Are you wondering what to journal about at the beginning of the year? Looking for some January journal prompts? I’ve got you covered.
Journaling is my favorite morning routine activity as it helps me to achieve my goals for the day/week/month while giving me room to process my feelings, thoughts, and anything I need to work through.
In this post you'll find:
- What to Journal About in January
- How to Journal to Achieve Your Goals
- 31 January Journal Prompts
What to Journal About in January
There are a few times of the year when people tend to start journaling for the first time or get back into it during a break. These tend to be when they are dealing with something difficult, near the beginning of each quarter, and the beginning of the year. If you are journaling as part of your new start this January, here are some things you can write about.
Your New Years’ Resolutions and Annual Goals
Naturally, the first step to journaling at the beginning of the year is to write about your goals for the year, and your resolutions if you have them. I like to think of resolutions more as 1-3 things you have been wanting to do, but haven’t really gotten the right kind of motivation. Think of those things you keep saying you will do someday but never do. It could be ending a bad habit like drinking too much caffeine or biting your fingernails, or maybe it has to do with wanting to finally start the manuscript you keep talking about. Write it all down in your journal and really set your sights on what you want to accomplish this year.
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Areas of Your Life to Improve
You can also write about different areas of your life that you want to improve, such as your health, your finances or work, spending time with loved ones, being more active in your community, or starting a new project. These are more general improvements you want to make, as opposed to super-specific goals that turn into resolutions for the year.
New Habits and Routines You Want to Implement
Are there habits you feel like you are slacking on, or do you want to start a new routine that serves you better? Your journal is a great place to get started. It might be a good idea to first write about your routines now, then kind of pinpoint either what you want to add, or areas of your daily routines that don’t really serve a purpose and no longer fit in with your current lifestyle or your future goals.
Focusing on Growth and Self-Improvement
Journaling is an amazing resource when it comes to personal growth. It really allows you to become a better, healthier, more productive person. Use this time at the beginning of the year to write about how you want to grow and improve this year. Do you want to read more self-help books? Are you interested in learning something new by taking courses? Do you want to develop a more positive mindset? Really focus on this and write it all down in your journal.
How to Journal to Achieve Your Goals
Among the different ways to use a journal, creating and sticking to your goals is one of the best options. When you keep your goals in your mind, it is hard to see the progress and keep up the motivation. But when you use your journal to write them out, you have more clarity of the tasks you need to get done, and the deadlines will keep you motivated. By the way, this is my favorite journal for this purpose.
Choose 2-3 of Your Biggest Goals
A common mistake people make is that they have too many goals on their minds, which takes the focus away from the most important tasks. Narrow down your goals to no more than 2-3, but 1 at a time is preferred. It is normal to have a long list of goals, but some of them might be in the future, or maybe some goals have to be completed first. This is why it helps to narrow them down.
What do you find MOST important right now? Where is your main focus? If your biggest long-term goal is to make 6 figures a year, maybe a smaller goal to focus on first is to start your own business in order to achieve that bigger goal.
Starting With Just One Goal – Break it Down Into Tasks
Now pick the most important goal from your small list, and begin listing tasks you would need to do in order to accomplish that goal. For starting your own business, do you need a business plan? Are you going to work from home or hire employees? What kind of revenue stream do you need? List all the tasks you have to do for starting your business, from making the important decisions, to creating a website or applying for a business bank account.
Use Your Journal to Track Your Progress
Your journal comes in handy here, because you not only have a reference for your goal setting and tasks, but you can track your progress with it as well. Start writing down lists of tasks and check them off as they are completed, then have pages with other smaller goals toward that bigger goal that you will record as you get closer. This is wonderful motivation to keep crushing those goals.
Read also: How to Get Organized with a Bullet Journal
Eliminate Goals No Longer Serving You
At a certain point, you might find that some goals are no longer aligning with your life. This is okay! Take the focus away from those, and find new goals that will serve you better. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making changes or shifting your focus to something else that is more pressing.
Now that you know how to use your journal in January to help you stick to your resolutions and crush your goals, here are some additional things you may want to write about especially during the month of January to aid your personal growth and development.
31 January Journal Prompts
1. Reflect on your achievements from the previous year and set goals for the coming year based on what you’ve learned.
2. What are your thoughts on New Year’s resolutions? Are they helpful or do they put unnecessary pressure on people?
3. Make a list of things you’re grateful for in life.
4. Write about your biggest fears and how you plan to face them in the new year.
5. What did you do over the holidays that made you happy?
6. Create a personal mission statement for yourself based on your values and goals.
7. Consider your top priorities for the year and develop a strategy for ensuring that you stay on track.
8. Make a list of things you would like to learn or improve upon in the coming year.
9. Set some goals for your personal relationships and brainstorm ways that you can strengthen them.
10. Dedicate time each day to self-reflection and goal setting in order to stay on track with your resolutions.
11. Identify any bad habits you’d like to break and create a plan for how you will go about doing that.
12. Create a vision board for the year that will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.
13. Spend time each week planning out your weeks ahead so that you can ensure that you’re making progress towards your goals.
14. Delegate responsibilities to others in order to lighten your load and free up time for things that are important to you.
15. Make a list of things you can do to make yourself happy and stick to it throughout the year.
16. Evaluate your relationships with others and identify any toxic ones that you need to remove from your life.
17. Take some time to relax and enjoy life without stressing about your goals or resolutions.
18. Be patient with yourself as you work towards achieving your goals and be willing to make changes as needed.
19. Celebrate your progress along the way, even if it’s slow going at first.
20. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it – there’s no shame in admitting that you need assistance.
21. Do something nice for someone else, even if you’re not feeling all that generous or loving towards others at the moment.
22. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and learn from it so that you can move on positively.
23. Identify areas in your life that need change and make a plan for how you will go about making those changes.
24. Write about your fears regarding achieving your resolutions rather than writing down ways to overcome them as advised in an earlier prompt.
25. What lessons have you learned throughout the year? How will you apply those lessons to improve yourself in the coming year?
26. Spend time each day focusing on what went right rather than dwelling on things that went wrong.
27. Make a list of things you would like to change about yourself and begin working on them one at a time.
28. Allow yourself to feel the full range of emotions. Positivity is great but our negative emotions are showing us things we need to process out of our lives.
29. Be proactive in your goal setting and planning, rather than waiting for things to happen spontaneously.
30. Take some time out for yourself every now and then so that you can recharge and reflect on your progress.
31. Make sure that you’re staying mindful of your goals and resolutions throughout the year, rather than just at the beginning or end. Journaling is a great way to do this!
The new year is a time for reflection, goal-setting, and making resolutions – but it’s also a time for self-care! This month, make sure that you’re taking some time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate while working towards your goals.
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