Understanding the past year review process and why it's better than new year's resolutions

Transform Your New Year: Ditch Resolutions for a Past Year Review

Dec 27, 2023 | Mental and Emotional Health

Are you tired of setting the same New Year’s resolutions year after year, only to find yourself falling short of your goals? Maybe it’s time to try a new approach. Instead of looking forward with broad resolutions, let’s take a step back and conduct a past year review.

The past year review (PYR) is a powerful tool that can help you reflect on your past year and identify the activities, people, and commitments that brought you the most joy and success in your health and wellness journey. By focusing on what has worked for you in the past, you can create a more effective and personalized plan for the year ahead.

Here’s how to conduct a past year review:

  1. On paper or in your note-taking software, create two columns: “positive” and “negative.”
  2. Go through your calendar and/or journal for the past year, week by week.
  3. For each week, note the people, activities, and commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month, and put them in their respective columns.
  4. Once you’ve gone through the whole year, look at your two columns and do an 80/20 analysis. What 20% of each column produced the most powerful or reliable emotional peaks – positive or negative?

Now that you have a better understanding of what worked and what didn’t, you can set more specific and achievable goals for the new year. For example, if you found that you were happiest and most successful when you were consistently attending yoga classes, make it a priority to continue practicing yoga in the new year. On the other hand, if you found that certain relationships or commitments were causing more stress than joy, consider setting boundaries or making changes to improve your overall well-being.

Remember, the past year review is all about being honest with yourself and making adjustments that will lead to a healthier and happier you. So, ditch the generic resolutions and embrace the power of a past year review for lasting change.

Thank you to Tim Ferriss for creating and sharing this Past Year Review process! Find more of his excellent content at tim.blog!