I was never big on New Year's Resolutions. A simple wish list of pie-in-the-sky, maybe-someday tasks usually end up being unresolved, compromised or forgotten. Even if you write down the list, how are you to measure the completion of your resolutions? Are they too vague or even lack a clear outcome (for example, "Be a better person.") Chris Guillebeau's Art of Non-Conformity takes a "Getting Things Done" approach to objectively looking at your past year and making a very earnest estimation on your aims for the upcoming year.
The idea of looking back at 2010 to plan a successful 2011 bases itself on the idiom, "know where you've been to know where you're going." According to Chris, the important task to start your "review" is to write a list of things that went well and things that did not go so well in the last year. Time to take out the pen and paper!
The other important idea that I took away from the article is the importance of having measurable goals that can provide you the metrics to determine the success or failure of your goals during the year. Saying, "I am going to lose some weight and get in shape this year," lacks the specificity of, "I am going to lose 20 pounds and decrease my body fat by 10% this year."
Read more about how to conduct your own annual review at the Art of Non-Conformity blog.