New Year, New Intentions Sticky Note Exercise

January 4, 2023

De Pree Journal

In the article New Year, New Intentions, I wrote about a practice I’ve been using to help me reflect on the past year and set intentions for the next. To make this practice a bit more hands-on, I developed this sticky note exercise to help us capture big ideas from the past year, group them into categories, and ask God if there’s an invitation to set some intentions for the next year. This infographic gives an overview of the three steps involved.

This infographic depicts the three steps of the New Year, New Intentions sticky note reflection exercise.

Here are more detailed instructions for this exercise.

Step 1

To begin, capture each lesson, insight, understanding, and realization from the past year on its own sticky note. If you’re feeling a little stuck here, it may help to think about

  • Lessons you learned the hard way;
  • Understanding that emerged from engaging spiritual practices (Bible reading, prayer, attending church, etc.);
  • Realizations you had about yourself; and
  • Insights you had from observing others.

Step 2

Next, try to group the sticky notes according to theme or category. There’s no one right way to do this part. You could have any number of piles. You might group them one way and then discover another framework that also works. Once you feel good about your piles, give each pile a name that captures its theme.

Step 3

Finally, spend time in prayer, asking God if there’s an invitation for you to carry some of these themes into the new year. Perhaps you’ll want to capture each invitation on a sticky note and set it as an intention for the year ahead.

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