Transcript: My Favorite End-of-Year Journal Prompts Revealed (& Yours To Take!)

December 27, 2022

AMY PORTERFIELD: “I really want you to spend some time reflecting back and then looking forward and really being intentional with your journaling session because journaling will bring out thoughts and ideas that you didn't even know you had. You got to put pen to paper. So this is something that you need to schedule, right? If you don’t schedule it, it's not real. So can you find a few hours between now and the end of the year—or if we're in the new year and you happen to be listening to this and you haven't done this, I don't care. Do it now—find a few hours, sit down, get into kind of a comfortable setting, and give yourself the time to dream and reflect and all that good stuff.”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Well, hey, there. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy. 

I'm excited about this episode because on Tuesdays I tend to do Shorty episodes. So you can get through them really quickly, and I take you behind the scenes to share what's working or not working in my business or where my head is in terms of running a business and, really, sharing things with you that I think could absolutely help you build your business. So today that's what we're doing, and we're talking about preparing for the new year.  

Now, I cannot believe it's almost the new year. I feel as though this year went by so incredibly fast. And I'm looking forward to wrapping things up. So we are in November, at the time of this recording, and this is a time where it’s a little bit quieter in my business. The Digital Course Academy launch is done. We just recently opened the doors to Momentum. Welcomed in tons of new Momentum members. I'm so excited to meet you all. If you're listening, shout out to you. I can't wait to really get to know you inside of my membership. And so we closed the doors for Momentum, and now we're going to start doing more and more planning for the new year.  

And I love this time because it's a little quieter. I just decorated my tree yesterday and decorated the house, and that was really fun. So I get a little bit more family time, a little bit more downtime, but also planning time. And if you know me, you know I love to plan—to a fault. Like, some days I'd rather be planning than actually doing the work. And I have to really keep myself in check, like, “No. Enough of planning. Let's get to work.” But right now, this is the time we should be planning, so I am just in my zone. This is my favorite time.  

So I want to share with you what that looks like. I want to take you behind the curtain and share a little bit about how I’m mentally preparing for the coming year. Now, I want you to get out a pen and paper because I'm going to share some of my absolute-favorite journal prompts that have helped me to be intentional as I plan for the new year and create more fun as I'm planning the year ahead because I think we all need a little bit more fun in our marketing plans and in our financial plans and in our just business plans in general. We need to make sure we're planning things that we actually enjoy. So I've got some questions I want you to ask yourself as you're looking toward the new year, just to make sure that you're planning things you absolutely want to do. So when the time comes for you to put together that campaign or start creating that product or whatever, you're excited about it and not dreading it.  

And I've been on both ends. I've put together something, “We should do this. This is a good idea. It's a moneymaker. It will make an impact.” And then when I get down to doing it, I'm like, “I don't want to do it this way.” Whereas now I try to make sure that if I plan it, sure, I want it to make money and make an impact and really build the business, but I have to enjoy it as well. So we're going to talk a little bit about that today.  

But here's the thing. If you have a friend who wants to create a business or is creating a business, so they are a soon-to-be entrepreneur or an entrepreneur right now, would you mind sharing this podcast with them? I really do want to get out in front of as many entrepreneurs as possible to help them build businesses that they absolutely love. So if you could grab the link to this podcast, text it to a friend, let them know that they might enjoy it, take a listen, I'd be forever grateful.  

Okay, so here's what I want to do. First of all, there's this event that my mentor, Michael Hyatt, does every year. It's called Your Best Year Ever, and it used to be a digital course, but they've turned it into a live virtual event that I've attended for a few years now, and I always want to attend it. Like, I'm very excited for it. It is between Christmas and New Year, so they do it at the very, very end of the year. And what I love about it is that they really focus on the business stuff and the personal stuff. So planning your best year ever is just not about planning your business; it's about making sure that you're building a beautiful personal life that you love as well.  

So one of the things I like to do is go through the live virtual event every year. And whether you go through it or not—this is not an affiliate pitch or anything like that. You can look it up and see if it's something you want to do—but I wanted to share with you some of the elements of what I love about this event that you could bring into your planning for the new year.  

So here it is. We usually start out with reviewing our last year, so 2022 in this case. We take inventory of the lessons learned, the aha moments, and really decide what worked and what didn't work, because before you start looking forward, please, please, please take a moment to look backwards. And we're not going to live there. We're not going to stay there. We're not going to dwell there or, you know, wish that we could do the exact same thing moving forward. We're just going to take a look back, kind of look over your shoulder, a quick look at what worked and what didn't work.  

And one question they ask when you do this through this process that Hyatt & Company has put together is, what was fun? What was fun? And I think this is a question that is so important to ask that for years and years I never asked, but now I make it my mission to ask, what was fun? And if I look back at what was really fun this year, in 2022, as we are starting to wrap things up, I finished a book this year. Like, I wrote a book, finished a book this year, and I won't say that whole process was fun. It was very difficult for me to write this book because I've never written a book before. It was fun putting it together, really getting into the stories and the flow of it. There are parts of it I absolutely loved. But I will say marketing it has been fun, for sure. I got to do a masterclass for the book this year. I got to put together a brand-new program for the book this year. So I look back, and there was a lot of fun things related to the book.  

