Are you ready to ring in 2022?
I usually feel this way when I haven’t taken the time to process my year.
And it’s true; I haven’t taken the time to reflect on where I succeeded, failed, what I learned, loved, hated, etc… yet.
However, it’s a worthy exercise.
I know this is, because it’s what I’ve been doing for the last 8 years, and each year my life gets more focused, fulfilling and just plain better.
By hitting the pause button for a moment and asking yourself high-quality questions, you get out of the routines of life and reflect on what’s important to you, where you want to go in life, and how to get there. You build a powerful vision for your life that’s designed by you and fully aligned with you and your values.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” — Abraham Lincoln
You’ll also be able to rid yourself of self-sabotaging behavior because you distill the year’s lessons preventing you from repeating the same mistakes over and over.
For example, my big learning this year was how to set boundaries, something I kept encountering and finally overcame which has had a profound impact on my mental health and happiness.
As Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Your past mistakes should guide you, not define you.
Below are 7 journaling prompts that will help you reflect on the past year and create a wildly juicy vision and roadmap for your year ahead.
#1 What were your top moments of 2021?
“Change your questions, change your life.”
The questions we ask ourselves have a significant impact on us.
They can bring us down into a negative spiral, or they can help us recognize our growth, experience gratitude, and be happy.
This question puts you in the GAIN of life. It’s designed to help you stop, reflect on all the good that’s happened this year so that not only can you have a record of how powerful this year truly was for you, but also so you can reflect on how far you have come from previous years.
Take a moment to curate your highlight real for 2021 and write out your top accomplishments, experiences, and learnings.
#2 What was your best day of 2021? What was your worst? And what does that tell you?
What gives you energy? What drains it?
Finding answers is not as hard as you may think.
By reflecting on your best day, you’re able to see which values, experiences, and ways of living will bring you greater fulfillment and joy into the future.
The same goes for what was your worst day. You’re able to identify values that were likely rubbed up against, experiences you want to avoid, and more about what robs you of your unique light.
This question is designed to uncover what matters most to you.
And then, follow the breadcrumbs of joy.
#3 How are you different from this time last year?
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Knowing what you know now about life, reflect on a few pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self.
I’m not talking about the “buy Apple and Amazon stock” kind of stuff, but the wisdom that you have about life that you didn’t have when you were younger.
Maybe it’s to trust your instinct. Or let things go. Or perhaps it’s that you are enough.
So, what advice would you give?
Notice, you are not your past self.
This question is designed to have you stop and reflect on how you’ve changed in the past year. How are you better, or have you become bitter?
Reflect on how you’ve changed, then decide what you want to keep and what you want to let go of.
#4 Describe your 2021 in one sentence.
Do you know someone who talks forever when you ask a simple question? I’ve certainly been that person.
Most people’s thoughts aren’t organized, and they need time to process.
The problem with talking for extended periods is that we often have less clarity than when we started. Our mind gets tangled and we lose sight of the answer.
This question is designed to force you to cut through the mental clutter and distill your thoughts into one focused, bite-size insight. One that you hopefully will carry with you into every year moving forward.
So, can you distill your year into just one sentence?
How about one word?
Give it a try.
#5 What do you need to do, acknowledge, say, or let go of to feel complete for 2021?
It’s almost been 365 days since the start of the year.
Like most of us, you probably began it with hopes, dreams, and goals for what you wanted to happen.
And things don’t always work out as planned.
This question is designed to acknowledge how you’re feeling about the year and do whatever you need to close this chapter in preparation for beginning a new one.
What do you need to do, say, acknowledge, or let go of to honor your 2021?
#6 What’s your word for 2022? If you were to live by this word, what would be possible?
By honing your year down to one word, you have focus. And when you have focus, it makes it simple to think and act in alignment.
This question is designed to help you intentionally decide how you want to spend the year and be hyper-focused on it.
What would happen if you lived by this word every day for the entire year? What would be possible?
# 7 Imagine it’s Dec 31, 2022, & you just ended your best year yet.
What was present in your life? What did you experience or achieve? What were your most common emotions, top habits, etc.?
Have you thought about what you want to feel, experience, and achieve in 2022?
Coming up with a vision is the first step in creating your best life.
This question is designed to help you get out of the day-to-day routines and imagine your best year possible. You can’t have it unless you first create it in your mind.
Once you’ve created your vision, use it to guide your choices. With everything you do, ask yourself, “Will this decision bring me closer to my best year possible, or further away.”
[If you found these questions helpful, then you’ll love my “Year-End Self-Reflection & Annual Planning Workbook.” It’s a thorough year-end review process that encompasses every area of your life — from your career and relationships to finances, health, and more. It will help you to wrap up this year and start on the new one with clarity, confidence, and momentum. Access it here: Year-End Self-Reflection & Annual Planning Workbook.