scrabble resolutions

Not Into New Year’s Resolutions? Try Reflective Analysis!

I know, New Year’s resolutions are a waste, right?  Most of them last a few weeks before they fall away like the needles of a once-fresh-cut-but-now-Sahara-dry Christmas tree.  So this year, I’m outsmarting the resolution makers with a new approach:

Reflective Analysis

Sounds good, right?  Technical, scientific, buzz-wordy….

I performed my first ever round of reflective analysis this past week, and since you’ve already read this far, maybe you’ll stick around a bit longer and let me tell you about it.  I’m hoping there’s usable information at the end, but we’ll see…

This time of year, I always enjoy looking back at the past 12 months. But this time I got organized and made lists. Two to be exact. One “Best Of”, the other “Worst Of”. Not the most complicated approach, but very practical.

For the sake of detail, here are some of the highlights from each list:

Best Of:
Wrote 22 new songs
Ran 100 miles in one month for the first time
Got hooked up with the team of writers at Wise & Shine
Several vacations with family
Good Friend’s wedding
One daughter moved back to town
Other daughter ran a marathon
Some great musical performances and experiences
Most financially lucrative year as a musician

Worst Of:
Good friend’s cancer diagnosis
Worked too much
Lost my exercise routine, got weak
Fell into a sloppy diet, gained weight
Got tired/semi-burnt out, and then sick

It doesn’t take an analytical genius to sort through this data.  The “best of” list consists basically of time with family, self-care, and vacations.  These things enabled me to reach personal goals, feel better, be more productive and creative, etc…

The “worst of” list looks just as you might expect. Other than a friend’s illness, everything on that list is totally preventable and is a result of faulty self-care and the abandoning of practices and routines that have proven to have positive effects.

The results of this new, “cutting edge”, reflective analysis approach, shows that things went well for me when I prioritized and followed through with self-care. Conversely, the wheels came slowly but steadily off when I didn’t.

I’m sure this “self care equals goodness” thing is true for all of us, but I wonder if I’m the only one who struggled to manage the issue this year.

I’m guessing not.  

If you, like me, didn’t exactly ace the self-care component of life this year, I officially invite you to join me in vowing to do better this time around the sun.

Shit! That sounds like a plain old New Year’s Resolution after all- doesn’t it? Ah well…

Follow Todd and the crew at Wise & Shine Magazine and visit Todd’s personal, magazine-style blog called Five O’Clock Shadow. For Todd life as a musician, visit

28 thoughts on “Not Into New Year’s Resolutions? Try Reflective Analysis!

  1. I love your honesty in this piece, Todd. Funny, reflective and a good kick-in-the-pants! Especially this: …”the wheels came slowly but steadily off…” Oh, I can relate to that! 😉

  2. This is a great idea for an alternative to New Year’s resolutions, Todd, even if it might end up resulting in a resolution! Actually, maybe it’s a good way to discover appropriate resolutions.

    1. Thanks! It kind of goes in a circle with resolution making but it’s at least entertaining to try 😂

  3. Shoot, I was going to get up and get a cookie before I read this but that’s one of those bad habits I fell into after Halloween. A good reminder and way to analyze. Thanks, Todd!

    1. Thanks Wynne! At least you still have some cookies left! I finished ours before the first of the year so I wouldn’t be tempted to both eat cookies and resolve to eat healthy at the same time. 🙃😁

      1. A wise approach, Todd. I, on the other hand, went and bought all the candy cane Hershey kisses that I could find on after Christmas sale since those are the ones I like and they only sell them at the holidays… 🙂

      2. I like those too- you have to take advantage of those sale opportunities when you have them, right?

  4. Reflective analysis. I like it! I’ve been trying to do that on a daily basis and the challenge is that unless I write it down as I do it, I forget what I did! Kudos to you for remembering the year’s highlights and lowlights. For me, it boils down to one-day-at-a-time analysis. If I keep at it long enough, maybe I’ll get the hang of it! Best of success this year.

    1. Thanks Julie- I think daily is the way to go- it gives you less time to stray without noticing. Best of luck to you too!

  5. I find these two types of reflectively analytic lists intriguing and I feel the need to create these for myself. It is really nice how at times, looking back can help us realize just where we want to be. Also I find regular revolutionary intent lists to be less useful and more stressing. I guess I just like having a general direction of where I want to be and then keep trying that way, rather than detailed specifics at times for goals.

Leave a Reply