I say this every year, but somehow with each passing year, it feels like the year is just never-ending and also like it’s gone by at warp speed. And almost as if on cue, my next thought is the often-heard phrase “the days are long but the years are short”.
I love the end-of-the-year period, to be honest. Yes, it’s an ending of sorts, but you already know that the new year is right around the corner. Of course, I’m adult enough to know that life does not magically reset itself as soon as the calendar flips over from December 31st to January 1st, but you have to admit, there is something about the new year that makes it easy to believe that you’ve been handed over a clean-ish slate to start over.
For the last few years, I’ve been using the slow days of December to do some annual reflection & reset exercises to take stock of the year gone by +
plan dream for the year ahead. I absolutely love taking the time and doing some internal & mental (re)processing.
Part of my year-end reflection & reset process involves taking out a notebook and my favorite pens, working through some new year journal prompts to make sense of all thoughts and have some structure for planning the next year, and finally, choosing a personal word of the year. And since I am a generous soul (:)), I wanted to share some of my favorite new year journal prompts with you!
25 New Year Journal Prompts for 2023
New Year journal prompts are a fun and reflective way to start the year off on the right foot. They can help to:
- reflect on the past year,
- set intentions, and
- plan for the future.
By taking the time to think about and write down your thoughts, you can gain clarity and focus on what you want to accomplish in the coming year. Whether you’re a seasoned journaler or new to the practice, these new year journal prompts can help you start the year off with a fresh perspective and a positive mindset. So grab your journal and a pen, and let’s get started on a fabulous year!
1| As you stand at the precipice of a new year, what are 5 words you would use to describe your life as it stands today?
There’s no wrong or right answer to this one. Don’t overthink it. Go with the first few words that come to your mind.
2| What are your 5 favorite moments or memories from 2022?
Even if you’ve had a hard year, I am sure there will be some moments of happiness that would have made their way into your life. What do you look back on with the most fondness?
3| What were your biggest challenges in the last year?
Try to think of specific things here. Was it trying to maintain a morning routine, or did you struggle with making time for your loved ones, etc., etc.?
4| What made you proud of yourself in 2022?
Pat yourself on the back for your achievements, no matter how big or small they might seem.
5| What was the most fulfilling area of your life in 2022?
If you divide up your life into categories such as health, relationships, finances, career, work/business, hobbies, spirituality, etc. (add more categories as per your specific life situation) where did you feel like you were thriving? Can you identify what made it so fulfilling for you?
6| In which area of your life did you struggle the most in the last year?
Similarly, which area of your life seemed particularly lacking in 2022? Can you identify the reasons why it was a struggle for you?
7| Who do you need to forgive as you move into 2023?
I’ve come to realize that forgiveness is not so much for the other person as it is for yourself. Truly forgiving someone who’s wronged or hurt you, whether they’ve apologized to you or not, will allow you to make your way out of the bindings of that unpleasant memory/incident. And while you’re on the forgiving train, allow yourself some slack too, and forgive yourself for when you were not at your best.
8| What were you grateful for in 2022?
An attitude of gratitude can make good days seem even more amazing and help you cope better with the bad days.
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9| What is your most powerful intuition telling you as you move into 2023? How can you follow these instincts better in the next year?
Our intuition is a powerful thing – take some time to listen to your gut instinct. What is your intuition guiding you towards (or away from)?
10| What do you want to make room for in the new year?
Think of some of the positive things that you want to add to your life.
11| What are you willing to let go of as you move into the new year?
Think of your habits, or limiting mindset, or unhealthy coping mechanisms that do you more harm than good. Upleveling your life will need you to give up on habits and behaviors that no longer serve you.
12| Going into the new year, what is your biggest worry? What are you most afraid of? What can you do to counterbalance these fears?
This can be as broad or as specific as you want it to be. Are you concerned most about your or a loved one’s health? Or are you worried about finances? Or are you like me, worried about going through yet another year with the same lackluster energy and vibes?
13| When was the last time you felt really, truly happy? What were you doing at the time?
This does not have to be from the last year. The intent is to make you dig deep to think about what moments make you truly feel alive and happy.
14| What can you do to make more moments like this happen for yourself in 2023?
What is life if not for happy moments?
15| Who do you want to be in 2023?
I love this question. It’s such a thought-provoking way of looking at what you want for yourself and your life.
16| What do you need to do more of and less of to make this vision of yourself come alive?
What can you do to align your vision of yourself with the reality of you?
17| Think of the five words you used to describe your life in question 1. When you are standing at the end of 2023, would you want to have different words to describe your life? What would your end-of-2023 words be?
Be bold and fearless when it comes to vision casting.
18| What are your top 3 priorities for 2023?
This is something I’ve seen Hitha Palepu (@hithapalepu) talk about in the past. She picks 2-3 priorities for her year, and then she sifts through all decisions/choices based on whether they align with her top priorities for the year or not.
It also helps to remember that your priorities will be different for different seasons of your life. Embrace the season you’re in while trying to maximize your growth, well-being, and happiness.
19| What are your top 3 goals for the next year? Do they align with your top 3 priorities? Do you need to rethink your priorities or your goals?
Ideally, your goals should be in line with your priorities. If they are not, take a hard look at both your goals and priorities and rework them till they flow together.
Once your priorities and goals feel in sync, take some time to map out your top 3 goals extensively. Think of breaking them up into sub-goals, and also jot down as many action items as you can think of. Basically, write down whatever you think you need to do to achieve these 3 goals by the end of next year.
20| What would your ideal day look like? What can you do to have more of these ‘ideal days’ in 2023?
What have you been missing out on? What would you like to add to your working schedule? How can you take better care of yourself?
21| Who are you going to connect with more in the new year?
The importance of a quality social circle has been driven home more than enough in the last couple of years. Be intentional with your time and make an effort for the people that matter.
22| What are 5 new things you’d like to try in the new year?
Reflection and journaling exercises don’t have to always be a study in seriousness. Take a moment to think of some fun and/or enriching things you’d like to try in the new year. Get cracking on that bucket list!
23| How will you take care of yourself? What does your personal self-care kit look like?
No matter how much of a super-achiever you are, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So make time to take care of your physical, emotional and mental health.
24| How will you reward yourself for doing the hard things, or achieving your 3 big goals?
Positive reinforcements FTW!
25| What are some affirmations or mantras you will recite to yourself as often as possible in 2023?
Be your own biggest cheerleader and hype squad!
What Else Can You Do to Set Yourself Up for an Amazing Year?
Now that you’ve done the hard part of working your way through these journal prompts (or the workbook, if you’ve signed up for it!), don’t just stop there. Go on and create a vision board for your year now, which is admittedly a fun way of putting all your dreams out there in a visual format.
With all this prep work done, you should be feeling fired up to take on the new year! Go on, and go forth! :)
I hope you find these prompts helpful as you prepare for the new year. Let me know if there are any more journal prompts that you would add to this list!