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Is Keeping a Journal Hard for You? Try a Video Journal

Video journaling is an excellent tool to start a new chapter.

Galina Kondratenko / Unsplash
Galina Kondratenko / Unsplash

Instead of writing accomplishments and resolutions in a journal or a list, consider making a video journal to reflect on starting a new chapter.

Video journaling is a great way to create a richer record of the year that reflects on the year that’s past and helps you prepare for the year ahead. It also allows you to look back on it next year and not only read what you wrote but watch yourself a year ago and see what you looked like and how you felt in real-time.

The psychological benefits of written journaling are well-documented in the scientific literature, and these benefits may increase when you add the visual component. In my book, Mirror Meditation, I introduce video journaling exercises for self-reflection.

  • Clarifying your thoughts and feelings. If you ever avoid written journaling because everything feels jumbled up inside, you’re unsure how to begin. Taking a few minutes to record a video of your thoughts and emotions can help quickly get you in touch with your inner world and help you to see yourself from a new perspective.
  • Knowing yourself better. By video journaling routinely, you will know what makes you feel happy and confident because you’ll see it in your facial expressions. You’ll also become clear about situations and people who are not contributing to your well-being by observing yourself as you talk about those topics.
  • Reducing stress. Video journaling about anger, sadness, and other painful emotions can help you release the intensity of those feelings. By doing so, you will feel calmer and better able to stay in the present. Watching yourself experience these emotions will help you develop more self-compassion.
  • Getting goals and seeing progress. Video journaling gives you a new perspective on tracking your progress and can help you keep going when you may feel discouraged.

As you approach the year’s end, reflecting on the past year can provide an informed foundation for your new and best intentions for the new year.

10 prompts for video journaling reflection.

  1. What are the three best words that sum up the theme of this year? Review the year’s events from an open-minded, non-judgmental perspective, and ask yourself what three words most often come to mind.
  2. What was your greatest accomplishment? What worked out for you this year? Take a moment to recount the positive outcomes you worked for in your personal and professional life. Savor your accomplishments and notice your facial expression as you recount these experiences.
  3. What do you wish you had done differently? Reflecting on what didn’t work can give you a more balanced view and some insights that can help shape your future goals.
  4. What do you wish you had done this year? Face any regrets or missed opportunities directly and constructively. Be honest and self-compassionate. How can you improve your decision-making process to have a better outcome next time?
  5. If you could rewind the year, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now? This is a great way to realize how much knowledge and wisdom you’ve gained through the past year’s challenges. How can you use this advice as you move forward into the new year?
  6. How did you positively contribute to the lives of others? Take a moment to review the impact of your contribution on others. Direct ways include parenting, teaching, or helping your neighbors; some indirect ways may be writing a book or donating resources. Chances are, you did make a difference. Take the time to realize it and consider how it feels to recall these contributions.
  7. What stands out as being the most memorable moment of the year? Reliving those moments in your video journal may help determine what you want to spend more time doing in the upcoming year. In addition, having a video recollection will help you preserve the memory.
  8. What and who are you grateful for? Articulating gratitude can help you gain a deeper understanding of what matters to you so you can establish goals aligned with your values for the upcoming year. Make sure that the people who have helped you throughout the year know you’re appreciative.
  9. How are you different from when you started the year? Look back to last year and see how you are different today. If you did a video journal at the end of last year, you could review it to see how much you’ve changed—it may be surprising! What would be lost in a written account, you can literally see how different you were.
  10. 10. How do you want to improve next year? Once you review the current year in your video journal, you can shift to discuss what you want to change or keep in the coming year. In your video journal, declare your goals and desires for the upcoming year boldly and compassionately. You’ll look forward to revisiting the moment next year.

Copyright 2022 Tara Well, Ph.D.


Purcell, M. (2006). The Health Benefits of Journaling. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 5, 2014, from

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