12 prompts to help you reflect on the past year and envision the new year with more clarity.

Journaling is a great way to prepare for the new year and put a bow on 2022 as we close out the year.

Here are twelve journal prompts that you can use to reflect back on the past twelve months and find the deeper lessons and meaning behind the year that was. Some of the questions will also help you look to the year ahead and mindfully plan how you want to show up in the new year.

Even if you just pick five of these prompts to journal on, I think you will get a really good sense of where you've been in 2022 and where you're headed in 2023.

Make it special and set the scene if at all possible. Light some candles, play some music, find a comfy chair – whatever helps you really focus and get present to the questions.

If nothing else, make sure you have some peace and quiet to really ponder the questions and think deeply about them instead of just rushing through them.

What do I feel most proud of this year?

1. What do you feel most proud of this year?

Take a moment to journal on this or even just reflect on it for a few moments. I think it's so important to take the time to appreciate everything you've accomplished – everything you've survived – everything you have to be proud of.

I guarantee you there's A LOT to be proud of if you take the time to reflect back over all you've done this year.

I'm proud of you. I hope you are too.

What things am I willing to let go of so I can live my best life?

2. What are you willing to let go of so you can live your best life?

Put another way – what’s keeping you stuck or holding you back from living a life you LOVE?

Maybe it’s a bad habit like doom-scrolling on social media for literally hours every day and avoiding the work that will move your life, career, or mission forward.

Maybe it’s the negative self-talk that’s stopping you from going after what you want, because it just feels too scary/impossible/overwhelming.

Maybe it’s the stress that keeps you exhausted, anxious, and burned out.

It could be an activity, a habit, a thought, emotion, pattern, or even a person. If you let yourself get really honest for a moment – in your heart of hearts – what do you know you need to let go of in 2023?

How do you want to feel every day as you move through 2023?

3. How do you want to FEEL every day as you move through the next year?

We all have goals we want to work towards but if we don't get intentional with how we want to FEEL while we work towards them then what tends to happen is we get stressed and anxious and we burn out.

So take a moment to think about how you want to feel as you work towards the goals you're setting for your life/career/business in 2023 because the truth of the matter is, if we're not intentional about it, it's probably not going to happen!

Make a list of 10 things that bring you joy. Make a plan to do more of that in 2023.

4. Make a list of 10 things that bring you joy. Make a plan to do more of that in 2023.

It seems pretty straightforward, right? What brings you joy? What brings a smile to your face and lights you up?

But can you name 10 things that bring you joy? Do you do them on a regular basis?

If not, why not? The answer may be as simple as intention. You're probably not being intentional enough about prioritizing things that bring you joy.

If not, no judgment, because that's the boat I've found myself in!! In looking ahead to 2023 and how I want to feel and what I want to focus on, I came up with two themes for the year – JOY and CONSISTENCY.

I want to have way more joy and fun and feel way more vital and alive EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

And I want to be more consistent with the habits that I know will not only bring me more joy, but make me happier, healthier, and wealthier as well.
Joy may not be in your top 2 priorities for next year and that's 110% ok if it's not…though you might want to ask yourself why not?

Is it because you're already doing a great job in that area of your life…or because you've never thought to make it a priority?

What past experiences am I still healing from that I need to give myself grace for?

5. What past experiences am I still healing from that I need to give myself grace for?

We all have things we're still healing from – especially over the past three years. How can you give yourself a little grace?

It doesn’t mean you’re not taking steps to improve your mindset and to improve your life – but where can you cut yourself a break and be a little kinder to yourself?

Take a few minutes to REALLY think on this and journal on it and I think it will really serve you as you move into the new year.

Big hugs, friend.

Have my needs for rest, play, and creativity been considered in 2022?

6. Have my needs for rest, play, and creativity been considered in 2022?

If you're being honest, have you taken time for rest, play, and creativity over the course of the past year?

Some people might roll their eyes and think these things are frivolous or for kids or only ‘artistic' types, but I would argue that rest, play, and creativity are important for everyone. Vital even.

I mean really – how can we expect to live a full life if we never make time for fun and play? Where's the JOY in that?

How can we expect to be at our best and play (work) full out if we don't give our brains and bodies ample time to rest and recover?

Creativity can look like a lot of things…painting, dancing, singing, writing, drawing, cooking, knitting…the list is endless. Even just losing myself in a great book can get my creativity flowing in new ways.

So…have you made time for rest, play, and creativity in 2022? If not, how can you make them bigger priorities in 2023?

How have I expanded and evolved personally and professionally in the past year?

7. How have I expanded and evolved personally and professionally in the past year?

You've likely changed and evolved in many ways over the past year. Take a moment to reflect and really appreciate your growth in 2022.

✨ Maybe you've learned to set and keep strong boundaries.
✨ Maybe you've added to your professional skill set.
✨ Maybe you've grown more patient. More kind.
✨ Maybe you've grown more confident.
✨ Maybe you've learned to control your anxiety and lower your
stress so you can enjoy your life more.

