Forget About New Year’s Resolutions

Posted: 29 January, 2018

By: Annemarie Lombard

Section: Wellness

Forget about New Years revolutions

That’s right, forget about New Year’s Resolutions.  Try Reflective Practice instead.

Forget the pressure for everything to be perfect and to change all your bad habits when the calendar flips over to January. Instead of New Years’ Resolutions I’ve taken to a Reflective Practice for 2018. This is a more gentle exercise to reflect on what your year has been like and what the important themes are for the year to come. And the beauty of it …. they don’t have to be done on the 1st of January. I like doing mine in the middle of January, when I’ve eased back into work and given myself some time to suss things out. You can do yours on any day where you can carve out about an hour to reflect on the past as well as the coming year.


Find a nice spot where you feel comfortable. This can be in your favourite coffee shop, under a tree in your garden, or on your favourite couch in the living room. I recommend a notepad and pen rather than a laptop or i-pad for this exercise – there is just something about working on paper that takes us into our sensory selves.

It’s helpful to just go through your year quickly. Take a diary or just think about 2017 and write down the ‘bullet points’ of what happened in the year. These should include more than your traditional accomplishments – you can write down meeting a new person or starting a new hobby, or even a moment you specifically remember.

There are 12 important questions to ask yourself.  Here are some tips to help you along:

  • You don’t have to rush through them, take your time.
  • Go back to a question later if you wish.
  • There is no right or wrong.
  • Let go of judgement.
  • Breathe.
  • Write slowly. Usually, the first thing that gets into your mind is the one you need to write on.


  1. What stands out about 2017?  This can be any moment, usually the first that comes to your mind.
  2. Which relationship deepened last year? A friend you got closer too, a romantic relationship that deepened… anything can qualify.
  3. What about your workspace did you enjoy a lot or made you feel good?
  4. What about your workspace did you not enjoy or was difficult for you?
  5. What did you learn about yourself during the course of 2017?
  6. When was the hardest time of 2017 and how did you navigate it successfully?
  7. What difficulties are you still navigating going into 2018?
  8. What surprises did 2017 hold for you? This can be something big like having a baby, or a special moment like discovering a new beach or hiking trail.
  9. What do you still care about too much that you want to let go of? This can be something like ‘other people’s opinions’, ‘money’, ‘worrying about things that won’t happen’ etc.
  10. What was the most exciting moment of 2017?
  11. Who in your life played a special role in guiding and supporting you in 2017?
  12. What was your greatest life lesson for 2017?

Read through the answers of your questions above. Try and see if anything stands out – maybe a specific theme comes through?  Looking towards 2018, what is your ‘theme for the year’? Try and describe it in one word and then expand on it. The word can be something like “reboot”, “gratitude”, “positivity”, “action” or whatever speaks to you…

Take a deep breath and enjoy your coffee  🙂

May your 2018 be filled with beautiful adventures!

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