I stopped doing New Year’s resolutions a few years ago. So why am I back at it again? Because I do something else first.

No wonder many of us resist setting resolutions. So often the focus is on where we’re lacking or how we missed the mark — basically, trying to fix what’s wrong with ourselves.

Don’t bother to blame or judge yourself for the innate human tendency toward a negative bias — there may be an evolutionary advantage to spending much more time thinking about what has gone wrong and how to fix it or do it differently next time.

Reflect on the past year in three ways:

1. One thing I did this year I’m most proud of:

2. Two things I’m grateful for:

3. My three favorite memories:

However, “Success breeds success,” according to American soccer player Mia Hamm. And I’ve done enough Inner Critic work to know that it’s impossible to shame yourself into success or self-esteem.

So I start the resolution-setting process by first reflecting on the best of my just-completed year. Here’s quick and easy way to get started, adapted from the Readdle New Year’s Worksheet:

As I remember the best of 2017, here’s what stood out for me:

Find a creative outlet that’s really fun. For me it was joining Sweet Harmony, a local singing group.

Get involved in something that’s bigger than you. In 2017 I stepped up to chair the Louisville Circle of Red, a group of executive women passionate about heart health and living well, working through the American Heart Association.

Make time for relationships that are meaningful and nourishing to you. Ending a long period of estrangement from my family in 2006, I especially cherish the time we spend together now.

Take some calculated risks. In 2017 I started a series of TV interviews with John Ramsey of WAVE3 News Listens Live. (Note: The keyword is Live.) After orbiting into extreme over-planning and over-preparing for the first interview, I had to remind myself of something I cover in one of my own programs, How to Perform Under Pressure — “All we can do is our best.” Fortunately, John could talk a person having a full-blown anxiety attack back from the ledge, so when I realized I was in very good hands, I relaxed and started to have fun.

Get really good people to help you. My special thanks for making 2017 a great year go to my husband Bill, my mentor Dr. Sidra Stone, publisher of my featured column in M.D.Update Gil Dunn and Breakout Business founder Melissa Fraser.

Ready to use the entire worksheet? Readdle New Year’s Worksheet. You may also like Readdle’s free Ultimate Productivity Guide.

One more thing: If you know you’ll put it off, see my article How to Stop Procrastinating, Get Stuff Done and Get a Lot Happier. The boost of positive emotion you’ll get has been shown to recharge willpower. You’ll also need it during the year when you encounter the inevitable setbacks, obstacles and disappointments.

You’re now ready to make 2018 your best year!