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New Year Journal Prompts: Make Your Vision

With the craziness of the past year, it wasn’t uncommon to pinch yourself daily to make sure you were not in the midst of a dream (or nightmare). 2020 was a year filled with anxiety-inducing news: a global pandemic, racial injustice, a contentious Presidential election, damaging wildfires, and even killer bees. It was a year that felt like it might never end. So, now that it is finally about to, the question becomes: how can we make 2021 feel different? Read on for some new year journal prompts that will help turn your vision for 2021 into a reality. 

Vision Boarding

You may have heard of vision boarding, but, for a moment, put aside your preconceptions. It’s true, many a middle-school girl created vision boards filled with glitter pens and ponies, but vision boarding can also be an intentional exercise that can help bring immense clarity and direction in your life. Create your own vision board with the TEDxMileHigh’s Vision Board Exercise. Did you do it? Great! Now it’s time for the next step.

Make Your Vision A Reality

The idea behind a vision board is that seeing your goals in images on paper every day will make you more likely to accomplish them. Think about that spiralizer you bought on a whim so that you could make zucchini spaghetti all the time and be super healthy. One of the reasons you never use it might be because it’s tucked away at the back of your cabinet. Maybe if you looked at your spiralizer every day, you’d be reminded of your dream to eat spiralized zucchini and might actually do it. 

That’s how vision boards work. You have a dream of becoming a painter? Your vision board might include a photo of someone painting a masterpiece, a photo so enticing, that you’re just going to have to do it.

The problem is that it just depends on the person. Some people might be able to see a photo of their dream and automatically know exactlywhat to do next to achieve their vision, but others might need some more guidance. That’s where the Vision Board Journaling Prompts come in. You have your vision board, it’s very beautiful, and you’re ready to take the next steps to make sure your visions for 2021 come true. So, get out a pad and pen! Let’s do this.

New Year Journal Prompts to Track Your Vision

Download the new year journal prompts here to keep them all in one place!

1. Out of All Your Goals for 2021, What Is the Most Important One?

It’s common to get a little carried away once we start getting our goals together. Imagine a child in a grocery store after they’ve been told they can get anything they want. Anything… I… want?! 

Once you realize that your options are limitless, that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, your goals can get a little wild. And that’s good! But, in order to make your vision for the future a reality, it’s good to choose one main, overarching goal that you can track, pamper, and commit to. So, what’s yours? 

Here are some examples for inspiration:

  • Personal: My personal goal for 2021 is to express myself creatively through oil painting.
  • Professional: My professional goal for 2021 is to apply to graduate school.
  • Community: My community goal for 2021 is to volunteer with a local nonprofit organization.
  • Educational: My educational goal is to read more. 

2. How Can You Make Your Goal S.M.A.R.T.?

One tried and true method for creating successful goals is the S.M.A.R.T. method. Every goal needs to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Start with your main goal and answer the following new year journal prompts: 

Specific Questions to Ask Yourself About This Goal: 

  • What exactly do I want to accomplish?
  • What do I need to accomplish this goal? 

Measurable Questions to Ask Yourself About This Goal:

  • How many hours/days/weeks will I work on this goal?
  • How will I know when this goal is accomplished?

Achievable Questions to Ask Yourself About This Goal:

  • How realistic is this goal?
  • How can I accomplish this goal?

Relevant Questions to Ask Yourself About This Goal:

  • Will this goal help me become the person I want to be? 
  • Will this goal make me feel more fulfilled?

Time-bound Questions to Ask Yourself About This Goal:

  • When, specifically, will I work on this goal?
  • When will I accomplish this goal?

Let’s make the example goals S.M.A.R.T. shall we? 

  • Personal: My personal goal for 2021 is to express myself creatively through oil painting.
    • I will paint an average of 4 hours per week, every week of 2021 using my oil paints in my backyard. Even if I don’t complete one piece of art, if I put in the hours, I will be successful. Setting time aside to paint will help me reconnect with my creativity and improve my mental health.
  • Professional: My professional goal for 2021 is to apply to graduate school.
    • I will apply to a minimum of three graduate schools by the early decision deadlines and will reach out to three recommenders by February 15th. Then, I will begin writing my applications and finish the first drafts in March. I will send my applications to my parents for edits and suggestions. 
  • Community: My community goal for 2021 is to volunteer with a local nonprofit organization.
    • I will sign up to volunteer with Ardas Family Medicine for at least five hours a month beginning in January 2021. 
  • Educational: My educational goal is to read more. 
    • I will read a total of 24 books in 2021: 15 novels and 5 non-fiction books. I will read an average of 2 books a month. 

Your turn!

3. When Will You Check In On Your Goal? 

It’s exciting now, but after a few weeks, your 2021 goals might begin to fade into the background. Help yourself out by designating a few check-in points to keep yourself on track! Ask yourself these questions:

  • How often should I check my progress? Once every month? Once a week?
  • How will I track my progress? Keep a log? Tell a friend once you’ve completed an important step?

4. Okay Fine, What Goal Is Next? 

We get it! It’s fun to set intentions and goals. It can be hard to stop. Repeat these journaling prompts for all of your vision boarding goals and you’ll be on track for one hell of a great year, no matter what 2021 has in store for us.

TEDxMileHigh Vision

Curious what our TEDxMileHigh speakers envision for the future? Lucky you, we just had a free virtual event, TEDxMileHigh: Vision, and the talks are live! Check them out here for inspiration.

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