20 Thoughtful Journal Writing Prompts for Reviewing Your 2015

Before the year ends, now is a good time to reflect back on the last twelve months to gauge your experiences and accomplishments, reassess unfinished goals and projects, and turn your thoughts toward a new year.

Thoughtful journal writing a great way to reflect back and plan ahead, which is why the theme for the January challenge of the National Journal Writing Month is  Journaling for Personal Growth and Achieving Goals.

The following are 10 prompts to choose from for journal reflection. Consider incorporating photos and text from other sources in your journal entries.

Journal Writing Prompts

  1. Did you write goals for 2015? If so, review them and reflect on what progress you made.

  2. On the scale of 1-10 (10 being very positive) what would you rate 2015 in terms of your personal achievement and well being? Write about your rating.

  3. Make a list of experiences you most value or are most grateful for in 2015.

  4. Make a list of what you gained and what you lost in 2015.

  5. What changes, both big and small, than happened for you in 2015?

  6. What was most unexpected in your life in 2015?

  7. What got left undone in 2015 that you still want to accomplish?

  8. What national or local news items had a impact on you this past year?

  9. What do you wish you did more of this past year?

  10. If you had to give 2015 a title, what would it be?

  11. Make a list of your favorites songs, books, and movies for the year.

  12. What were your biggest challenges for the year?

  13. Make a list of advice you would give to other people based on your experiences this year.

  14. Make a list of your dearest friends and acquaintances this year.

  15. Write an unsent letter to your children or significant other about this past year.

  16. Write an unsent letter to political figure about this year.

  17. Write a letter to your future self about this year.

  18. Reflect on how the year started and how it ended for you.

  19. Make a list of questions you have about this year. The questions can pertain to you and the larger society.

  20. Locate a photograph that best represents the year for you, and write about it.

Mark Your Calendar 

You might consider marking and scheduling a few year-end reflective journal entries on your calendar or to-do manager to review next year this time. You will discover how much more reflective your writing and life will be when you’re able to look back and review your selected entries. This type of reviewing will help you grow and aspire to reach your fullest potentials.

NaJoWriMo 2015

If you don’t already know, the National Journal Writing Month will resume next month, starting January 1st. If you subscribe to the NaJoWriMo newsletter, you will receive daily prompts for the month of January, in addition to the new blog posts on this site.

Taking the month-long journal writing challenge is a great way to build a habit of journaling and getting your year off to a positive start.

Donations Accepted 

And finally, if you like NaJoWriMo, please consider making a donation to help pay for the monthly and yearly costs of running the site. Just click on the image below.

In the coming year, I will be hosting webinars and bringing on guests who have lots of share about benefits of journal writing.



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Bakari Chavanu

is the creator of NaJoWriMo, and is the author of the interactive iBook, Starting From Day One: Using the Day One Journaling App to Record and Enrich Your Life
  • Loving these prompts to get me started for a new year, a new chapter in my life. Journal writing projects marries three things that I really enjoy doing – journaling, writing and managing projects.

    Starting the next chapter in this journey called life I am focused on caregiving, which is a huge part of my current life, but the caregiving takes on caregiving not only for my 90 year old mother but caregiving for my self. I have selected seven of the projects listed in this article and have added a few more. The seven that I have selected are:

    1. Reaching a Goal – setting those goals for 2016, not resolutions, but adding to my bucket list.
    2. Book log/log – reading more than ever this year and more to come in 2016. Combining these two projects.
    3. Gratitude Journal – expressing on a regular basis what matters that causes me to be grateful.
    4. Opinions and comments – looking for a space for the many opinions instead of facebook
    5. Job Journal -ideas from the past and the future
    6. Journal Writing Challenge – definitely participating in NaJoWriMo, challenges from Nathan and Mari and others as I come across or create during the year.
    7. Favorite Tweets – just getting a handle on Twitter so there is a huge ? next to this one

    Adding or revising:
    1. Journal About My Mother (Parent) – journaling about her activities, experiences and other moments in her 90th year of life. A healing moment for me.
    2. Relationship Journal instead of Sex Journal – journaling about relationships, specifically and in general
    3. Favorite meals will focus more on canning skills.

    This journaling will take place in my paper journal as well as Day One. I love to collect different journal books some blank and others with prompts as well as taking composition books and redesigning th covers. Day One will get used more after reading your ibook, Bakari, this week.

    Join me soon as I launch my blog in January 2016. My new passion, caregiving for the soul.

    Have a great day! Thank you Bakari

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