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New Year's Resolutions, Annual Reviews, Past Year Reviews...or none of the above?

As we are in the last month of 2019, I am curious if you have any end of year rituals. I used to be one to make New Year's Resolutions, but over the past couple of years I have done more of an end-of-year audit and then set new intentions for the year. Here are a few options for consideration as 2020 approaches.

~~~~~~~~~~~NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS~~~~~~~~~~~

For those that love making New Year's Resolutions there are some great resources out there to draw from for inspiration:

Sam Feldman created a "New Year's Resolution" Inspiration board: 

NY resolutions.png

As well here are a couple of New Year's Resolutions Trello blog posts to help you achieve your 2020 Goals:

Tips and Tricks for Achieving Your New Year's Resolution by Brian Cervino

4 Ways to Set Successful New Year's Goals in Trello by Leah Ryder


~~~~~~~~~~~ ANNUAL REVIEW~~~~~~~~~~~

James Clear author of "Atomic Habits" does an annual review, which he has done the last six years. His Annual Review consists of 3 questions:

  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn’t go so well this year?
  3. What did I learn?

Here is his 2018 Annual Review to get a glimpse of how he writes about the process.


~~~~~~~~~~~PAST YEAR REVIEW~~~~~~~~~~~

Tim Ferriss, author and one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People” conducts a Past Year Review, which he has been doing for 8+ years, he said it takes between 30-60 minutes.

  1. Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.
  2. Go through your calendar from the last year, looking at every week.
  3. For each week, jot down on the pad any people or activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Put them in their respective columns.
  4. Once you’ve gone through the past year, look at your notepad list and ask, “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”
  5. Based on the answers, take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in the new year. Get them on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for activities/events/commitments that you know work. It’s not real until it’s in the calendar. That’s step one. Step two is to take your “negative” leaders, put “NOT-TO-DO LIST” at the top, and put them somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of 2019. These are the people and things you *know* make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, FOMO, or other nonsense.

~~~~~~~~~~~UNRAVEL YOUR YEAR~~~~~~~~~~

The Unravel your Year is what I have been doing the last couple of years, by Susannah Conway. It's a workbook where you evaluate the year that is ending by answering a full range of questions, and then you complete that year and start setting your intentions for the new year while responding to questions related to your goals and aspirations. You even have the option to do an Angel Card reading depicting your year. Here are a few photos from my last two years doing the workbook. 



~~~~~~~~~~~GO WITH THE FLOW~~~~~~~~~~~

For those that go with the flow and don't do anything out of the ordinary when a new year starts, and/or you are living in the present moment every day - that's a great method too and I commend you on being so mindful.



I would love to hear what you do at the end of a year and the start of a new one. Any of the ones listed above? If not, what's missing from this list?



Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Dec 04, 2019

@Jodi LeBlanc this was a great read!

I've never really given this much thought, I also don't really bother with "New Year's" resolutions, the way I see it, why wait until the end/start of a new year before setting a goal to achieve for yourself.

The only thing the New Year really brings for me is constantly needing to correct every date I write or type for the first couple of months ;)


Like # people like this

Thanks @Jimmy Seddon and love the way your mind things, not waiting until the end of the year to set goals - no time like the present :) Execution at its best!

Lol I remember as a kid I had to write the date every morning in the corner of my notebook page, after a week it finally stuck due to the repetition. Now I rarely write the date and year so not nearly as confusing, but really time is flying way too fast. Can't believe it is 2020, hearing that date in the past I thought it would feel like forever to get there, nope a snap of the finger and it's here.

Like Deepanshu Natani likes this

I love this! Thanks for sharing your insight and providing such valuable content that we can all use to help us evolve :) 

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Thanks so much @Celina Zamora I am so glad you found my article useful :)

Like Deepanshu Natani likes this

As @Jimmy Seddon commented, I also don't wait for the new year to make resolutions and also try to keep it simple. Each morning as I am looking at the unpleasant visage staring back at me out of the mirror, I tell myself to try to be a bit better man than I was yesterday. I don't always succeed but I don't beat myself up when I don't and just try that little bit harder the next day.

Like # people like this

@Mike Rathwell - keeping it simple sounds great, I am all about simplifying life. Sounds like being a "bit better than you were yesterday"  is a solid goal to have each day, and of course not being hard on yourself if you have an off day. Also, I am sure your visage is not unpleasant, we tend to be our own worst critics. Thanks for sharing Mike!

Like Deepanshu Natani likes this
Monique vdB Community Manager Dec 04, 2019

I am very goal-oriented and I set at least 10 resolutions every year and then score myself on my resolutions. I track them all in my old Livejournal (lol, creature of habit) on a monthly basis, which keeps them top of mind. Just looking at the last few of years, in 2017 I scored 75% and in 2018 I scored 95%.  This year I'm tracking around 85%. But one goal that's been on my list for years is "finish my YA novel" which I finally did this year! 🎉

Honestly New Year's is my favorite holiday. I love watching the Rose Parade, making my annual resolutions, writing a wrapup post on my book blog, and basking in the feeling of a fresh start and a whole new year ahead. 

Like # people like this

Wow that's amazing @Monique vdB - super impressed that you have 10+ resolutions a year and that you evaluate them. A 20% increase from 2017 to 2018 is major progress in execution. And just wow about finishing your novel, please keep us up to date when it is published, I will be wanting to read it and purchase some for my niece and nephews. I agree, New Year's is lovely, there is just a different feeling in the air, like a blank slate, a fresh start with so many possibilities :) 

Like Deepanshu Natani likes this

The free "Unravel your Year 2020" journal is out:

Like Deepanshu Natani likes this


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