The new year is almost upon us, again! Is it just me or are the years ticking over faster every year? Anyway... if you're into journaling and looking to UP LEVEL your life in 2020 you. are. in. the. right. place.
I don't know why I haven't written about journaling yet. Like really don't know why... because journaling is something I really enjoy doing! And... it's something I recommend to a lot of my counselling clients, no matter what they come to therapy for.
So why is journaling so good for mental health?
Did you keep a 'secret' diary as a kid hoping no one would steal it and uncover your deepest most personal thoughts? Did you have a lockable diary that contained the names of all the boys you wanted to kiss in primary school? haha.... come on... I'm sure I'm not the only one who did?! It's no secret that writing and drawing in a journal is AWESOME for your mental health. No matter your age, gender, creative ability, fave take away or Havaiana size. Journaling really is a kick arse up-levelling tool for EVERYONE! The benefits of journaling include;
- Decreased stress levels
- More stable moods
- Reduced emotional overwhelm
- Greater clarity and direction in life
- Better memory
- Improved emotional intelligence
- Lower levels of anxiety
- Higher levels of gratitude
- Less intrusive, destructive thoughts
- More self awareness
- and... a greater sense of overall well-being!
I could literally write all day about the benefits of putting pen to paper!
So... if you haven't already tapped into this severely underrated mental health tool... do it! For yourself. For your kids. Your partner. Your family. Your colleagues. EVERYONE in your world will benefit from you journaling!
Ok, here we go... 31 journaling prompts. I've written these with the intention of helping your REFLECT ON 2019 which in turn will help you grow and STEP UP in 2020! So, print them off and then choose whether you do one every day in January (hence why there are 31 prompts!) or, if you'd prefer, you can chose one prompt each month in 2020. It's totally up to you!
Let's get into it...
1. Describe 2019 in just one or two words. Explore what life events, relationships, emotions, goals and experiences made you choose this one word, or these two words. Dive deeply into their significance.
2. What did you achieve in 2019? This might be work, family, career, financial… life… anything really! Discuss what it took to achieve these things and why you’re proud of these achievements.
3. Breakdown your learnings from 2019… good, bad AND ugly! What lessons did you learn about yourself, other people and your world?
4. What personal challenges did you face this year? Explore what they were, how you faced them and how you OVERCAME them! What did they teach you?
5. Review your overall mental health in 2019. Reflect on the ups and downs and the triggers. What have you learnt about yourself and who have you been able to turn to for support when it was needed?
6. What was the quality of your friendships in 2019? Are there friends who you have grown closer to? Or grown apart from? Which friends brought out the best in you?
7. What did you learn in 2019? Was there a new hot topic you couldn’t get enough of? How will you continue to enjoy this learning in 2020?
8. On a scale of 1-10 where 1 is blah and 10 is EPIC…. where does 2019 sit in an overall sense?
9. What fresh starts do you need or want to make in 2020?
10. What do you need to start letting go of in 2020? How will you do this?
11. What lit up your soul in 2019? Describe how you felt because of this joy, passion or new found determination. Discuss how you’ll bring this into 2020.
12. What are you grateful for as a result of living 2019? How has this gratitude shaped your beliefs, emotions, thoughts and behaviours?
13. How did your decision making go in 2019? What decisions are you proud of and what decisions have taught you something you otherwise wouldn’t have learnt?
14. What will you say NO to in 2020? Why?
15. Who inspired you in 2019? Why? What is it specifically about them that makes you want to UP LEVEL? What have they achieved? Who do they associate with? What are their habits? What struggles have they overcome?
16. Dive deep into your memory bank… what AWESOME experiences did you have in 2018? It might be travelling, moving out of home for the first time, having a child, learning a new skill, overcoming a fear of something…. ANYTHING that was, awesome!
17. How did you treat your body in 2019? What good AND bad habits did you develop and/or continue? What will you do differently in 2020 and why is your body important to you?
18. What kind of relationship did you have with YOURSELF in 2019? Were you cruel or kind to yourself? How is your inner child feeling after 2019? If she needs it, what can you do to heal her in 2020?
19. What goals have you got for 2020? Describe them in great detail – who, what, when, how and WHY!!!! Make them S.M.A.R.T. goals – Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Timely.
20. If you could wave a wand and change something about 2019, what would it be and why? How will this change help you GROW?
21. Tell me about your inner resources… in other words, what can you draw on in your day to day life in 2020? Are you more resilient because of 2019? More determined? More CONFIDENT? How will these inner resources take you HIGHER in 2020?
22. Who hurt you in 2019? Why? What happened? What has this pain taught you and how can you find meaning and use it to propel you forward in the new year?
23. Where do you see yourself at the end of 2020? What will you be saying about the year you’ve just lived?
24. What attention does your family life need in 2020? Are there things you want more or less of? Are there boundaries that need to be set? Plans that need to be made?
25. Think about your top 5 takeaways from 2019? Explore them with an open, positive mind.
26. How did you make a difference in the world last year? Is there something you’d like to tackle in 2020? Why is this important to you?
27. What unfinished business do you need to take care of before truly stepping into 2020?
28. What hopes and dreams do you have for the new year? How will you miss out in 2020 if you don’t focus on and follow them?
29. What adventures do you hope to take in 2020? Describe them in great detail. Write about the who, what, when, how and WHY. Imagine you are experiencing the adventure as you write about it… where are you? What are you doing? Who is with you? What can you hear etc?
30. How will you hold yourself accountable for your OWN LIFE in 2020? What (healthy!) standards do you want to live up to? Why are these standards important to you?
31. Who or what do you need more of in your life to make 2020 your BEST YEAR YET?
So there you have it… 31 awesome journaling prompts to help you LEARN and GROW in 2020!
If you enjoyed this article feel free to PRINT IT or SHARE IT using the links below! And don’t forget to let me know how you go with these prompts… I love hearing from my readers! x If you'd like to know more about my counselling services you can head over here. Alternatively, if you want to STEP UP and get going on your journey to better mental health you can book sessions with me here. I help women Australia wide!
Until next week...
Yours in better mental health,
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Erica has a passion for Women’s Health. She works with women who want to be heard, supported and empowered! Erica is a survivor of many life experiences. A Mum. A travel lover. A green thumb in training and an eternal optimist!