A review of 2020

I guess for me, this year has been a stand(still). The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions in all aspects of life since the beginning of the year, making the work-related trip to Da Nang this year one of the most memorable yet. That said, eventhough I have basically stayed in one place most of the time (Jakarta), this year has been quite a busy year for me.

Work – I feel that I have grown a notch this year due to a whole host of different factors including the need to adapt myself to videoconferencing which I have to say involves a different angle of communication skills.

Health – This has been one of the main focus areas for me due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have tried to maintain my workout routine by doing at least a bit of High Intensity Training every day with bits of long run during the weekends. It is unfortunate that I could not join any marathon this year (I would not have been able to train for that long in the current circumstances as well). I managed with my colleague to do a virtual half-marathon in September. But that was the only half-marathon I did. Since this was specifically a half-marathon event, by finishing it, I got a finisher t-shirt. And that was my main incentive.

I have also managed to sleep more than six hours on average this year. I got a huge inspiration (or paranoia) from reading the book “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker.

Learning – I eventually passed all remaining exams for an undergraduate law degree at a Thai open university. Another burden lifted though my transcript looks rather shabby.

On a slightly different aspect of learning, I have learned how to cut my own hair. Although I feel the need to go to a barber after a few months to ‘correct’ the style.

Writing – I have failed my writing goals this year. I was supposed to have finished my novel by the time I turned 30 but I didn’t. So this will be my priority next year. I also could not keep to my blog schedule of a weekly post.

Reading – I challenged myself to read 50 books this year because of an article on qz.com which basically says that if you cut down your social media or online engagement, it would be possible to read 200 books a year. I achieved this goal with a few days to spare and I did manage to cut down on my time spent browsing aimlessly on social media.

Cooking – Last year I set the goal of learning to cook at least 3 savoury and 2 desserts/bakery. Here are the dishes: (1) stewed pork ribs (2) pan-seared salmon (3) chicken stew (4) banana cake and (5) wholewheat bread. Not something very fancy I’m afraid 😉

From my experience in 2020, I have found that the SMART approach to setting goals i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound has been incredibly useful.

And here are my New Year’s Resolutions for 2021:

In general, my goal is to try making today better than yesterday.

Work – I want to improve my own capabilities and efficiency by utilising technology for instance (1) regularly update my calendar (2) use Todoist more to be on top of tasks big or small (3) tidy up digital files and folders and (4) be more systematic when making notes in the digital format.

Health – Maintain at least 6 – 6.5 hours of sleep everyday / maintain workout routine of at least 10 mins of HIT everyday / if the situation allows, I want to try my first marathon next year.

Learning – Next year, I want to enroll in at least one short course to further my knowledge/skills.

Writing – Top priority will be finishing my novel by writing at least 5 pages of A4 everyday / write regular blog post and I want to keep this year’s failed target of once a week. This time with proper monitoring and reminding mechanisms.

Cooking – In 2021, I want to make at least one new dish savoury or dessert a month. Reading – With the goal of 50 books this year, I had less time to read magazines or online articles. To make up for these, I am setting my reading challenge to 20 books next year, two of them are to be in Bahasa Indonesia.

Meditation – I want to maintain my meditation routine of at least once a day.

Next year, there may be more funny projects like Tiktok videos coming out from a certain someone and I. Please laugh with us (and occasionally at us 😛)

Thats it for my 2020 review and the New Year’s Resolutions. Thank you all for the positive and supportive vibes. Stay safe and COVID-free! Happy New Year 2021 from Jakarta!

31 October 2020, Jakarta, Indonesia