Actually, yesterday was the first day I was in studio recording the audio of the book—because, of course, I'm going to read my own book, right? I think most podcasters do—and I went to the studio—and remember, I live in Nashville, so there's so much history here. The studio has been there since the sixties. Johnny Cash has literally recorded in the studio that I'm recording in. Dolly Parton. I mean, of course, some of the country greats. But it's kind of fun to think, “Here I am recording this business book inside the studio where Dolly Parton stood?” I just—that didn't get wasted on me. I thought that was just really cool. So recording the book, absolutely fun.  

So anyway, that's the kind of things I want you to think about. And then, really what you do is you ask yourself, what was fun about it? because I'm not going to record an audio book next year, I'm not writing a new book next year, but what did I love about that process? What was creative about it? Who are the people I got to work with? What did it look like? because I can replicate that kind of stuff for new projects.  

So from there, we start working on the upcoming year. So what I love about this process is that by the time you get to the upcoming year, you're super clear on what you want and what you don't want, since you just did all the work from the previous year. So that makes it so much easier to plan for the new year when you've done your work about the year you just went through.  

So the way they do it at Your Best Year Ever is that they take you through this whole process. So again, by the time you start planning the new year, it feels very easy. So if you're interested in this event, I'll link to it in the show notes. So just go to, I'll give you all the details you need to know. Again, not an affiliate link; it's just s.omething I love. But I also don't think there's anything wrong with affiliate links. It's something I encourage you all to do. 

Okay, so whether you attend the event or not, I really want you to spend some time reflecting back and then looking forward and really being intentional with your journaling session because journaling will bring out thoughts and ideas that you didn't even know you had. You got to put pen to paper. So this is something that you need to schedule, right? If you don’t schedule it, it's not real. So can you find a few hours between now and the end of the year—or if we're in the new year and you happen to be listening to this and you haven't done this, I don't care. Do it now—find a few hours, sit down, get into kind of a comfortable setting, and give yourself the time to dream and reflect and all that good stuff. 

Now, when it comes to goal setting this year, I'm going to do what I always do, and that's to set some personal goals and professional goals. One thing that I've made the mistake of—like, raise your hand. I know I can't see you, but maybe I can feel it—raise your hand if you set way too many goals. Have you done that in the past? I've been guilty of, like, eight to ten goals personally, eight to ten goals professionally, and then I'm so overwhelmed by my goals that I don't even look at them. I hate to admit this, but in my past, that's absolutely been me.  

I recently, over the last year or so, retook the Enneagram, and I absolutely believe I'm a three on the Enneagram. I used to come up a two. Now it's dramatically changed, and I identify with everything of the three. So as the achiever, I, of course, want all the goals. And some of the goals are way outlandish, that I'm thinking, “Wait a second. Did I overshoot here?” So I need to keep it in check.  

So what I've decided this year is I'm only setting, like, two to three personal goals and two to three professional goals. Now, remember, in my business, we set rocks. Rocks is something we learned from the books Rocket Fuel and Traction. And Rocket Fuel and Traction, there's an operating system. It's called the Entrepreneurial Operating System, EOS. So EOS is rooted in those books. And they teach you to set rocks for the business, which are essentially goals. So I've got big business goals that my entire team has helped me create. And usually, we have probably five each quarter and then five for the year. I'm not talking about those goals. When I say I want to set some professional and personal goals, they're all personal to me.  

So, for example, a professional goal that I would set that's just for me is I might say, “I want to get on three stages this year. I want to be paid and speak on three stages.” And although that will contribute to my business, absolutely, this is personal to me. It's overcoming my fears. It's getting out of my comfort zone. It's getting in front of new audiences. So that might be a professional goal.  

Or “I want to go through this specific training to become a better leader.” That would be a professional goal I'd set for myself that is independent of my company goals. So just wanted to share that's how I do it. You could do it however you want to do it.  

Now, in terms of 2022, so if I'm looking at the year I'm in right now, I got to be honest, I'm really proud of how it all panned out. I've mentioned so many times on this podcast before that 2021 was one of my least favorite years. I had made the big move to Tennessee. I really struggled with the move. I was dealing with more depression and anxiety than I've ever dealt with before.  

And so at the end of 2021, it started in October, and I started to really feel it, although the whole year was hard.  But October, it got really bad, and that's when I decided to go to Onsite, which is a therapeutic retreat center here in Tennessee. It’s very popular worldwide, but I spent seven days at Onsite. I then started working more so with a coach for my mental health. I really made sure I was sticking to my four-day workweek. I was prioritizing my time with Hobie more. I was literally putting my mental health before anything else, even before, like, physical, before my workouts, before getting in the gym, definitely before work. My mental health, the journaling, the meditating, working with the coach, that all had to take priority because I scared myself. I thought, “This could get really bad, and I won't be able to get out of bed.” And so that started happening at the end of 2021, and I took that all into 2022.  

