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New Year Journal Reflections

As the year nears its end, taking the time to review how it went can set you on the right path for tackling your goals for the coming year.


Set aside some time to review your year, your wins, your losses and what you learned from them. It’s crucial to celebrate your wins and even more crucial to reflect on what went wrong and how you can be better next time. 


By reflecting on your past year you can do a simple exercise I learned from entrepreneur and lecturer Jason Mayden, “I like, I wish, I wonder.” 


“I like”

  • Taking inventory of all the things you enjoyed allows you to remember and relish in all the good times you had. 

  • Consider what you are most proud of, what were your greatest accomplishments.

  • Who are the most important people in your life and how much time did you spend with them, what did you do for them?


“I wish” 

  • When you consider the things you wish you did but didn’t do, you can find out about the things that matter most to you which can help you realign and refocus your efforts for the coming year. 

  • Reflecting on things you wish you did allows you to be more intentional about where you will spend your time. 


A palliative care nurse named Bronnie Ware spent twelve years counselling people on their deathbed. She wrote a book after she had discerned there were common regrets amongst her patients which outlines their top five regrets in life.


  1. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

  2. “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”

  3. “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

  4. “I wish I stayed in touch with my friends.”

  5. “I wish I had let myself be happier.”


If any of these resonate with you that you wish you would’ve or wouldn’t have done in the past year then make sure it doesn’t become a pattern.


“I wonder”


  • Taking the time to reflect on things that you could have done or what could have happened gets you aligned with what you’re passionate about. This allows you to dream about what opportunities may have been overlooked and will help you decide where to spend your time valuably in the coming year.

  • What have you always wanted to pursue but are too afraid to take the chance?


To really do a full inventory of how your year went, take some time to sit alone and reflect on how it went. Start with these journal prompts.


What went well?


What was challenging?


What can you learn from your successes and challenges?


What would you do differently next time?


What are you most grateful for?


What inspires you most?


When do you feel alive?


What did you wish you had prioritized more time for?


Where do you stand with the goals you set out at the beginning of the year and how are those working for you?


What goals did you achieve?


What goals did you not achieve and why?


How satisfied are you in different areas of your life?


Rate yourself from 1-10 on each area of your life, if you aren’t at 10 consider what it would take to bring you to 10. 

Rate your Physical Health, Nutrition & Fitness.  

Rate your Relationships.

Rate your Career. 

Rate your Financial. 

Rate your Personal Growth.

Rate your Fun.

Rate your Spirituality.

Rate your Community Service.


Once you’ve taken full inventory of your past year and where you are at, the next step is to set goals for the coming year. Use your reflections to find out where you fell short and how you can be better for the coming year.