With the start of a new year, new possibilities and hope for positive change seem even more palpable. For many, this is the time of year when critical thinking takes place about what people want to change about this upcoming year, hence the popularization of New Year’s Resolutions.

This newfound sense of motivation is refreshing but is hard for many to stay consistent with as the new year progresses. A helpful trick to help increase motivation from the beginning to the end of the year is creating monthly journal prompts to help increase motivation and to help serve as a “check-in” for how the resolution has progressed throughout the year.

Prompts for resolutions

What kind of journal prompts should be included when making and maintaining a New Year’s Resolution?

Open-ended questions

Using prompts that utilize open-ended questions allows for richer and deeper thoughts to come to light. Some examples of open-ended questions would be:

  • What makes you think it’s time for a change?
  • What would you like to change that would be beneficial for your well-being?
  • How has this time of change made you feel?
  • What are some motivators that help encourage change for you?

Prompts that help elicit change

Writing prompts that encourage change helps individuals identify the discrepancies in their life between where they are and where they want to be. Not only does this help individuals become more aware of what they want to change but also what the motivation is behind that. Some examples of prompts that help elicit change include:

  • What would you like to see differently about your current situation?
  • Why is this change important to you?
  • What are the benefits of making this change?
  • What are some of the costs of not making this change?
  • How would you like things to turn out 6 months from now? Or a year from now?

Prompts that include affirmations

Affirmations are helpful to use when making big (or even small) changes in one’s life. They serve as a way for individuals to continually provide support for themselves. A simple journal prompt could include asking one’s self to list off what they have done well in this process or what characteristics they possess that will help them on this journey. Some affirmations may include:

  • I am strong.
  • I am committed.
  • My happiness is worth this hard work.
  • I am deserving.
  • I am capable.

Setting aside time to do these prompts is also important. All it takes is to schedule a time to do them, whether it’s at the beginning or end of each month. It also could be filled out in 10-15 minutes, which is a small act that leads to a large outcome. By using these prompts, one can create a routine of reflecting on the motivations, the process, and the desired outcomes of the changes they want to make. This not only creates a sense of accountability but also enlightens the individual about the possibilities of making a life worth living.

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