Year End Reflections and Looking Forward to a New Year: Mental Health Journal Prompts

Year End Reflections and Looking Forward to a New Year: Mental Health Journal Prompts

2020 has been. a . year. There have been so many difficult things and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. However, now more than ever it can be important to implement small but meaningful changes. In order to get where we want to go or become who we want to be, we have to first reflect on where we have been and where we are.

The most important thing to do is to start where you are.

It’s important to honor all that you have gone through this past year.

Celebrate what is, grieve what was, and look for what could be.

-Jennie Allen

Journaling is such a healthy stress reliever. However, it can be dismissed because it seems too simple. It’s simple but not it’s not easy. In fact, another common deterrent to journaling is Where do I start? What do I even write about?

A blank page can be overwhelming, so I’ve borrowed and tweaked a few reflection questions and journal prompts from other wise US colleagues such as Brittany Moses and Jennie Allen. Start where you are. Pick one question a day to focus on and unpack a little bit. It can be helpful to share with a safe & trusted friend, family member, or therapist.

Year End Reflection Questions for Journal Prompts.

  1. If you could summarize this year in 3 words which words would you use & why? 
  2. What do you wish you had done differently this year? 
  3. What are you proud of this year? 
  4. Who made the biggest impact on you this year? 
  5. What was the biggest lesson you learned this year? 
  6. How have you changed since the beginning of this year? 
  7. What are 5 things you’d like to accomplish before the end of the year? 
  8. What do you wish you did more of this year? 
  9. What do you wish you did less of this year? 
  10. In what area of your life would you like to see more dedication next year? 
  11. How does this time of year make you feel and why? 
  12. If you could tell your past self anything, one year ago, what would you tell yourself? 
  13. Over the past year what methods or activities have helped your mental health? 
  14. Over the past year, what has contributed to the declines in your mental health?
  15. What are 5 things you’d like to start doing next year? 
  16. Make a list of all the things you’ve been grateful for this year. 
  17. How have you experienced God this year/ How has God been faithful to you this year? 
  18. Write about something unexpected that happened to you this year and how you journeyed through it. 
  19. What challenged you this year and what was the result? 
  20. What are some of your favorite memories from this year? 
  21. What has your perspective changed on this year? 
  22. What are some of your favorite Holiday memories? 
  23. List 10 words you would use to describe yourself.
  24. What are some areas you’d like to see yourself grow in next year? 
  25. Next year I’d like to improve my physical health by… 
  26. Next year I’d like to improve my spiritual health by… 
  27. Next year I’d like to improve my mental health by… 
  28. Next year I’d like to improve my financial health by… 
  29. Where do you envision yourself a year from now and what will it take?

Shorter Prompt for Journaling:

1. Describe the year of 2020, how was it for you?

2. If you had to choose one word for the year 2020 what would it be and why?

3. What is or has been overwhelming for you?

4. What are you grieving from this year?

5. What are you celebrating?

6. What have you learnt about yourself this year? Or how have you experienced growth?

7. What things, big and small, experiences, and people are you grateful for this year?

8. Describe 3 of your best memories from this year.

9. What do you want to leave in 2020 and head into 2021 free from (apart from coronavirus) ?

10. What word, quote, verse, lyric, or mission statement would you like to own for 2021?

It can be helpful to process this with a safe and trusted friend, family member, pastor, or therapist. We would love to unpack this further with you.

Wishing you a year of HOPE for 2021,

Barb and The Alive Counselling Team

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The Alive counselling team


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