Each January, I put myself through a semi-formal three-step process. I call it the “3Rs,” in which I:

• Reflect on what I’ve accomplished, learned, and completely dropped the ball on;
• Resolve on which areas to focus in the New Year; and, probably the most difficult:
• Release – that is, shake off — the small hurts, frustrations, and negativity accumulated over the year so that I can truly make a fresh start.

Ever curious about how others approach a new year, I asked four amazing women about their process — did they reflect, resolve, and release, too? They had lots of insights to share. Here are my favorite takeaways from our conversations:

lesleyWho:  Lesley Jane Seymour
What She Does:  Editor of More magazine
Home Base: New York City

“I am a moving-forward person, and I pick a new idea or engagement for each year. For example, two years ago I decided to change my black thumb into a green one. Lo and behold, with a little research, a little effort, and a watering can, I actually have become a top-flight gardener, growing hundreds of plants each year from seed (P.S. It helps to water the plants!). This year, I would like to learn to sail. We have lived near the water for the past 17 years, and I have never tried boating!”

shiraWho: Shira Adler
What She Does: Award-winning writer and speaker and the Mind-Body-Soul Expert for Manilla.com. Shira’s company, Diva Mama, LLC, offers programs, products and practices to empower your Inner Diva.
Home Base: New York City

“Rather than making declamatory resolutions, I write and adjust an affirmation list on a more regular basis throughout the year.  I take stock of my wishes and dreams on either a monthly or quarterly basis.  This way I can hold myself accountable for whatever incremental and actionable steps I can take on the road to realizing all that I’ve written over the course of a year.  I relish the time leading into the New Year since, for me, reflection invites inspiration.”

betsyWho: Betsy C. Sobiech
What She Does: Leadership Coach and Consultant for Tiara International LLC
Home Base: Chicago

“I reflect long enough to celebrate where I’ve been and where I am, which includes learning lessons and appreciating others. Then I imagine the future, challenging myself to think big about what direction I’m headed. I include both the personal and the professional in this process. Once I have an exciting vision, I’ll narrow it down to my 2013-focused priorities.”

jessWho:  Jess Weiner
What She Does: Founder and CEO, Talk to Jess, a creative development and consulting firm specializing in influencing the social messaging sent to women and girls.
Home Base: Los Angeles

“I gave up making resolutions a long time ago. Now when I want to start something new, I start it right away – not on New Year’s but any moment that it feels right. Every day can offer you a “do-over” in life. You just have to be focused and conscious of why you are making that change in your life. Action without intention is empty and won’t last. I’ve achieved great success in my life and now I am finally enjoying it. Reflection allows me to see how far I’ve come and also set sights on where I want to be next.”

Hopefully my conversations with these four incredible women will spark some conversation for us too.  I hope you will share your thoughts in the comments section, or on Twitter (please make sure to mention @WomenandCo). We’ll also be bringing the conversation to Facebook and to Citi’s LinkedIn group, Connect: Professional Women’s Network.

So, let’s keep the conversation going: What lessons did you learn in 2012 that you’ll carry over to 2013?