Reflections on 2020

Groundhog Day. That is how we began to describe each day of 2020 on video calls with work. Every day the same, you get out of bed, have breakfast, login to the work laptop, sit in the same spot all day, log off, eat dinner, watch tv, sleep and repeat. 

On one hand one could wonder why it is even worthwhile writing a review of a year in which almost nothing happened because everyone was at home all year. On the other, plenty of unusual things and changes to usual ways of living and working did happen, and it is good to document just what a utterly crazy year it has been. 

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A Short Review of 2019

At the start of this year I set myself four goals:

Read 12 Books

I read 20 books! This is twice as many as 2018

Make a 5% return on savings and investments

I made a 5.2% average return (unweighted, includes investments held for less than 6 months) on my investments. Savings accounts much less as repeated rate cuts hurt my savings growth.

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2018 – The Year of Personal Development

2018 has been a great year. I changed career, set up a new apartment and celebrated good times with friends.

I have also posted very few blog posts (only 4!), I’m well over a year behind in editing photos from trips. However, life has been busy and I’m being slightly more restrained in what I chose to post online.

Some of the highlights from the year are shown below.

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2016 – The Year of Change… Kinda

2016 has been a strange year, it has gone by very quickly, and has been full of change.

At the start of 2016 I set a small number of goals, while I only completely achieved two of them I feel I made progress towards all of them:

  • Continue learning German
    • During the first half of the year I continued well along this goal, however, by the end of the year any practice has fallen by the wayside.
  • Travel and/or move to Europe or Singapore
    • I spent a month travelling around Europe in February and tried for a job in Germany but was unsuccessful.
  • Read 30 books
    • I completed 27 books, which is fewer than the previous two years, however, after moving house I have a shorter commute to work which is where I do the majority of my reading.
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2015 – The Year of Challenges and Opportunities

At the start of the year I set some goals which I subsequently completely forgot about, but looking back now I achieved four out of five of them. They were:

  • Continue learning German
    • This goal ebbed and flowed, but in the later part of the year I completed around 90 days of continuous practice on Duolingo.com
  • Learn python
    • I completed multiple Coursera courses on python and had to crash course myself through it to work on a Baxter robot in the middle of the year.
  • Go to Europe
    • I went in February on a whim after finding myself out of work.
  • Read 20 books
    • I read 33!


Each month of the year also had a number of highlights:

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2014 – The Year of Growth

Another year comes to an end. During this year I have achieved many of the goals I set myself in January:

  • Continue Learning German – and go back to Germany.
    • I did well with the German in the middle of the year, but in the later months I have done none.
    • I still have a massive desire to return to Germany.
  • Summit Mt Kosciusko
    • Fourth year in a row that this hasn’t happened. But I did go skiing in the Snowy Mountains.
  • Read at least ten books – including the six paperbacks I currently have unread.
    • I have read 36 books! But have now amassed 14 more to be read. In May I decided to start reading on the bus in the morning rather than reading Facebook and Twitter on my phone.
  • Buy a VF Commodore – I’ve wanted a Holden since I was in my teens.
    • Still a pipe-dream
  • Keep this blog up to date.
    • I blogged fewer times than any previous year, so I avoided the problem.

The year has had many highlights:

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2013 – The Year of Adventure

2013 has been great. It’s been a year of fantastic fun, growth and personal achievement.

At the start of 2013 I laid out some goals for the year, they were:

  • Learn German
    • I did far better at this than in 2012. I am still very much a beginner, but I am learning.
    • Duolingo has been great for this.
  • Summit Mt Kosciusko
    • Once again this goal was elusive.
  • Go on a holiday for at least a week without internet access
    • I didn’t end up away for a whole week without internet, but there were a few weekends of digital silence.

An additional personal achievement was reading 12 books over the year – four histories, three science, three theology, and two novels.

There are also a number of highlights from throughout the year:

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2012 in review: the year ends, the world doesn’t

Rugby League
Rugby League

At the start of this year, as always, I set myself a set of goals, some of them in review:

  • Learn German
    • This went really well until about March and then I got busy.
  • Summit Mt Kosciusko
    • This was all but forgot about, so will be a goal for 2013
  • Spend more time on non-computer aided activities
Easter Show
Easter Show
  • Achieved!
  • I have spent more time in the evenings reading real books, and going out with mates on the weekends.

During the past year I haven’t done any hiking, and there have been fewer adventures. Having said that I have still done a fair amount of fun things around Sydney during the year:

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