I’ve never written an end of year review before, but I decided to do a personal retrospective of 2020 when I saw Pat Kua’s template (HT David Heath for sharing it). The idea particularly appealed to me this year because my last four months have been dominated by having a TIA (a ‘mini-stroke’) and then a stroke, and I was finding it hard to see past that. Also, it was end-of-year appraisal time at work and, having to write a self-assessment, I had the sense that I hadn’t done much or achieved much over the year, so I was keen to get a broader perspective.

I followed Pat’s guidelines (eg I made his template my own by using some of the questions that help me when I reflect on things, I sat in a quiet space with minimum interruptions, turned off notifications and mined my calendar, my twitter and medium accounts, and my photos of the year, for data — events and activities that were significant to me). After I had completed my data collection to remind myself what had happened during the year, and come up with a list of stuff broken down by month, I went over the retrospective questions and then took a break, giving me time to reflect. And over the next few days I came back to my list several times, looked at my questions, gradually grouped things together, generally mulled things over and wrote this post.

3 things I did for the first time

Events/activities that brought me joy

The beach at Pagham, where we we stayed on holiday in July

Events/activities that made me sad

Things that I found particularly challenging


Events/activities that helped me grow

3 things that I’m grateful for

What would you have liked to do more of?

What did you experiment with?

What people said it takes to be a good manager

What could have gone better?

Habits from 2020 that I want to continue doing

Imagine yourself at the end of 2021. What are big accomplishments that you are proud of?

In the first week of January I plan to discuss these goals with my boss and break them down into quarterly (but flexible) steps and actions.

What are you looking forward to next year?

Senior Director @ElsevierConnect doing product strategy implementation & performance. Mainly writing about getting from A to B, & digital stuff. Personal acc’t.