Are you tired of creating a list of New Year’s resolutions that disappears under your other to-do lists a week into January? Instead, draw from this list of New Year’s Reflection questions to help you figure out what did and didn’t work for you in the previous year so you can move forward with intention and purpose!
New Year’s Resolutions are OUT… and New Year’s reflections are IN!
Resolutions are defined as “firm decisions to do or not do something”. But here’s my beef with that… it leaves no room for flexibility. It seems like every January 1st, I resolve to not eat desserts except on Friday nights. And then by mid-January I’m digging in the freezer on a Tuesday to find the pint of ice cream that I’m supposed to be saving for my coveted end of the week dessert night.
And after hunching over the kitchen island and devouring 1/4 of the pint, I’ve broken my New Year’s Resolution and it’s all downhill from there.
That’s the problem with resolutions – once you break them, you’re giving yourself an excuse to continue to break them over and over again… at least that’s how it is for me every January when I swear off sweets.
But asking yourself New Year’s reflection questions doesn’t involve half-hearted promises to yourself that you know you’re going to break. Instead, using yearly reflection questions helps you to focus on the positive things from the previous year, the lessons you learned, and the things that you can improve on for the upcoming year.
So if you want to try out some new year reflection questions, here’s a huge list to get you started:
How to Use the New Year Reflection Questions
Here are some ideas for how to put this list of new year reflection questions to good use:
- Use the questions as journal prompts. Pick a few questions from the list and journal about them, or start January 1st and write about one question everyday for the month of January to reflect on your experience from the previous year.
- Make a “Reflection Jar”. Add the printable reflection questions at the end of this post to a jar, and draw a few out each night during the month of January. You can even turn this into a family reflection activity at dinner time.
- Use the questions for yearly special occasions. Instead of only limiting the questions to the New Year, try using them during special occasions like your birthday or anniversary. Take time to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the year ahead, using the questions to guide your introspection and planning.
- Work the New Year reflection questions into your goal setting session. Integrate reflection questions into your goal-setting process. Before setting new goals, reflect on your experiences and lessons learned from the past, ensuring that your future goals align with your values and aspirations.
50 New Year’s Reflection Questions
- Was the past year mostly positive, negative, or “blah.” Why do you say that?
- What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
- What was the most challenging event that occurred over the past year?
- What three words describe this past year? Why those words?
- What unexpected obstacle popped up this past year, and how did you deal with it?
- How have you grown as a person in the past year? What experiences led you to this type of growth?
- What were you most grateful for this past year?
- What items did you check off your personal bucket list this past year? Which ones can you accomplish over the next year?
- What made you feel purposeful this past year?
- What new skills and superpowers did you discover you had this past year? How did those help you, and how can you use them in the future?
- What was an unanticipated joy that you experienced this past year?
- What were some of the best books you read over the past year?
- What was the most challenging part of your job (both at work and at home)?
- How did you grow spiritually over the past year?
- How did you grow emotionally last year?
- What made last year different for you than any other year? What experiences made it unique, and how did they impact you?
- What situations do you wish you would have handled differently this last year?
- What goals did you achieve this past year?
- What does success look like for you in the coming year, and how might you need to redefine your definition of success?
- What is something new you learned about yourself this past year? How has it changed you?
- Overall, were you intentional with your time last year? How can you use your time wisely in the upcoming year?
- How would you like your life to change this year based on what you learned and experienced from the past year?
- What thoughts, people, or things did you give too much time and energy to last year that didn’t serve you? What are some things in your life that deserve more of your positive energy and time?
- Do you feel like you achieved a balanced life over the past year? What parts of your life were lacking, and which ones were abundant? How can you achieve a more balanced life this next year?
- What creative projects were you most excited about this past year? What projects are you planning for the upcoming year?
- What was your most courageous action last year?
- What was a moment of grief from the past year, and how did you move on from it?
- What is one thing you need to achieve next year to feel more intentional and productive with your time management?
- What is one word you would use to describe your mental health last year? What are some ways to take care of yourself in the coming year?
- What is one word that best describes your intention for the upcoming year? Why did you choose that word?
- Who were your most valuable relationships with over the past year?
- What was your biggest personal change over the past 12 months?
- What are some things you want to let go of in the new year in order to become a better version of yourself (think negative self-talk, toxic relationships, bitterness, etc.)?
- How do you want to show up for yourself better this next year? What will that look like?
- If you could accomplish one single goal in the upcoming year, what would it be? Why did you choose that one?
- What are some new ways you can follow your curiosity in the coming year?
- If failure wasn’t an option, what would you want your life to look like by this time next year?
- Besides time and money, what is something you want more of this next year? What are some steps you can take to get it?
- How can you be physically healthier this next year?
- What’s a promise you will keep to yourself this coming year?
- How do you want to spend your free time this next year?
- When did you feel most fulfilled at your job over the past year? If you didn’t, what can you change going into this year?
- What was your biggest time waster of the past year?
- What was the best way you used your time over the last year?
- What is a phrase or statement that describes this last year for you?
- What relationship did you most value this past year? How did it help you grow?
- What was the single most important lesson of the past year, and what did it teach you?
- How did you practice selflessness over the past year?
- Were there any moments when you experienced a sense of awe or inspiration?
- If you could pick a word to describe your relationships with your friends last year, what would it be? Why?
Alternative to New Year’s Questions
If you’re looking for other ways to reflect at the beginning of a new year and 50 questions just seems too overwhelming, then you may benefit from a one-page reflection worksheet instead! I’ve got an awesome FREE printable end of year reflection worksheet that you can use! Just click the link down below to read all about doing a yearly reflection and grab the printable worksheet!
Want the list of New Year reflection questions in printable format? You can cut these cards of questions out and add them to a jar to use around the dinner table or as journal prompts for yourself!