It’s only days away from the start of 2019. Most people have already started reflecting on the highs and lows of the year gone by. Listing their accomplishments one by one. Posting their Top Nine photos or an Insta-collage of their most liked posts. While I agree that it’s important to review the past as you are preparing for the future, I would also like to suggest that you try a reflective process that would include self-discovery too.
Back in 2013, I was introduced to a Writing Challenge by SlayNewYork.com. I was intrigued because it required the participant’s to publicly identify their life’s highs and lows. The idea of it being public was terrifying to me, but something pushed me to at least try it. All of the topics were all about self-reflection and self-discovery. My motivation lasted 12 whole days before I lost focus, but it was still a great exercise for me. I believe some of these musings are still accessible in my Facebook Notes (if that even still exists).
Since the new year is upon us, I “vote” for a New Year Writing Challenge. This challenge is not just for people who are good with words – it’s for YOU! The point is to reflect on your life, where you are right now. Even if you don’t commit to writing every day, just trying it will have benefits you can’t imagine. Below is the original backstory and writing prompts. I have updated the directions for consistency. While SlayNewYork.com doesn’t exist anymore, I appreciate what it helped me to accomplish with my own personal reflection journey. It has been 5 years since I participated, and I am looking forward to doing it again!
Backstory: I don’t know why it’s so easy for us to tap into the role of “fixer” for everyone else but somehow fail to do the same for our own being. Through this challenge, I hope to do nothing more than help people pay attention to who they are. I meet many people who don’t know how to articulate their feelings or their hurt, nor have they taken time to heal, find their purpose, or even find out who they are. Hopefully, this will be transforming for someone.
Directions: This is a 30-day writing challenge that starts on January 1st. It’s the perfect time (in my opinion) to start gearing up for the New Year. The only requirement is that if you participate, use the hashtag #NYWC. Bonus points if you post each day publicly (via social media, wordpress, blogger, etc.). The idea is to struggle visibly. This is not only to get you more comfortable with transparency but to also serve as an example (or reminder) of what it means to be human. We can’t grow together if we’re too busy hiding the growth we need to do separately. Check out the topic for each day in January below, and don’t forget to tell a friend. I know that some of these fall on days that many of us will be with family or friends, but these are small sacrifices. If you do decide to participate, try to do all 30 days. See where it takes you.
Jan 1: Who are you?
Jan 2: What areas of your personality, background, physical appearance are you struggling to accept?
Jan 3: What are your dreams? How are you positioning yourself to make them become your reality?
Jan 4: In a perfect world you would…?
Jan 5: Write a “goodbye” letter to anything that has hurt you. Dig deep with this one.
Jan 6: Think about your close circle. What does it say about you? What do you provide each other?
Jan 7: What do you wish your parents would’ve done more of for you/with you growing up?
Jan 8: What’s holding you back from living your best life right now?
Jan 9: Write a love letter to yourself.
Jan 10: What’s a body goal that you’d like to reach? Address it, then make a plan to reach it, and set a start date here.
Jan 11: What did your first love teach you?
Jan 12: One word – Trust. Write anything about it that you please.
Jan 13: What are you most afraid of? Why?
Jan 14: What has been your biggest adjustment from childhood to adulthood?
Jan 15: How do you heal?
Jan 16: What’s your purpose?
Jan 17: How do you need to be loved?
Jan 18: Write a letter to the person who has had the biggest impact on your life?
Jan 19: What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you? How has it shaped you?
Jan 20: Right now I am learning…?
Jan 21: If the universe asked you, “Why should you be allowed to continue living?” your response would be what?
Jan 22: Think of the people who’ve made it possible for you to live in the world you live in today. In terms of the fight for equality and fairness, are you adding or taking away from that legacy?
Jan 23: Are you a leader or a follower? What makes you either/or?
Jan 24: What does your presence do to a room?
Jan 25: What are you lacking?
Jan 26: What are your strengths?
Jan 27: What is killing you to keep around, but you’re too comfortable with to let it go?
Jan 28: What are you thankful for?
Jan 29: Going into 2019, I will…?
Jan 30: What have you learned from over the last 30 days
So that’s it! Thirty days to investigate your past, present and how it can lead to a clearer, more focused future. I will post the writing prompt daily on Facebook and Twitter if you would like to participate there.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, post comments, and share. While this is the final post of 2018, there are BIGGER things planned for next year. I can’t wait to get started and I hope that you’ll join me for the ride.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!