In many areas of life, New Year&rsquo;s is a time for both reflection and projection. This should also be true for horseplayers of all stripes and especially contest players.The simplest form this can take is to set a goal for the new year. A contest player might commit to winning his or her way into a major tournament, whether it&rsquo;s the new online World Championship of Handicapping, a Las Vegas tourney like the Horse Player World Series, or a live&#45;bankroll event like the ones at Santa Anita, Keeneland, Del Mar, or the NYRA tracks.For both cash and contests, the new year is an excellent time to put a renewed focus on keeping records. At the simplest level, these will provide you an accurate measure of risk and reward. Ask any horseplayer who doesn&rsquo;t keep records how he did in 2017 and you&rsquo;re likely to hear something along the lines of, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not too sure but I think I&rsquo;m about even.&rdquo; I&rsquo;ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that the author of that quote had a losing 2017.Records can help you decide how much it&rsquo;s appropriate to risk on your chosen hobby. They can also help you drill down to see where you&rsquo;re having the most success: What is your overall ROI in match&#45;ups as opposed to winner&#45;take&#45;alls as compared to feeders? Your records will tell you and help give you an idea of where your dollars should be spent.Multiple entries is another area that may or may not be beneficial depending upon your playing style. Some players will see a real benefit with multiple entries, others may discover that the extra expense isn&rsquo;t worth the potential benefit. I wouldn&rsquo;t be surprised if many players see a difference in the efficacy of playing more than one ticket in live events as opposed to all&#45;in contests. In any case, the records will tell the tale. The records themselves can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists the type of contest, number of entries taken, ratio of entries to prizes, amount risked, and amount returned.Horseplayer resolutions can also take the form of a new element to incorporate into your handicapping. I would recommend that any serious player spend at least some time learning the process of how to make speed figures, as outlined in books like Andy Beyer&rsquo;s &ldquo;Picking Winners&rdquo; or Jim Quinn&rsquo;s &ldquo;Figure Handicapping.&rdquo;If making figures is too daunting a task, consider adding a process of race review. If you&rsquo;re a Formulator and TimeformUS subscriber, you&rsquo;ve got access to chart views that list every figure earned by a Thoroughbred racehorse in North America. For your home circuit, go ahead and review those numbers in every race after the fact, to see where the Beyer team and Craig Milkowski are in lockstep and where they might have a difference of opinion (for quick&#45;and&#45;dirty reference, a TFUS fig will typically be 20 higher than its equivalent Beyer).The process of race review also lends itself to re&#45;watching races and sharpening up your trip notes, which can be incorporated directly into your past performances in Formulator. Keeping your own trip notes will allow you to customize your PPs in a way where you&rsquo;ll be seeing your own subjective view of each race &ndash; as opposed to the same basic data everyone else is seeing. The difference is similar to that in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy leaves sepia&#45;toned Kansas for the film&rsquo;s Technicolor land.The turn of the year can also be a good time for research projects. Using the trainer tool in Formulator, do a deep dive on a few of the top trainers on your circuit to see if you might find out something new about them. Formulator allows you to not only see the results of a stats query but also to look at every runner a trainer has sent out in the past five years.These research projects can be as simple as seeing how their charges do first time out versus with a run under their belts or off a layoff as opposed to second or third time off. You can also come up with your own advanced queries. Everybody knows that certain trainers point for certain meets, but maybe take your research to the next level and see how they do at the meet before the one they point for.Whatever resolutions you choose for 2018, I wish you a healthy, happy, and most importantly prosperous new year.