My 2020 Annual Review

December 27, 2020
2020 year in review

Boy. What a year 2020 has been, am I right?

Between Australian wildfires, racial wars, the polarized US elections, Royals quitting the Royal family (who knew that was a thing??), influential people’s deaths, and a freakin’ global pandemic, 2020 has been an entire decade worth of stuff rolled into one year. I almost didn’t do a 2020 annual review because you could probably sum it up in one sentence. It wasn’t the best year.

But then I started thinking. It hasn’t been a great year (both globally and for myself personally) but good things have happened. Silver linings have been found. And 2020 is DEFINITELY the year where I could use being reminded of the good things that happened.

Some important notes first.

Let me first let you know what you’re about to read. This is NOT a review of what happened to the world this year. Although honestly, this year, those things can’t not be mentioned because this was not a normal year by far. Instead, this is my personal annual review. If you’re a follower of this blog, you know this blog is all about goals and the journey towards those goals. Both the good and the bad. This post is meant to discuss the personal goals I have achieved and the ones where I’ve fallen flat on my face. If what you’re wanting is more of a review of things that happened to the world in 2020, might I suggest this post instead.

Second, I want to reinforce that I know the fact that anything good happened at all to me this year means I’m so very blessed. A lot of people across the globe lost loved ones, their jobs, and so much more. This post is not meant to demean anyone else’s experiences. I sincerely hope and pray that if you are one of the many people who were affected with loss and grief this year that you are able to find more strength each and every day and that you feel loved and supported throughout your journey. Know that at least one person is rooting for you – even if I don’t know you in real life.

So without further ado, let’s jump into my 2020 Annual Review.

My 2020 Annual Review: What Went Well

When doing this 2020 annual review, I want to start with the good things to remind me that regardless of my failures this year, good things did happen!

And given that it is the year 2020, I want to take a brief moment to mention the good things that happened to the world – because I think people might like to be reminded of these.

Things that went well globally.

  • After the pandemic hit, everyone worked together with speed and a common goal. Not only to come up with a vaccine but also to help stop the spread of the virus in the first place. Could we have done more? Personal opinion, yes. But that doesn’t negate the fact that we worked together as a human race to try to stop the spread.
  • I’d also like to call out separately the good that our nurses, doctors, and other health care workers have done. They risked their lives to save ours. The appreciation gained for these professions is such a good thing.
  • Businesses adapting to a “new normal” – both small businesses that had to get creative with how they offered their products and did so successfully as well as larger businesses that adapted to having an entire workforce now remote working.
  • A record number of Americans showing up to vote in our Presidential elections. Even if your candidate is the one that lost, can we at least agree that record number of voters is a good thing?
  • Not to get too political on this blog at all, but for me, it was a great thing that the election ended the way it did.
  • Last political thing I promise, but for the first time in history, we have a female Vice President. Female, everyone! This is huge – and I legit cried when it was announced. Progress.
  • Last but certainly not least, after all the horrific acts of racial injustice, I am so very hopeful that the outpouring of protests and reflection might lead to reform. I know we have a long way to go. But hopefully this is at least the start of that journey.

Things that went well in my personal life.

In my personal life, I was completely blessed to have good things to even report this year. I’ll summarize with the main ones relevant to goals I’ve posted in the past.

  1. Feeling financially secure during turmoil. I am lucky enough to be working for a company that not only fared well but also made it their mission to reinforce security to their employees. Had this happened 5 years ago, I would have found myself in a very different position.
  2. I paid off 100% of my credit card debt. This has been almost a decade in the making but December 21st, I was able to make my last payment in full. The relief that instantly poured over me, especially after living through a year like 2020, cannot be overemphasized.
  3. My relationship not only survived lockdown together but also thrived. My boyfriend and I were living together prior to the lockdown but we always worked outside of the home, saw friend’s, etc. To then go to being in the house 100% of the time, it could have had an impact on our relationship. I am so grateful that not only did it not have an impact, I feel it’s even brought us closer together.
  4. I’ve lost 14 pounds. This has happened because I’ve done other goals of mine (like learning how to cook) and I cannot be happier about that. Related to health, I also have worked out every Monday – Friday since the end of June – never missing a day. If you know me in real life, you know this is HUGE.
  5. I launched a YouTube channel. If I’m honest, I didn’t even know this was a goal until mid-year. Even then, I thought I would never do it. For many reasons that I might share in a separate blog post. But I did. I launched the channel right around Thanksgiving of this year.

