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Annual Reviews

I review every year — only to learn that things rarely go as planned.

My 2020 Annual Review

Time for my 2020 annual review.

In this post, I’ll do my best to answer these three questions:1

What went well this year?
What didn’t go so well this year?
What am I working toward?

This post is also sparked by my post The epic year approach. The Epic Year Project is my attempt at hitting four major life events (“memorable milestones”) each and every year.

Here we go:

1. What went well this year?

52 blog posts. I wanted to give my blog some extra attention this year and I managed to publish weekly blog posts across the whole year.

I learnt how to use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. I’ve always been comfortable with writing, so developing new visual skills has felt like exploring a whole new world of creative expression. My aim is to reach a professional level as both a web designer and a photographer.

Married for 10 years. Apart from celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this year, I think I’ve been a supportive husband this year. My wife’s career as a news anchor is demanding and I’ve taken on most of the responsibilities at home — and by always making it my priority to listen, give advice, and encourage.

My son started school. Starting school is a big event in any person’s life. I think the transition has worked out well and I’m proud of my son for taking on so many new challenges with a positive and curious mind.

CEO for KIX Communications Index. Learn more here.

I learnt my way around a kitchen. This was my second year into cooking. This year, I’ve been exploring taste combinations, basic food chemistry, more advanced cooking techniques, mise en place, and knife skills. The aim is to be able to express myself creatively using basic food ingredients.

No alcohol this year, either. Life without alcohol is working out perfectly. Alcohol-free beers go great with certain types of food and I often replace red wine with 100% blueberry juice and I go for smoothies and elaborate fruit juices instead of cocktails. I quit drinking because I felt terrible for days after drinking and I’m still extremely happy about this decision. The aim is to never again consume alcohol, ever.

I learnt to solve master level Sudoku puzzles. Learn more here.

2. What didn’t go so well this year?

Covid-19. From a professional perspective, I lost about half of my typical workload as a freelancer. But whatever impact this impact has had on my career, the important thing is that my friends and family come out of this pandemic with their health intact. That’s all that matters — everything else can be fixed.

Terrible sleeping habits. This whole sleep-for-five-or-six-hours-each-night has got to stop. I’m 41 now and I just can’t get away with it anymore.

No ‘epic output’ this year. I love to teach and I love to write. Given the pandemic, I had such an opportunity to either launch a PR course or write a PR book. Going into this year, even without knowing about the pandemic, I had such ambitions — but I just never made it across the finish line despite serious attempts at both endeavors.

Better English. It dawned on me that I’ve been writing weekly in English for a decade now. While this is sort of an accomplishment in itself, I really should be a better English writer by now. I know my way around professional business English for sure, but the aim is to get my written English on par with my written Swedish.

3. What am I working toward?

Explore a more outdoorsy lifestyle. I know a bit about wilderness survival and bushcraft from military training and quite a few number of books. Maybe 2021 is a good year to explore a more practical approach? At least I want to teach my son how to build a makeshift shelter and make fire a few different ways.

Push my deadlift from 160% to 200% of my bodyweight. The aim here is simple: I want to improve my strength.

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Prints/Instagram)


  1. This format is inspired by James Clear’s annual reviews.
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Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.org/
Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Communication Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.