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  • Writer's pictureNinam Bantawa

Looking Back at 2020

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

“In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.” - Lou Holtz

This post is primarily aimed to help us reflect on the things we did in 2020 and what we can do to be better going forward for 2021. One might argue that you don’t necessarily require a time-boxed event, in this case, a whole year to figure this out. You’d be correct in saying so because a year is a long time to reflect, in my opinion. It’d be more effective, should we opt for around 2-4 times a year.

The bottom line is that this activity of reflection serves as an effective yardstick for examining our perceived goals we formulated in the past and for the upcoming targets we will create for our future.

We understand that taking action is imperative to us rather than sitting on our couch and envisioning theory. Hence I implore you to carry out an action on the back of consuming this content, rather than just reading it and maybe temporarily store it in your brain just for it to be forgotten and faded away into oblivion.

It’s time to have a conversation with yourself.

Things you require:

  1. A pen

  2. A Journal/Note/Diary

  3. Your memory

  4. Your attention

  5. Time - Depends (2 hrs for me)

You may follow different methods at your disposal as long as they have some sort of format to enable reflection from your past activities and your intentions for the future. Personally, I like to follow an Agile Retrospective format as Agility is my realm of work and expertise.

A simple template might look like this:

It’s important to note that I’m utilising the ‘Wheel of Life’ to try best capture everything that happened to us with regards to different facets that together shape up our lives. The facets, as you can see, are defined as Personal Growth, Finance and so on.

The most important column is the one on the right, i.e. the Action Items. The meaning is in the name itself. Should there be no activity underpinning an idea or a concept, it is futile. I have highlighted the Action Items to be measurable as well. This is paramount, as the measurable goals we set are more definitive than immeasurable ones. For instance, we are likely to put more effort in a form of exercise if we are given a definitive time of 45 minutes, rather than the personal trainer being vague and telling us to just go with it until he stops the workout.

To take actions on the Action Items, I usually create a mind-map and express it in strategic timescales of my own. You may devise your own audio-visual techniques. One of the techniques I use is a simple To-Do list with target dates on them.

  • Course ‘A’ - 4th Feb 2020 ✅

  • Routine ‘Y’- 15 Jan 2020 ⏳

You may even formulate a Roadmap of your own, similar to Project Roadmaps with timelines and everything such as the one below.

This is an excellent method as it allows us to visualise our milestones. You may also use tools such as Trello or Asana to help you to go through the whole process of capturing and examining your goals.


Continuous growth and improvement should be highly sought after attributes. Simply put, this activity of self reflection is us trying to grow as an individual for our better future. Most of the time, this provides us with some concrete goals to aim at. Without properly pointing out our intentions and capturing (as Action Items) to further examine them from time to time could lead to messy and uncomfortable situations. Since we already live in a fairly complex world, we want to limit anarchic situations in our lives. Activities like these will definitely help facilitate that limitation.

I sincerely hope you take 2 hours of your time to do this over binge watching your Netflix series. You reap what you sow. 🙂

Good luck!

Further materials for consumption:

Ikigai - A Japanese concept for being

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