Annual Review Journaling Prompts for 2020 Planning

Annual Review Journaling Prompts for 2020 Planning

Published by Leona on 28 Dec, 2019

If you’re like me - the thought of a performance review can send you on an anxiety spiral under the nearest blanket on a couch, but the reason why performance and annual reviews are so important is that having a clear, realistic take on your year past can help you to make healthy decisions and not repeat patterns or behaviours that haven’t served you?

The point of this exercise is to give you clarity on the year gone by, laying out all the areas of your life and give you a baseline from which to set a vision for your year ahead. Determine what has been working, what needs improvement and where you can invest your time to get the greatest impact for your 2020.

Download the Journaling Prompts PDF here

You’ll need - a journal or notepad and a pen or pencil. It’s not the point to be neat, you just want to get all your ideas and thoughts down on paper and out of your head.


  • What were the highlights for you in the last year?
  • What choices did you make that brought you the best outcomes? What did you do well?
  • What are you proud of?
  • Is there anything you would like to do more of?


  • How do you feel about your relationships over the past year?
  • Did you spend quality time with friends and family?
  • What actions deepened connections with the people who are important to you?

Business/Work Life

  • What are you most proud of in the past year?
  • Take a moment to list the achievements and the areas of your business where you feel you added the most value over the past year.
  • What did you do well, and what could you improve on.
  • What areas of your business did you notice that with more time and energy, you could really go far?

Thought Patterns & Personal Development

  • Are there any thought processes or patterns that stood out to you this past year? 
  • What have you noticed about the way you talk to yourself?
  • What have you noticed about how you respond when something happens outside of your control?
  • Are there any patterns you want to focus on improving this year?
  • What thought patterns served you well?
  • When you were being your best self? What did you notice?
  • When you did respond well, how did that make you feel?
  • What were your key takeaways from any personal development work you did this year? Was there a particular podcast, book or event you attended that you would like to influence your future year? Write that down?

Responses to Circumstances

  • Were there situations that you felt like you handled well?
  • Think about something that didn’t work out the way you wanted.
  • In what way could you have managed your reactions better?
  • What were the barriers to achieving something that didn’t work out? Was it an external barrier or an internal/mental one? How would you deal with that barrier now?
  • What did you find challenging this year? How did you face the challenge - was there something you did well, how would you approach that situation knowing what you now know?

Self Care

  • Do you feel that you took care of yourself this year? 
  • Are there any areas in taking care of yourself that you could improve on?
  • Did you protect your energy this year? What did you do that worked to help you take care of yourself?
  • Did you take breaks when you needed to or did you put your needs last? Mothers, I am looking at you.
  • Do you feel you did enough activities designed to recharge your battery?

There's a video resource below that may be easier for you to do the exercise. I find that with these kinds of exercises, writing while you listen can prompt thoughts that may not come as easily with concentrated effort.

Please let me know if you found this exercise helpful, or if there are some other areas where prompts may help you clarify.

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