5 Journal Prompts to Ring in the New Year

5 Journal Prompts to Ring in the New Year

With the whirlwind of the holiday season, many of us don’t catch our breaths until well into January.


But if we don’t press pause long enough to simply think about the year behind us and the year ahead, we miss a perfect opportunity for reflection and growth.


Journaling is my favorite way to do this. There’s something about getting your thoughts and feelings down on paper that sets you free and gives you ultimate clarity.


If you’re up for some written reflection but aren’t sure where to start, I created 5 journal prompts to help you celebrate your achievements, let go of any unfinished goals, and start next year off with intention.


So between now and January 1st, schedule some time to get cozy, make a cup of tea, and let the words flow as you welcome in 2020.

#1  List your "strong" highlight reel.

When did you feel strongest this year? This could include the obvious physical moments like PR’ing your clean and jerk or running a half marathon, as well when you felt strong in other ways like asking for a raise, completing The Performance Detox, or reaching a meditation goal.

#2  Write a thank you to yourself for all the little things you did to stay healthy.

It can be way easier to focus on the times we feel off track or the health goal we haven’t reached yet, especially this time of year. But you probably put in way more time, effort, and conscious decision-making to stay healthy than you give yourself credit for.

Be specific and include any little thing you can think of like, “Hey Self, thanks for all those days you parked at the back to get extra steps in.”

#3  Make an “It’s Cool” list for things you didn’t end up accomplishing.

You could call this a “forgiveness letter,” but that feels way too heavy. Because the truth is, if you didn’t achieve some of your 2019 goals, that’s ok. 

This exercise is a way to have grace for yourself, start 2020 with a clean slate, and understand what needs to change — or perhaps recognize it’s time to let go of the goal all together.

I recommend writing this one in second person too as if you’d been observing a friend’s life and are writing to her. This helps you write through a lens of compassion in a truthful but objective way.

For example, “It’s cool you didn’t end up reaching your goal weight. I know you weren’t ready to let go of old habits and were making your family the priority.”

Also, feel free to elaborate and write down what you can do differently going forward, like “It’s cool you didn’t make it to the gym 5 days/week like you’d planned. I know you were giving 110% at your job. This year, you’ll have to set some boundaries at work and truly make exercise a priority. 3 days/week will be way more doable and still allow you to crush it at work.”

#4  Write a congratulatory note to yourself as if it’s the end of 2020 & you accomplished all the things you wanted to do.

This is a fun one. Let yourself dream and really see it all happening. As you write, feel it happening — and write about that too!

Here’s another example to get you going:

“Hey Self, way to go this year! I’m so proud of you for finally making those lean muscle and strength gains like you’ve been wanting to. That little happy dance when you hit your new back squat PR felt incredible! It was really fun this summer to finally feel comfortable and confident in a swimsuit too.”

#5  Brainstorm a list of all the ways you can take action to make it real.

While #4 is all about dreaming, this one is about getting real and practical. What actions can you take to make those goals happen? What do you need to do more or less of? What’s a new approach you haven’t tried before? 

Remember, this is a brainstorm, so write down whatever comes to mind before analyzing it.

For example, if your goal is weight loss, you could list things like…

  • Meal prep every week
  • Aim for two veggies with every meal
  • Work with a nutrition coach 😉
  • Get 8 hrs of sleep
  • Track my food

After you’ve got your list, circle one to three actions that feel absolutely doable. Then, write down the date you’ll start doing them — if it’s not today — and begin!

I hope you enjoy these prompts and that they leave you feeling as excited and motivated for what’s to come as they do for me.


And if you know you need support to finally reach those health and fitness goals in 2020, let’s chat!


I’m now offering one-time nutrition consultations, opening up spots for new monthly coaching clients, and have my group program The Performance Detox starting next month.


Simply reach out using this form and we can schedule a complimentary call to discuss which one would be the perfect fit for you, plus some nutrition strategy if you just need some questions answered to get you moving in the right direction.


Wishing you a very healthy, happy new year!


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Don’t like ’em? No problem. You can unsubscribe in a click.