I would much rather contemplate in the moment, that to stop and reflect on the past.
As is near cliché status at this time of year—every year—I see a lot of declarations of "stopping to reflect." But I subscribe to a different theory; if we let the distance between you and life lived grow too far before thinking about it, we've missed the point, the living. Time flows and my run is finite, so each minute is heavy on my mind as I'm in it. For this, I'd rather contemplate; learn, solve, think and understand in far closer temporal proximity to the moments in life. We often treat each new year with a painfully sincere outlook to do more, do better, be reflective, but pair that with a flippant and predictably temporary effort. I stopped with resolutions and reflections long ago. Why?
I don't hold back, and each day I "earn my sleep" by exhausting the possibilities. I think deeply, I try to solve the puzzles, I learn and I attempt to understand the situations and things that happen with a modicum of immediacy. Reflection and contemplation are very close cousins, with one crucial difference; reflection is looking back to understand, while contemplation is more often done in the moment, with yourself and your mind applied to the task in progress, or thinking forward.
Why would I resolve to do differently this year? I like very much what I've done year after year. I've learned very much from how I could have done better, nearly immediately. I once again did my thing with sincere effort this lap around, and I'll do the same again—that's about all the reflective thought I give it. I acknowledged my shortcomings candidly and in the moment, learned my lessons and applied as immediately as possible. I celebrated my triumphs with authentic, guilt-free, boisterous joy. I am fueled by my memories of life lived in the past year and more, so they are constantly fresh and informing who I am as I stashed their energy for lower moments in need. So reflect? Nah, that's time wasted in the moment having my mind on expired time.