However you've grown over the past year, I honor you for doing the work. For loving yourself enough to keep growing in positive ways.

Once you take time to reflect on 2022, take another moment to think about how you'd like to grow in 2023. By NEXT Christmas, how would you like to have grown personally and professionally?

With intention and support, you can make it happen. Here's to an amazing year!

What are 3 words that you would like to define you as a person?

8. What are 3 words that you would like to define you as a person?

If someone were to sum you up in three words, what would you hope those three words would be?

Obviously, we're complex people and many of us don't WANT to be defined in such simple terms, but what I'm really asking is, if you could embody 3 core principles/ideals/ways of being, what would you want those to be? (Even just for the next year.)

Honest? Kind? Patient? Brave? Loyal? Bold? Joyful?

Take a moment to reflect on this. I'd love to hear your 3 words if you are open to sharing in the comments!

What do you want more of next year? What do you want less of in 2023?

9. What do you want more of next year? What do you want less of in 2023?

Here's a fun topic to journal on! It could be feelings, activities, possessions etc…what comes to mind for you with this question?

For me, off the top of my head…

  • Less stress. More joy.
  • Less time at my desk. More time outdoors.
  • More time moving my body. More time in the sauna bag.
  • Less red meat and processed foods. More fruits, veggies, and fish. (I am adopting the Mediterranean diet/way of eating.)
  • More water. (To drink and also more time by/on the water.)
  • More time reading for pleasure.
  • More date nights. More vacations.
  • Less time working. More revenue.
  • Less weight. More strength and energy.
  • More patience. More flow. Less pressure.
  • More philanthropy. More giving back.

I'm going to keep working on my list. I'd love to hear what comes up for you.

What will like be like 5 years from now if you continue along the path you're currently on?

10. What will life be like 5 years from now if you continue along the path you're currently on?

How does the answer make you feel?

Does the life you imagine make you excited and inspired…or does it make you feel sad and worried for the future? (Or some other mix of emotions.)

Whatever comes up for you – good or bad – take a moment to ponder what you WANT life to look like in 5 years and what actions you will need to take to get there.

Maybe you're on the right track already, maybe some big changes are in order – either way, as we enter a new year, it's a great time to look forward not only to a year from now but 5 years from now and dream a little. A LOT can change in 5 years.

And then the really important part – start taking steps to get you where you want to be!

You've got this! And I'm here if you could use support on your journey.

What challenges did you face personally and professionally, and what did you learn from them in 2022?

11. What challenges did you face personally and professionally, and what did you learn from them in 2022?

Even when things are challenging – or to put it more bluntly, the circumstances just plain suck – we can always learn from our experiences.

  • Maybe you learned how strong you are this year.
  • That you can keep going even when it's hard.
  • Maybe you learned how to ask for support and how beautiful that can be.
  • Maybe you learned how to pivot and do things differently when challenges came up.
  • And maybe you learned when to cut your losses and walk away.

Whatever you learned from your challenges this year, I'm proud of you.

Seriously – it's not easy to keep going when things are really tough, but you're still here. You're still in the fight. So no matter how you handled those challenges, I'm proud of you and I hope you're proud of yourself.

If you've not taken the time to distill the lessons from the challenges yet this year, take some time to do that now. We don't have to like the challenges, but I believe we can always learn something from them.

List 3 areas of your life where you'd like to establish better boundaries in 2023.

12. List 3 areas of your life where you'd like to establish better boundaries in 2023.

Boundaries can be a touchy subject for some people. Many of us (women especially) struggle to set strong boundaries because we're afraid of offending anyone or letting anyone down.

We've been raised to be caretakers in many ways. To put the needs and desires of others first – even at our own expense. When you're raised this way, it's easy to believe that setting and holding strong boundaries is somehow selfish.

The truth of the matter is that boundaries aren't selfish – in fact, setting strong, loving boundaries can be the most loving thing you can do for yourself and others.

A client once said to me, “It’s easier to make myself uncomfortable in the moment than feel like I am disappointing someone.” I bet many of us can relate to this.

But what happens in the long term when we ignore our needs over and over? We get depleted and overwhelmed, we become resentful, angry, or highly stressed, and we have some kind of emotional explosion or meltdown followed by feelings of guilt and shame. Then we're even harder on ourselves than usual, which plummets our self-worth. It's a vicious cycle.

I’ve learned that the most kind-hearted people are often the ones that experience the most resentment over time. Why? It simply doesn’t work to give up our needs over and over again. When we experience resentment or depletion, it usually means we have not prioritized our own needs.

What if we skipped that whole cycle and just took care of our needs earlier? What would we see happen and change for us?

With that in mind – what are the areas where you can set better boundaries in the coming year?

There you have it! Twelve end-of-year reflections for you to journal on! I'd love to hear how it goes and what comes up for you when you're finished journaling.

  • What was your biggest ah-ha?
  • Do you have more clarity about what you want to accomplish in the coming year and how you want to feel while doing it?
  • Do you have more appreciation for all that you've done and the person you've become over the course of the past year?

I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

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