6 Journal Prompts to Reflect on 2020


One of my most memorable pieces of wisdom is from author Robert Schuller: “Tough times don’t last, Tough people, do.”

BUT what defines tough times? A problem for one person may be perceived as an opportunity for another. What are the components of a “tough” person? Do we know how resilient we truly are? Many agree that difficult circumstances make us better, stronger, and more resilient people. However, the COVID-19 pandemic was beyond our control. To a degree, we all have contributed to or stalled the ongoing spread of the virus based on our social distancing behaviors. On the other hand, the pandemic has undeniably disrupted our economies, social connections, daily habits, traditions, work lives, and sense of personal control and safety. To refer to the 2020 pandemic as “tough times” is an understatement.

While 2020 has been a challenging year for many of us, it has also been eye-opening. What can you do to make sense and give meaning to your personal experiences in the past year? Write about it.

Here are six journal prompts for you to try today:

When the pandemic started, I felt (fill in the blanks) about my life. Now I feel (fill in the blanks) because….
Although the circumstances have been difficult, I am hoping for (fill in the blanks) in the new year, because….
One important thing I have learned about myself during 2020 is…
Three things I learned in 2020 are…
Three positive things that happened to me in 2020 are…
For the new year, I will choose to focus on (fill in the blanks) because…

These prompts are by no means exhaustive. You can create your own or even re-word these prompts to fit them to your experiences.

Journaling is an incredibly useful, therapeutic, and creative way to approach the year 2020.  It can help you encounter new ways of viewing yourself, the realization of thoughts and emotions, the cultivation of gratitude, the revival of past experiences, setting goals, and most of all: making sense of your personal being.

There is no doubt that 2020 has been surreal, challenging, and unpredictable but you have the final word in determining how the year treated you. By expressing your perception of the year through writing, you may find that 2020 has been filled with moments of joy, laughter, surprise, creativity, love, and learning, unlike any other year.

Start your journaling journey today! Don’t hesitate to share these prompts with loved ones!