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Journal Prompts for a New Year

Journal Prompts for a New Year



January feels like a fresh start. It’s the perfect time for setting goals and looking forward. Most of us are so eager to cast off the old year and jump into the new one that we miss the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by. The truth is, last year (and the year before and the one before) all come with you into the new year.

Some of last year was probably good and some was probably not so great for you; life is a mixed bag for all of us. The point isn’t to dwell on what went wrong, but to reflect on what you learned from your challenges and disappointments and to think about how your struggles inform your choices and plans for the new year.

I invite you to spend 30 minutes or so reflecting on last year and preparing for the new year with the following journaling prompts.


Reflecting on last year

A happy memory was __________.

I was challenged by__________.

I was surprised by __________.

I learned __________.

I regret __________.

I accomplished __________.

I feel good about __________.

I took care of myself by __________.

I wasted time/energy on __________.

I’m grieving __________.

I’m angry about __________.

I’m grateful for __________.



Looking forward to the new year

I’m excited about __________.

I plan to __________.

I’m worried about __________.

When things don’t go as planned I will __________.

I wish for __________.

This year is going to be great because __________.

My intention for this year is __________.

I will take care of myself by __________.

Every day I plan to __________.

I will show myself compassion by __________.

This year I want to add more __________ to my life.

I will accept myself by __________.

I will accept others by __________.

I will focus on __________.


Happy New Year,




If you’d like to download a PDF of these journal prompts, sign-up below for a copy as well as access to my entire resource library!


©2016 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved.

Journal Prompts for a New Year

Sharon Martin, LCSW

Sharon Martin is an emotional wellness speaker, writer, and licensed psychotherapist. Her San Jose based practice specializes in helping over-stressed, high achieving adults and teens learn to embrace their imperfections and grow happiness. Her personal journey of overcoming perfectionism and people-pleasing traits, inspired her passion for this work. Sharon is the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism: Evidence-Based Skills to Help You Let Go of Self-Criticism, Build Self-Esteem, and Find Balance and several ebooks including Setting Boundaries Without Guilt: A Workbook to Move You From Doormat to Empowerment. Sharon also enjoys teaching blogging and writing classes for therapists. You can find her on Twitter, instagram, and her website.

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APA Reference
Martin, S. (2017). Journal Prompts for a New Year. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 25 Dec 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Dec 2017
Published on All rights reserved.