Entrepreneur and bestselling author Tim Ferriss said in a blog last week that he no longer selects a New Year's resolution, finding "past year reviews" (PYRs) more valuable and actionable.
To conduct a PYR, divide a sheet of paper into two columns labeled "positive" and "negative." Then, fish through your calendar from the past year for activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Place each activity in its respective column.
Once you've gone through the entire year, look at your list and ask: "What 20 percent of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?"
Armed with this information, relabel the "negative" column so it reads "Not-to-do-list." Keep this list where you can see it to remind you of the people and things that make you miserable.
Next, review the items in the "positive" column and schedule more of those events in the new year. Get set booking events with friends and pre-paying for activities and commitments that you know will work.
"Get the positive things on the calendar ASAP," he wrote, lest they get crowded out by noise and distraction. "It's not real until it's in the calendar."