The most important thing I do each year


Hey friends,

In true end-of-year-fueled productivity, I’ve stopped being a wasteman and have gotten back to the newsletter. ‘Tis the season of annual reviews and this what I’ve been thinking of the past few days.

If you haven’t done an annual review before and are stuck in lockdown somewhere, this is probably your year: it’s just a sit-down-self-exploration exercise where we reflect on how our year has gone in the hope that we gain insights to improve the next. The principle is something like:

“Human systems grow toward what they persistently ask questions about.” David Cooperrider and Diana Whitney

To get us started, I’ll share some questions I’ll be thinking of today. Feel free to do as many or as little as you fancy. I’ll be sharing my responses too in next week’s newsletter. If you’re feeling particularly frisky, feel free to share your responses by hitting <reply>. Hope they help.

The bare-minimum questions:

  • When have you felt proud of yourself in 2020? what were you doing?
  • If you had to teach one thing you learnt this year (that would improve one’s quality of life) what would that be?
  • What kept you up at night with excitement this year? Was it worth it? Would you want to do more of it?

Give-me-more questions:

  • How did you have fun differently in 2020?
  • How did you suffer differently in 2020?
  • What people/kind of people did you spend less time with in 2020?
  • What people/kind of people did you spend more time with in 2020?
  • What did you feel guilty for in 2020?
  • What 3 people are you the most grateful to in 2020 and why? How can you thank them? How can you find more people like this in your life?
  • What have you learnt about the way that you deal with uncertainty in 2020?
  • What new habits did you create in 2020? Which ones would you want to keep?
  • Did you feel you spent enough time with your family/significant other in 2020? How would you change this in 2021?
  • What things did you stop caring about in 2020?
  • What new thing did you spend a lot of money on in 2020?
  • What new thing did you spend a lot of time on in 2020?
  • What do you feel you’ve gotten a lot better at in 2020?
  • What did you rediscover pleasure in in 2020?
  • When you felt at peace this year, what were you doing?
  • Which of last years goals did you not achieve? Why did you not achieve them? Will you carry them on to 2021 and if not why?
  • How much closer are you to your “by this age” milestones (if you have any)? Do you find yourself caring less or more about these?
  • At the end of next year, if you are drastically exceeding your expectations, what would you be doing?

Have a great week!


My Favourite Things This Week


1 – Audiobook –  I’ve been obssesively listening to Rhythm of War, the 4th book of The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. Just finished it this morning, after switching between the peak pleasure of PlayStation + audiobook (which I’d strongly recommend if you haven’t yet tried) and just audiobook. I’d strongly recommend The Stormlight Archive if you want a fun, and really long, Christmas listen.

2 – Book – Recently finished The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo, in an attempt to be better at this working with a team thing. It’s recommended reading for anyone who runs a business.


Quote of the Week


The real point of doing anything is to be happy, so do only what makes you happy.

From Anything You Want by Derek Sivers. Resurfaced using Readwise.


Tweet of the Week

This Week’s Videos

0 0 votes
Rate This Article
Notify of

0 Thoughts on this post
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments