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Setting Intentions for the New Year on Paper

There is something truly powerful about new beginnings. Forget about cliché New Year's resolutions; I'm talking about the chance to start fresh and make promises to yourself because you deserve to live your very best life. So, where do we start? How do we set intentions to have our best year and achieve all our wildest dreams? Here are some powerful journaling tips for personal growth in the upcoming year.

Reflect on the Past Year 

Before plunging into the next year, it’s a good idea to reflect on the year we’re leaving behind. What went well? What personal goals did you achieve? And what setbacks did you face? By reflecting on the past year, you can gain a clearer picture of what you want the next year to look like. It allows us to discern what we want more of, what we wish to leave behind, and reveals new goals that may not have crossed our minds yet.

Identify Areas Your Areas of Growth 

This will look different for everyone, but I categorize my areas of growth into five distinct areas: health, home, relationships, travel, and work. I tend to fall into being extremely work-focused (I’m sure you can’t relate…!) so consciously distribute my goals across non-work areas. By identifying these areas of growth, I can think intentionally about these goals and how I might be able to grow in these areas. 

Set Precise Goals 

Once I identify the areas of growth, I set specific and measurable goals for each category. For example, if the aim is improved fitness, I set a goal of a daily 20-minute walk. If the focus is on enhancing relationships, a bi-weekly date night becomes a tangible goal. Setting a goal is one thing; achieving it is another. With a well-thought-out plan and a clear roadmap, you're well on your way to realizing those aspirations.

Write it Down

Writing down these goals is not just a suggestion; it's a necessity. Whether in a journal or a planner (digital or paper), choose a medium that resonates with you. Neglecting to document your goals is akin to denying yourself the promises of a life you've always desired. You deserve it, and yes, it is possible.

Create a Vision Board

I swear by this technique. Each year, I start with a secret Pinterest board full of images that reflect all the areas of growth for my coming year. These aren't literal representations of each goal but images that evoke feelings or remind me of the life I want to live. Then, I print out each picture and pin them on a framed cushion board that I see every day for a tangible reminder. 


I've adhered to this ritual for several years now, and found it comes with just a couple of non-negotiable rules:

  • It must be physical.

  • Place it where you'll see it every day.

These are the only rules you need to follow. One day, you’ll gaze at your vision board and marvel at how your real life reflects the vision you have for yourself. 

Track Your Progress 

This can be incredibly satisfying, especially for those of us with ADHD brains. There is nothing more satisfying than checking off a box and seeing the progress you’re making toward a goal. I use a bullet journal to fill in the boxes for a fitness tracker. Each day I meet my fitness goal, I fill in a box with a new, bright color. I absolutely despise looking at my tracker and seeing empty boxes… so guess what… I meet the fitness goal some days just so I can fill in the dang box. Whether through progress photos, to-do lists, or other methods, tracking progress keeps us on track and encourages us to meet the goals we've set.


I’m so excited to see what the new year holds for you. Take the time to set your intentions for the upcoming year, and make 2024 your most remarkable year yet!

Need a new journal for the new year? Shop our collection of journals here.

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