Review 2020 to survive and thrive in 2021

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This year already finished? Time flies!

I am sure you heard or said this phrase recently. But the truth is, time does not fly. In fact, it is one of the few things, if not only, that is equally distributed to everyone, so we need to keep reminding ourselves of it.

How was your 2020?

You might come up with some events or images in your mind or challenge caused by COVID-19, and so do I. But if you reflect more deeply, I believe there are lots of learning and takeaways. In that sense, Year-end is a great moment to review what you did and who you are, to thrive and even survive in the next year. In this post, I will capture my examples with new method, hoping you might get something out of it.

What I review

This year, I mainly reviewed the 5 things: (1) diary, (2) major events, (3) blog, (4) habit check and (5) my feeling. I believe (1), (3) and (5) are the new things compared to the previous years.


I started keeping a diary from this May when I faced another life turning point. I decided to write first in the morning to capture (a) what I did yesterday, (b) how I feel now, (c) how I slept last night and (d) what I will do today.  It has been very helpful to try to link my action and sleep with my feeling as well as guide myself on that day. I also realized the importance of dealing with my mental health.

Major events

As usual, I tried to reflect on what happened to me and what I did including:

  • Spent new year with my parents in Kenya where father met his life objective of seeing Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Traveled to Ethiopia by myself where I regained the sense of being backpacker and polyglot.
  • Started searching new job and doctoral study
  • Unexpected dance opportunity at my work retreat
  • Started self-teaching Portuguese and complement with lessons
  • Traveled to Diani beach in Kenya
  • COVID-19 broke out and telework started right after resignation of my supervisor
  • Some private adventure in light of COVID-19 on the street in Nirobi
  • Came across life decision making, supported by many people, book I read (Alchemist in Portuguese – original language) and life core value exercise
  • Started a life coach course, along with other self learning (Masterclass, writing, languages)
  • Departure from Kenya via chartered flight.
  • Re-encounter with amazing Japanese food, culture, nature, comics,
  • Started new job remotely which was unexpected
  • Taught some lectures at Japanese universities
  • Faced my mental health seriously for the first time and encounter with old friends with similar problems, HSP and hot-spa  
  • Dealt with some family related matters


What I write embodies my thought, so it is quite useful to look at what I learned from these.

Habit check

I have a lifelong goal and some objectives, and since some years back, I started aiming to have habits to reach those objectives (e.g. for wellbeing, exercise 6 days a week, instead of losing weight by XX kg). It is very important to monitor throughly and since you look at habits, it’s pretty straight forward to assess. For my case, below is the summary table “review of my 2020 to thrive in 2021”.

In a nutshell, my main focus of habits I would wish to improve (still learning) are: ①Wellbeing ( 3E), ②Learning and ③Creation.

Year  2020
Goal Live happily by enhancing mental and physical well-being
Habit Category Habit Area Outcome habit Result
①. 3E 1.1. Eat well (1) Eat veg and fruits every day, 1 non-alchol day/week, and learn what ingredients suit my body 2
1.2. Exercise well (1) Exercise well 6 days a week with varieties 3
1.3. Energize well (1) Work-life balance (Stick to 8h of work 3
(2) Meditate every day with concentration 2
(3) Keep journal 2
(4) Sleep 8h at the same time  2
(5) Travel 10 Countries 1
②. Learning 2.1. Language (1) Eng (8.5→9) Better writing with accuracy and more variety of phrases 2
(2) Fre (6→7) parler plus courramenet et mieux écrire 1
(3) Esp (8→8.5) Variedad de expresión a travoés de blog 2
(4) Por (2→5) Read and pronounce and practice basic conversation 3
2.2 Reading (1) 1 book/ month before sleeping and audio book during commute
(2) 10+ articles during weekend 3
2.3, Life list (1) Family care 2
(2) Coaching, seminers and teaching 3
③. Creation   3.1. Writing (1) Blog 1 entry/week (quality content for audience) 1
(2) Write in medium 2
(3) Write a book 2
3.2. Cooking (1) Cook / week and menu elaboration 1
3.3. Creative activity (1) Explorer creative laerning with specific action trimestry (soft skill research) 2
(2) Physiscal design: Drawing 2
(3) Digital design: Illustrator and design 2

My feeling

After reviewing all above, as of Dec 31 2020, I feel pretty good!

As shown in the above table, I have lots to improve and although 2020 was a tough year, so many things have happened (both positive and negative), and I am really grateful for what I went through and what I have.

The learning of this time 

To make the most use of limited time, it is essential to review the year through multiple sources to thrive and survive in the next year. Despite the difficulty, there are always things to appreciate. 

Thank you for reading this article. If you like it, please don’t forget to subscribe. If you have any comment/question, please feel free to leave. Have a great learning!



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