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Reflecting On 2020 – What Have You Learned?

By: Mariah Rogers
Nov 23, 2020 • 6 min read

Reflecting On 2020 – What Have You Learned?

2020 has been a learning curve for us all. As the year comes to a close (finally), it is time to reflect on what you have learned and how you hope to grow in the new year. This is no easy task. There are many twists and turns to think back on! However, the process of reflection is not only great for setting new goals, but it can also help you process. Everything 2020 has had to offer. To move forward and start fresh, it is critical to reflect on your best practices that have helped you navigate and overcome every challenge you have faced this year.

reflecting on 2020

Always Start With What Went Well

Begin your reflective process by starting with the positive! Think about what went well this year and celebrate your successes. This will allow you to start your personal reflection journey on a high note and keep yourself motivated to explore various aspects of your life this past year. Physically writing out these achievements will help you embody the feeling of success. You are more likely to remember this feeling once it’s jotted down on paper! It might sound silly, but this could be how you continue to improve your best practices in the coming year.

Starting with the positives will ensure:

  • Your reflection process starts on a good note.
  • You will feel more motivated to complete a thorough reflection process.
  • Create a balance of positive and negative.

Make Reflection a Collaborative Process

Reflection does not always have to be an isolated process. It can be interesting to ask close family and friends to reflect with you to gain a different perspective. Learning to handle feedback and accept constructive criticism can also be a beneficial takeaway from this process. Talking it out with friends and family can add an element of excitement and fun to reflection. You can even try to make it a game! Enjoy reminiscing and notice how far you’ve come alongside someone who will support you every step of the way.

People you can reach out to for a collaborative reflection process: 

  • Parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents.
  • Close friends.
  • Colleagues you are connected with.
  • A teacher or other academic mentor.

reflecting on 2020

Focus On Specific Areas Of Your Life 

It can be hard to reflect on every aspect of your life in one sitting, especially when thinking back on a year like 2020! So, you must focus on specific areas of your life and reflect on these roles individually.

Here is an example of how to create your reflection sections:


  • Did you meet deadlines consistently?
  • How was your collaboration with co-workers?
  • Are you feeling challenged yet fulfilled in your position?
  • Do your values align with those of the company?
  • What are some regrets you have about this past year at work?
  • How did you handle the transition due to COVID? Successes? Areas for improvement?
  • What was your proudest moment at work in 2020?


  • Did you feel supported and loved by those you live with this year?
  • What is something you wish you could tell the people you live with?
  • Do you anticipate a change in your living situation this year?
  • How was transitioning to all being home due to COVID?
  • Are you content location-wise?
  • Does your space feel like home?
  • Are you the most supportive living partner you can be?


  • Have you focused on physical and mental health this year?
  • How are you doing emotionally? Check-in with yourself.
  • Do you feel strong and confident with who you are today?
  • When did you feel most powerful this year?
  • Are there situations in which you don’t feel confident? How can you change this?
  • What have you done this year to improve yourself?
  • Do you have at least one person in your life you can always turn to for help?
  • Were you self-aware this year?

Of course, you can split the different areas of your life up depending on your individual roles and preferences!

reflecting on 2020

Learn to Forgive

Half the battle of reflecting is facing experiences that were not in your favor over the past year. While this portion of the reflection process is essential to learn from your mistakes, sometimes, diving into the past isn’t as easy as it seems! While taking your mistakes as feedback for improvement, it is also essential to learn to forgive yourself for your choices this year. Accept the past and move forward into thinking about how you can avoid these mistakes in the future. If you are having trouble with this, you can try these methods of release below!

Methods of release: 

  • Talk it out with a close friend.
  • Write it down in a journal. Physically use pen and paper, avoid taking notes on your phone.
  • Create to get your emotions out! Paint something, practice photography, or write a short poem or song.
  • Practice self-affirmations.

reflecting on 2020

Create Short-Term Goals Versus Long-Term

As we all know, 2020 was an unexpected year. So, use this learning experience as an opportunity to shape appropriate and reasonable goals for yourself in the new year. Instead of making big, long-term goals, focus on smaller, more attainable ones. Truth is, no one knows how this winter will go. Thus, it is crucial to set yourself up for success by forming goals you know you can achieve in the next 4-6 weeks. These goals can be personal or professional, but make sure that they depend on YOU, not the ever-changing environment surrounding you. This way, you will be more likely to reach these goals, set new standards, and create a process that feels attainable to you.

How are you reflecting on 2020? Share your thoughts with us on social media!

More to Explore: 

Overcoming Holiday Blues in 2020 – Here

First Steps in Starting a Business – Here 

Pros and Cons of Multitasking – Here 

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