And so when I look back at 2022, I want to take some of the things that really worked for me this year into 2023. So, number one, taking care of my health, physically and mentally. Number two, prioritizing Hobie. Number three, prioritizing my team. I feel like we did a lot of good work this year with my team, making sure we had the right people in the right spots. We had turnover this year, where I had to kind of look in the mirror and ask myself, “Did I contribute to that? Did I hire incorrectly? Did I manage incorrectly? Did I make some wrong moves that I have to correct?” So I really looked inward this year in terms of leadership and hiring and the team. And I feel like we're ending 2022 with such a solid team.  

We did a retreat in Nashville a couple weeks ago, and I could honestly say I looked at everyone at the table. And I think I said this on the podcast already, but I have a team of about, I don't know, right now it may be seventeen, eighteen full-time employees. And I looked at every single one of them, and I said, “Every single one of you are in the right spot. You are the right people for the right role. And I wouldn't trade a thing.” Like, I really loved everybody at that table. And so I'm proud of that because it took some work to get there.  

So I think those are some of my biggest takeaways from the year. And I want you to ask yourself, what worked well, and how can you amplify those things?  

Now, really take the time. This is where you've got to journal. I know some of you don't like to journal, but even take fifteen minutes, what worked well? And then ask yourself, it's not enough to know what you liked or what was fun or what worked. The better question is, how can you amplify those things in 2023?  

I think if you take nothing from this episode but this one nugget, here it is. So if you're multitasking, come back to me. Just this one nugget I want you to hear. I’m going to talk louder so I can grab your attention if you're kind of sidetracked right now. And that is that you don't need to go into the new year with all new initiatives, all new projects, all new programs. What can you amplify that worked well this year? Basically, what can you do better? What could you double down on? because one of the biggest lessons I learned from working with the Tony Robbins organization is that the smartest entrepreneurs, the ones that grow the fastest, the ones that make the most money and the biggest impact, they are not always starting over. They are not always creating from scratch. They are not always chasing the new thing, the exciting thing. It's kind of boring sometimes. They keep doing what's working, but just tweaking just a little bit to amplify and make it better year after year after year. That's, like, the biggest gift I can give you is that kind of advice. I really hope you hear it. 

Okay. Now, at the time of this recording, I haven't yet set all my goals because I haven't been through Your Best Year Ever live event. But these are some of the things I'm contemplating as I move into the new year and set new goals and just really get my mindset straight.  

So here are some of the things I will journal on. Are you ready? Number one, what worked really well? What felt hard? What felt like work but not joy. That's a great question. What felt like work this year but not really joy. What was fun? What lifted me up? Who did I love to work with? Who did I not love to work with? It might be an ad agency, it might be a contractor, might be a team member, but I think it's a good question to ask. And then, of course, you want to drill down, why? Why did I love working with this person? Why didn't I love working with that person? What brought me down? What did I love doing? Where did I spend the majority of my time, and what was I doing with that time? And am I glad that that time took up my space? Do I want to spend more time there? So again, I'm going to ask that one more time. Where did you spend the majority of your time?  

And I can't even answer that for you right now in terms of me. I have to sit down and think about it. It's not a question I think I could be like, oh, boom. I know, like, in a big sweeping view, I spent lots of time on live video this year. I spent lots of time making videos, Reels, TikToks, videos for different groups that I support. So I feel like there was a lot of video this year. And I also spent a lot of time on the book. So that was a big piece of my time. But I still want to drill down and spend a little bit more quality time thinking about that one.  

So I think these questions are important to ask yourself to help you get clear on what you want to create and the boundaries that you are setting for the new year. So that's another thing. What new boundaries do you need to set for the new year to really get clear on what you want? So after you answer these prompts, maybe attend that Best Year Ever event, but you can also do it on your own, but ultimately, at the end of that, our goal is to get clear on what we want for the new year. What do we want more of, what do we want less of, and how are we going to get it?  

But the “how are we going to get it?” comes later. That comes later. I will not wake up on January 1, 2023, knowing exactly how I'm going to reach all my goals. I think someone needed to hear that right now, so I'm going to repeat it one more time. I will not wake up on January 1, 2023, knowing how I'm going to meet all of my big, bold goals. I will have all the goals set. I will have a revenue projection. I will have a profit-margin projection. I will know what my goals are, personally and professionally. I will not know how I'm going to get there, and I will spend some time figuring that out maybe a little bit at the end of December, but also definitely in January, February, March. As the goals start to take fruition, I got to get a plan around them.  

And so that's one thing. I'll have some things figured out but not everything, is what I really should say. And I think you got to give yourself some grace and time and space to figure it out as you go.  

All right, my sweet friends. I hope you loved this Shorty episode. It's always fun to chat with you about behind the scenes, what I'm thinking, what I'm doing, and I hope you find it valuable as well.  

So I cannot wait to chat with you again. Remember every Tuesday, every Thursday, I'm here, and I hope that you'll join me. I hope you have a wonderful day, and I'll talk to you soon. 

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