It’s commonplace at this time of year to look back on the past twelve months and assess all the things we have overcome, achieved and learned. Depending on what life threw at us; yearly retrospectives can sometimes be relatively difficult to work through, but they’re worth the effort if we’re really intentional about wanting to move forward with purpose.
And isn’t that the point of any new beginning: including memories to look back on that fuel the possibility of a fresh start or utilizing what we experienced to nourish personal growth?
Life is not easy, it’s peppered with ups and downs that go from falling to floating to soaring and back again; hopefully not all in a concentrated amount of time — but sometimes it happens like that. No matter what the past year has delivered; we should all consider what we can learn from it and where we want this supplementary knowledge to guide us.
Whether it’s about setting goals, making resolutions or taking stock of our lives; here are nine journal prompts to aid your end-of-year reflection …
Join in; this is a tag-style post! I haven’t invited anyone specific to be part of this so feel free to answer the questions yourself. If you share them on a blog of your own; please provide a link to this article so that more people can take part and I can leave you some encouragement. Alternatively, if you want to handwrite your answers, download the free journal pages at the end of this post!
List 3 things (big or small) that brought you joy this year?
2022 has been about healing from previous stresses, anxieties and challenges. It’s had ups and downs but overall it’s been a happier more secure time than the last few years. The things that uplifted me included:
- The continued remission of my husband’s cancer and the marked improvement of his health.
- Moving into a lovely new apartment that has vastly improved our rental living situation.
- Taking time to create quiet moments to sit and enjoy a coffee at home while doing some reading.
What unexpected challenges did you overcome? What did they teach you?
I’ve had to completely overhaul how I approach taking care of my health because stress was delivering quite an intense impact on me. In early 2022, I developed some chronic conditions that helped me realize I needed to make some significant lifestyle changes.
The challenge of accepting I had to prioritize taking care of myself didn’t come easily; but it reminded me that I deserve to nourish my body and mind in a way that encourages health and well-being. I adapted to learn new ways of approaching my own needs — and it was liberating.
I still have much work to do, but I’m making incredible progress; I haven’t felt this healthy in a long time.
Share a selection of words that characterize your year:
The words I would most strongly associate with the past twelve months are the same as my 2021 year-in-review post; the difference is that while they resonated and seemed to hint at what the universe was trying to get me to pay attention to; this year I worked at putting them into action. They were (and still are):
Reciprocity — Intentional — Nourishment — Authenticity — Growth — Connection
What is your motto/mantra for 2023?
I assumed this would take a bit of time to formulate clearly but an affirmation and phrase I’ve recently been using to intercept negative thinking/self-talk immediately came to mind:
“I’m worth the effort.”
I use this when I’m trying to talk myself out of doing something that I mistakenly believe I can reschedule or put off. Usually, this is related to some kind of personal/self-care; however, it can be used to provide a mental boost or keep me on track with any number of everyday activities.
How has your relationship with yourself changed?
In a word — significantly. It’s still very much a work in progress but how I relate to myself with more kindness, understanding and forgiveness has improved immensely. There’s no doubt in my mind that better living conditions and my husband’s health beginning to thrive after years of battling late-stage cancer has released a considerable amount of pressure. There are still struggles to contend with (such is life) but I’m more equipped to deal with them effectively — I finally feel like the ground beneath my feet is firm once again.
What do you wish you had spent less time doing?
I wish I’d spent less time on social media; which is something I’m going to put into action throughout 2023. As a communication tool that builds a sense of community as well as a vital space for distributing valuable news, resources and causes; social media is unmistakably influential. However, a lot has changed since last year; these platforms are once again becoming a hotbed of misinformation, division, hatred and unremitting misery — a sad reflection of where we’re at as a society.
I’m not going to stop using social media, but I am rethinking how I manage my consumption of it; doomscrolling, for example, is far too easy to get caught up in. Moving forward, I’ll be working on maintaining my social media health in a more robust way.
Did you achieve any personal goals?
I don’t tend to set resolutions or overly specific goals for the New Year; however, one thing I really wanted to work on during 2022 was focusing on healing — in whatever context this process manifested. Seeing as this is a journey and not a destination, healing will remain a priority, but overall I’d say this was was something I achieved.
What advice would you give yourself for the year ahead?
I think it would have to be:
- Take the time to be more intentional about the things that enrich your mind, body and soul.
- Get out and do the things that make you happy more often.
- Don’t give energy to things that eat away at your joy, health and well-being.
What are you going to focus on in the New Year?
I think my theme for 2023 will be ‘nourishing growth and purpose’; a focus on exploring things that encourage finding value in all aspects of my life and welcoming new experiences (while also maintaining boundaries).
This is going to be my last post of 2022; I want to be fully present during the holidays and enjoy the rest of December as a time to relax, celebrate my birthday and see the new year in with renewed excitement and hope.
Don’t forget, if you’re going to answer these questions on your blog; please link back to this post so I can read your answers and leave you some love!
I wish you all a very Happy New Year!
What are your reflections about 2022? What are you looking forward to in 2023? Do you have any goals or resolutions?
Free Journal Pages Download! For a beautifully designed printer version of the prompts and questions in this post, click here!