My 2020 Annual Review: What Didn’t Go Well

Unfortunately, you knew this was coming right? You can’t have a 2020 annual review and not discuss things that didn’t go well. Especially in the year 2020.

  1. The state of the world. I have to lead with this one. I mentioned a lot of things in the introduction paragraph but they are worth mentioning again. The grief, loss, and devastation so many human beings have experienced this year is heart breaking. To add on top of that, the polarizing nature of some of the experiences is horrifying. I can’t begin to explain my sadness in responses that I’ve seen. We should hope to spread love, healing, and kindness instead of hatred, selfishness, and fear.
  2. Anxiety. I had a rough year with anxiety as I’m sure many did. As a type 1 diabetic and therefore high-risk for COVID, I was scared to leave my house for many months. Then you add in that I might catch it and infect loved ones, it was a lot to manage. Then when I would think about the economy and people’s well-being (things like mental health, financial situations, suicide, being made to feel like the color of your skin somehow makes you less than ANYONE) – I would just spiral.
  3. I lost connection with friends. I thought for sure Zoom would bring me closer to friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile (Val, Cass, Kat, and Kim – I’m looking at you!), but what I hadn’t anticipated was Zoom fatigue. In my job, I’m on Zoom meetings literally all day long. When I got off work, I completely checked out. I turned off screens, literally hid my phone in my closet, and just did anything but be present. I’m not proud of that and I’m honestly, not even sure that it helped. I just knew I was too mentally and emotionally drained to function.
  4. Blogging slowed and felt forced. I really struggled with blogging this year. I love writing, usually. But this year I felt that nothing I had to say really mattered. To talk about anything other than the state of the world felt so insensitive to me and I also felt I didn’t have the right words to express what I was feeling in a way that measured up to the weight of the topics.
  5. I couldn’t travel. I know, that sounds selfish. Outside of just my personal love of travel, this one had a big impact on my professional life also. I previously would go to the UK once a quarter and this year found it harder to align with my colleagues in the UK (which, for what it’s worth, is a key part of my job) and my team suffered because of it.

My 2020 Annual Review: Planning for Next Year

I’m nothing if not a planner. And while it feels a bit silly to plan for next year after the year we’ve all just had, I’m still going to. It helps my mental health to focus on goals and things I want to achieve. And if things happen next year that you just can’t plan for, I can try to adapt.

Based on my analysis of my 2020 annual review, I’ve come up with the following categories of things that I’d like to focus on in 2021.

  1. Connecting with my mind. There are certifications I’d like to get, books I’d like to read, things I’d like to learn.
  2. Connecting with my body. I still have some more weight I’d like to lose, I want to focus on keeping my A1C in range, and improving my flexibility and strength.
  3. Connecting with my spirit. I want to grow as a person this year in various ways. I’d also like to get back to attending church regularly.
  4. Connecting with others. I want to foster my friendships in a way they didn’t get nurtured in 2020.
  5. Financial. I would like to continue paying off debt (this time moving to student loans) and beef up my savings. If 2020 taught me anything, it’s that if at all possible, have savings to prepare for the unexpected.
  6. Content Creation. Both on the blog and YouTube, I’d like to have a plan that is what people care to read about (or watch!).

Now, I won’t go into too much detail of the goals themselves just yet. One, not all are relevant to things I think others would care about on the blog. But second, you came here to read about my 2020 annual review, and not my plans for 2021. That will come in time.

So tell me, friends. How was 2020 for you? Did you experience any good? If not, what did you have to endure and how are you faring? I genuinely care and want to know.

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