My 2020 Personal Retrospective

04 Jan 2021 5-minute read

A new year, a new recap! But, just like last year, we’re going to do it a bit differently.
Last year, I did a retrospective instead of a recap. This was inspired by Jason Lengstorf his own retrospective post.

I did find the format very useful and it spoke to me as a developer. Since retrospectives are a part of my job.
So let’s start off with the first main question.

Where was I at the end of 2019?

Looking back at my previous retrospective I mentioned my son Aiden.
At the end of 2019, we were still not out of the health issue department. Our son still had issues with his hips.

Healthwise, I was at an all-time low. My weight was at it’s worst. So I made a goal to lose some.
I’d hoped to achieve this by having a healthy diet and plenty of exercises.

As for work, I was still a Technical Team Lead at my client Easyfairs.
With still much to learn, I had successfully gained the trust of both the team and the product owner.

What went well in 2020?

In 2020 we, finally, got the good news that our son was healthy. His hip displacement was finally solved. Which means we could focus on his progress. This also means that in 2020 he was able to take his first steps. Now, he dashes around the house and keeps us on our toes!
He also started saying words which means we have to watch ours. Kids pick up things fast, especially the things they’re not supposed to pick up.

On another personal level, we finally finished the plans for our house. This means in 2021, we can start building!
So, exciting times ahead!

Professionally, I’m still a Technical Team Lead at Easyfairs. Even with the challenging state of the event hosting business I’m still much appreciated by my client.

What could have gone better in 2020?

Missed opportunities

With COVID ruling our lives and forcing us to change our way of life, there were a lot of hidden opportunities. I’m thinking mostly about all the time I gained not spending on traffic.
All of that time was mostly wasted on trivial things. Things that do not add to the value of life.
As someone who has a lot of ambition but is held back by his own thoughts, I could have made a lot of progress.
Then again, I think everyone probably feels that way.

Looking back, it just feels like I had enough time to just do the things I wanted to achieve. Things like content creation, building a Twitch community, developing my own product, …

(Mental) Health

I thought 2019 was bad but 2020 said “Hold my beer!”. My weight is now even higher and COVID did not help on the mental side.
A lot of anxiety was triggered because of financial “struggle”. I put that in quotes because there are people who have it worse. I realize that. Though I feel that that does not take away my own mental struggle with this.
My wife lost almost her complete income and had to close down her business due to COVID. In the meantime, my client was letting go of both freelancers and employees left and right. Of a team of 13, only 6 are left. I was among the lucky ones that got to stay.
But not at a caveat, we had to reduce the number of hours that we worked. This means I had time left to work on other projects. But sadly, I feel like I wasted that time as well.

What will I change going into 2021?

Overall 2020 was a year full of struggle. There is no way and reason to sugarcoat it.
But we have to move on and keep a positive mindset. This is why I set some new goals for 2021.
I kept these goals pretty loose and high level for a reason. I want them to guide and motivate me instead of having them cause anxiety.
That is also one of the reasons why I did not add a consistency check. I do not want to be forcing myself to, f.e., post each week and then getting anxious because I do not know what to write about. Twitch is the only exception to this rule. If I do not stream consistently, it will be harder to reach the affiliate status.

High-level 2021 goals

  • Improve my health.
    • Weight: 70 kg
    • Number of kilometers walked: 500km
    • Number of kilometers biked: 800km
    • Do 1 bike ride of at least 100km
  • Content Creation.
    • Twitch: Gain affiliate status
    • YouTube: Get 100 subscribers, so I can get a custom link
    • Write more blog posts than last year
    • Start a podcast, as an experiment to see how it feels

What are your goals for 2021?

If you want to do a retrospective as well there are 3 questions to answer:

  • What went well?
  • What could have gone better?
  • What will I change going forward?

If you do, and you make it public, feel free to tweet Jason and me to let us know. Over on Jason his post, there’s also a link to a supportive community to bounce ideas off.

Happy retrospective!

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