Reflecting on 2018 and looking ahead: journal prompts from BB

Hey friends,

Bry and I have been doing a version of this for the past four years. We’ve really enjoyed sharing our answers with one another and this year, decided to share them with all of you. These questions are fun to do with a friend, spouse, sibling, etc, but can also be done alone as a tool for reflection. If you aren’t into journaling, they can be fun discussion questions.

Life has a tendency to slip by us. Reflecting on our year is a way to slow things down, collect the jewels from the year, and hold onto those little treasures as we start to prioritize and plan for the year ahead.

These questions should take around half an hour (or more)! Have fun!

1. Make a list of moments you felt most ALIVE in 2018

2. Make a list of moments you felt most loved/supported in 2018

3. Make a list of things you are most proud of from 2018.

4. Write about a few situations you could have been a better version of yourself in 2018 if given the chance to do it again.

5. Make a list of things you did this year to help people?

6. How do you think you improved the most this year?

7. Of the books you read this year, which was your favorite and why?

8. Make a list of 6 adjectives that best describe you in 2018

and last but not least....

Make a list of things you'd like to improve upon, accomplish, strive for, aspire toward, etc in 2019.


Final thoughts: as you prep for 2019, prioritize the things that brought you joy in 2018.

  • Gracefully disengage from things that are not at the top of that priority list.

  • Set aside weekends in your 2019 calendar right now for staycations, day-hikes, and relaxation.

  • If your resolution is focused on something you dislike about yourself (i.e. I want to lose X pounds or I want to exercise X amount of days per week) reframe the conversation to be something like, “I want to eat in a way that is mindful and nourishing to my body so that I feel well and energized” or “I want to prioritize a 15 minute walk every day” or “I want to drink a glass of lemon water every morning to set my day off on a good note.” Focus on intentions for living a life that you want to live.

  • You got this! Keep it simple!

  • Setting a sankalpa is truly, truly helpful. It is a focused, one sentence intention. You can read about setting those here, or join Bryana at her workshop next week, details here. My sankalpa since September has been, “I am unplugged” and it’s been a game changer. It is simple, focused, and in line with living the life I’d like to live.

P.S. I think some people dislike the idea of resolutions. Personally, I think it’s a magical opportunity to reset and focus on your priorities. As a result of doing this annual reflection, Drew and I learned to set aside one weekend a month for us to do whatever we want. We’ve used those weekends for camping trips, lazy weekends at home, impromptu weekends in nearby towns, etc. It has enriched our life and relationship immensely. We realized that if we didn’t protect and plan that time together, it wouldn’t just magically happen.

HELPFUL HINT: Designate one journal for this New Year’s Journaling exercise. It’s REALLY interesting and enlightening to look back at how you answered the same questions from year to year.

P.P.S. I’ll share my favorite books from 2018 soon.

You can also watch the video of our fb live on the BB fb page. Our 2019 goals include: getting better at fb live.

*If using these prompts with a group or to guide a group, please kindly credit Boreal Bliss Yoga Retreats. Thanks!

Amanda Thoe