Mandala Journalling – for the old and new year

written December 31, 2018 by Nicky Torode

Love this time of year – saying goodbye to the year passing and inviting in the new year with gusto.

One journalling technique which helps me capture my reflections of the outgoing year and my intentions for the new is the ancient practice of creating a mandala. A mandala (meaning circle in Sanskrit) has been used across various religious and spiritual practices as a form of meditation, healing and prayer.

There are many templates for mandalas out there. Choose whichever appeals. For journaling the circles of the mandala are filled with words rather than geometric patterns. Through its circular structure it taps into our creative rather than logical side. As they are a one-pager they are the pinnacle of concision. An added bonus is that they are a highly attractive visual so can be put up near my desk as an aide memoir of my wishes for this year.

I’ve been using them with face-to-face and online clients this week. One client told me she’d use them with her family on New Year’s Eve. Now that sounds the perfect way to ring the new year in.

Here are some ways to journal using a mandala:

For reflection

I write the date of the year passing in the middle circle. I then come up with 4 key words which summarise my year. I don’t restrict myself to having only positive words as acknowledging and writing about any loss or setback is cathartic and healing. I then journal in each quadrant in a circular fashion.

It feels playful, creative and surprising!

For future intentions

I divide my circle into 12 segments for the months. I take the first letter of each month to write a motto or affirmation using that letter. January reads ‘Just keep going,’ a necessary reminder for freelance life when the year typically takes a while to crank up after the end-of-the-year wind down.

Collective mandalas

I’m doing a mandala for 2019 later with my son. The mandala will, no doubt, generate discussion and help us to decide together what’s important to put down on the page. He’ll probably doodle, draw or colour it in, giving it extra power!

See where your mandala takes you

Happy new year



The Journalling Coach

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