Reflect On What 2020 Meant To You With These 40 Journal Prompts
The end of one year and the beginning of a new one is a naturally contemplative time—and 2020 sure gave the world a lot to contemplate.
Here are a handful of journaling questions, prompts, and guides you can use to reflect on what this year has meant for you, what you'd like to leave in the past, and what you'd like to carry forward or do differently in 2021. You can choose to tackle them all in one sitting, reflect on a few at a time, or answer one in your journal every day as we head into January:
- What new coping skills did I learn or emphasize to help me through 2020 (meditating, seeing a counselor, walking daily, eating healthier, being more financially responsible, being more honest with others about my emotional experience, getting help for an addiction, joining or starting a support group, performing spiritual rituals) that I plan to keep in my self-care first-aid kit for 2021?
- The following was the biggest silver lining or blessing in disguise that happened to me personally in 2020:
- In what ways am I proud of the way I handled 2020? What could I learn to handle better as far as stress, change, or emotional overwhelm for 2021?
- I tried to show up for the world or collective humanity in 2020 in these ways:
- What type of support from loved ones and colleagues meant the most to me in 2020? How can I ask for more of it in 2021 or let people know how much their support meant to me this past year?
- This year, who were the helpful people to talk through my fears and plans with? Who might have meant well, but confiding in them at times increased my anxiety or confusion?
- Did I manage to stay informed without getting completely overwhelmed in 2020? If not, how could I strike more of a balance in the new year?
- What tools am I learning to better manage uncertainty and stay flexible for 2021 and beyond?
- What did my self-love practice require of me in 2020? (For example, more forgiveness of myself, more loving honesty with myself, more healthy discipline with myself, more acceptance of my challenging emotions, or more unconditional compassion for myself.)
- I made my home more of a sanctuary in 2020 by:
- These were some of my heroes in 2020—the people I looked to, in the public eye or in my own immediate circle, for inspiration:
- What were some of my biggest goals when 2020 began? How did I revise those, or how did they organically evolve, as the year went on?
- Something I would consider a major life lesson I learned in 2020 was:
- The biggest pleasant surprise of 2020 for me:
- What relationships grew and deepened for me in 2020? Which relationship was most challenging?
- What are my top 5 priorities now heading into 2021? Is there an overarching theme in how my priorities have changed over the last nine months since the pandemic?
- This brought me to my knees in 2020, and this is how I got back up:
- How am I more prepared in general heading into 2021 than I was heading into 2020?
- A priceless moment of much-needed celebration in 2020 happened for me when:
- My biggest dream for myself in 2021 is:
- Which heartbreak from 2020 is still tender? How can I keep healing in 2021?
- Where in 2020 was a path blocked to me, yet I found a way to move forward anyway? How am I more resilient now after this tough year?
- What past traumas or old wounds were triggered in 2020, and how have I met them with new medicine?
- If I could go back in time and give my past self one great piece of advice for how to handle 2020, it would have been this:
- What am I doing, today, as far as plans and action steps, to take good care of my future self?
- How has the pandemic changed my relationship to nature? What are some ways I plan to connect more to nature and live even greener in 2021?
- Were there some projects or relationships or roles that 2020 taught me were not worth my time and energy anymore?
- Did 2020 force an ending for me—with a relationship, job, habit, etc.—that, in hindsight, I realize needed to end anyway?
- Did 2020 force me to face something in my health, finances, relationships, etc., that had desperately needed my attention for a long time?
- Who or what showed up in my life as an act of grace in 2020 and unexpectedly provided me with just what I needed just when I needed it?
- When life got hard and things shut down, this is how I tried to keep my energy soft and remain open:
- How did I embrace simplicity in 2020? What might I like to continue regarding simplicity in 2021, even if I don't have to?
- How has my relationship to earthly, practical, survival resources changed since 2020? Am I taking less for granted or feeling more prepared heading into 2021?
- Whom did I feel great compassion for in 2020, and what people or groups can I be a better ally to in 2021?
- The events of 2020 shifted some of my long-range goals or plans in the following ways:
- In some ways, I had to adapt to the circumstances of 2020, but I plan to make the following "temporary" measures permanent lifestyle changes:
- Did I experience any significant spiritual breakthroughs or insights in 2020?
- In what ways did the world make positive progress in 2020? What would I like to see more progress around in 2021, and is there any way I can help?
- Who was an earth angel to me in 2020? Who might I be an earth angel to in 2021?
- What does my intuition say I should be hopeful about in 2021?
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