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Journaling Your New Year’s Goals

The idea of New Year’s resolutions is as old as time.  Perhaps it’s the innately human love for a fresh start. Indeed, some embrace it eagerly, grateful for another chance to make all their plans come to life while others fear losing their momentum. 

This year, instead of a list, try a journaling approach to New Year’s goal-setting. Here are some ideas that begin with reflection to think through what’s possible in light of past experiences. 

Journaling also tries to get at the ways to reach our goals. It’s often impossible to get there without a plan, so you step back and write out what it’ll take to get there. 

That often means developing habits, not just setting your mind to a change and seeing it done. Habits take us through to the finish line and afterward, so we don’t just drop our exercise habit once we’ve finally finished the half marathon.

So, get your journal (preferably Leatherpress) and check out these New Year’s reflections. We’ve put together some prompts to help think through profitable goals for the New Year in a few different categories.

New Year's Goals for Parenting

  1. Think about each of your children. What are each of their deepest needs? For example, do they need lots of hugs, do they need a lot of running around, do they like an organized environment? Take note.
  2. What kinds of activities can you plan with each of your kids?
  3. Plan some activities with your whole family.
  4. What are some new responsibilities you can give your child? Can you include them in your weekly chores? Finishing a work task together is a boost to their sense of purpose.
  5. What books will you read to your children this year? Choose some classics and keep a Family Reading Journal together.
  6. How much time is spent on technology? Write down the times of day your phone should be put aside so you can be fully present with your children.
  7. What family routines need to change to make sure your family is healthy. Are you eating well and getting enough sleep?
  8. What about mealtime? Studies have shown that problem solving intelligence in kids comes is increased by simple interactions like dinner-table conversations. When are you connecting in conversation with your children?
  9. What are you showing your kids about having fun?
  10. Write down some specific situations where you can say ”Yes!” to your children.

Keep these prompts tucked in your journal.

New Year's Goals For Home Organization

  1. What are you grateful for in your current home?
  1. What would you enjoy more about your home if it were more organized? Would you entertain more or relax more easily? Think about the deeper goals of your organization.
  1. With #2 in mind, what areas of your home need the most work? Choose 3 areas to start, i.e. master bedroom closets, backdoor entry table, bathroom vanity drawers, etc.
  1. For each area, set goals: decluttering, organization, cleaning.
  1. Write down the individual steps to reaching your goal and assign dates to them. How long do you think it will take? Can you finish the tasks over a few days or weekends?
  1. Delegate where you can, and make job assignments in your notebook. Note deadlines from #5.
  1. Stick to your schedule, but allow for edits or interruptions where necessary.
  1. Use your journal to make shopping lists for any organizing tools that are needed – but only if they are needed!
  1. Once you’ve finished an area, make some notes about how you feel about it. Are you finding daily tools more easily? Do you feel free from clutter?
  1. Write about maintaining your organization. What daily, weekly or monthly habits are required to keep your home organization intact?
  1. Relax and enjoy your accomplishment!

Need more organization? Download these prompts now.

New Year's Goals For Work

  1. Start with taking stock. What are you thankful for about your current work situation?
  1. Write about the tasks and projects that you’ve most enjoyed doing at work. Why do you think you liked them?Similarly, write about those aspects of your work you’re not so keen on—why are they challenging for you?
  1. What project can you volunteer for that is outside of your comfort zone?
  2. What book will you read this year, or what course will you take to expand your knowledge of your discipline, industry, or role, i.e. management, B2B sales, etc.?
  1. Do you need to set some practical goals, like always being on time, better preparation for meetings, and contributing to conversations?
  1. What kinds of boundaries should you set around your work day? This is important in a work-from-home culture
  1. What home routines have to change to keep you productive and focused at work? For example, getting up early enough to sit down and have breakfast can set you up for a successful day of work.
  1. Make up some timetables to test for your work day. Are you most productive for 90 minutes of focus time and then a 10-minute break? Should you schedule complex work tasks in the morning or the afternoon?
  1. Write down a date when you will re-evaluate your answers to these questions – are you more satisfied at work, and how have your strategies worked?

Setting goals for work? Keep these prompts in your journal.

Coral Red notebook on glass with bag, textbook, and marker and pencil

New Year's Goals For College Students

  1. Write down your goals for college. Remind yourself why you are there.
  2. What classes and activities have moved you toward those goals and why? You can also read our blog for graduates on goal-setting. 
  3. Make a list of future classes and activities you’d like to engage in.
  4. What have you enjoyed most about college outside of class? How can you fit more of that into your schedule?
  5. What habits do you need to work on to make the most of your college experience, i.e. get up earlier, cut coffee to 1 cup, schedule work-out time into your calendar.
  6. If you are in your final year, make some tasklists that will push your job search ahead.
  7. Think about your friend group. Who are your real cheerleaders and who can you encourage in the next semester?
  8. Make a list of “challenge” items, i.e. speak up in class more often, attend your professor’s office hours, sign up for a job interview.
  9. If you’ve been short on funds for late night Uber Eats orders, make a checklist of campus jobs and apply for them.
  10. Start a gratitude journal and see how your mindset changes.

Download these prompts for a fresh start next semester.

Enjoy your journaling adventure into 2023. Happy New Year from Leatherpress!