5 Journaling Prompts to Help End Your Year with Clarity & Purpose

Rebecca Kochenderfer


With the passing of another year, now is the perfect time to journal about where you’ve just been. Contemplative reflection brings clarity — the perfect launch pad to spring you toward 2020.

Put Your Year into Perspective

1) What ACTIONS did I take this year that I am most proud of?

For many of us, positive steps forward are what we lose sight of first. Let’s change this! You might need to take a few extra minutes for this one, but we promise it will be worth it. Take time to brainstorm. Try making a list of everything you’ve achieved. As the memories roll in, spend time with each one. The more we write, the more we remember. Celebrate these actions. Harness their energy so that they become a source of fuel that helps you do your next big thing!

2) Is there anything that happened this year that I need to LET GO OF?

Wrapping up the year means a fresh start is around the corner. Now is your chance to leave baggage behind. You might examine what benefits holding old hurts or anger achieves. Assess that answer honestly and challenge yourself gently. Some people find it helpful to complete an entry like this then burn it ceremoniously or discard of it in another meaningful way. Others will hold on to this significant writing as a reminder of what they’ve survived and are capable of moving beyond. Whatever you choose is perfect.

3) Name ONE SCARY STEP that took me closer to a goal.

Did you ask for a raise or stop coloring your hair? Did you have a difficult conversation with your partner or friend? Write about it and give yourself a pat on the back because daring to dance outside your comfort zone is a big deal. Make time to reflect on the ways this bold move changed your life. Think about how today would look different if you hadn’t taken this step.

4) What brought me joy this year?

Was your year adequately colored with streaks of joy? Did you play and experiment? Did you belly laugh till tears filled your eyes? How often did you see friends or eat something delicious? Name something nice you did for your home. How did you make a child smile? Did new books, art, ideas, or activities make a splash in your life this year? What conflict, grief, or illness diminished your joy? Examine this last question closely and explore how to navigate difficult days without losing sight of pleasures. Visualize and write about ways to revel in simple joys like a new houseplant, a cat in your lap, or a phone call with an old friend.

5) How was I of service this year?

It’s helpful to take stock in the ways we’ve supported loved ones, our community, and the planet we live on. You might wish to examine whether you’ve targeted areas where your efforts can be maximized. Did you focus on the causes that move you most? Did you work through the right organizations? Were the people you helped able to accept your assistance at the time?

Once you start reflecting, there’s no telling where you’ll wind up. Journaling helps us look at the year from multiple vantage points by pointing out achievements, joys, and areas of growth. Grab your journal and just see where it takes you!

Rebecca Kochenderfer

Founder of

About Rebecca Kochenderfer

Rebecca Kochenderfer is’s founder and host. She is the author of Joy Journal, an uplifting collection of journaling tips and techniques. Rebecca is honored to hold this space for the journaling community to connect, thrive, and grow. Fellow journalers can connect with Rebecca at or on Facebook and send her questions and stories about their own journaling experience. For press and advertising inquiries contact here.