“New Year’s Reflections” are better than “New Year’s Resolutions”

Troy Shu
2 min readDec 26, 2018
A recent photo from a walk

I love carving out R&R time. It is time for “reflection and re-alignment” (in addition to rest and relaxation), and it always leaves me feeling refreshed and re-energized.

I try to reflect and re-align at the end of every year. But instead of doing the traditional “New Year’s Resolutions” (we all know how well those work), I’ve improved the process for better results.


I go through a process where reflection, not just resolution, is the core. Because to create our future, we must learn from the past. I also ask a few questions that serve the following purposes:

  • Create pride and gratitude, emotions shown to be associated with more perseverance.
  • Focus on what matters most, e.g. using the 80/20 principle.
  • Promote outside-the-box thinking to break out of normal thought patterns.

Major thanks to Tim Ferriss’s tips and all the research on how we achieve for inspiring my version of “New Year’s Resolutions” — or should I say “New Year’s Reflections”.

So what is my process?

I run through the reflection and goal-setting questions in a Google Doc template I created. You can copy and modify it for your own use.

Tips for R&R time

  • I do it least a few times a year, and want to do it once a quarter, so that I don’t veer too far the path I want to be on.
  • It’s best to try to leave your normal environment for at least a few days. Changing your environment changes your thought patterns.
  • Do nothing but R&R while away (or at least carve out a few days to do nothing but R&R on a longer trip). Save the minute-granularity itinerary planning, rushing from one destination to another, and adrenaline (or cortisol) producing activities for your other “vacations”.
  • What does one actually do to R&R? Here’s what I do: pen and paper journaling (stream of consciousness, about the past, about my dreams, anything), meditate, read, walk a lot in nature, eat, spend time by myself but also with loved ones.

Do you have any New Years rituals that help you start the year off right? Reach out and share them!

Originally published at making my own luck.