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Reflective Writing for the New Year

Good morning, everyone! Happy New Year!

I thought I’d share a practice that I enjoy around the start of the new year and that’s going to a coffee shop alone, sitting down with a journal and some questions, and writing a longer journal entry, reflecting on the last year.


This activity might lead to some resolutions, it might not. But a day off at the beginning of the year is a great time to pause, reflect, and write.

If you’re interested, here’s a series of questions to help, courtesy of Kathy Caprino, from her article “Your Year in Review:

What’s been the best, and why?

1. What are you most proud in terms of what you achieved, accomplished or brought into being this year – in life and work?
2. What did these achievements or actions in turn make possible – for you, your family, your organization, your financial situation, and your health and well-being, for others? Why did they matter so much to you?
3. What makes your heart warm just to think about it today?

What’s been the hardest?

4. What event or experience represented the “worst” of the year, and why exactly?
5. What action(s) did you take that you want to eradicate from your behavior forever?
6. What makes you feel ashamed and “less than,” or even toxic to others?
7. What brings tears of unhappiness and feelings of shame when you think about it? (I had one of these experiences recently with a friend – behaving really badly and feeling awful about it, and I did something about it today, and that feels better.)


What do you want to accentuate and amplify in your life next year?

8. What outcomes or achievements do you want to build on next year?
9. What parts of yourself do you wish to expand and strengthen, and let out in the world?
10. What role models and supportive people do you want to connect with more deeply?


Who has been most helpful?

11. Who are the top three helpers whom you’d like to knowledge?
12. Who has gone above and beyond in their efforts to assist you in a goal or important outcome?


Who needs to be chucked from your life?

13. Who has been really unsupportive or nasty to you, and needs to be let go of if you’re going to move forward the way you long to? (Perhaps your narcissistic boss, finally?)

What are your top priorities?


14. What priorities did you honor well in 2015?
15. What priorities did you neglect or turn your back on?
16. What new values and priorities have emerged for you this year that you are committed to honoring?

What are your exciting stretch goals?

17. What goals did you set for yourself in 2015 that you met?
18. What important goals did you fail to achieve, and why?
19. What new, BIG stretch goals can you set that will be juicy, compelling and fulfilling to reach?


Knowing all this, what is your highest vision of your future self?

20. Who do you wish to connect with, and build stronger, more loving relationships with?
21. Finally, who do you want to become in 2016?

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